11 great tips to save money on art supplies in 2023
This entry was posted on June 22, 2023.
One of the biggest challenges an artist face is finding good quality art supplies that are affordable. Paints, pencils, paint brushes, art papers, and canvases can be costly, especially if they are known to be of extremely good quality.
But art supplies being not affordable should not be something that stops a passionate artist from creating beautiful pieces of art and growing their talent further. If you are a commission artist or even just a passionate one, you don’t want to compromise the quality of your work by using cheap and poor-quality art supplies.
You might be a professional artist who makes family portraits or any kind of painting such as memorial painting as a commission. Or maybe you are a hobbyist who enjoys doing landscapes or even self-portraits in your free time. Either way, there are several tips and tricks you can use to reduce the money you spend on art supplies to make your artwork.
This article will provide you with 11 tips that you can follow to save money on art supplies, along with a list of the best art supplies that you can buy at affordable rates.
How Much Should You Spend on Art Supplies?
The amount of money you should spend on art supplies can depend on various factors. These include your skill level, the type of art you want to create, your budget, and whether you are a professional artist who does commissions or a hobbyist.
If you are a beginner, it is best to start with basic art supplies that are affordable and relatively easy to use. As you progress and develop your skills, you can invest in higher-quality supplies to help you create more advanced art pieces.
When you are a beginner, the chances of making errors while creating art are high. Such errors can cause wastage in art supplies which is undesirable. Because of this, too, it is best to buy cheap art supplies at this stage.
If you are a serious artist or someone who pursues it as a professional career who makes family portraits or any kind of painting upon request or for sale, you may want to invest in high-quality paints and brushes that can help you achieve the effects you are looking for. In this case, you can spend much more money on art supplies.
If you are a professional artist, you can spend enough money on art supplies. They would be an excellent investment to create beautiful art pieces that can make you profit.
Ultimately, the amount you spend on art supplies is up to you and your budget. This may vary for every person looking to purchase art supplies, and it is always best to find those supplies that are of the best quality in your affordable range.
11 Tips To Help You Save Money On Art Supplies
Going to the store to restock your art supply is an incredible experience. However, every artist knows that it can be an expensive ordeal. You might visit the store to buy just one thing but will be surprised to learn how purchasing one thing leads to another and how quickly your cart gets full.
If you are trying to stay within budget, this is not ideal. Considering the current economy, staying within the budget and being financially conscious is always best.
Staying within a budget does not mean that you need to sacrifice the quality of the art supplies that you are buying. With some research, you can find the best deals and offers to help you understand how to save money purchasing art supplies. We have done the same for you, and this article will now discuss the 11 great tips to save money on art supplies.
1. Buy Art Supplies in Bulk
One of the best ways to save money on art supplies is by buying them in bulk. Doing so would considerably increase your profit margin when it comes to selling your art. The best time to do so is when your regular store offers considerable discounts.
However, one needs to remember that it is not always advisable to do so if you are unsure of the supplies you want to buy in bulk. If this is your first time doing this, it is best to think well before buying in bulk to avoid the wastage of any product that can occupy extra space in your studio.
But if you are sure of the supplies you want to get and are confident that you will use them in the long run, this is the best method to save your money on art supplies. By buying art supplies in bulk when your regular store is running a discount sale, you can also avoid buying them when the price of some of these art supplies inflates in the future.
2. Buy Art Supplies Online
Everyone knows shopping online always comes with its set of advantages other than just better convenience. Shopping for items, especially art supplies, online can also help you save a lot in terms of money.
Source: Moms & Crafters
You may have noticed how almost any item gets sold at a reduced rate in most e-commerce platforms. The case is the same for art supplies. Online platforms can always provide you with supplies at a discounted rate. This can help you save a lot more money than the amount you have to spend when buying from a regular shop.
Another reason why it is best to go for this option is that online art supply stores offer a more comprehensive range of products for you to choose from. You will have more options to consider. This can help you find better quality art supplies that may be available at cheaper rates.
3. Buy Art Supplies From Private Sellers
Another way that you can get affordable art supplies is by buying them from private sellers. Private sellers often offer art supplies at lower rates and additional discounts that can help you save a lot of money.
Source: The Business Standard
Besides reduced and discounted prices, buying art supplies from a private seller can help you dodge sales tax. Private sellers often sell used, second-hand items at reduced prices that may still be useful to you.
Artists can also use private sellers to sell art supplies you don't want anymore, especially if you haven't used them that much. Private sellers thus help save money on art supplies purchased from them at lower rates. You can also make some money by selling your supplies to these merchants.
