my 5 favourite art supplies and what’s in my “art cart”

Hi everyone! Here’s a quick tour of all my everyday essential art materials in my little crafting cart, and my top 5 favourite art materials too! Enjoy!

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me. Sign up to my email list as well for more at

Just ask any questions you might have in the comments! I’ll do my best to help you out.

Art cart 3-tier foldable kitchen trolley

My 5 favourite art materials:
– Gouache paint* by Winsor & Newton, Holbein and Schmincke Horadam
– Faber-Castell Polychromos* colour pencils
Winsor & Newton* professional fixative (and eco-friendly alternative Spectrafix)
– Daler-Rowney angle-shader* and other synthetic brushes* and synthetic brush sets
– White gel pens by Pentel* and Sakura*

00:00 Introduction
01:03 How I use my art cart every day
02:42 What’s in my art cart & storage ideas
10:28 My top 5 favourite art supplies
16:10 Summary of top 5 favourite art materials
16:56 End comments


Hi everyone. I’m Arati Devasher. Welcome to my studio!

Today I’m sharing the contents of my ‘art cart’. This is it right here. It is a little three-tier trolley in which I keep all the art materials that I deem necessary for my everyday work. Some of you may already have spotted it in my studio vlogs, because this is what is right next to me every time I’m sketchbook-ing or painting a commission or doing anything else that involves actual physical painting. The advantage of having everything in this trolley means [is] that whether I’m working here in my studio or in my living room or at the dining table or out in the garden, for that matter, I can just wheel it wherever I want to go. It is also foldable so if I take out all the art materials, I can slot it in neatly wherever I need to.

I’m also, while I show you the art materials in my cart, going to highlight the five essentials that I use no matter what I’m doing; whether I’m sketchbook-ing, painting, drawing or whatever… they are my five favourite art materials to use.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

So here’s my sketchbook, and I’m just going to go and get my cart from over there. Just wheel it across, give it a little hitch over the carpet, and there you go. So up here I have all the tools that I use all the time and then under here… let me take you with me… under here is my gouache palette, conveniently stored. So I’m going to take that and put it up on the table, and I’m going to take my sponge and put that up on the table as well. Any extra gouache that I need is right over here. I’ve got a bunch of stuff which I will take you through in a minute, and my everyday stuff is right on top. So the only things that actually go on my table are my sketchbook, my gouache palette and my sponge, like so. So here’s my sketchbook. Let me see if I can do this one-handed! That always pops off! There’s my gouache palette, and it’s a little bit dry so grab my handy-dandy little spray bottle thing… do a quick spray so it’s wet. Spray bottle goes neatly back in that spot. This gets closed for a little bit and I’ll put that back on in a minute, and the sponge goes there, and in about five minutes I will be ready to sketchbook. In the meantime, I’m going to show you everything that’s in this cart.

This is the trolley in which I keep my art materials. As I said, it is my “art cart” – imagine the air quotes! There are just three shelves, and as you can see it is foldable, so this thing folds up, everything goes flat, and you can store it really, really easily.

Now, I don’t have very much in the bottom two slots because I never really reach down here to get anything. It’s just mostly a holding zone for random stuff. So what I’ve got here is the little pieces that I painted in my Sculpd video. I’ve actually just collected them from around the house because I forgot that I didn’t do a protective coat on the back, so I actually need to do that sometime this week or next week, and on some of them I actually need to redo the entire coat because they did bubble up. I don’t know if you watched that video so I will link it for you somewhere up here in the corners wherever that little “i” icon is. That’s there, all of those pieces, and then next to it I have an empty water thing. It just says… it’s pretty dirty from all the years of use… it says “I am not weird. I am limited edition.” which is extremely true of all of us creative people, I suppose.

In the other side it is just the handles that came with this cart I didn’t know what to do with them and they’re kind of plastic-y and I never really used them, so I just left them in there because I don’t want to lose them, in an empty box that used to belong to my mother. I think she kept her brushes in it or something. And then there’s some extra random pieces of paper which I sometimes put in my sketchbook. And on this side there are a couple of extra rags that I use to mop up paint or generally clean up. So that’s the bottom tier. I suppose I could make better use of this, and in fact I used to have some of my sketchbooks down here, but I realized that because the wheels are quite small they don’t really… they don’t really travel very well with weight in the bottom tier. So I didn’t put anything in there.

