People often ask me what tools I used to create a painting. It might surprise you to know that I rarely use a paint brush, even though I have a million of them!

I probably use my favorite knife (the one on the right, obviously) more than any other tool. It’s the same one I’ve used for over 30 years! (that makes me sound old!)

In addition to my trusty knife, my favorite tools are mostly household objects. Toothpicks and cotton swabs are always close by, and my fingers are almost always covered with paint, they are great at blending!

Oh, and I have a box full of weird things, cookie cutters, combs, chains, screws, nails, sponges, syringes, straws, rope and popsicle sticks. I have even used balloons to make interesting marks in my work, really, everything and anything is game in my studio! 😉

Do you use any strange or unusual tools in your craft? Please do share!



  1. This is so neat! So glad I finally found my way back to this post, I was so curious to see what you used, Tiffany! I have a bundle of cottonball sticks and toothpicks too! 😊 I haven’t used my palette knives much – yet – w/the watercolors, but it’s only a matter of time! I hadn’t but rarely used my old marble dust w/the watercolors but have liked how they add texture, and I just this week testing out mixing a little extra gum Arabic powder into pigment and via a water mix, the latter just now trying as a base for a new work, it’s so delicate and luminous looking, I know it’ll be covered up soon, so really thinking on how to use this 1st try. Great post, Tiffany, definitely want to share it on Twitter! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always appreciate your comments and shares, thank you, Adan! I have gathered some interesting powders and pigments, I think I even have some marble dust but I wasn’t sure how to use it! There’s still not enough time in the day to play with everything I want to!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I
        Just either mix a very small amt into the pigment or solution; it has a bit of bulk plus supposed to help suspend the pigment within the solution or tube paint mixture letting the colors come through cleaner. I had some links long time ago about it; if I find one I’ll post it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Sturgeon (sp) has “lots” of info re the uses/effects of varying mediums, and still looking for the articles he had talking about artists “way” back using marble dust, egg, etc. Amazing stuff, I think you’ll have a ball playing with all that! And there’s no “one” way to mix marble dust w/pigment, it’s all experimentation to get the effect you want for that painting! Nice 😊


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