Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The 5 must have items in our painting stash

The five products that we wouldn't be without when using our painting kits

As a painter, there is nothing worse than getting into your flow and realising you are missing something you need.  Hours can fly by when you're in the creative zone but if you aren't prepared, if you haven't got what you need to hand, it can be incredibly frustrating. This was one of the reasons we were so passionate about the contents of our Starter kits.  We wanted to provide everything you needed (with the exception of a pot of water and kitchen towel!) so that as soon as you got hold of your kit, you could enjoy that excitement and get stuck in straight away without more trips to the craft shop.

Over the years, as we have developed our skills we have found extra bits and bobs we find ourselves reaching for time and again....

1. Kitchen roll.  A rather uninspiring start to our list we know but a definite must have! Perfect for cleaning our dotting tools, mopping up any little spillages and drips as well as drying off our brushes after each wash.  As the DecoArt Americana colours are so beautiful and the consistency is specially formulated for Folk Art, we prefer not to dilute the paint for our brushstrokes.  If you aren't sure if you are loading your brush properly for those perfect comma strokes, check out this tutorial.

Save your DecoArt Americana paints by creating and using a wet palette - easy DIY project

2. A wet palette. This is such a simple addition to your painting kit yet it makes all the difference.  There is nothing worse than wasting paints and as many of our designs don't require a large amount of paint, a wet palette is a must have.  As we head towards warmer times in the UK, we certainly notice a difference in the drying  times of our paints and so we need to do our best to prevent our paints turning in to a gloopy blob!

One of our customers used Scotch magic tape to mask off parts of this design ready for the greeting.
Photo courtesy of @at_the_painting_table

3. Scotch Magic Tape (the green one). Tape is always handy but in addition to holding down practice paper when we like to take our creativity outside, we love this tape for masking.  Although 3M do create a Scotch Removable tape (the blue one) we have found that it is not sticky enough for us.  If this magic tape is a tad sticky for our surface, pressing it once or twice on to our clothes often does the trick in removing some of the adhesive.  If you have some tape, why not try masking off a square or strip to create a clean edge in your painting?

4. Sakura Gelly Roll pen.  We have started to use these in the last few years at our events.  Although we still prefer to use our Transfer paper, when you are drawing out 300+ templates for a Grand Make or teaching a large group of painters, it can be handy to use to draw out your desired pattern.  (however, be aware this pen is obviously less forgiving than our transfer papers so wherever you leave a mark, you will need to paint over the top).  More recently, we have also used it to add writing to our projects.  From simple block lettering to fancy faux calligraphy, this white pen looks great on a dark background.

5.  Last but not least is our Drying time extender.  Featured in our Flat Brush Starter kit, we use it to help our paints blend seamlessly together to create a beautiful effect for our flat brush designs.  We also use it on our wet palettes when we are painting not just outside but as we are demonstrating at events.  Warm areas and rooms with lots of people can dry out your paints so this is great to help keep your paints workable and again, reduces paint wastage (always a good thing!)

So there you have it... our top 5 must haves for our painting kit, we hope you find it useful.  What is in your painting kit that you just couldn't live without? Leave us a comment, we'd love to know.

Happy Folking x

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