Artist Tools

One of the many ways I use Instagram is to learn from other artists. One way I learn from them is by pouring over studio scenes, and beautifully staged flat lays that show off the tools they use. It is an opportunity to discover new brands, become educated on quality materials, and take in the beauty of the tools which are so personal to the artist.

I was inspired to photograph some of my own new materials.


After using the same brushes for three years, I learned what I do not want in a brush: brushes with paper coatings that chip off and leave exposed wood which rubs against your fingers. Now I look for all wood brushes.


I have been discovering which paints I enjoy working with. I adore acrylic gouaches! They can be used right out the tube for vibrant thick application like acrylic paint, or water can be added to thin them out like gouache. The colors are rich and inspiring (especially my trademark color Opera Pink!)


Other fun recent upgrades: my first wood and metal palette knife (it has changed how the paint glides against a surface vs. plastic ones), an acrylic pen for signing my name on canvas, and a three tier push cart to hold my materials. Celebrating the little things which help to me work better.


While social media like Instagram and Pinterest are endless sources of inspiration, YouTube has been playing a bigger part in my process. I have enjoyed watching the MoMA’s In the Studio series where you learn the techniques of famous artists.

You can visit me on Instagram @LadyDamePrints – I would love to know what materials and tools you love!

Additionally, if you are in Columbia, South Carolina, you can view a selection of my work at Cool Beans located downtown through mid-February!

Make art that you want to see that doesn’t already exist. Stand by it regardless of the response. Try to get past the desire to have everyone like you. All positive feedback is not a good sign. It means you are feeding the views that they already like and not going to change how the world sees.” – Lisa Yuskavage

May your new year be creative!


Lady Dame