Cheep vs. Expensive Supplies


Rhonda Corona

Artists always worry about if they are using the right materials for their works, but the price of the supplies doesn’t make up for the skill needed to create.

Art supplies are some of the most valuable things to keep inventory for full time artists. The cost of supplies is a main concern for artists, especially if they are on a budget. With inflation on the rise, saving money is always on people’s mind, but does the value of an artist’s inventory affect how their art turns out?

Cheap supplies are typically seen as the worst option if you want your art to pop, but it really depends on two factors: the overall quality of the supplies, and the skill of the artist.

Supplies from the dollar store aren’t as high quality as those found in actual art stores like JOANNS, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Graphaids, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make good art from them.

With supplies like paint, colored pencils, and pastels, the colors seem more washed out, and more of it is needed to get enough pigment on the medium they are working with.

The canvas, paper, or clay that the artist is working with can also affect how the final product comes out. Cheap canvases and paper can require more product in order to have the pigment show up. It can also cause twists or warps under the watery texture of watercolors. This can lead to the artist getting annoyed and not wanting to continue their passion.

More expensive art supplies are more likely to be better pigmented, work smoother, and be more durable. For supplies like paint, pastels, or colored pencils, they appear better because they are more vibrant, and less force is needed. With clay, it can sculpt more easily, and the finished glaze can show better than cheaper brands.

However, in the end, it doesn’t matter where the supplies come from; the end product fully depends on the artist’s skill. Many artists on YouTube or TikTok post videos of them using cheap dollar store supplies and creating incredible art pieces, and sometimes beginners can get confused on how some supplies are supposed to be used and will be quick to blame the items. So, when thinking about buying some art supplies of your own, keep in mind that the more expensive items don’t always guarantee amazing quality.

Overall, the value of the art supplies doesn’t automatically allow someone to create amazing pieces, but they do have their benefits after gaining more experience with the cheaper supplies in the beginning.