In this day and age of modern conveniences, with its Smart Phones, Ipads, Kindles, convection ovens, Keurig coffee stations and more, it seems we are arriving at the futuristic time of the Jetsons! Everyday something new comes along that will simplify practically every aspect of our day.
Even as artists, we find things that make our experience of making art and painting more productive, seemingly leaving you more and more time to paint. Well, for me that is not totally true, however, I do appreciate anything that can simplify, the otherwise time consuming tasks of art production.
I have searched far and wide to find the following clever items that will help you organize your studio space, increase your productivity, simplify the task of creating textures, mixing colors, fixing mistakes, and also items that actually save you time and money. Some things may be familiar and others new and exciting, regardless, they all have something unique to offer any working artist.
1. FUNNY BRUSHES- The Funny Brush is like nothing you’ve seen before! Made of different diameters of a rubber band type bristle, difficult textures like foliage and grass are a breeze with any of the Funny Brushes. They are designed to use with oils, acrylics, tempera, watercolors, casein, inks or just about any media and are available in small, medium, and large size.
2. COLOR WHEEL MAGIC PALETTE COLOR MIXING GUIDES- Take the guesswork out of mixing colors, with the Magic Palette Color Mixing Guide. This chart shows artists how to instantly mix beautiful, luminous colors. Available in Studio or Personal formats, the Magic Palette Color Mixing Guide uses popular tube paint color names for most mediums. Ideal for studio, classroom and art workshops.
3. PRO WHITE- Daler-Rowney Pro White medium is an opaque water media solution with superior covering power for use on photos, acetate and paper, yet will not yellow, crack or chip. Use with a brush, pen, or airbrush. Great for those little touch ups or mishaps, or even when you need opaque white lines or lettering!
4. PAINT PUSHER- Cheap Joe’s Paint Pusher is great for scraping out fine lines, broad lines or just moving paint around. Designed by Cheap Joe himself, this handy tool is great for creating trees in wet into wet techniques, as well as, for use in oils and acrylic painting.
5. TUBE WRINGER- The invention of paint tubes back several hundred years ago revolutionized the preservation of oil paints. This idea single handedly came to save the painters of time and since, lots and lots of money by storing paints for a longer period of time without drying out. Another more recent invention has done the same thing by squeezing every little bit of paint from those tubes to allow you to use every drop you have paid for. Tube wringers are a must for any tube medium!
6. PAINT KEYS- Like a tube wringer, paint keys help you get the most out of your paint tubes, again saving you money. Paint keys come in sets with different sized slots for any sized tube. Once rolled onto the tube, the keys are left on until the tube is totally used up. Then, to make sure you have used all of the paint inside you can, squeeze the tube with the Tube Wringer and get the last drop!
7. BRUSH TUBZ- Not only for plein air painters, but especially useful when painting outside, the Brush Tubz are great for storing wet oil brushes in transit to keep them from soiling your brush holder or storage box. The handles slide easily onto the lid and the tube is placed over the tip to protect it.
8. UGGLY BRUSHES- It’s not an insult to call these brushes ugly! They are merely brightly colored, and highly visible so you won’t mistake them for your expensive brushes. Uggly brushes are inexpensive tools to use with masking fluid, inks, gessoes, Pro White fluid, and anything else that you would not want to ruin your brushes with. They come in several sizes of rounds and flats and can be thrown away or repurposed if the tips become unusable.
9. PIPETTES- Applying liquid color to small areas of your painting has never been easier. Whether you are pouring, painting wet into wet, or other fluid techniques, pipettes will pick up the color and put it down just where you want it. They come in packs of ten and are a staple in Linda Baker’s pouring tool kit!
10. OILER BOILERS- Another great applicator for liquids, especially masking fluid, it the oiler boiler bottles with needle tips. Originally designed for use in machine shops, these great tools found their way into the art industry by necessity. Each set gives you two needle gauge choices. The large one for masking fluid and the smaller one for inks, water, alcohol, watercolor or any other liquids. You’ll save loads of time on masking those hard to reach areas and those especially fine lines!
11. PAINT ERASER- The Cheap Joe’s Paint Eraser set will make your life easier by taking away unwanted watercolor washes by gently removing without damaging the surface.
12. PALETTE CUPS- Great for any medium, but an essential item for oil painters! Clips onto your palette or sketchbook for easy storage for your solvents, mediums, water, or small items like sponges, graphite sticks, erasers, anything you might need while painting or sketching!
13. ALL PURPOSE EASEL TABLE- No matter what your medium or studio size, this easel does it all! It has canvas supports mounted right on the table surface which slides easily into place as a desktop or at an angle for canvas painting. Bottom storage gives you an all in one compact studio.
14. LIL’ JOE TABLE EASEL- Made of sturdy styrene plastic, this lightweight, portable easel fits nicely into your portfolio to allow it to travel easily from studio to class. It is always at the right angle for gentle gravity flow for your watercolor techniques.
15. SOLVENT CUPS- Solvents are safely contained in these lidded cups. Store paint, mediums, or small beads in this great storage idea! Keep plenty on hand in your studio.
16. EMPTY PAINT TUBES- Just what you have been asking for for years! Make your own custom tube colors, store gesso, thick mediums, texture paste, or even barrier cream and keep them all in your plein air studio!
17. PASTEL SOFFT TOOLS- Not only for pastels, these Sofft Tools are great for charcoal, sketching, graphite and more. Different head and handle sizes are great for all of your blending uses.
