Sunday, February 15, 2009
All paper and art supplies are not created equal. Through all my research, that's as simple as I can state it.
If you have ever found yourself frustrated with thinking you can't do anything worthwhile with those colored pencils or watercolor paints that are sitting in your closet, it might be because the products may be of inferior quality, or you aren't using the best paper with your chosen media.
I'm well aware that some people are happy to use whatever is available, but there are also people that think they can't *do* something, and it's not necessarily for lack of talent.
Just today, I was testing two different brands of seemingly similar sketch paper. I found that despite them feeling similar to the touch, and being almost identical in weight, they performed quite differently when I tried using graphite pencils, colored pencils, Neocolor crayons and oil pastels. The one paper left me frustrated, and the other made me feel like I just wanted to sit and play with it all day.
So how do you know what's best for you? Start by asking a lot of questions, and do your research. Ask other artists their preferences - try the forum Wet Canvas or ask the people working at your local art supply store. Call Blick, or Cheap Joe's, or Daniel Smith. You won't really know if something works for you until you try it, but hopefully in the long run this might save you some money and frustration.
In my opinion, if you want to be creative, aim to select the tools that will enhance the experience rather than hinder it.