Unleash Your Creativity: The Top 5 Mixed Media Art Sets for Beginners to Pros

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Mixed media art has exploded in popularity over the last few years. This exciting genre combines painting, collage, stamping, drawing, and more to create innovative works full of texture, depth, and imagination. As an increasingly popular creative outlet, mixed media requires a unique assortment of supplies like acrylic paints, specialty paper pads, stamps, stencils, pens, adhesive, and embellishments. With so many materials needed, having the right mixed media art set can make all the difference when starting out.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 essential mixed media art sets perfect for any skill level. Whether you’re purchasing your very first supplies as a beginner or looking to upgrade your tools as a seasoned artist, these thoughtfully curated sets will have everything you need to achieve your creative vision. We’ll also discuss factors to consider when selecting a set and answer some frequently asked questions.

So let’s dive in and get started on choosing the mixed media art set of your dreams!

A Starter Set for Beginner Artists

Just beginning your mixed media journey? A comprehensive starter set is the way to go when you’re ready to try this innovative art form but don’t want to spend a fortune on supplies.

A mixed media starter set is ideal for beginning artists looking to experiment and familiarize themselves with the essential supplies. At a budget-friendly price point around $50 or less, these sets allow beginners to explore which types of mixed media they most enjoy without breaking the bank.

When it comes to beginner mixed media sets, be on the lookout for certain basic supplies that will set any starting artist up for success:

  • Acrylic paints – Look for sets with at least 5-10 versatile paint colors to start. Neutral tones like black, white, and brown are especially handy.
  • Paper pads – Mixed media works best on heavier paper that can stand up to layered acrylic paints, collage pieces, and more. Sets should include at least a couple of paper pads to begin.
  • Brushes – Variety is key so you’ll want sets with a range of brush types and sizes. Synthetic brushes are a good affordable option.
  • Collage materials – Assorted paper shapes, images, and textured items help create captivating collage elements.
  • Adhesives – Multi-purpose glue sticks and gel mediums allow collage materials to be adhered.
  • Stamps + ink pads – Great for adding patterns, designs, and contrast. Look for sets with 5-10 small starter stamps.
  • Stencils – Reusable stencils make it easy to add colorful backgrounds, shapes, and letters.
  • Pens/markers – Allow for embellishing, journaling, outlining, and fine details. A few basic colors are good to start.

With these key supplies, beginners can explore most common mixed media techniques without being overwhelmed. Two excellent starter sets to consider are:

Simply Mixed Media Set by Artist’s Loft (Michaels)

This $40 set has all the essentials – a paper pad, acrylic paints, brushes, adhesive, stencils, stamps and ink. The step-by-step guide is handy for beginners too. With its low price and inclusion of versatile supplies, it’s one of the best values out there.

Mixed Media Studio Set by Reeves (Amazon)

For just $49, this set delivers a fuller selection of paints, papers, tools, stamps, stencils, and even a carrying case. With quality supplies at an unbeatable price, it’s a wonderful choice to start your mixed media adventure.

By keeping the budget around $50, beginners can explore a variety of mixed media supplies before investing in pricier items. Starting simple allows room to grow your collection over time. Beginners should stick to affordable starter sets before upgrading later as skills progress.

Premium Quality Sets for Intermediate & Advanced Artists

Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with starter supplies, you may crave premium-quality sets with professional-grade tools as an intermediate or advanced mixed media artist. The market is flooded with exquisite mixed media sets specially crafted for seasoned artists ready to level up.

Higher price points between $100-$150 unlock more vibrant paint pigments, fine art papers, top-shelf adhesives, and other luxuries for artists looking to create gallery-worthy works. More variety and volume of supplies also allow for tackling bigger, bolder projects.

Here’s an overview of what to expect in a professional-level mixed media set:

  • Paints – Look for sets with 10+ paints in both bright and neutral hues. High-pigment or artist quality paints provide intense, vivid color.
  • Paper pads – Expect 3-5 pads featuring assorted textures like watercolor paper, acrylic paper, rice paper, and more.
  • Mediums – Acrylic gels and pastes allow for textured, dimensional techniques.
  • Brushes – A dozen or more brushes of varying styles, sizes, and materials (both natural and synthetic). May include a palette knife too.
  • Collage elements – Wide variety of paper shapes, found papers, tissue papers, rub-ons, alphas, chipboard shapes, and other embellishments.
  • Adhesives – Multiple liquid glue options plus specialty adhesives like glue dots, washi tape, and mounting putty.
  • Stamps + ink pads – Expansive assortment of themed stamps sets, background stamps, and coordinating ink pads.
  • Stencils – Large collection of stencils of all kinds – shapes, letters, textures, patterns, figures, etc. Reusable and single-use options.
  • Pens/markers – Every type you can imagine – brush pens, watercolor markers, illustration markers, gel pens, chalk markers, pastel pencils, and more.

