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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Princeton Catalyst Tools
These well-made, flexible, and easy-to-use silicon tools are made for the expressed purpose of creating texture in your work. These are excellent tools for mixed media and acrylic paint, and they are durable and easy to clean.
- Mixed Media
- Heavy Acrylic Mediums
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.
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!
Creative Mark FX Special Effects Paint Brushes
Specialty brushes like these can be great in experimenting with new textures in your oil or acrylic work. They also can be an interesting way to deconstruct and soften edges!