I work with knitters, and a student recently told me, "I don't like the way my stuff turns out." When I asked her what kind of yarn she used, she replied, "Oh, I just picked up something cheap. I didn't want to
spend money on something that probably wasn't going to work out."
Blue Depths by Steve Henderson, watercolor
When you're first starting out, it can often seem
insurmountable distance between the
materials that you want to have and what
can afford, but buying bit by bit means you
don't have to invest all at once, but you get to
start reaping benefits immediately.
Bad idea. Whether you're knitting or oil painting
, you'll get the best
results when you use the best materials.
While a novice, or even an intermediate, does not need the
most expensive items in the store (interestingly, many professionals do not
shop at the tippy top themselves), they also don't want the two-quart tubes of
student grade paint and cheap, cheap brushes, all slathered onto loosely woven,
If the colors are weak and the brushes imprecise, the
results of your oil painting art or watercolor experimentations will be disappointing.
The Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson, discovered the
major difference between student and professional grade art supplies in one of
his early quarters of teaching, when he recommended a starter watercolor kit to
his students while he used the materials from his own studio for his
"I know I'm a beginner," one student said, "but even though
I'm following you step by step, nothing I do looks at all like what you're
Steve picked up her brush, dabbed it in her paint, and swept
it across his canvas.
"Nothing I do looks like what I'm doing with this paint
either," he said.
From that point on, he recommended his own professional paint
choices and brushes to his students, limiting the colors and brush choices to
decrease the cost.
Yes, it costs more. No, you don't have to overhaul your
entire studio at once.
But bit by bit, buy up. Do you agree?