Updated: Sep 2
Picture this for just a minute; you’re standing in an art supply store. You’re a loving parent, trying to buy some art supplies for your children who love to express themselves creatively. The only problem is you don’t know what to buy or where to start. Does this situation sound familiar?
Buying art supplies can be a really fun, joyous experience, but in order for it to be effective, you need to know what is it, exactly, you need to buy. Below I've broken down the basic supplies your child will need to create beautiful artworks with confidence. From what types of brushes to buy, to how to clean and keep the mess to a minimum, you’ll find everything you need to know to start your little ones on their artistic journey. All that’s left is for them to explore all the wonderful possibilities that art and creativity can bring to their lives.
Selecting the Right Brush
If your little ones are going to paint, then they will need brushes. Making sense of the different types of brushes can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be one. While you don’t need to buy artist quality brushes, investing in and taking care of your brushes will give you great results in your artwork. When buying paint brushes, keep in mind the type of paint with which you’re going to use them. Soft bristles are great for watercolours and ink, while hard bristles are good for acrylic and poster paint. The number on the brush indicates its size, Smaller numbers like 2-4 are good for details, while larger numbers like 10-12 are good for painting larger surface areas. You might like to start your young artists with a small variety of sizes, namely one large (sizes 8, 10), medium brush (size 4, 6) and small (sizes 2,3).
Selecting the Right Paper
Let’s start with watercolour paper and sketch books. Watercolours are best used on watercolour paper, which is usually a cotton blend and has a high weight (300 gm). While you can use any heavy weight paper for watercolours, 280 gms and up, watercolour paper allows for better blending because the colours will stay on top of the paper long enough to mix together. Other techniques, like salting are also better with watercolour paper. When using poster paint, construction paper, also referred to as Canson paper is what you’ll need.
Construction paper is regular paper that comes in a wide variety of weights and colours. It’s a great alternative to canvas and much cheaper so beginner artists and children can use it to learn and create freely. You can buy construction paper from any art supplies store, they come in large sheets and most stores can cut them up for you into manageable sizes. The best weight for using construction paper with poster paints is 280-300 gms. Finally, if you’re going to use chalk pastels, then you’ll need the special paper used with this material. The paper has a rougher surface that allows the chalk particles to settle inside not fall of the surface of the paper, like it would with regular paper.
In this next blog post, we will discuss selecting painting supplies and other materials you might need for a fun art making experience.