On the next shelf are some brush pens. They have a brush on this end and a fine liner on that side. These are unbranded and they were a gift so I really don’t know where they’re from, but there are quite a few colours and these are generally the pens that my niece or my friend’s children use when they come over because they are quite cheap and I don’t feel quite so bad about letting them use these pens. Next to it are my Pitt… my Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen markers. These are in a variety of colours and it’s a set of 90 that I got many many years ago from Cass Art. Next to that are all my tubes of gouache. I just keep them here like this because they’re easy to access whenever I need to add any more colours into my gouache palette, which is right here. You have seen the gouache palette in my video where I swatched all of my Winsor & Newton gouache colours. There are a couple new ones in here but maybe I’ll do an updated swatch page soon. Below that is just a sponge that I use and that’s all that is in this shelf. These are all easy access things so that I can just reach down, pull out a pen and use it.

Now, the important part is this top shelf, here. This has everything that I use all the time, easy access and I don’t think I’ll change very much of it. Now let me take you through this one at a time. This bottle is usually over here but because if this bottle is here you can’t see anything, I’ve temporarily moved it over there. Now this top section has, like I said, all the tools that I use on an everyday basis. Some of them I use less often, some of them I use more often.

In the corner here I have a couple of things like this Jacquard Neopaque extender, some gold size paint and my trusty Bleed Proof White. These are things that I don’t use that often, so they’re tucked away in the corner here. Remember, that’s the side that goes towards my table and this is the side that faces out. Next to that I have my glass full of coloured pencils. Conveniently next to it is my mechanical sharpener. As you can see it’s got two different sizes and I will link all of these… I’ll link to my blog post in which all of these things are linked. Right next to that, tucked away, are my two little brush rests that I made in my Sculpd video. I think there’s two of them. Like I said I’ll link them for you, but here are my two little brush rests that I use pretty regularly. And that’s why they’re down here. They are also a little bit further away from the water just in case that leaks onto this.

Now, coming around to this side, here is a jug of water. It also says “I am not weird. I am limited edition.” I got those – the one at the bottom and this one – at the same time about six or seven years ago. Can’t really remember where but it was probably one of the high street stores. Here’s another rag, and all this is encased in this little box to keep it tidy, so that the water doesn’t topple over. Here is also the tape that I use to do a border in my sketchbook, just randomly chucked in there!

And then moving around to this side, I have this little holder thing with three three pots in it. I think it was originally for herbs and things but this is what I use for it for, and I have some shot glasses in there to keep everything organized. Can you see that? So in this one I’ve got a glue pen and a Sharpie, some of my brushes, and here I’ve got some more markers. The Uni Poscas, the brush pens, some Molotow markers, a Sakura Gelly Roll, some more Uni posca, the thinner ones, and a Pentel hybrid gel pen, as well as a Molotow mixed media paint marker, which I think is blocked and I need to get this sorted out. (Totally missed out the Sakura Micron Fineliners, and the kneadable eraser on the handle!).

In the… I’m just going to turn this around so it’s easier for you to see. Now in the third section I have my Polychromos pencils, my China markers and all that stuff. Some of my markers have also found their way into here… I think I’ve just got the black and white, which I use fairly often, and my non-photo blue pencil, which as you can see is getting quite short. I will have to take a new one out fairly soon, I think!

Then we come back to this corner where I have my nice spray bottle. This is a good substitute for an aerosol bottle because it has a continuous spray which… let me just quickly show you on here. When you spray it like that you can just hold it down and it just gives you a nice, even, continuous spray, and there’s no aerosol which is great. Which is something I recently learned about, which is why I have this Winsor & Newton professional fixative, which I use on my gouache and my pencils but once this is finished, I do have a different fixative that comes in a spray bottle like this, which I will then begin using.

So that completes my little tour of my art cart… the middle and the top, and the bottom, sorry, and now I’m going to show you my five favorite art materials.

So now that you know what’s in that art cart, let me show you my top five favorite art materials to use. You would probably already have guessed the first one which is – gouache! I have discovered gouache late in my career. I only discovered it about four or five years ago. Before that I used a lot of watercolour but I was always trying to make it opaque, which is what gouache is. Gouache is opaque watercolour, after all. So number one: gouache, and I have three brands here. One is Schmincke, which I have just started to try. The second is Winsor & Newton, which is the colour that I… is the, sorry, it’s the brand that I started first with, and I still love it. I still love most of the colours, and the third one is the Holbein gouache. Now this is something that I’ve started buying more colours of and I really, really love it. Now you would already have seen, as I’ve mentioned, my gouache swatching video in which I swatch all the colours in this palette, with the exception of the new Holbein and Schmincke gouache, which I just got a few days ago. So I will link that for you up or wherever it links up here and down in the description box below as well.

