I'm cheap, but not too cheap, because really cheap art supplies are CRAP. I go for the highest quality of the low quality art supplies until I know I'm good enough to justify the more expensive stuff. Case in point, a few months ago I splurged and bought $100 Swiss colored pencils even though I've never drawn with colored pencils and it turns out I'm not very good at it. Should have started with the 12 pencil Crayola box and gone up from there. Lesson learned. In related news...anyone want to buy some Swiss colored pencils? ;)
I would buy most things on Amazon prime because they are sometimes significantly cheaper than your local craft store even with a coupon and you get free two day shipping, and you don't have to leave your house with all your kids in tow. Dick Blick and Cheap Joes Art Stuff also has good prices, but you will pay for shipping (the horror). If you have to, make sure you have a coupon before you head to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and know that their selection is very limited.
These are the supplies that I use and have on hand at my house. I will use these in this class:
- Pentel oil pastels--these are insanely cheap, and not artist quality, but I like the way they draw. DO NOT buy another brand, trust me (unless you are going for the artist professional quality). Most oil pastels at craft stores are horrible.
- Graphite pencils (any brand). You can buy a set with everything from 2H-6B, but a plain old #2 pencil will work fine. Have a pencil sharpener handy too.
- A nice artist eraser (any brand). Believe me, they make a difference.
- Paper, paper, and more paper. I do buy paper at craft stores since it goes on sale often, or is BOGO. Buy the type of paper for your medium. You cannot use regular printer paper to do watercolor. You need paper with a tooth texture to do oil pastels. You will need a thicker paper for markers or acrylic paint. Buy cheap paper, like newsprint or recycled paper, for sketching and the smaller assignments, and save the nice paper for the bigger projects that you want to hang up or frame.
- A sketchbook-any brand, any kind. (I like Strathmore) I have one for pencil sketches and one for painting (different types of paper for each).
- Colored paper or colored tissue paper
- Some kind of paint and paint brush-choose watercolor, gouache, or acrylic and buy the appropriate paper and brush for the medium you choose
Specifically for kids:
- Crayola watercolor paint set for your kiddos--must be Crayola. The saturation of colors cannot be beat. Same goes for crayons. Nothing but the best.
- Crayola paint for your kiddos. Again, color saturation is so good. And it's actually washable, I can't tell you how many "washable" paints are anything but.
- Paint brushes
- Sidewalk chalk, also Crayola. My son ruined two pairs of pants in one week because my mom gave him non-Crayola washable chalk. I even soaked them twice overnight in Oxyclean and the chalk did not come out!
- Kid scissors
Paint recommendations for adults (this is optional, just my recommendations if you were going to try it out):
- Watercolor paint or gouache--My favorite brand is Winsor Newton, but it's also the only fancier brand I've used. It's not cheap, but a little goes a long way. I haven't found a cheap watercolor paint that acts like real watercolor paint. The cheap stuff just doesn't mix, or blend, or dry the same. Watercolor will be more translucent. Gouache is opaque and has white. You can start with a basic color set and add other individual colors as needed.
- Watercolor brush, several sizes. My favorite is my 8 and 12 round tip brush. Cheap brushes will be cheap and shed so don't go too cheap.
- Acrylic brushes-These brushes get beat up, so I'm okay not spending a lot on them. Make sure that you rinse all of your brushes well after using them!
- Watercolor paper (I do not like the Canson brand)
- Paint palette. Paper plates work well for acrylic paint that dries up and has to be thrown out or washed after each use. Watercolor paint can be used once it dries, so buying a reusable, sealed palette is economical.
- Acrylic paint--My first love is oil paint, but it's just too darn expensive. Acrylic is very fun too. I buy Winsor and Newton Galeria brand. Unlike watercolor and gouache, you will go through acrylic paint very fast so the bigger tubes are better.
- Canvas board or wood if you are using acrylic. I prefer wood, but you can find canvas board pretty easily at your local craft store. You pick the size you want. You can also use acrylic paint on thick watercolor paper.
- These are the colors I have: ivory black, titanium and mixing white (lots, although there is no white in watercolor), cadium red, ultramarine, permanent rose, burnt sienna, phthalo green, yellow ochre, cadium yellow, cerulean blue. I can pretty much mix any color I want from those, but it is also nicer to have more greens and blues, they just weren't available at my store at the time I was buying.
Do any of you have recommendations for art supplies? What are your go to brands?