4. Have A Regular Store
If you have a regular shop that you use to purchase your art supplies, then there is a high possibility that the shop will offer you a discount since you are a regular customer. This usually comes in the form of store credit, and if you are a frequent visitor, it will come in handy.
Source: Generis Global
However, it does not always mean your regular store will offer a discount because you visit there frequently. If your current ‘regular shop’ does not offer such discounts, you can find one that will provide you with such deals on purchasing art supplies from them regularly.
If you are switching stores, you need to be sure that the new one provides store credits and special offers for goods within your budget. You can ask around and enquire to your peers about such stores before you decide on making one your regular shop for discounted prices.
5. Using Coupons
Most of the major art supply chains and craft stores offer coupons to their customers, which is always a good thing if you want to stay within a budget. You can save money on everything from fiber-tip pens to paint thinners if you can get your hands on the various coupons these stores offer.
Most of the time, these stores will provide their customers with deals that offer great discounted rates. It is also not so hard to come across such coupons, especially if the shop is well-known.
You will be able to find great coupons if you wish to do so. All you need to do is type in the store's name along with the word "coupon" and hit search on any search engine. Doing this will provide you with the current best offers.
If you wish to stay updated with the various coupons of your favorite store, you can subscribe to their email newsletter. Through emails, the shop will directly inform you whenever there are great offers. Sometimes, subscribing to the newsletter even provides you with coupons that are not accessible to the general public.
Of course, you can always do it the old-school way by looking in your newspaper for big sales and coupons offered by big brands in your area.
6. Save The Paint You Use
The best way to save money is to not spend it. While it is necessary for artists to restock their art supplies often, there are also ways you can save your supplies, one such case being that of the paint you use. Not using a lot of paint unnecessarily can help in cutting down the cost you spend on art supplies.
A few ways to do this is by being careful of how much paint you are using as well as reusing the paints you mixed for any of your previous works.
Source: My Modern Met
Another way you can save your money on paint is by buying tubes of glazes in the place of impasto. Since glazes are thinner than impasto, it is easier to stretch them.
If you want your artwork to have more texture, you can get the desired result using texture paste or even getting creative with collage. Using fibrous paper or even old newspaper scabs can help build up the body of your painting.
Student Acrylic paints are also a great alternative that you can use to get the effect you wish for while painting without spending a ton of money on it.
7. Stretch The Canvas Yourself
Pre-stretched canvases and primed cases are expensive, and there are hardly any such canvases that are available at reasonable rates. However, if you are on a budget, there is a way around it, and that is to make your own stretched canvas. This is not just a terrific way to save expenses but also a great chance to experiment.
If you stretch your canvas, you will have bigger ones that can provide you with more area to paint on. If you do this, you will no longer need to save the canvases for just the "good paintings."
Reusing old canvases is yet another way you save money. Throwing away old works or artworks that don't sell is something artists do at times. Instead of this, you can try reusing it by either priming it or flipping it and using the other side.
There are other alternatives to canvas that you can paint on, such as glass, wood, or even properly prepared paper. These are all cheap alternatives you can use instead of canvas. Anything that got primed with gesso can be considered a good enough surface to paint on.
8. Only Buy What Is Needed
It is essential to know what supplies you need and what supplies others use and need, but you may not. Learning this is especially important if you are on a budget and are trying to save money. Knowing your needs can help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Source: Muse Kits
For example, if you are someone who prefers painting on canvas kept on the floor or the table, then you do not need an easel. You can thus save money by not buying it. There are various substitutes for an easel, such as tables and countertops which are at the perfect height for you to paint on.
Another piece of equipment you may not need to paint is the artist's palette, especially if you are trying to save money on art supplies. Instead of this, you can use a styrofoam plate. They are flat and just as easily washable. You will not just be saving money but also will be saving the environment by reusing something that cannot be recycled.
9. Maintaining Your Supply
If you maintain and look after your existing supplies, they could last for a long time. However, many artists tend to be careless about the amount of supplies like paints they use.
They refuse to take good care of their brushes, sketch papers, and canvases. In such a case, artists must refill their art supplies and buy them more often than necessary.
There are various ways to maintain your art equipment. Cleaning all the utensils you need for painting purposes with water and soap or turpentine (if you are using oils) after each use is a very important step. Make it a hobby to shake the water out of the brushes and dry them using a towel after use. Remember that while drying the brushes, you must do it in the direction of the bristles.
