If you’re a creative person, there are few better feelings than trying new art supplies. It’s always fun to get a fresh tube of acrylic paint or a set of drawing pencils, but did you know that there are tools and materials that fly under the radar? They are innovative and sure to help in your art and design, but they tend to have a cult following.
We’ve picked some of the best art supplies you’ve never heard of, each of which makes a great addition to your toolkit, or an ideal present for birthdays, Christmas, and beyond. There’s often something unconventional about these items, and the tools can help solve issues you come across in your practice. For instance, do you love watercolors but wish you could draw with them? You can do so with watercolor crayons. Does your hand get tired from meticulous paper cutting? The index finger knife might help. And if you’ve noticed that you need to scale down (or up) your hand drawing, there’s an analog tool that will figure it out for you—no math required.
Check out our recommendations, below.
Want to try some new tools? Here are 11 cool art supplies you didn't know existed.
Glitter Watercolor Set
These glittery watercolors by Paul Rubens are pre-mixed with an iridescent medium, creating a special shimmering effect. Use this portable 24-color set to add a bit of sparkle to your painting projects.
Blank Comic Book
Have you always wanted to try drawing a comic but weren't sure how to start? Well, this Blank Comic Book has done the hard work for you. Inside the journal are 120 pages of seven-panel layout templates. Pick one up to finally start sketching your own story!
Watercolor crayons are a paint pigment compressed into a drawing stick, giving you the best of both worlds. To use them, draw on your paper like you would a colored pencil or pastel. Then with a brush, add water to activate the paint and blend the color.
Pebeo paints are unlike any pigment you’ve used before. Their unique oil-based formulas change color and texture before your eyes! The Discovery kit features a variety of their paints, but Fantasy Prisme and Moon are two of our favorites. When poured and combined with two or more colors, the effects are honeycomb and marbling. This makes them great for decorative or abstract painting.
Whether you’re a scrapbooking enthusiast or enjoy creating collage art, hand punches will quickly produce uniform shapes of paper. These tools range from simple to complex shapes and can be used in the same way as a conventional hole punch.
Uni-posca Paint Marker Pen
Like watercolor crayons, Uni-posca paint markers allow you to achieve paint-like effects without the mess. The opaque markers can work on a variety of surfaces (like glass, plastic, metal, and wood) and won’t bleed through the page when you draw on paper.
Special Effects Palette Knives
If you like to paint with a palette knife or use one to carve clay, here’s a twist on convention. This set of nine special effects palette knives come in different shapes that allow you to manipulate your medium to create patterns and exciting textures.
Water Brush Pens
Fill this set of brush pens with water to use in your watercolor painting. Each utensil has a different nylon tip shape and size that give you a ton of options for when you're creating art. Some are great for hand lettering while others will make painting large areas of color a breeze.
Decorative Edge Scissors
If you're a crafter, then decorative edge scissors will add a lot of whimsy to your creations. From zig-zag patterns to wavy lines, this set of 18 provides many options to choose from. Plus, these tools are safe to use for kids of all ages, so young artists can enjoy them, too.
Calligraphy Stencil and Ruler
Calligraphy can be a challenging skill to learn, but this stencil and ruler set can make it much easier. By applying it over your paper, you can assist your lettering projects to ensure you write at the desired width and in a straight line.
Have you ever been working on a drawing and need to scale it up or scale it down? It’s more challenging than it might seem. The Acruit Proportioner is an analog tool that allows you to measure off your original drawing and then transfer it, in the correct proportion, to your new drawing—no math necessary!
Pocket Paintbrush Set
Painters on the go will appreciate a set of paintbrushes that they can take with them. This set of 3 Kolinsky sable brushes is crafted from high-quality materials to assist with watercolor paintings.
Index Finger Knife
Traditional X-Acto knives can be hard on your grip; tightly holding them for too long can fatigue your entire hand. This updated design has an oval-like hole in the handle that “hugs” your index finger when in use. It’s comfortable but also gives you control when slicing your paper collage.
Ruling Pen for Ink and Masking Fluid
Don't be fooled by its minimalist design, this ruling pen is extremely helpful for applying ink, masking fluid, and paint in a controlled fine line. You can even adjust the utensil to change the width of your linework.
Hedgehog Table Brush
After a successful arts and crafts session, you need a cleaning buddy to help sort out your desk. The Hedgehog Table Brush by REDECKER will gently remove any eraser shavings, dust, and other debris from your working station.
Try one or two of these supplies and share your work! Join our Art, Design, Photography, and Drawing Club on Facebook.
This article has been edited and updated.
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