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The Art Brut of
Michael D. Edens

"Lion" by Michael D. Edens



Art Materials

I use a variety of the following art materials and mediums when creating artwork. I enjoy working with them all, and each medium is unique and offers different possibilities for creation. I primarily order supplies online due to the generally lower cost.

Paint Markers

I love using Paint Markers, or Paint Pens, when drawing or painting. They cover the paper very well, come in a variety of colors, dry quickly, and facilitate a fluid and quick creative process.


The Pilot Precise V5 are my favorite pens, because they are precise, come in a variety of colors, and are perfect for water washes after the application of the ink. The colors stay strong and bold, and blend just enough to create subtle shades and washes with water.


I use a variety of markers in my artwork. The Sharpie Magnum 44 is great for laying down large blocks of color, and the regular fine point Sharpies are a fantastic all purpose coloring tool. The Prismacolor markers are awesome. I regularly use the 10%-100% shades of warm and cool gray to achieve interesting portrait results, and the markers come in hundreds of different colors.

Colored Pencils

I like the effects, shading, and rough sketch work that can be achieved with colored pencils. Crayola brand works great for me, but I have not tried any others.

Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are fantastic for blending, and creating unique effects with watercolor overlays. The oil repels water, which can create interesting shapes around the pastel colors.

Charcoal / Pastel / Chalk

Charcoal is one of my favorite mediums because it covers area so quickly and with precision. It's very tactile, and you can smudge, smear, and grind your way to interesting images. The compressed charcoal is fantastic because it allows for really deep blacks, and contrasts with white chalk. Pastels are another great dry medium for blocking and smearing in amazing colors.


Crayons are a lot of fun, and they're fairly inexpensive which makes them ideal for experimentation.


I think watercolors are for the fearlessly adventurous. The medium is very difficult for me to control, but I love that about watercolors. I never know exactly where the water is going to run, or how it will affect or be affected by other mediums and colors already on the paper. In addition to exciting experimentation, the subtleties and effects that are possible are limitless, and unused watercolor paint can be left open on a palette to dry... just add water!

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is one of the most versatile mediums I use. It can be mixed with water for varying thicknesses, applies beautifully opaque, and is great for initial color blocks to last mark making details. And I think Golden makes the best acrylic paints.


A good brush is like a good friend, reliable hand in hand. I've found my comfort zone with a medium sized wash brush for covering large areas and a small fine-tipped brush for details. I'm still experimenting with all the rest, and there are many!


Paper is important because it has a large impact on the quality and ability to hold the mediums being used. I like a variety of paper textures and weights, but primarily stick with heavier paper, which can hold the wet mixed mediums I often use. Acrylic primed paper and watercolor paper are great, but I really love Strathmore Bristol Smooth because of the ability to blend oil pastels easily, and the paper holds ink and watercolor washes well.

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