Unleash the power of your creativity by exploring new tools! If you’re a realist painter, you can use them to craft natural textures, and for you abstract painters or expressionists, you can experiment with unique shapes and forms. We’ve pulled together a list of our personal top 5 tools for you to consider adding to your studio. Have any suggestions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. If you’re looking for techniques on how to use any of these — or even more inspiration — become a member at Artists Network. You’ll get immediate access to 850+ skill-building videos from top art professionals. No matter what inspires you, we’ve got you covered!
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Specialty Palette Knives
Uniquely-shaped palette knives can be a great way to experiment with new textures in your work. These can help create patterns and distinct shapes when using them to apply paint directly to the canvas, or when mixing and blending with brushwork.
- Mixed Media
Natural Sea & Synthetic Sponges
Watercolor artists use sea sponges to simulate the texture of trees, grass, rocks, and other natural forms. Oil and pastel painters might find these useful when experimenting with softening edges, stamping, and other tweaks of texture.
- Watercolor and other water-media
- Oil paint
Golden Hard Modeling Paste
Golden makes this excellent product to create textured surfaces on which to paint. It dries to an extremely hard opaque film and creates tough durable finishes for both smooth and textured surfaces. The dried film can even be carved with hand or power tools as well!
- Mixed Media
Meet the Artist
Scott Maier is an artist and content director for artistsnetwork.com, where he has streamed live over 150 times for Drawing Together. He’s also the author of the instructional art book, See, Think, Draw: An Easy Guide for Realistic Drawing and Beyond.