This amazing list of art supplies for professionals comes directly from an expert artist! To become a master painter, start here.

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The Art Supplies Expert

“I believe in getting the best equipment available and then taking care of it. You end up saving money in the long run.” – Gary Savage

This ultimate list of professional art supplies is the best free resource available. Whether you are a new or an accomplished artist, you will find helpful recommendations.

The suggestions included are highly trusted by fine art gallery professionals. When you deal with fine art, quality matters. That is why we knew just who to ask when it comes to being persnickety about art supplies. Each item has been selected by Gary Savage, an artist with decades of experimentation and hyperawareness.

Achieve excellence by adding these items to your arsenal.


What art supplies do professional artists use?

Here is the complete ‘Savage-Approved’ art supplies list for professional artists pursuing excellence.


  • Pencil Sharpeners


Art Supplies for Drawing

These art supplies for drawing will elevate the quality and execution of your sketches.

Inspiration doesn’t always come from within, sometimes it comes from the satisfying feeling you get when you know you are working with the best tools available. Therefore, the following curated drawing supplies will contribute to a level of greatness that will accompany your skillset. Enjoy our professional recommendations below.


Molotow Acrylic Paint Markers

Artist Commentary: “These are the best paint pens! They’re made in Germany and of excellent quality. Since they are filled with acrylic ink that can be used in many different techniques. I use them on canvas along with acrylic paint. I love the wide range of colors that are available and also the replacement nibs.”

STAEDTLER Lumocolor Watersoluble Marker

Artist Commentary: “You can add another technique for sketching by combing a water brush pen with either or the pencils. It opens up the creative process… add the Prismacolor watercolor pencil set and you’ll be painting as you draw.”



Pentel Art Brush Pens

Artist Commentary: “I take these everywhere I go. I like to clip one into the spiral Canson paper sketchbook. These pens are very well made and perfect for very accurate and detailed ink drawings.”


Manga Cartoon Comic Drawing Painting Kit

Higgins Waterproof Black India Ink

Artist Commentary: “At a very young age I found inspiration from Popeye, Mickey Mouse, Looney Tunes, Hanah Barbera, and Woody the Woodpecker, so I began drawing in ink. Start with dip pens and a crow quill, which is a tin size nib. Also, you’ll need a series 7 Windsor Newton brush with a bottle of ink.”



Conté à Paris Pierre Noire Sketching Pencil

Artist Commentary: “Conte of Paris Pierre Noir is the blackest pencil I have ever found. Adding Conte pencils to your drawing kit is a must. Sepia, sanguine, and black and white Conte pencils are an exquisitely balanced palette for drawing the old master’s way.

Graphite Pencils

General’s Charcoal Kit

Artist Commentary: “I began my art career as a very young boy. My grandfather was also an artist and he gave me my first Generals charcoal pencils. I remember wearing one 6b extra soft on my ear where I went… I use them still. Excellent quality.”

Koh-i-Noor Gioconda Negro Aquarelle

Mechanical Pencils

Artist Commentary: “Your pencils are always sharp when you’re using mechanical pencils. Mechanical pencils are great for details and small spaces, making thumbnails of ideas for paintings and jotting down ideas. I like to use .5 and .7 lead sizes and 6B graphite that is very soft and dark. Here are some good brands for pencils.”

Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic Mechanical Pencil 0.7mm

Koh-I-Noor Mechanical Hardtmuth Lead Holder with 5.6mm x 80mm Lead

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil

Pentel Sharp Mechanical Drafting Pencil, 0.9 mm

rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm, Black Barrel (1904447)

rOtring 1904444 600 Mechanical Pencil, 0.7 mm, Silver Barrel

Artist Commentary: “All of these pencils are really good and it’s great to have many sizes and styles from the major brands. However, the bottom line is that if I had to clean out everything except for two mechanical pencils, I’d keep my Rotring, .5 and .7.”

Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Artist Commentary: “Prismacolor Pencils are exceptionally high quality. They provide brilliant colors and artist-quality pigments. They can be used together for creating a variety of textures and mixed media techniques. I use both for studies drawn and painted on heavy weight Canson paper in a spiral-bound hard cover sketch book.”


Canson Artist Series Field Drawing Hardcover

Strathmore 455-3, 400 Series Sketch Pad

Art Supplies for Painting


Paasche Airbrush Kit with Anodized Aluminum Handle

Artist Commentary: “The Model H, single-action is the best airbrush. It’s really interesting that this is the original design by Paasche and it’s been around forever and is still the best. I have a dozen airbrushes, but the simple H is what I stick with. It is easy to use, it doesn’t clog, and a really great kit for $60.”


Artist Commentary: “The combination of a few really good Da Vinci brushes along with some royal Langnickles should be all you need to get started.”


Da Vinci Oil & Acrylic Series 4221 Top Acryl Long-Handled Paint Brush Set

Da Vinci 7105-16 Oil & Acrylic Series 7105 Impasto Paint Brush, Flat Extra Stiff White Synthetic, Size 16

Da Vinci Watercolor Series – CosmoTop Spin Brush Set 5231-4 Brush Set – Multi-Diameter Synthetic Fibers

Artist Commentary: “Be sure to check that it’s the Da Vinci brand made in Germany. I love this brand! The brushes are really great and versatile. The flat brush is extra stiff and you have great control over the paint.”


Conda Fine Detail Paint Brush Set – 12 Miniature Brushes for Detailing & Art Painting – Acrylic, Watercolor, Oil


Royal and Langnickel Crafter’s Choice Flat Taklon Variety Brush Set

Royal & Langnickel, Zen Series 74 Set of 5 Brushes

Majestic Royal and Langnickel Short Handle Paint Brush Set, Detail

Artist Commentary: “Langnickle has a long history in fine art brushes. They shifted to economical craft brushes that are a great value, really good quality for the price.”


A rainbow palette can create Earth tones. Here are the select color choices that Gary Savage recommends for your painting kit.


Golden Artist – Pyrrole Red

Golden Artist – Quinacridone Red

Golden Artist – Quinacridone Violet

Golden Artist – Cadmium Orange

Golden Artist – Cadmium Yellow Light

Golden Artist – Cadmium Yellow Medium

Golden Artist – Hansa Yellow Opaque

Golden Artist – Yellow Ocre

Golden Artist – Phthalo Green Yellow Shade

Golden Artist – Phthalo Green Blue Shade

Golden Artist – Phtalo Turquoise

Golden Artist – Phthalo Blue Red Shade

Golden Artist – Ultramarine Blue

Golden Artist – Dioxazine Purple

Golden Artist – Burnt Sienna

Golden Artist – Mars Black

Golden Artist – Titanium White



Artist Commentary: “You’re definitely going to want this.”


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