Monday 17th January 2022

Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Art, Materials, Create! Part Two. 2018.8.

Following on from last week’s post here on Art Kits and more today’s post is photo-heavy and  words added to help with both description of how I use the materials and what I make. Suppliers I have used are listed at the end of the post with links to their websites.

What I use to ‘make my marks’.

Did that ‘whet your appetite?’

Let me tell you it has taken quite a lot of money AND time to make the collection I now have. I have purchased small quantities first (cost effective too) and then seen how much I like using them and to what effect. Neocolour 11 crayons were in that category. I now have a large collection but started in 2013 with 10. Copic pens are ace and they come in sets at Officeworks or you can buy singly from some supplier below. Zig Paint Pens are awesome. BUT very expensive initially. However, I got a set first to see how they worked for me and then added as years went by. I am never without my black unipin markers and they are at Officeworks too. More and more, Officeworks (not sponsored!!) is building a decent supply of artist* materials.


Well. here is what I have learned. As adults we need to  see ourselves as artists and use materials for artists. Not ‘student’ and that is because you will become frustrated with the poor quality of materials over time. It is WORTH spending more as the artist quality materials last well.


Yes I do a lot of this with two brands of paint and types. I have watercolours and gouache. I use artist-brands: Winsor and Newton and Caran D’Arche. Gouache is a more dense version of watercolour. I use the best brushes I can afford and places like Riot Art and Eckersleys can advise you.

Some More: 

Now…if you want to know more, of course ask me in the comments.

I am happy to do more posts later in the year but would also love to know what you are up to if art has become part of your life. Lots of colouring books are available in so many shops that you are spoiled for choice and cost. Big W has quite a range. The only rider for me is beware of books which have a pattern on the back of another as some markers will go through. Another thing I do too is place a piece of A4 paper behind the work I am doing with a marker.

The A3 and A4 and A5 art books I used have at least a GSM (thickness) of 110 or more. Anything less can tear easily and paint/materials may go through. Oh and if you are using any gelly-type pens (and the real ones Gellyrolls if you can afford them) make sure you let them dry before closing your page.

Websites to explore: I have used products from all of these.

REMEMBER to have FUN. It is about the process NOT the product!

Happy Art-ing!


Joining with Kylie Purtell for I Blog on Tuesdays here and with Leanne here on Thursdays for Lovin’ Life Linky!




  1. Your art is beautiful Denyse. I must admit that I just don’t do art – never been good at it so I have always avoided it. However I do love the idea of taking time out just to colour manalas #teamIBOT

    • I like that you are considering some colouring of mandalas. Let me know if you can’t find any in a book and will send you some. It is mindful to colour as you already know but make sure you buy yourself some qualities pencils or markers as it is counter-productive! Denyse x

  2. Awesome. Neocolor 2 crayons are my favourites along with posca paint pens. Never tried zig but definitely going to now lol. Office works has gone crazy with art supplies and increasing their pen area – I get lost in there for ab hour now. Love.

    • Thanks Deb. I do have some Posca paint pens but I guess I haven’t found them ‘essential’ (yet!). As for the Zigs…yes they are paint like in use. Initially I got them from Japan via ebay but one of the suppliers I mentioned has them. I can’t recall which so it will need to search. I get my books and unipins from Officeworks and I am grateful we “only” have a small store. I am going to Sydney for surgery in 2 weeks time and I am spending some time on the day before in the main Dymocks there to get some new Moleskin books. Denyse x

  3. I’m still enjoying picking up pens and not my phone. I’ve also added my notes/brain dump in colours to the back of my notebook as it’s much nicer to look at things to do in coloured pen!

    • I reckon everything looks better in colour! Love that you are continuing this and it IS better than the phone in many ways including I think using the brain in a different way. Denyse x

  4. Ugh I feel like a kid in a candy store looking at this stuff! I have a tin of pencils and a few textas (sharpies) and some rubber stamps plus a few rolls of washi tape. I get them out whenever I’m writing letters to my niece and nephews and have a blast with them.