18 PENCIL EXTENDER- Use those colored pencils and drawing supplies to the very end! Saves money, no more hard to hold stubs! Fits standard sized pencils and colored pencils.
19. ALVIN ERASING SHIELD- This tool saves lots of time and aggravation! You can instantly remove sharp edges and lines without effort!
20 BLENDING STUMPS- Blending dry mediums has never been easier and with such a simple solution! These soft tools are a great staple in any drawing or sketching kit. Just blend and peel a layer back to reveal a clean area. They last and last!
21 GLOVES IN A BOTTLE- This creamy lotion is great for dry skin, but also creates a protective layer and seals in your hands natural moisture. Protects your hands from your art stuff and your art stuff from your hands!
22 CATALYST TOOLS- These rubbery tools are great for oils, acrylics, watercolor and even stands up to the heat of encaustics! Great for abstract, collage, or creating patterns like wood grain, and grooves in your paintings, or applying materials like gesso, glue, or thick paint.
23. ARTOGRAPH DIGITAL PROJECTOR- Go from camera to artwork by projecting your digital images right onto your canvas or paper. Transfer patterns, enlarge photos, or present your artwork to groups by linking this directly to your computer or Ipad. State of the Art technology at your fingertips.
24. BRUSH REST- A simple solution to keep your brushes right where you need them!
25. ARTBIN TOTE EXPRESS- Two large compartments that separate when you need them to, keeps all of your stuff together when you are traveling. Sturdy built for years of use. Great for workshops and classes!
26. MASTERSON RINSEWELL- Keeps your watercolor washes clean and pure. Just “flush” away the dirty rinse water and the basin fills with clean water! Extra water bottles sold separately to keep fresh water available all of the time!
27 GEM FINDER-
28. FABER CASTELL TRIO SHARPENER- Three sharpening holes gives you the option of using one for each medium; graphite, colored pencil, pastel pencil. The blades will stay sharp longer for years of use!
29. GOOF PROOF GREETING CARDS- This set has everything you need except your art! 5X7 Greeting Cards, Envelopes, Mounting Adhesive, and even 4×6 blanks to paint on! Joe has thought of everything! Sets come in a variety of quantity, edge styles and colors. Great for the Christmas Card Season, Holidays, Wedding Invitations, Birth Announcements and more!
30. STICK IT TO EM’- Pure adhesive in its most convenient state, applied to a sheet for easy use. Cut them up into one inch lengths and use them to mount your photos for custom photo cards!
31. PERFECT SHOW MAT SYSTEM- We’ve done all of the mundane work for you! This system saves you loads of money on framing and art presentation. Each set includes quality pre-cut mats, foam core boards to mount your artwork to, and acetate envelopes to professionally present and protect your fine art! When assembled, everything is ready to pop into the frame of your choice! Available in many sizes and styles. Show off your artwork instantly with the Perfect Show Mat System.
32. AMERICAN JOURNEY WATERCOLOR GESSO- Convert acrylic canvases to watercolor canvases in one coat! Resurface watercolor paper and recycle an old painting. This unique watercolor gesso saves you money!
33. PLASTIC BUCKET OPENER- They don’t make it easy to get one of those buckets open, but we do! With this handy tool that opens our gallon sized gesso tubs and mediums. Also works with five gallon buckets as well! You’ll know when you need it just how valuable this little wonder is!
34. JOE’S PRIME EXTRA FINE ART BOARD- These substrates are great for oil, acrylics, collage, and more. Mount watercolor paper or prints directly onto the smooth and sturdy surface. Available in many sizes and formats. Comes ready to hang!
35. TIGHT’N’ UP CANVAS SPRAY- Heavy layers of paint can cause a cotton canvas to sag over time. Tighten Up is made to help shrink the canvas from the back to get those paintings back into shape.
36. MILLER’S GALLERY WOOD FRAMES- These good looking frames are ready to display your artwork instantly. Complete with an acrylic pane and available in four finishes and many sizes. Professional artists prefer these to custom framing! A great value!
37. CHARTPAK TOUCH UP MARKERS- These markers will make your life easier by fixing all of those little scratches and imperfections on even those expensive frames! Available in several wood tones, you should be able to find one to match your frame. Dries instantly!
38. WATERMEDIA ACETATE- Like to see the results before you commit to it? It’s like trying before you buy with the Watermedia Polyester Acetate. Just lay the film over your painting and apply the paint to see the results before committing to it! Great for trying glaze colors and combinations or testing a spattering technique.
39. PAPER CUTTER- Cutting paper has never been easier with this great tool. Slice right through sheets up to 300lb. watercolor paper. Saves time and does not tear paper. Use to open envelopes and clip coupons as well!
40. WORKSHOPPER TOTE- This roomy heavy duty canvas tote, complete with lots of pockets and a brush holder in the front cover flap, will hold everything you need for your next art workshop or class! Great item to personalize and decorate!
Of course, you could live without any of these, but why would you want to? Most of these items are very affordable and cost effective and actually save you money and time. They make excellent gifts or stocking stuffers for any artist, scrapbooker, or crafter, as well. I do have to say, that I use a wide number of these great items myself and often share them with my creative friends. I simply believe in what I am telling you now. Anything that can make my art production more efficient and organized and saves me money at the same time, has a high place on my priority list! I hope you agree!
If you have any other items that you have found especially unique and useful, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! We are always looking for new things to add to the Cheap Joe’s product offerings!
Happy Painting! And “Happy Christmas and Holiday Shopping For Artists” Season!
Keep your shopping cart full of great things from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff to place under your tree this year!
Make More Art, Save More Money!