With this extensive range of premium-quality supplies, intermediate and advanced artists can fully explore their creative vision without limitations. Two standout professional-level sets include:

Deluxe Mixed Media Supplies Kit by Artist’s Loft (Michaels)

This top-rated $129 kit delivers a treasure chest of hand-picked artistic goodies. With multiple paper types, acrylic paints and mediums, brushes, stamps, stencils, adhesive, and more, it’s a mixed media dream.

Ultimate Mixed Media Supplies Set by Turn To Art (Amazon)

Truly the gold standard, this $159 set has everything an expert mixed media artist could ever need. Sixty brushes, over 50 paints, paint pens, oil pastels, inks, papers, tools, storage, and more – it’s an all-inclusive creative wonderland!

For artists ready to fully immerse themselves in mixed media mastery, investing in a professional-level set packed with premium supplies is the way to go. With a well-equipped studio at your fingertips, your abstract art will reach dazzling new heights!

Build Up Your Favorite Medium

Beyond basic starter sets and deluxe kits lies another supply option – the specialized medium-specific set. Targeted sets allow artists to zero in on building up a particular type of media like acrylic paints, specialty papers, or collage materials.

These sets act as a handy way to expand your inventory of go-to supplies that align with your artistic preferences. They make great additions for beginners gravitating towards certain mediums or veterans aiming to bolster their well-loved supplies.

Here are some examples of mixed media sets that focus on specific mediums:

Paint Sets

Acrylic paint is often the star of the show in mixed media works, so dedicated paint sets are extremely useful. Look for sets with 10-30+ squeeze bottles of acrylic paint covering every hue under the sun. Artist-quality paint sets deliver exceptionally vivid pigments but cost a bit more. More budget-friendly student grade acrylic sets still provide quality at a lower price point.

Paper Pad Sets

Paper truly is the foundation of mixed media projects, so stocking up on a variety of textured, heavy duty sheets is essential. Seek out sets with an assortment of 5-10 paper pads featuring options like acrylic paper, watercolor paper, rice paper, deli paper, scrapbook paper and more.

Collage Supply Sets

Pre-made collage papers, elements and ephemera are a staple of mixed media art. Collage supply sets offer a pre-packaged selection of embellishments like paper shapes, rub-ons, tissue paper, alphabet stickers, ruffle trim, found paper, washi tape and more. They provide enough to sparking creative collaging without going overboard.

By picking a medium-focused set in your preferred discipline, you can strategically build up your supplies based on the techniques that resonate most with you as an artist. Constructing your own customized toolkit provides maximum creativity!

Portable Sets for On-The-Go Artists

For mixed media artists with a wandering spirit, portable sets allow for creating magic whether you’re lounging outdoors, traveling the world, or painting at a cafe. Specifically designed for transportability and convenience, these sets provide scaled-down selections of travel-friendly art supplies.

Ideal portable mixed media sets should contain:

  • Acrylic paints – Look for extra-small 0.5oz bottles or even acrylic paint pens.
  • Brushes – miniature brushes, even foldable options, optimize packing space.
  • Adhesive – small glue stick or gel medium.
  • Collage papers – miniature paper pads or a paper sample book. Washi tape for on-the-go collaging.
  • Pens/markers – thin illustration pens and markers. Avoid messy inks and paints.
  • Sketchbook – thin mixed media sketchbook that can withstand varied media. Hardbound options hold up better.
  • Storage – carrying case, art supply cube, or even a simple zip bag to corral all pieces.

With these supplies, artists can dial back on bulkier items like large paper pads, paint bottles, and mediums when creating on the move. A couple recommended portable sets include:

Mixed Media Travel Set by Artist’s Loft (Michaels)

At just $29, this clever set packs paints, 5 brushes, glue, paper tablet, stamps, stencils, pens and pencil in a compact carrying case.

Deluxe Art Supplies Travel Set by Himmee (Amazon)

For $56, you’ll get a hardbound sketchbook, acrylic paints, watercolor palette, folding easel, canvas panels, portable tabletop easel, brush pens, storage bag and more – everything you need for artistic adventures near and far!

Portability does often mean compromise on supply quantity and tool size. But the ability to create anywhere can outweigh scaled-back selections for artists desiring freedom. Capture inspiration wherever you roam with an art set that travels well!

All-Inclusive Sets – The Wish List Dream

For mixed media artists seeking the ultimate luxury experience, look no further than deluxe all-inclusive sets overflowing with every supply you could ever dream of. These over-the-top options compile virtually every tool and material into one grand mixed media wonderland.

