Sunday 23 October 2011

Bargainous Bargains - Where I get my supplies

As I do not have much to show for Sunday Sketches, just this one very quick pastel pencil drawing, I thought I would put in this post the biggest tip I have for obtaining fantastic artist supplies ludicrously cheap, rather than make it into a separate post.

I'm as terrible as most other artists and crafters for spending more money than I should each year on new supplies. What Marvy have brought out alcohol pens? Well aren't I always running my promarkers out? And these have different 'painterly' tips? Well then they're a must aren't they? What Derwent have brought out inktense blocks? And they work on both paper and fabric? Well brilliant, naturally I have to have them, haven't I been looking all summer for a medium that will work in the fabric art journal I created in my June Challenge?

Yes I'm a sucker for new supplies, rather than sticking and mastering one medium (which would be a hell of a lot cheaper) but I love the different effects that using different mediums will instantly give and mixing them all up in one piece of art. Yes I spend more than I should, but that is not to say I am frivolous. My main source for buying materials has been online - and I will study and compare shop after shop until I get the best price on the item I want. That is...until this year.

Take Saturday afternoon for example, a relatively slow buying day for me I have to admit but I still got these:

Winsor and Newton Drawing Inks: RRP £24 - brought for £5

Staedtler Watercolour Pencils: RRP £35 - brought for £10

Papers, Cards, Acetate, Die Cuts, Large Stamp, Brads: RRP £25 ?? (estimate) - brought for £10

Humongous Guillotine: RRP £50 (but probably will need additional cutting strip/blade) - brought for £6

Also extra items of vintage (and new re: narnia) ephemera...

and random items of brass and jewellery for mixed media pieces:

You may not use ephemera or any random items for mixed media, but even so can you think of a shop you could get all this in one? No nor can I. The best tip I can give you for buying supplies is to buy outside of the box (that box being your computer) & head out to car boot sales, fares and fates. All the above items were brought at one car boot in about an hour and a half yesterday. Some people I know have snobbish attitudes to buying items that have had a previous owner but all artists materials & guillotine were brand new in sealed packaging when I got them, so I say more fool them.

Even with these all these items weighting down my canvas bags, as it is getting towards the end of the season (and too cold for many people to be out car booting already) I felt like I had a bad day at the office. Mainly because it has been one of my worst days for sheer volume of items brought. Yet looking at it now I think 'why, you silly cow? you still did well' - the drawing inks especially I have had my eye on (online eye) for ages. And that is something I promise will happen (if you go to enough of them), you will find items you have been longing for, at ridiculously low prices. I have - every single time I have been I have found something I have wanted.

I say look for things that may be going on around you before it's too late this year and get your scarf, hat and fingerless gloves on & rummage for treasure!


  1. Awesome sketch study ~ well done ~ Art supplies are like candy to me ~ LOL ~ I try not to buy anymore ~ do I listen? sometimes. ~thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) link w/Sunday Sketches

  2. your sketch is beautiful you are so talented. Wonderful art supplies what a treasure haul!

  3. Hee hee! This is the 2nd time I've heard "car boot sale" this weekend, and I have to admit that I had to look up what it was (I guess it's similar to a "flea market" where I live)! In any case, it sounds like a great way to find all sorts of fun arty stuff and I am very impressed with your haul... Fantastic!


    p.s. I am very happy to have learned something new - thanks :)

  4. Now you must be very lucky cause I never find art supplies at the car boot sales I go to~!

    I'm going shopping where you go - or shall I just send you a list!!

  5. The man in your sketch has so much personality, it looks like he might start talking to me! :)

    I'm impressed by your haul. I especially love the paper cutter! One of these days, I'll have to get one. I love tools.

  6. YES, YES AND YES AGAIN!!! I live in Colombia, as I think you know, and there are no yard or garage or as you say car-boot sales here. Whaaa! I MISS yard sales SO much but in the 3 years before moving here, I collected from them. I knew it would be hard to find what I like/need/want here. I have a 25 ft X 16 ft play room and my supplies are overflowing into two other bedrooms. And I bought them at a FRACTION of what they would have cost new. I now plan my trips to the USA around weekends so I can spend my mornings yard saling. WOO WHOO! I get to go for three weekends in November/December. Can't Wait to see what treasures are waiting for ME!!! You are SUCH a kindred soul.
    PS - I got so excited about garage sales that I forgot to tell you how wonderful your sketch is!!!

  7. LOVE your sketch from pastels. I have a box and have only used them once. Intimidating to me (and quite messy!lol) Very nice job and thank you for sharing your art supply tip. What FAB deals you got. :)

    Happy SS!

  8. A lovely little sketch. I so love supplies too!

  9. Wonderful sketch and love seeing your awesome art stash and share! POP ART MINIS

  10. A great sketch and I am also a sucker for new art supplies. Happy SS

  11. Great sketch and congrats on your thrifty purchases!


  12. your sketch is great. very expressive eyes. and it sounds like you had an amazing shopping day. i need to go shopping with you! :-)

  13. I have a shop that sells everything art related, not far from my place (although I live in an area where "culture" is a bad word). It looks like the Ali Baba cavern, it's fantastic.
    Your sketch is great, by the way!

  14. Love the sketch! I've never heard of a car boot sale. Boot is trunk though, right? So it would be like a mini garage sale in the trunk of a car? I don't think we have those here but if we did, I'd shop them! This looks like a great haul to me.

  15. oh wow!!!! what a cool sketch Jennibellie!!!! I love the lines of this piece.....and love all of your photos!!!!! Love the art supplies...and can't wait to see what you create!!!!

  16. Great advice. I only ever shop at art/craft stores if there's a good sale or I have a good coupon. I frequent onine sites like kijiji here in Canada (like craigslist), and a few local buy/sell groups on facebook, and I've gotten some great things cheap, or even free! I am also on a few artsy forums where people sometimes will trade supplies, so I can swap something I have an excess of for something I've been looking to try. I did catch a good tip from one of your videos; to ask friends and family to save me things I may be able to use instead of tossing them. <3


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