Updated: Oct 20, 2020
Do you define yourself by any of the following:
Woodworker, or all other craftsman
If you answer yes to any of the above, then I bet you have to fight the temptation to become a hoarder of supplies for your specialty. If this were a video blog, I would have to turn the camera around my studio to show you that I’m not exempt from this affliction either. I have more paper crafting supplies and fabric then I think I will ever be able to use—and that’s after doing generous donations on multiple occasions.
I don’t understand what it is that makes us want all the supplies for our crafts that we can afford. It turned out that when it came to coloring and painting, it was no different for me. When I started taking classes I would buy all the supplies called for. Then I attended a few retreats and would listen to the conversations around me . . . before I knew it I had ordered the favorite supplies based on those conversations.
And these supplies take room. Complete sets of pencils, variety of papers that I can’t live without, watercolors. Oh my. So yes, I’m well stocked at this point and for the most part I seem to be doing a good job at using most of these supplies.
I could talk about all these coloring supplies, but I don’t think I can add anything that hasn't already been said or written about. But what I don’t see or hear is anyone talking about normal household supplies that have become essential in their coloring routine. It might be because there is nothing fancy about them. But if something is so useful that it becomes part of your supplies, isn't it worthy to shine a light on them? So in that spirit I have looked around my desk for the normally humble household supplies that are now essential in my coloring supplies. Here are a few I wouldn't be without . . .
Tissues - found in the linen closet
That’s right, there is a tissue box on my desk. If you saw it, I’m sure you would think it’s for blowing my nose, or even wiping my tears when my art fights with me. But that wouldn’t be the case, it’s actually there for blotting my watercolor project to remove excess water, or blot up a bit of color that I splashed in the wrong place, or to clean off my palette. I wouldn’t watercolor without them.
I also use these tissues to blot water splats to stop the distress process of a Distress Ink background effects.
Additionally, these tissues are essential to have within reach when I use my Copic markers. When I see that my marker is “juicier” than normal. I will blot the end with the tissue before putting it to my paper. If I don’t do that, the end result would be an explosion of ink onto my project and we all know that never ends well!
Alcohol Wipes (individually wrapped) - found in my first aid supplies
I keep these on hand for quick clean up of my Copic markers. No matter how careful I think I am, I inevitable get marker ink on the outside of my markers. A quick wipe and it’s all clean again. I’m extremely careful to never get the alcohol wipe on the nib itself. It's also good for wiping down my coloring surface when I finish a project.
Rolodex File - found in my office supplies
When I was learning to color I was bombarded with so much information and it was all new to me. To capture the information, I created cards with information I thought was helpful and/or critical to remember and filed them in the Rolodex File. To this day, I still will look for information when I need to refresh my memory on a technique.
T-Square Ruler - don't tell my husband where I found this one
I love this ruler when I want to draw horizon lines on my projects. I could use a regular ruler, but the guide that I can rest on the side of the paper to ensure my horizon stays level is valuable to me.
Scoot-Guard Non Slip Mat - found in my kitchen
This mat is commonly found in RVs and boats to keep anything you put on it from rolling around. It is really useful to set my pencils on when coloring so that they don’t roll off my desk and onto the floor.
Avery 8 ½” x 11” Removable ID Labels (6470) - another office supply find
I use these labels to cut “masks” to protect my image while developing the background. I found these labels work well because they don’t stretch and they don’t damage the paper when I remove them. I can also cut the mask out with scissors, or let my vinyl cutter do the job.
Dental Pick - from the bathroom
That’s right! My dental pick is the best tool to clean out my pencil sharpener when a tip breaks off and jams the sharpener. It’s so helpful that I pack a "travel" dental pick in my coloring supplies when coloring away from home.
I also use my computer equipment a great deal in conjunction with my coloring process. From the creation of an image to color, helping with color selection or even posting my projects online.
So I’m curious, what common household item has ended up in your coloring supplies? Leave a comment and let us know. You might have discovered a use for something that will rock our coloring world.
Time for me to get back to my practice. I've just about finished my technical drills and can't wait to start coloring these colored glass bottles. It's not too late for you to practice coloring glass. If you are reading this after we moved on to the next technique, you will be able to find the Practice Technique Pack for Glass here!
These bottles are just the latest pieces I've done, but you can see more of my work or follow me on Instagram.