10 Art Supplies I Can’t Live Without | Sandrine Pelissier

Her Favorite Mixed Media Art Supplies

There are art supplies you love and art supplies you simply can’t live without. Yes, each artist on her or his own creative desert island would choose a different group of ten art supplies and Sandrine Pelissier is no exception. Author of Painting Imaginary Flowers: Beautiful Blooms and Abstract Patterns in Mixed Media, Sandrine gives us her list of mixed media art supplies that she simply wouldn’t want to do without.

1-Dipping pen and ink

If you like to add patterns or drawings to your paintings, you will love using a dipping pen. One of the main advantage is that you can use or mix any color you want with fluid acrylics or ink and perfectly match the colors that are already in your painting. You will be able to use a dipping pen for a long time and will only have to change the nib occasionally, and it will never dry.

Favorite art supplies: Did you know that you can also use a dipping pen to apply masking fluid?

mixed media art supplies: Did you know that you can also use a dipping pen to apply masking fluid?
Did you know that you can also use a dipping pen to apply masking fluid?

2-Fluid acrylic

Fluid acrylic is an awesome medium, you can use it the way you would use watercolor, the main difference being that it won’t lift from paper or canvas, making it easy to layer colors.

Many of the methods you can use with watercolor to add texture will work with fluid acrylic as well, like alcohol, or salt.

Mixed media art supplies: You can add texture to a wet fluid acrylic wash with alcohol.
You can add texture to a wet fluid acrylic wash with alcohol.

3-Indian ink

Indian ink is very affordable and one of the best ways to get a very dark flat black in a painting or a drawing. It can be diluted in water for an infinite variety of greys. Alcohol textures will also work very well on a wet Indian ink wash.

Depending on the brand, you might need to fix Indian ink before varnishing or painting over as it might smudge.


Droppers are very useful to move paint around, but did you know that you can also use them to draw nice flowy lines with ink or fluid acrylic.

mixed media art supplies: droppers
You can draw a line with a dropper and ink or fluid acrylic.

5-Dry pastels

Dry pastels are a very versatile medium. They can be used dry of course but you can also mix them with water or medium for interesting effects.

When mixed with water dry pastels will look like watercolor or gouache and when painted over with medium, you will get interesting textures, but the medium will darken the pastel color.

My favorite use for dry pastels is to test a color on a painting in progress, they can be added on top of dried acrylic paint for example and then washed away with a soft cloth and water. That way you can try on different color options before deciding.

mixed media art supplies: dry pastels
When painting with medium on top of pastels, it will darken the pastel color.


Acrylic medium has many uses. You can use it to make acrylic paint translucent while keeping its consistency intact, which is great for glazing techniques. You can also use it as adhesive when mounting paper on board. I also like to brush it over paper to change the paper texture, making it a bit similar to yupo paper.

7-Alcohol-based inks

Alcohol based inks are a lot of fun, in particular when used on top of a regular ink wet wash. It will make beautiful textures that can look like abstract flowers.

mixed media art supplies: alcohol based inks
Did you know that Copic markers refills are actually alcohol inks? They are available in a huge variety of colors and the refill comes with a dropper.

8-Spray fixative

If you work with many different media, you will probably need at some point a fixative to make sure nothing smudges. Krylon workable fixative works wonders on watercolor washes, dry pastel, Indian ink, etc.

9-Sakura pigma micron marker

I like a good pen and Sakura pigma micron is very pleasant to use. Once dry it won’t smudge at all and you can even use it to draw on stones!

mixed media art supplies: micron pen
You can even draw patterns on pebbles with Sakura Micron pens, the ink won’t smudge once dry.

10-Yupo or stone paper

Water-resistant papers are very fun to use because a pencil will slide beautifully on the surface and paint will dry with very pronounced textures, making it easy to paint an abstract background to see shapes.

mixed media art supplies: yupo
Paint will easily move on water-resistant papers and make interesting textures.


If Sandrine’s favorites have you raring to create, perhaps there is a unique bloom or bouquet in your future. Painting Imaginary Flowers: Beautiful Blooms and Abstract Patterns in Mixed Media is what we mean. It is a top-notch instruction guide from Sandrine on the wonderful world of pattern, flowers and mixed media.

3 thoughts on “10 Art Supplies I Can’t Live Without | Sandrine Pelissier

  1. Anne C says:

    Love this list. Every type of mixed media artist has different things they use. I tend to use a lot of materials I find even out in nature, or things in my kitchen to get different effects. It is interesting to see how many tools and materials we all use and the ways we use them. I am also a fiber artist, and I love what I call “accidental art.” Thank you for this good list.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PS I’d love a mixed media class…in creating our own images but using these materials…for example, I’d love to do figures of women in nature with symbols woven in..:)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so Sandra! I’d love to get links to these supplies, the brands, kinds you’ve found to be best….as well as a link if you offer online classes using these in mixed media work…Time to learn…

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