Jackson’s offers a vast range of art materials and as a team of practising artists ourselves, we are dedicated to helping you find the colours, surfaces, brushes, and tools that you need for your practice. Here, some of the artists at Jackson’s have recommended their favourite art materials and shared what they love about using them.
Da Vinci Vario Tip Flat No. 16
First up is the Da Vinci Vario Tip brush, chosen by Lisa. All hair used in Da Vinci natural hair watercolour brushes is dressed and prepared in the Da Vinci factory by skilled artisans who turn over the prepared hair to experienced brushmakers for hand shaping.
“I have a size 16 in Da Vinci Vario Tip. I use it for textures and patterns in my watercolours all the time. The hairs are the perfect stiffness for really lovely vibrant lines.” – Lisa.
Schmincke Aqua Watercolour Masking Fluid, Blue, 100 ml Dispensing Bottle
Lisa also recommends the Schmincke Aqua Watercolour Masking Fluid. This masking fluid is a medium used to block out small areas and fine lines where you want to prevent the watercolour soaking into the paper. Also available in 25 ml dispensers.
“I also love the Schmincke Masking Fluid dispensing bottle. I find its really nice to draw with so I don’t necessarily need any other tools to apply the masking fluid. I just use it straight from the bottle to make even and fine lines and dots. great for highlights in my watercolour painting!” – Lisa
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink, 30 ml
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink is a range of extremely fluid acrylic paints that use super-fine pigments in a state-of-the-art acrylic emulsion. They dry quickly, are permanent, water resistant and non-clogging, which makes them ideal for a variety of techniques from watercolour effects to stamping.
“These heavily pigmented inks are my pick, because keep their vibrant colour even when dry.” – Jorge
Montana Black 400 ml Black
Montana spray paint has a short drying time which allows for rapid re-application and overlapping with other colours immediately. Its non-scented aerosol paint is made to the highest quality, health and environmental standards. Its high pressure valve allows users fast application.
“Montana black spray paints are the most elite spray paint, super-fast drying, solid block colour. Great layer effects if you use the Posca Pens over top as well” – Sophia
Uni Posca Markers Medium Bullet Tip 1.8 – 2.5 mm
Posca paint is opaque and fluid. It gives easy coverage and yet is bleed-resistant when used on paper. Once dry, the paint is waterproof; it is possible to draw on top of previous layers to build up designs or correct errors. Light colours are just as opaque as the dark colours, and can be used to add overlaid highlights.
Sennelier Oil Pastel Set of 12
The Sennelier oil pastels possess an extraordinarily high pigment content, thus providing them with a high colouring and covering potential, excellent brightness and a high degree of light stability.
“These oil pastels are exquisite. The colours are so joyful and vibrant and they are super creamy and blend-able. They glide across the paper and I really enjoyed the tactile quality – kind of like being a child again with crayons! You can make a lot of different colours by layering them – it’s a great starter palette. I am not usually a pastel person but thought I’d give them a go, since I’m in between houses and they’re a great substitute for oil paint. I also really liked the backstory, how they were created for Picasso. There’s something really magical about that – picturing him working with them. The 2 make a great gift, packaged nicely and the pastels come with a little infographic book.” – Harriet
Sennelier Oil Pastel Paper Glassine Interleaved Spiral Pads
This quality card for oil pastel work is acid free and is separated by a glassine insert sheet to protect your art works. Each Sennelier Oil Pastel spiral bound pad has 12 sheets of 340 gsm (160 lb) paper.
Ternes Burton Register Pins
Hand finished from sturdy stainless steel, these pins are made for getting accurate registration of complex multi-layered prints and reduction relief prints.
“I’m a recent convert to the very brilliant invention that is Ternes Burton Register Pins and tabs for relief print. The consistent results are reliable and frankly a godsend for saving time and minimising wasted prints.” – Lisa
Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Calligraphy Brush Pen
The Fudenosuke brush pen features an elastic brush tip for variable and expressive line width. The pen is especially suited for calligraphy, notetaking, and sketching. The black ink is waterbased and odourless.
“For anyone interested in pens and line-work, I’d really recommend the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Calligraphy Brush Pen. The nib is still fairly stiff, so doesn’t wear out, fray and lose its point like other softer brush pen nibs have a tendency to do. It’s good for both thick and thinner lines so long as you vary the pressure, so is quite versatile.” – Dominique
Zest-it Solvent is a much safer solvent for oil painters than Gum Turpentine and makes an excellent replacement. Ideal for those oil painters who prefer a non-citrus smell, a stronger action and a little more ‘bite’ to their solvent than the original Zest-it Oil Paint Dilutant and Brush Cleaner.
“This is brilliant because I work from home and paint in the same space. I can have my synthetic brushes soaking in-between washing sessions (with Marseille Soap Pellets) and know that the oil paint won’t cure.” – Mary
Further Reading on Jackson’s Art Blog
Gifts for Artists: Recommendations From the Jackson’s Team
Gifts for Artists: Top Picks From the Jackson’s Team