While we at Merion Art always recommend talking to your Art Materials Retailer for information on your art supplies, sometimes it’s more effective to go straight to the source. After all, the people who make your favorite art supplies often have an incredibly deep knowledge of the products they develop. Many art supply manufacturers have websites with a wealth of information that can be useful to the artist who reads carefully. Manufacturer websites can also be a great place to find safety sheets, detailed product specifications, project ideas, art communities, specialized apps, and more. Here are a few manufacturer websites which we feel merit special recognition.
The Golden Artist Acrylic website includes SO MUCH INFORMATION. The caps are warranted: the website not only contains basic product info (How to use GAC 100, 200, etc) it also includes a virtual paint mixer, an interactive color chart, store locator (you don’t need this, since you have us!), how-to videos, and a link to their bi-annual newsletter “Just Paint” which “is a technical resource for painters about the capabilities and possibilities of materials, and (sometimes) their limitations.” It’s incredibly in-depth and it’s a great resource for art nerds.
Along with product specs and usage directions, Gamblin has a gorgeous website with a plethora of useful tidbits. There’s a load of interesting articles and videos on their “Experience Color” page. They have info on Ultramarine Blue and its history, different pallette examples for different applications, and multiple articles on choosing the correct white for your work. They also have a section dedicated to Studio Safety– an important topic for any artist. They’ve also got posts about less-considered aspects of living an artist’s life, like how to travel with art supplies, how to store paintings, and how to effectively clean brushes.
Sakura, who makes Pigma Microns, Cray Pas, and Identi Pens has a wealth of information on their website including applications and technical qualities for most of their products. This tells you how their products can best be used, as well as answering questions about what will remove their inks and what could destroy your work: They often tell if the product is “Not recommended for use on fabrics intended to be washed. Not evaluated for cosmetic use on skin.”
The Speedball Art website has lots of information on the products Speedball specializes in. There’s in-depth info about the history of Speedballs contributions to calligraphy, recommended best practices for blockprinting, and the techniques involved in screenprinting and gold-leafing.
Marabu Creative has a website full of inspiration, instructions, and information. They have page upon page of projects, complete with step by step directions and pictures. They have downloadable and printable instructions organized by difficulty level, as well as the usual informative lists of product specs and usability details. The company is German, so there are occasional small mis-translations, but it just gives the site a little European flair.
At Princeton Artist Brush Co., it’s all paintbrushes, all the time. They’re a fantastic company founded and based in Princeton NJ, and they really care about their brushes and their customers. On their site, you can learn what each shape of brush is intended for, read interviews with featured artists, explore painting techniques, and learn in-depth information about brush anatomy, hair choices, and brush care.
As you can see, these companies don’t just make your favorite brands, they do research and development of new products, gather helpful tips and tricks for artists-at-large, design online tools to help creative people, and their websites are a great place to spend some time. If you’re looking for information, inspiration, or just something to do on the internet, you should definitely dive deep into these websites. Let us know your favorite art company websites in the comments!