How important is quality in your art supplies?

Are you a famous artist who makes a living painting and has sold dozens of paintings? If so, then the quality of your art supplies is of the utmost importance, but if you are a much lesser known artist, how important is the quality of your art supplies? If you go to the art supply store or search online, you will see a huge price difference on many of the different art supplies. You may see a 4-ounce tube of paint for $ 3 and another 4-ounce tube of paint for $ 15. What makes it cost so much more and should you care?

Often the reason why paint costs more or less depends on the amount of ingredients present in the paint. For example, if a tube of oil paint is made up mostly of low-quality oil and little else, it will be cheaper. If you have less oil, significantly more pigment and higher quality preservatives, which means that you will get a better finish, it will cost more. The same goes for other art supplies like acrylic paint or pastels. Another example is brushes. Synthetic brushes are always much cheaper than brushes made from real animal hair.

When should you buy the good things and when are the cheap things good? All your art supplies, whether you are a beginning painter or an advanced artist, should be of a certain quality. Don’t use the plastic brushes with black plastic bristles that you find in children’s art sets. They will not work well and will only hinder your ability to paint. Also, don’t necessarily use the cheapest paint you can find, make sure it’s a good name for quality.

If you’re a beginner, the quality of your supplies doesn’t have to be top-notch. If you are a painter and most of what you do is play and practice, buy the cheap acrylic. If you are moving forward and looking to possibly sell your work, update your paintings. If you’re a beginner planning to move up to a higher grade in the near future, don’t buy gallons of cheap stuff, just buy what you need. If you buy 3 gallons of white paint and only use one gallon, that’s a lot of wasted paint. Hopefully, you can get your money back or sell it to someone else.

As you go along, you may start to notice a difference in the quality of your supplies. Update as necessary. As a beginning painter, synthetic brushes may suffice, but as you improve, you may see how much better animal hair grazes the canvas. Use what works for you with affordability in mind and you will progress as an artist.