Here's the list:
Ok. I won't go on about these any more. (But I don't think I could paint the same without them.)
Old hair spray bottle
I think that when I first had need of a bottle to spritz water about it wasn't so easy to find them such a thing in the stores. I found a bottle of hair spray in the back of my cupboard. It was surprising because I don't ever use hairspray and also because it was not the aerosol kind but the one with a removable top attached to a long straw that goes into the inside of the bottle.
Clearly it had been sitting there waiting to be emptied, well rinsed and repurposed as a water spritzer in the art studio. Essential for waking up the watercolour palette in the morning or spritzing over the acrylic palette once in a while to try and extend the drying time of that beautiful buttery paint that is squeezed out onto the palette.
And if you spray it directly into a watercolour wash you can get some lovely effects.
Molly the Dolly
Now, I know that you can get a proper mannequin for the purposes of figure drawing but they are not terribly approachable creatures, I find. It's an intimate business this figure drawing lark, you know.
Much easier to have a sweet face smiling up at you regardless of the awkward pose you are requesting. Molly the Dolly sits with me on my desk with her fully articulated joints and a very patient disposition. She even has the prettiest little fingers for me to draw as opposed to the mittens that artist mannequins usually come with.
Old Credit cards
So these I seem to have plenty of! Old store cards are also good. I love them as scrapers for spreading gesso or acrylic paint over my art journal pages.
They are part of my watercolour kit too. You can cut them up into nice sharp shapes for the purposes of scratching into wet watercolour paint for some lovely effects. In fact you can sometimes get them sharp enough to scratch out white marks on paintings that are completely dry to make details like highlights in eyes. Of course you can use a craft knife for this, but doesn't a shard of credit card sound a lot more fun?
If it is a bit later in the evening and you have it to hand, you might see your way to sparing a drop of vodka into your watercolour wash. You can get plain alcohol from a pharmacy, I believe.
However.... painting in collaboration with a spot of vodka.... how can you not?
A drop of alcohol spreads in a perfect circle. Sometimes they turn out like dandelion heads. Delightful.
On the subject of getting texture into watercolour paints, we cant ignore what the kitchen has to offer. Salt.
Drop salt into a nice juicy wash of watercolour and leave it to dry completely. The salt soaks up the water pulling the pigment with it. This leaves little star bursts in the colour when you brush the salt off. For a slightly different effect you can tip the paper at an angle when you drop the salt on letting it slide down the page a little before you let it dry.