Twelfth Night has been and gone and the last of the Christmas decorations stowed away.
So now is a good time to make new year resolutions:
Clean brushes and paints and fresh paper result in clean drawings and paintings.
PAINTS: check they are in good order and that they are light fast and single pigment colours.
Daniel Smith and Schmincke are excellent brands.
BRUSHES: Be ruthless! Discard any brushes without good points for painting. Old brushes are useful for alternative techniques.
Rosemary & Co make some good inexpensive brushes.
Cornelissens sell da Vinci sable brushes, round and also miniature.
PENCILS: check you have the right leads and pencils for sketching, drafting and drawing.
Staedtler Mars 2mm clutch pencils, HB, B, 2H will work for everything you need to do. The lead is thicker than most and good for sketching and drafting but can be sharpened finely to get a good point for detail.
Various makes 0.3mm Mechanical Pencils HB, 2H, particularly good as the lead makes consistent marks.
Pentel 0.2mm for very fine work HB – this pencil is excellent for advanced students but has a tendency to snap frequently in a less expert hand.
PAPER: check you have clean sheets cut ready, or pads/blocks with enough paper that can be used. Treat your paper with respect keeping it wrapped. If dirty or rough you will struggle.
There are many makes available and it is good to start with a good watercolour Hot Press paper 300gsm which will be fine for pencil and watercolour.
RK Burt Botanical Smooth is good and very white.
TRACING PAPER: check you have ample supplies as you can never have enough sheets.
OTHER EQUIPMENT: DIVIDERS are ESSENTIAL; clean erasers and new putty rubbers; clean rags and/or kitchen towel; clean palettes.