One of my dream jobs would be an art product tester for an art supply store. I guess, in a roundabout way, I'm already doing that- just unofficially and unpaid. Sometimes I think that it would be cheaper if I just opened my own art store!
When I used to teach art, I really enjoyed talking about different art materials- what they were, when they were developed, how to use them, etc. In the past year, I've featured several art materials on Habit of Art, some that I've used for many years and others that are new found favorites. Here are a few more to add to the list.
I like how easily watercolors and oils mix on paper or canvas, but found myself wanting a paint that dried faster on wood panels and would be good for detail work. I quickly got over my hang up with acrylics when I discovered Golden Fluid Acrylics. The colors are vibrant, and the paint goes on very smoothly. I mostly use the fluid acrylics for fine line details, so the small bottles actually go a long way.
Since working with wood panels, I also needed to find a non-spray glue that would bind paper to wood. Lineco's PVA glue seems to be a favorite among bookbinders, and I can see why. It's not too thick, and it seems to dry pretty quickly. And it's acid-free, so it won't yellow with age. I'm not a huge fan of hot glue, rubber cement glue, or spray adhesives, so this bottle of PVA glue has become a permanent fixture on my art desk.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a paper snob. I don't even like sketching on paper that is less than 70# (a lot of sketchbooks are 55# or 60#). Local Portland company, Bee Paper, packages 6 x 9 sheets of 90# Aquabee paper that has become my favorite paper to sketch on. I keep the pile on my desk, so it's easily accessible when I need to jot down some ideas or map out a quick sketch. My 7 year-old daughter also prefers to use this paper over printer paper. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Stack of the Aquabee 6 x 9 drawing paper in my desk organizer.