Number two is the medium that I use the most in combination with gouache, which is pencils. Not just any pencils, though. These are Polychromos pencils by Faber-Castell and they are wax-based pencils. They do not smudge very much and I just love them. They create texture for me. They create a sense of depth. I can add finer detail once I’ve done a base gouache layer, and I can also work with them by themselves. So that is my number two top favorite art material.

Number three is something that works well with both gouache and the pencil, and it is a fixative. Currently I’m using this Winsor & Newton professional fixative, but I don’t like that it’s in an aerosol can and I do need to have really good ventilation when I’m using it because it definitely has a chemical smell. And, because I have a dog, and I have health issues, I don’t really want to use this indoors. Now I have ordered Spectrafix fixative which comes in a constant spray bottle like this rather than an aerosol and it is also apparently more eco-friendly than this stuff, so when that comes in I will review it and let you know how it goes. But for now this is my best friend because once I’ve done a layer of gouache I spray this over and voila! It does not come off as much as it would if I would go over it with wet gouache without spraying the fixative. Now, I can also spray it on top of the pencils once I’ve used them on the gouache. It does a good job of fixing them and it becomes smudge proof. I also use this in my sketchbook when I’m just drawing with pencil so that I can spray the page and it doesn’t transfer over onto the other side. So, an extremely useful thing, but something that I’m making the switch out to a more eco-friendly product as soon as I possibly can. I really wish I’d found out that aerosols are harmful sooner, but, well, you live and you learn and you can always just get better and better and better as long as you don’t go backwards.

Anyway, next, number four has to be…. how do I apply the gouache?! I apply it with brushes! And my favorite brand of brushes has to be Daler-Rowney. These are all Daler-Rowney brushes and the favorite out of them has to be the angle shader. It is the most versatile brush. Let me see if I can get you a closer view of it… there we go. It is the most versatile brush. It creates… it covers large areas, it creates sharp lines with one end but you can also use it for curves and for filling in. It has a very convenient length. I don’t like brushes that are overly long because I just find that they’re annoying. Sometimes if I’m filming they’ll hit the camera… it’s just… it’s no… it’s a no for me. But this one is the quarter inch angle shader and it’s the brush that I use the most often. I’ve also taken out some more Daler-Rowney brushes. These are the ones that I use… they’re synthetic because that’s the best for gouache and they’re the ones I use the most often. The angle shader, obviously, is my top… is my number four in the list of top five favorite art materials, but these are a close second. So there’s a…. I think there’s a half inch flat brush, quarter inch flat brush, thin round and an even thinner round brush. So those are my number four.

Then my number five on the list… I should probably say that these are not in any particular order. These are just the five things that I use most often and that are my favorite things to use.

Number five is a combination of two things… they are both white pens one is a Sakura Gelly Roll and the other one is a Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen. I use these both interchangeably, which is why I’ve chosen two things for the number five in my favorites, but they basically do the same job. They create a nice white line on top of gouache when I need them to. They also work relatively well… I say relatively, not perfectly…. they work relatively well with… on areas where I’ve used the Polychromos pencils, which I find that the Posca pens sometimes do not ,which is why I rate these higher than the Posca pens which I also use. I love them, but I love these more.

Anyway, so that’s my top five!

1 – gouache (ouache paint* by Winsor & Newton, Holbein and Schmincke Horadam)

2 – polychromos pencils (Faber-Castell Polychromos* colour pencils)

3 – fixative (Winsor & Newton* professional fixative (and eco-friendly alternative Spectrafix))

4 – angle shader brush from Daler Rowney (angle-shader* and other synthetic brushes* and synthetic brush sets)

5 – white pens (white gel pens by Pentel* and Sakura*)

Hi again, everyone. I hope you enjoyed that tour of my little art cart and my top five art materials. Please do tell me your top five art materials down in the comments below. If there’s something new in there that I haven’t used before I would love to do a little test run and maybe do a video on that.

My next video will be a studio vlog in two weeks’ time. It’s usually on a Thursday or Friday. Just check my channel and you’ll know when the premiere will happen.

Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you in the next one.


2 thoughts on “my 5 favourite art supplies and what’s in my “art cart”

Add yours

  1. I’m impressed with how you transcript your video into a blog post. I also admire how you have a list of essential art items. What was your favorite recent piece of art with the listed materials?


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