If you take good care of your paint brushes and pallet knives, they will last for a really long time. After using them every time, you can check and ensure that the paint lids are closed tightly and stored at a moderate temperature.
One should always be careful not to mix paintbrushes. Keeping one's studio clean and organized can help you put away all the used materials back in their places and maintain them with ease. Maintaining all your art supplies can, in turn, help you save a lot of money that you might otherwise have to spend on art supplies.
10. Garage Sales
Garage sales or moving sales are great ways which you can use to find great deals. These types of sales also allow the buyer to check out the art supplies that they are buying thoroughly.
Source: Brave School of Art
Garage sales also offer you a chance to bargain, which can allow you to save a lot of money on certain art supplies that are usually expensive. You can save more money, especially if you visit the sale towards the end of the day. At this time of the day, the sellers might lower your prices more as they may be trying to get rid of the items.
Finding where your nearest garage sale is and when it is happening is an excellent way to save money and get quality art supplies. However, one needs to remember that you will not always be able to find what you are looking for. You must be patient in order to find art supplies that are useful for you in such garage sales.
11. Recycle Materials
Making use of recycled materials is a great way to save money. It also helps you save the environment. One such example of using a styrofoam plate in place of a palette is mentioned above.
You can repurpose many things you see around the house to use in your artwork or to use as an art supply. Another such example is using old clothes and various other materials instead of a canvas which can help give your painting a different texture and uniqueness.
Making use of old materials that cannot be recycled any other way not only gives you a chance to be more creative and think outside the box, but it also allows you to create unique artwork. Using recycled materials will enable you to be creative while staying within the budget and help reduce waste and promote sustainability.
List Of Reasonable And Good Quality Art Supplies That Can Help You Save Money
Even if you want to save money, you wouldn't wish to compromise the quality of the art supplies that you use, which can, in turn, affect the quality of your beautiful artwork.
In this section, we will provide you with a list of some good quality art products that you can buy at reasonable rates. These are all products that many artists recommend to be of excellent quality and available at affordable price ranges.
If you are a regular buyer of art supplies, you will know how Strathmore is one of the leading brands that provide good quality and reasonably-priced sketch papers.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
If you want to buy a sketch paper pad, the best option is Strathmore 9’’×12’’Sketch Pad. The pad has 100 sheets of acid-free sketch papers, making them one of the top-quality sketch papers you can get. The best thing about this sketch pad is that it costs just under $15.
Strathmore 9″x12″ Sketch Pad sketch papers have fine tooth surface that makes them perfect for dry media sketching and drawing. Their micro-perforated pages let you remove any drawing easily in case of any errors. The pad is also made of a weight clipboard that can give you a good solid surface while drawing or sketching.
There cannot be a better affordable and premium quality watercolor paint set than MozArt Premium Japanese Watercolor Paint Set. This paint set has 40 different solid pans of paint available, including six neon and eight metallic colors, thus helping you have various color choices.
Such a wide variety of paint choices can further help you make entirely different colors by mixing available paints, making your color choices truly endless. You can even switch from light to dark shades easily with excellent blending.
The paint set is inside a sturdy metallic case, making it ideal for traveling. With MozArt Premium Japanese Watercolor Paint Set, you don't have to worry about any of your paints spilling, resulting in wastage, or creating a mess while transporting your art supplies.
The best thing about MozArt Premium Japanese Watercolor Paint Set, apart from all these advantages, is that it costs under $25. It may be hard for you to get a better premium-quality paint set than this one which is also priced at a reasonable rate.
As an artist, you will know that it is essential for watercolor papers to be made of good quality heavyweight papers which can withstand color washing in repeated layers. Canson Textured Watercolor Paper Pad which costs under $15, has 30 sheets of such premium-quality watercolor papers that are perfect for your art project.
The fold-over design of the papers in this watercolor paper pad also allows you to separate the pages from the pad easily. The paper also works well if you use other mediums like graphite pencils, acrylics, pastels, and charcoal sticks, even though it is labeled as watercolor paper.
While stretching canvas is a good trick to save money on art supplies, it may be better to use cheaper canvas boards instead.
Artlicious Pack of 12 Canvas Boards is a cheap canvas board set option of premium quality. These canvas boards are 100% cotton, making them great for painting using any medium, including watercolors, acrylic, tempera, and oil paints. This canvas board set can also ensure the longevity of your hard work as its panels are acid-free.