    • Oh that sounds cool. You live in the land of much less expensive art/craft items. I cannot believe what we have to pay for what US-friends who do art get so cheaply. They talk of Michaels as being the go-to place for many products. I guess you do not need me to encourage your artistic-side as it is more $$ leaving your wallet! Denyse x

  5. Oh Denyse, thank you so much for this post and the time it must have taken to put together! So much information, it’s wonderful. I was wondering what thickness (gsm) of paper you used. I think Joanna Fink of Zenspirations uses something like 400 gsm (wow) but I’ve never seen such a thing in the shops. My nearest office works is a 50 minute drive so next time I’m down that way I’ll be spending some time (and cash) there now I know what products to look for. You are so talented and creative Denyse. I love seeing the pics of your art on Insta. Yes, you are indeed an artist. Many thanks Sandra. Xx

    • Thank you Sandra, I have done a post or two like this in the past but it was good to have someone like yourself to ‘pitch’ this too and some other people who have been interested.

      I did mention in the post about the minimum GSM I use – and they are in the visual arts diaries – 120-110. The MUCH heavier papers are very expensive and a whole new ball-game with the what and the why. American based teachers and websites will often talk in lbs (pounds rather than GSM) and in the US materials are MUCH cheaper than here!

      I did buy, over the years, a range of ones up to 300GSM but then within those are cold pressed, smooth and more! I have a range of them still and Exckersley’s art shops were my places of purchase.

      Officeworks may have some now they are expanding their range. I bought these for an on-line class in watercolours from a friend in Qld. Other times I have followed recommendations via the art group I am in. However…for me, it has been about learning as I go on and then I find my preference of both papers and media. And these change too.

      Most of my mandalas have been done in 110 gsm paper and many take paint and markers well. They are framed with ease in my cheapies from Reject Shop.

      The best bet, when you can, is to decide what projects or play you want to do them having a go.

      I wish you well. It can be something to look forward to in your move. You will need to grab a space for yourself!! Denyse x

      • So generous with your knowledge Denyse. Thank you. Yes, I certainly need to focus on more creativity and down time that doesn’t involve a ‘screen’. It’s very grounding don’t you find? Wishing you well with upcoming surgery Denyse. I’ll tag you on Insta when when I create time to ‘create’. Xx

  6. This is such an informative and helpful post Denyse – thank you! #TeamLovinLife

  7. You are very creative Denyse. I love arts and craft, but I don’t dedicate any time to pursuing it unfortunately. Maybe one day! #TeamLovinLife

    • Thanks Kathy! I think as a teacher of little kids I got to have fun with art and then later with the grandkids but it was not till only a few years back that I pursued my interest just for me! Denyse x

  8. I like the look of those Zig Paint pens …

    • Well dear Janet, you might consider giving these a go. You can buy them in small sets. I love using them as they have the feel of paint without the mess!! Denyse x

  9. All those lovely pens!!!! When I walk into a stationery shop I start to salivate at the pens and textas etc. I’m like a kid in a lolly shop. #teamlovinlife

    • It is why I no longer go into those shops..well as much as possible. I am, however, looking forward to my next surgery in February because we are coming down the night before to stay this time and I am spending time (and likely money) on my own going to Dymocks to get some new Moleskin books. Yay! Denyse x

  10. I’m super impressed with the range of artist stuff they have at Officeworks now, it’s really good. It’s also awesome that I now have an Officeworks 10 minutes from my house (although I’m sure Dave doesn’t agree, lo!).

    • I admit that I have not been to a larger Officeworks for a while for a very good reason! Money. Seriously the Marsden Park precinct must make a huge difference. When we left Sydney they had completed Ikea. I tend not to go back to the area where we lived at all as I dont want to see the changes. The traffic alone was a BIG reason we left and I do not want to get on those roads again unless, as we now do, it’s to come to Sydney to see the medicos at Camperdown and the dentist specialist is at Westmead. Denyse x

  11. This is a super amazing project Denyse!
    Craft Online Team