Beyond Brushes: 6 Mixed-Media Art Supplies That Add Texture

If you’re new to art making, you might not be aware of the variety of mixed-media art supplies that are available to you. And even if you’ve been creating art for years, Willow Wolfe may have some new tools that you can add to your repertoire. In Cloth Paper Scissors, Willow shares six handy tools that are on the market, specifically for artists. “Recent innovations in materials and construction methods have created new tools that move paint in exciting ways,” says Willow. “Texture tools with varying tooth sizes and a sponge that lends a soft, stippled effect are great for creating mixed-media artwork.”

Mixed-media art supplies come in handy for creating unique textures, as you can see in this artwork by Willow Wolfe.

Beyond Brushes by Willow Wolfe

The Contour is from the Catalyst™ line of stiff mini wedges from Princeton™. These tools are created out of merged nylon and silicone, and produce a more defined and distinct effect. Each tool has a different tooth, offering a wide range of special effects.

Mini blades are similar to a palette knife and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including angled, curved, and even an arrow shape. They produce a range of effects and allow paint to be scooped and moved.

The Incredible Nib® is comprised of acrylic fibers that retain fluid (such as frisket and pigments) and offer precise and controlled fluid distribution. The Nib is easy to clean with soap and water. This durable tool offers control, allowing the mixed-media artist to create hard edges and straight lines to better define an area. It can also be used as an applicator for pigments. Play with the consistency of your chosen medium to explore the possibilities with the Incredible Nib.

Catalyst blades and wedges are versatile tools that are comprised of heat-resistant silicone that has a smooth, soft feel. Catalyst blades are mounted on a solid wood handle that can be removed for close work. Wedges are ergonomically designed to fit snugly in the palm of your hand. These tools can be used with acrylic, oil, and texture mediums, and for monoprinting, encaustics, and ceramics. The Catalyst tools are flexible and the effects can vary, depending on the pressure applied to them. My personal favorite is Wedge No. 2, which can create a basket weave texture. I use it in many of my mixed-media designs. These tools are heat resistant up to 450°, dishwasher safe, and food-grade, so they are functional cake decorating tools as well!

Offered in a variety of natural shapes and thicknesses, sponges have been used by artists for centuries and are one of the most versatile painting tools. The density of a sponge affects both the texture it creates and the coverage it provides. Manufactured sponges offer consistent results and uniform thicknesses that natural sponges may not. I recently discovered Beautyblender® sponges in a cosmetic store. This tiny, egg-shaped sponge is one of my new favorite tools. It is exceptionally dense and enlarges when wet. I use it to apply stains and stippled effects to my mixed-media work. When used to tap or stipple color on an area, it produces a mottled effect. By dipping the sponge in water, squeezing out the excess, and loading it with color, I can rouge an area, giving an incredibly soft, antique effect. ~W.W.

Do you already incorporate these techniques in your art, or are they new to you? Tell me in the comments section, and subscribe to Cloth Paper Scissors here for more mixed-media techniques and inspiration, delivered to your mailbox or inbox!

With warm regards,

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Blog, Mixed-Media Supplies

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