Linda’s Art Essentials

Whether I’m working in my studio, travelling, or maybe one day, if I’m cast away on a desert island, there are a few essentials that I just have to have in my art kit. I love to use a mixed media approach in my painting and sketchbook work, layering colour and techniques to create painterly results.

I can’t be without oil pastels. I love the buttery, luscious texture and how quickly they can be used to apply colour to a page. My favourite at the moment are these by Sennelier which come in a gorgeous range of colours. If you’ve never used oil pastels do give them a try – my only word of advice is buy artist quality though. Cheaper pastels tend to be very hard and reluctant to give up their colour!

Paint has been a lifelong love and for me the most magical of all paint is watercolour. I try my hand at oils and acrylics, but I always come back to the fluid, intensity of watercolours. As I’ve used up the original contents of my paintbox I’ve replaced them with my favourite choice of colours. When a half pan is almost empty, I like to squeeze out a little tube colour into the plastic container. It’ll start to dry, but it’s simple to rehydrate and I find the tube colours are ideal for mixing up larger washes.

Last but not least, if I could only have three art materials, the final one would have to be water-soluble coloured pencils. I use them at the start of a piece of work for sketching out a rough drawing. Because they are soluble, as soon as I start to add watercolour, the lines bleed and merge with the wash becoming part of the painting. I also love to use them towards the end of a sketchbook page or painting to add final delicate details and fine, linear marks. My favourites are Derwent Intense, but I’ve also been experimenting with Graphitint for a softer approach. Any brand of water-soluble pencil will work in combination with watercolour paints so I’d encourage you to have a go if you have some.

Just those few simple materials could keep me happily occupied for months if not years! You can see how I use all of them in the latest DesignMattersTV video workshop called ‘Sketchbook Secrets: Painterly Pages’.

What are your favourite materials and media that you can’t be without?

Love Linda

Discover our other sketchbook workshops...

Plant Printed Sketchbook

A flip-through Linda’s hand-bound, plant printed sketchbook with drawing, painting and stamping.

Drawing Skulls

Have a look at the drawings Laura’s been working on this week.

Composing with Photos

Using photographs in design compositions can be exciting, but also tricky. Join Laura to see lots of examples and discover tips for success.

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Tonal Tracing

Laura will show you how you can use a tracing method to quickly record a tonal study, both with crosshatching and wash. This is a great technique for developing a drawing as an end in itself, or as a preliminary study for something more.

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Rubbing Transfer

We love making rubbings, they’re a great way to draw without really drawing. But have you ever considered how you can make transfers from your rubbings? In this video workshop Laura shows you how.

Plant Printed Artist Book

Take a page by page look through Linda’s plant printed artist book. The book is hand made from a variety of plant printed papers. As you’ll see she’s added painted birds and insects, these are worked in watercolour, gouache and acrylic ink.

Linda’s Poppy Sketchbook

Take a look at some pages from Linda’s poppy sketchbook.

Poppy Inspiration

We love to find inspiration in our gardens and you know we both have used poppies in our work. Take a look at these beautiful examples and maybe use them to draw or paint from in your sketchbook.

Page to Stitch: Painterly Poppies

So you’ve been working in your sketchbook and are really happy with the pages, but how can you translate that to fabric? In this two-part workshop Linda will show you how she creates a painterly study of poppies in her sketchbook then takes those pages as inspiration to create a quilted panel.

Handpainted Collage Papers

Create your own handprinted collage papers, perfect for sketchbook and mixed media painting. Then explore how you can expand your collage and have fun playing with scale.

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