My Favorite Tools, Supplies and More (Lots o' Links)

I'll be adding to this post eventually but for now, here it is and I hope that it helps to answer some of your questions. I'm going to add this as a little button on the right side of my blog in the hopes that it will make it easier for you to find it when you need it!

What you see below is a list of my basic essentials. These are the tools that I use repeatedly in my artwork. If you click on the name you'll find that it links to a post describing my "essential" tool:

Keeping it Local:A list of local, Mom and Pop Art Shops across the U.S. which I will be adding to can be found here.

**Revised and updated 2020:  What's in My Art Toolbox:

Vol 1 (painting tools)

Vol 2 neutral acrylics

Vol 3 acrylics

Paint Brushes

My Favorite Writing, Drawing, Coloring Tools (Pens and Markers)

Setting up my workspace  

Storing Collage Ephemera 

Previous posts:

Acrylic Paint and Mediums Post 

Adhesives-glue sticks, gel medium and more

Another post on tips for painting with acrylics and acrylic mediums

art books-My favorite books for inspiration

bookbinding supplies-awl (I use an inexpensive clay tool for $3 or less), wide eyed tapestry needle (bookbinding needles are too expensive), waxed linen thread (I buy mine from the Caning Shop), scissors, metal ruler, bone folder

Caran d'ache Neo Art Watersoluble Wax Pastels-DISCONTINUED

 every day tools (including where I get my glue sticks) Update: Oct 2018 The vendor that sells my favorite glue sticks, Coccoina, has gone out of business. I've started selling the 40 gram glue sticks. If you are interested, drop me an email at for more information.

Paper for collage: Magazines, Books, etc... -I pretty much pick up what I find wherever I can find it. I have a detailed post here explaining how I find my stuff.

PAPER for collage: updated 2017 here

Being Mindful Curating Your Images

Paper for my pages-I usually use 140 lb wausau exact index (when I'm not using found papers for my pages.) 140 wausau takes a beating and can be used for acrylics, collage and more. It comes in 8 1/2 x 11" and large parent sheet sizes (25.5 x 30" or so.) 
UPDATE: Wausau has closed it's mills and Neenah has picked up the 140 line.
UPDATE: I buy my card stock from Kelly Paper (no affiliation.) They will order the Neenah brand but you have to order a case of it. I don't have room to store a case so for the past couple of years I've been using the 100 lb Accent Opaque Smooth Cover White (available in 8 1/2 x 11, 11 x 17 and larger parent size sheets.) The Accent Opaque website is here.

basic short list of my favorite pens (not to be confused with this extensive list of my favorite pens)

rubber stamps 


basic short list of my favorite tape (not to be confused with where to find decorative tape)

Visual Inspiration: My Favorite Magazines to Read

what's in my journal bag

Where I shop in L.A.

Where I shop in Berkeley/San Francisco, CA

My Life in Film

Anything that you think I'm leaving out?


Emie58 said…
Not sure if you left anything out but I just ordered tape from washimatta a couple of days ago using a link from your blog.... it's nice to know I can always come here and find stuff when I need it!!!
LuLu said…
Howdy Kelly,
Excellent list of links! I've actually had a link to your TAPES list in my sidebar for ages....

What about adding a Fave tool/travel bag link?

What about alphabetizing the list when you add it to your sidebar?

I really enjoy your blog - it's one of the few I visit regularly.

Thanks for sharing all your tips.

Cat said…
Darn it!! I've been ordering the wrong Caran d'Ache crayons. I've been getting the Neocolor II when what I wanted were the watersoluble wax pastels!! So I had to start a new wish list--this time on Jerry's. Thanks so much for all your lists of faves. I love learning about the supplies my favorite artists use and love. Counting down now till the 1st day of class!! Can't wait!
Kelly Kilmer said…
Thanks, Emie! Washimatta is awesome. She ships fast and is one of my most favorite vendors.

Thanks, LuLu! I am always rotating my supplies in my travel bag but I will add it. I'll also alphabetize the list. Thanks for the kind words.

Cat, I'm sorry that you bought the wrong crayons. I say use 'em up! I still have the skinny crayons but you can totally tell the difference between the neocolor IIs and the Neo Art watersoluble wax pastels.
Barbara Hagerty said…
I love your lists! Your descriptions of each item are so helpful, but by far the most helpful is the way you describe the NeoArt WAX pastels. Many owners of fine art supply stores get confused over this item, and I've had to give very detailed descriptions to get them to understand what I'm talking about. Your description is perfect! I hope everyone reads it and prints it out, because there is so much confusion out there on this topic! Thank you!
Anonymous said…
Ah no, please don't tempt me to buy more art stuff. Hubby will freak out. Oh okay then :D
Kelly Kilmer said…
Thanks, Barbara! I know that there is still a lot of confusion out there so I hope that this helps to clear it up a bit. I remember when I first found out about the crayons and the problems I had trying to order colors I didn't have! :P

Lianne, this post isn't a "here, go out and buy this stuff" post but rather a source for folks who want to know what I have found to work. Everything that I recommend has been bought by me, tested by me and I have to LOVE it in order to talk about it. NO ONE pays me to do this. I do it because I want my students and blog readers to know what works best so that they can save their money in the long run! :) I don't recommend crappy things that don't work. ;)
Though I know most of your favorites, Kelly, I really enjoyed this post. There is so darned much information here. Hope your classes go well.
Courtenay Gueta said…
This is such a fun post. I saved it in my in box and keep going back to it. Some supplies are difficult to get in Israel and the customs taxes when ordering from abroad just isn't cost effective. So I read and "window" shop online. And drool over your pics. Thanks for sharing.
Kelly Kilmer said…
Thanks, Fran and Courtenay!
KimD said…
Kelly what was that barrier cream you had on the table during the classes at The Queens Ink? I forgot to write it down. Thanks!

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