12 Art hacks/tricks/tips every artist should know

When it comes to art, we have to follow a few tricks to help make life easier for us. It may save you time OR it may save you some money. So here are 12 tips for artists I hope will be helpful.

1. Saving the tops/caps of your oil paint tubes

This is one thing I follow religiously. I started off my painting journey with Camel Oil Paints. But I had a big problem. The caps of these paint tubes kept getting spoiled and by that I mean, I often found oil leaking out of the sides of the caps, resulting in the caps getting cut at the edges. So every time one of my small paint tubes got over, I saved the caps and threw away the tubes. So next time I came across a damaged cap, I just replaced it with an old one.

* I think the damage was due to the weather.

2. Always buy small tubes of oil paint

The big tubes are a little too much. Also buy high quality oil paints like Winsor & Newton for example.

3. Use two containers of solvent/water to wash your paintbrushes

Using two separate containers to wash your paintbrushes helps reduce the number of times you change the water/solvent. You can wash your brush in one and after all the paint from the brush gets washed, you can dip it in the next container to get rid of any residual paint.

4. Buy a good spray bottle especially if you work with acrylic mediums

A spray bottle may be the best investment when you are working with acrylic paint. I started with oil paint and later tried acrylics and the paint dried so quickly that I almost gave up. A spray bottle helped me a lot. Make sure you buy a bottle that sprays very light mist and doesn’t cause too much splatter.

5. Paper towels make your life so much easier

Using rags to wipe off paint from your brushes gets very messy. Paper towels are such any easy thing to use. Wiping your paintbrushes on paper towels before dipping them in solvent/water, helps frequent change of solvent/water and prevents wastage too.

6.  If you are painting fluid paintings it helps to have a carpenter app

Fluid painting involves dealing with flow of paints and if your table/surface which your canvas is placed on, isn’t even/balanced, your paint will flow in a different direction and you wont be able to control the flow of paints which is difficult enough anyway. You get various apps to check the floor leveling. Do check that before you start painting.

7. Wear masks and glasses

This one is self explanatory. Protect your eyes, protect your sinus especially if you are working with toxic materials and airbrushing.

8. Use foil/plastic wrap

This tip will help you save a lot of time. If you do not have the time to keep washing your paint palette, just use foil or plastic wrap over it and you will see how productive it is.

9. Use tack-it as kneadable eraser to lift paint off especially when you are working with pastels, color pencils, graphite and charcoal.

10. Use cotton buds for blending

I remember I used to blend graphite with my finger for shading. And it is very messy. We generally use paper stumps for blending while working with pencils. If you don’t own blending stumps, use cotton buds for smooth blending.

11. Pencil tracing

If you want to reduce the amount of erasing you do on your expensive paper, do your drawing/sketch on any lightweight paper. You can do all the erasing you want there. Once you are done with your sketch, fill the back of the paper with graphite and then place it onto the final piece and trace.

You will end up with graphite lines which can easily be erased.

12. Use a color picker

When you look at a reference photo, your eye perceives a different color, depending on what other colors are around in the image. For example, look at the video below.

The woman has a wheatish complexion, that doesn’t mean you use beige everywhere. Check out the shadows under her nose and in her ear, it is a very dark brown. When you actually use a color picker, you will notice that you need to use a lot of dark browns in her face.

Well, there are a lot more tips and tricks I got for artists. Don’t want to overload you with too much information.

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I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

Author: Sylvia DSilva

I'm an Artist, You wouldn't believe I have a M.Tech in IT. I'm fascinated by Art, Fantasy, Magic, Myth; Yup , I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I'm a paintbrush and a nail polish addict. I am Rebellious. I love traveling. I love architecture. I love scuba diving and sea food. I wanna backpack through Europe. I have a tattoo on my wrist with my husband's name on it and a Paintbrush in the same to represent ME. Oh yeah, I cry while watching an emotional scene in a movie, I cry after a visit to an orphanage BUT it doesn't mean I'm weak. I'm one of the strongest people I know. I'm a proud Army wife, I've lived in Jungles and had Elephants ruin my kitchen garden; I see chitals, Nilgais, Hornbills, Peacocks, and many more on a daily basis. I've had experiences No Civilian would ever have in their life. The only thing I hate is people telling me what to do and how to live my life, when I don't really need their opinion.

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