Artlicious Pack of 12 Canvas Boards comes in different sizes and dimensions. The price of the pack varies based on the size of the canvas paper, the smallest being $7.99 and the largest being $25.99. You can understand from this price range that the Artlicious Pack of 12 Canvas Boards is the cheapest yet premium quality canvas paper set you can ever get!
If you enjoy drawing outdoors, you must have a sketch board that you can take with you anywhere you go.
If you are looking to buy one, the best quality and reasonable sketch board you can get is the Artlicious Sketch Tote Drawing Board. This drawing board comes in dimensions 13’’×17", costing less than $15, making it a very reasonable choice.
Artlicious Sketch Tote Drawing Board comes with a carry handle, strap, and a clip that can keep your painting in position. The drawing board is also lightweight in nature, so carrying it with you anywhere you go is easy, especially considering it can easily fit into your backpack.
If you are looking to buy a premium quality oil paint set at a reasonable price, then Castle 24 Count 12ml Oil Paint Set is the best choice for you. As the name suggests, this oil paint set comes with 24 different color choices.
What makes Castle 24 Count 12ml Oil Paint Set a premium quality paint set is that it is expertly formulated with a balance of intense pigment and oil. This helps deliver a consistent and creamy texture when an artist of any skill level uses them for their art project.
Castle 24 Count 12ml Oil Paint Set will only cost you $16.99, making it the best premium quality and budget-friendly oil paint set you can lay your hands on.
The best option for you, if you are looking to buy a good quality yet cheap acrylic paint set, is the Chalkola Acrylic Paint Set with 32 Colors.
Regardless of the purpose, this is the best acrylic paint set you can use. You can use it to fulfill any small art project you may have or to make a traditional painting to quench your passion for art making.
As the name suggests, this acrylic paint set comes with thirty-two different paint colors giving you a considerable variety of choices for your paint project. Additionally, Chalkola Acrylic Paint Set with 32 Colors also comes with a palette, palette knife, brushes, and sponge.
You can get this excellent paint set with everything that you need for an acrylic paint project for just under $25. So, there may not be any paint set better than Chalkola Acrylic Paint Set with 32 Colors if you are looking for a cheap yet good quality acrylic paint set.
Oil pastels aren't typically a popular medium that many professional artists use. But it is still a great art supply that you might need for a creative process that you have in your mind.
You may already know that Pentel is a famous brand that provides different kinds of spectacular art supplies. The Pentel Arts Oil Pastels 50 Color Set, as the name suggests, is an oil pastel set that offers you fifty different color options.
This oil pastel set is of premium quality, and the most significant advantage of the set is that it will just cost you under $10. Pentel Arts also provides oil pastel sets in different sizes if you feel 50 colors are more than necessary or not enough.
The best reasonable brushes that artists often recommend are the different kinds of brushes by the brand Da Vinci.
While buying brushes, it is essential to buy not too-cheap ones that can be terrible in quality. The bristles of such brushes can spread all over your canvas and, thus, ruin your painting.
If you are looking for affordable brushes that are also good in quality, Da Vinci brushes are the best choice. You can use their brushes on any medium, and based on the kind of brush, you can use them for watercolor, acrylic, oil paints, etc.
Among the different wares, the best Da Vinci brushes are:
If you are a beginner, this is the best brush set you can buy. This a great starter brush set if you are a budding art student. Da Vinci Brushes Student Series 3502 Beginner Paint Brush Set just costs under $25, making it a good quality and reasonably-priced brush set.
This is the best brush set you can use, no matter what kind of artist you are. It works well, especially if you usually use watercolors, animation, gouache, illustration, etc. You can get this brush set with different-shaped bristles for all your painting needs for under $55.
If you are an artist who works with oil or acrylic paints. All the brushes in this brush set have interlocked bristle shapes that are set deeply in their ferrules. This lets the bristles hold their shape even after vigorous use. You can get this good-quality brush set for just under $50.
No matter how professional an artist you are, you might make mistakes while working on your drawings or paintings. So, erasers are an essential art supply that any artist must have.
The best eraser set that is of excellent quality at a very reasonable price is the Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum, and Plastic Erasers eraser set. As the name suggests, this eraser set comes with three kinds of erasers, a kneaded rubber eraser, a latex-free plastic eraser, and an artist gum eraser.
You can use these three kinds of erasers for your different erasing needs based on the medium you are using and working on. All these three erasers are of good quality, and they hardly shed eraser bits on use, thus helping you avoid any mess.
You can get this three-type eraser set for just under $5, making it an affordable choice without sacrificing quality.
