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In the most recent episode of (NOT) a Real Artist, I mentioned a rubric that I use to swatch my art supplies. I guess I use any excuse to create tables.

If you're interested in more, or just want to download the content and go, I've got what you need below:

Download PDF • 693KB

Why do I do it this way?

I use a table to swatch supplies or tools because I feel it brings out a more analytical side of me. Which enables me to grow closer to my own artistic voice when choosing mediums.

What does it look like?

A general rubric with my swatches and notes, and a more in-depth one with ratings and rankings.

How to use?

The general rubric; add the media you want to test or combine into the horizontal (top) column, and the tools into the vertical (left) column, swatch into the appropriate blocks and make your notes. The notes for the horizontal/top items go to the bottom, and the notes for the vertical items to the right. I also note the substrate and thoughts I have on it.

The ranking rubric; put the items you want to rank and rate in the vertical columns (left), and the things you want to test or try it with in the horizontal columns (the top of the table). Swatch into the appropriate blocks. Make notes as per the general rubric.

Then rank the overall experience of the materials being tested. I also note the substrate and thoughts I have on it.


I care about EASE (how easy it is to use the supply), FEEL (what kind of feeling do I get, is it tactile, smooth, harsh, scratchy?), CLEAN UP (does it take a while to clean my tools, is it a messy supply?) FUN( did I have fun trying it, did I enjoy the experience), LOOK (does it look good for MY art, do I enjoy looking at the material/effect/colour?) TOTAL (helps me see at a glance what I am leaning towards, and where I need to experiment more)

How to customise this table?

  • Increase those swatch areas! I usually do this on an A3 not an A4.

  • Change the rating columns to what makes sense to you. Perhaps Fun is not important in your practise, or you want to test for texture, or do a drying time test!

  • Instead of doing tools and mediums, do mediums vs. mediums - that's where cool mixes and effects come into play!

Note: I draw this table onto my substrate, I enjoy the wonkiness, and then don't have to print and resize my table!

I hope you find this useful, if you do, let me know, or share it with someone who may benefit from it!

Lots of love


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2 comentários

01 de jun. de 2023

we used to make tables like this in lab😍


This is excellent Tam! Thanks for sharing.

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