Being an artist on a budget

Being an artist can be expensive, especially nowadays with it being so easy to find art brands we would otherwise not have known about.

You scour the Internet looking at the many brands out there and wish that you had the money to buy near enough all of them. Have you ever done that? Believe me, I have been there many times and even blown my budget on a high end range of watercolours. What was I thinking? I could just about pay my rent that month.

You can still be an artist, no matter how high or low your bank balance may be. You just have to think smarter and instil some will power into yourself. Just think savvy, budget-friendly and thrifty. We all love a bargain when we are out shopping and we could look for the discounts all day but we can still spend on stuff that we just don’t need.

Being an artist on a budget is more than that. It’s about thinking outside the box and looking around your home at what you already have.

So let’s start at the beginning

Your work-space

You need a place to actually do your art don’t you? Do you really need a whole room, studio or loft conversion? Well…no, not really.

Three ways to work

  • Dining room table
  • Sketchbook on lap in front of telly
  • Table-top, portable easel


Every artist needs something to actually draw or paint on, so think about what you have available before thinking of buying more.

Some great ideas

  • Keep those leftover wallpaper rolls because you can draw or paint on the back of them
  • Do you ever get stuff you have bought in a paper bag? Well you can reuse these to create art on. Even if the paper is patterned you can create something quirky.
  • Go through all your half finished sketchbooks. I bet there are a tonne of blank pages ready to be used up.
  • Use the other side of paper, not just one side
  • Good old printer paper can be bought dirt cheap and you get hundreds of the things
  • You can actually paint on cardboard too
  • Newspaper. I have seen some lovely art works on newspaper

What have you used to draw and paint on?

Old drawings/paintings

  • Why not dig out those unfinished paintings and actually finish them or better still, use the reverse side too. It doesn’t matter if no one is going to see the finished piece. Just think of it as just plain old practising.
  • Have you got any old canvasses? Why not paint over them and start a new painting.


Some artists like to build up a collection of every colour imaginable, but you can actually mix colours to create new colours. Most of us know that if you mix blue and yellow you get green. Experiment with the colours that you have and make a note of the colour mixes you create so you can refer back to them time and time again.


You don’t really need a brush for every single brush stroke. Yes, I know it would be cool to have that many brushes but that would be defeating the object here wouldn’t it?

Limit yourself to the ones that you always reach for the most and take extra special care of them. Wash them using the manufactures care instructions. Or even google the best way to make your paintbrushes last longer and see how many results you get. Do you have favourite brushes when painting?

The different ways that you can be an artist on a budget that I have mentioned above are just a few and I bet you could find other savvy ways if you put your mind to it. I would love to hear about them so don’t forget to comment below.

Remember though that if you really really want that £200 watercolour set, there are ways that you can still nab them. I always ask for Amazon gift vouchers for my birthday or at Christmas because there is always something that I want. My Amazon wish list is huge.

I do hope that this post helped you. If there is anything you would like me to cover in future blog posts them comment below and I can see what I can do.

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