List of Best Online Stores To Buy Best Art Supplies At Reasonable Rates
It is definitely fun to go to a store in person, and looking through various art supplies is a terrific experience. However, buying from an online art supply store is often the best choice.
If you do not have an art supply store near you or are unsure what brand of art supplies you want to buy, online stores may be the best for you. The same applies if you have wondered where to buy art supplies for cheap.
Purchasing equipment from online art supply stores is the best option to save the money you spend on them. They often store better discounts and coupons than any other in-person store.
However, you need to be careful and wise about where you purchase from as there are a lot of websites that could be scams or are selling bad products.
However, you need not worry! We have researched and compiled the nine best online art supply stores where you can purchase your favorite products at the most affordable prices.
It may not come as a surprise that the biggest e-commerce platform in the world tops this list. Amazon has a wide selection of art supplies in a lot of price ranges.
Amazon gives you the option of searching through numerous top brands of art supplies to find the best one that works for you. Almost all such products get sold at discounted rates, thus helping you spend less money than you usually do when buying art supplies.
Source: iStock by Getty Images
However, since Amazon sells art supplies from many brands, it might be hard to find out which products are good and which aren't. Sure, there are reviews for every product, but sometimes they could be fake or even purchased.
More often than not, the good supplies often get buried by the numerous bad products with fake and purchased reviews. The best time to buy art equipment from Amazon is when you need just one or two things and are in a bit of a hurry. In such a circumstance, you would want to avoid browsing various art supplies stores and wasting time.
This may come off as a surprise, but many artists prefer buying their art supplies from eBay. You might be surprised at the price and best deals that eBay offers for essential art supplies such as Prismacolored pencils, markers, and art pens. This e-commerce website provides such products at half the cost compared to the price for them on Amazon and other websites.
Like Amazon, eBay also has its fair share of junk brands. So, if you wish to purchase from this online store, be sure to know which brand you want to buy. You can look for the brand you wish to purchase by searching for it using eBay's search engine and then selecting the desired product from the left side.
Dick Blick changed their name to Blick, the website that satisfies all your art supply cravings. Dick Blick, now known as Blick, is a website that meets all your art supply cravings. You will be able to find all the products that you will need that are necessary for your art project.
Source: Nice PNG
Blick has their own brand for various art supplies, but the websites offer you the chance to purchase products from other brands as well. Unlike Amazon or eBay, the website does an incredible job of providing products from only the very best brands. So, you don't have to worry about buying low-quality supplies when using Blick.
In addition to this, they also offer a variety of art supplies to satisfy the skill set of any artist, regardless of whether they are a beginner, student, or professional.
Utrecht is a company that is part of Blick, and therefore the prices and the art supplies offered are more or less the same as Blick. Like Blick, Utrecht provides the best quality art products regardless of your experience and age level.
Ultimately, it comes down to your preference of which website you want to purchase from, as even the design of both these websites is very similar.
MisterArt offers all the art supplies you need, and their price range very often aligns with that of Blick's. Something unique about MisterArt is that you can get incredible offers throughout the year on art supplies if you subscribe to them by paying $25 annually.
This premium plan provided by MisterArt benefits any artist who has to refill their art supplies often. You can save a lot of the money you spend on art supplies by subscribing to the website and paying less than the actual price of such products.
However, a significant complaint people make towards MisterArt is that their website has a clunky design, making it complex and stressful. The design of their website is all over the place, with colors and words that could turn away a customer.
JERRY'S ARTARAMA is just like all the other websites mentioned before. The price ranges of various art supplies and the supplies offered are all very similar to that of Blick, Utrecht, and MisterArt. Jerry's Artarama, just like MisterArt, has a very cluttered and hard-to-navigate design, and in addition to all this, the website also takes a long time to load.
Source: Jerry’s Artarama
Etsy is one of the best websites to get art supplies. However, the type of art equipment they sell differs from that of the other websites. Etsy sells incredible handmade art supplies and tools which are fantastic to use.
When you type the term' Art Supplies' and search on Etsy, you will get a wide variety of choices that are fun to scroll through and definitely to use.
Art supplies can be an expensive investment for any kind of artist. The price of such products should not stop you from pursuing your passion for making beautiful art pieces and growing your talent further.
This article provides you with the 11 best tips that you can follow to save the money you spend on art supplies. It also includes a list of the best yet reasonable art supplies as well as a list of the best online stores. This article will act as a good reference for any doubts you might have about saving money while shopping for the best art supplies.
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