Grade ~ Art Glossary

The quality of a material or tool is known as its grade. Manufacturers often categorize art products by what the maximum quality of art a supply is in. 

Almost everything has a grade. Grades can range from child to professional and vary in name based on the brand, but ultimately they are broken down into 4 categories: child, student, premium, professional.

On a rare occasion a child or student grade product may act and react like a professional product. These are great for practice. Brushes and other supplies for applying pigments do not need to be professional grade. 

I chose for my art to pass down to those behind me. I use all archival materials in my projects.

My rule of thumb is that if it will be on the support, touching the support, or seen by the viewer of the piece should be archival quality in order to ensure your art will stand the test of time, else colors fade or support yellows or warps. Even the grade of primer used can make a huge difference in longevity.

It can be difficult to understand when to splurge for the set or just a couple of tubes. Do you want to get a professional grade canvas or a $1 jobber? 

I often spurge on my pencils and paint while using supports I find that I fall in love with and prepare. I don’t often buy an entire set except for pencils and pastels. You can make so many colors with magenta, red, cyan, and yellow, white, and black.

Grab the fancy tubes of paint with that rich pigment the ground will gobble up but don’t buy every color unless you just want to.

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