Haute price tags of $200+ grant you endless creative possibilities all conveniently packed into one epic set. Expect to find:

  • Limitless paint – We’re talking 30, 40, even 50+ acrylic paint shades covering every color in the rainbow. Metallics, neons, shimmers, you name it.
  • Piles of paper – A spectrum of 7-10 paper pads across varying weights, textures and styles. Handmade art papers, delicate rice papers, sturdy acrylic papers, and more.
  • Bountiful brushes – 30 to 50+ brush styles and sizes made from both natural and synthetic materials. Ink brush pens, dotting tools, palette knives, sponges, and every other brush under the sun.
  • Collage overload – Hundreds upon hundreds of pre-cut papers, sticker sheets, fabric swatches, ribbons, buttons, rhinestones, trims. Enough collage elements to last a lifetime!
  • Acrylic mediums aplenty – Heavy body, matte medium, gloss medium, gel medium, interference paints, shimmering additives, modeling paste. Options galore for textural techniques.
  • Stamp spectacular – Sheets upon sheets of themed rubber stamps. Background textures, phrases, icons, sentiments, phrases, flowers, animals patterns – a smorgasbord of stamping perfection.
  • Stencil stash – Every shape, design, letter, template imaginable. Reusable plastic and one-time-use stencils for adding layered artwork.
  • Marker madness – Packed with countless pens, brush markers, and pencils for outlining, journaling, coloring, sketching, and embellishing. Gel pens, glitter pens, neon pens,pastels, and everything between.
  • Storage solutions – Bags, multi-tiered caddies, stackable cases, hanging racks. Way to neatly organize the sheer volume of supplies.

While incredibly indulgent, these over-the-top sets truly provide an endless wellspring of creative possibilities right at your fingertips. Two pinnacles of mixed media opulence include:

178 Piece Mixed Media Set by Arteza (Amazon)

This aptly named $259 “everything set” leaves nothing to be desired with paints, papers, tools, brushes, stamps, storage and more. Truly a mixed media cornucopia!

Grand Mixed Media Supplies Set by Artist’s Loft (Michaels)

At a jaw-dropping $299, you’ll receive over 650 pieces spanning acrylic paints, watercolors, pens, papers, adhesive, banners, glitters, rhinestones, and every other art supply on earth. Talk about a wish list come true!

While undeniably splurge-worthy, these expansive sets gift artists an endless trove of resources to create to their heart’s content without ever running out of supplies. For limitless creative possibilities, this unmatched abundance is unmatched.

Now let’s explore some key considerations when choosing your perfect mixed media art set for unlimited artistic fun!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Set

With so many mixed media art sets out there, choosing one tailored to your needs and preferences takes a bit of strategy. Here are some top factors to think through as you shop:

Skill Level

  • Beginners should stick to basic starter sets with versatile essentials to familiarize themselves with mixed media techniques.
  • Intermediate/advanced artists may desire pricier premium-quality sets with pro-grade tools to expand their artistic horizons.

Types of Media Interested In

  • Are you drawn to acrylic painting, collaging, stamping or another discipline? Seek sets aligning with your favorite techniques.

Budget

  • Under $50 – Affordable starter sets for beginners
  • $50-$100 – Mid-range quality sets
  • $100-$150 – Premium quality pro-level sets
  • $150-$200+ – Investment splurge sets with endless supplies

Variety vs. Focus

  • Some sets offer a wide range of different media while others specialize in specific supplies like paint or collage embellishments. Choose based on your preferences.

Space Limitations

  • For creating on-the-go, seek more portable sets with travel cases and scaled-down supplies that pack up neatly.

Quality Over Quantity

  • While deluxe sets boast endless supplies, you may not use lower quality items. Select based on quality over quantity.

Expandability

  • Consider starting with a starter set and gradually supplementing with more supplies as your skills progress.

Sales & Deals

  • Watch for promotions like bundle deals, coupons, and sales to maximize value when selecting a set.

By keeping these factors and priorities in mind while shopping, you’re sure to discover the perfect mixed media set to unlock your artistic capabilities. Let your inspiration run wild!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between student grade and artist grade supplies?

Student grade supplies use less expensive pigments and materials, which leads to lower vibrancy and quality compared to artist grade options. Student grade is totally fine for beginners, while artist grade is recommended for intermediate and advanced artists seeking premium results.

Are mixed media sets worth the money?

Mixed media sets can provide an affordable, convenient way to acquire a wide selection of supplies in one purchase. They eliminate the hassle of sourcing individual items. However, it’s wise to verify the set includes items aligned with your interests and avoid supplies that seem like clutter. Supplementing sets with other items is common too.

What if I don’t use everything in a mixed media set?

Examine set contents first to ensure they largely consist of versatile supplies you know you’ll utilize – neutral paint colors, all-purpose brushes, universal adhesives and papers, etc. Supplement specialized items like fringe scissors or neon paints as needed. For unused extras, sell or gift them to artist friends!

Should I start with buying individual supplies instead of a full set?

For total beginners unfamiliar with mixed media, sets provide a complete selection to start experimenting across different mediums. Buying individual supplies early on may lead to creative frustrating and gaps. Sets let beginners get their feet wet before tailoring supplies.

How do I store all the pieces included in a mixed media set?

Seek sets that include storage solutions like carrying cases, multi-tiered organizers and bags that keep items neatly compartmentalized. For sets without storage, utilize options like art caddies, craft shelves, tackle boxes and other DIY solutions to keep your supplies organized and accessible.

We hope these tips help you select the ideal mixed media art set for your needs! Please reach out if you have any other questions. We look forward to helping you achieve your creative dreams!

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