Yummy, sumptuous art supplies…ah, they make my mouth water! But don’t worry, I don’t actually eat them. That’d be gross – and a little weird! Chances are, if you have a creative, artsy teen, he or she gets just as giddy as I do at the sight or smell of new supplies.
And if you are serious about furthering his or her artistic endeavors, then it is essential that you provide them with quality art supplies. I’ve been drawing, painting, sculpting and creating since I was a wee lass, and have used many different products – from cheap to expensive (and everywhere in between).
So I’ve compiled a mega-list of items that I have used and would recommend for your aspiring artist. Please note: While this is not a comprehensive list, it is a thorough one with over 120 different items. And no, your teen doesn’t necessarily need everything listed here. But this is a great post to bookmark and come back to as his or her needs grow.
I buy my art supplies from various places, such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Dick Blick, and more. But since they’re usually much cheaper on Amazon, and I can get most of my products delivered to my door (for FREE) within 2 days via my Prime Membership, that’s what I usually do.
Since this is such a large list, I have separated the art supplies into several different groups. So feel free to scroll down to whichever medium your teen is into at the moment:
- Drawing & Sketching
- Acrylic Painting
- Oil Painting
- Gouache, Oil Pastels, Soft Pastels
- Mixed Media Collage
- Stamp Making & Block Printing
- Encaustic Wax
- Other Artist Tools & Supplies
If you have a teen who’s quite serious about pursuing art, I encourage you to do your utmost to provide him or her with the best you can afford. And obviously, you don’t have to purchase them all at once, but little by little, add better supplies as you can. Buy them as birthday or Christmas presents, Valentine’s Day or Easter goodies, let grandparents or aunts/uncles give them as gifts, and pretty soon your teen will be well-stocked in some pretty sweet art supplies!
So without further ado, here they are:
There are so many substrates (or surfaces) on which to paint or draw. Below are a few of my favorites:
Art Alternatives Economy Artist White Canvas Super Value Pack-8 x 10 inches-Pack of 10US Art Supply 8 X 10 inch Professional Artist Quality Acid Free Canvas Panels 12-Pack (1 Full Case of 12 Single Canvas Panels)Strathmore STR-430-9 10 Sheet 400 Series Acrylic Paper Pad, 9 by 12Fabriano Studio Watercolor Pad 8X10 HP 300GStrathmore 360109 Cold Press 140-Pound 12-Sheet Strathmore Watercolor Paper Pad, 9 by 12-InchCanson XL Mix Media Pad,9Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads 9 in. x 12 in. – pad of 100Strathmore Smooth Drawing Spiral Paper Pad 9Dylusions Dyan Reaveley’s Creative Journal, 5 by 8-Inch
Drawing & Sketching Supplies
In this section, there are some delicious drawing and sketching supplies your teen might want to add to his or her stockpile:
BIC Pencil Xtra Sparkle (colorful barrels), Medium Point (0.7 mm), 24-CountFaber-Castel 8-Piece Creative Studio Graphite Sketch Set, 2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B and 6BGeneral Pencil 557BP Charcoal Pencil Kit with Eraser, 0.12General Pencil Co. 5 Pack of Pure Willow Vine CharcoalCompressed Charcoal Sticks 4/Pkg-Black – Soft AssortedStabilo All Pencil – 8046 BlackPrismacolor Premier Art Stix Woodless Colored Pencils, 24-CountPrismacolor Premier Colorless Blender Pencils, 2-CountPentel Color Pen, Set of 36, Assorted (S360-36)Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, Fine and Chisel Tip, 12-CountWinsor & Newton BrushMarker 6 Skin Tones SetSakura 30062 6-Piece Pigma Micron Ink Pen Set, BlackSpeedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering SetSpeedball 2-Ounce India Ink, Super BlackHiggins Waterproof Black India Ink (1 oz.) 3 pcs sku# 1839699MAGeneral Pencil 638795 Jumbo Kneaded Rubber Eraser (1)Pentel Hi-polymer Block Eraser Large 3 Pack White (ZEH10BP3-K6)Staedtler Metal Sharpener, Double Hole for Pencils and Colored Pencils, 1-Each (510 20BK)Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencil Sharpener (1774266) 3 PackStumps And Tortillions SetArt Alternatives Chamois-5Crafter’s Companion SPECL-SA Spectrum Noir Stump Sander with 8 Sanding SheetTracing Light Box, AGPtek 17Homecube Big Capacity Pencil Case, GreenArtist Tote Sketchboard 13 Inch X17 InchAlvin Wooden Human Mannequin (Unisex) 12 Inches TallArtist Manikin 12in Male Right Hand
Acrylic Painting Supplies
Here I’ve included cheap craft paints, student-grade acrylics (Liquitex Basics), as well as rich and creamy professional acrylics (Golden). I’m also showing you several gessos, different palette styles (acrylic, wet, gray, and paper – all of which I use), a few different styles of easels, and several other acrylic painting supplies:
FolkArt Acrylic Paint in Assorted Colors (2-Ounce), PROMOFAI Best Selling Colors I (18-Pack)Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint Tube 4 oz, 6-Piece SetGolden Open Acrylic Modern Theory Set Of 8Liquitex Professional White Gesso Surface Prep Medium, 16-ozLiquitex Acrylic Gesso Surface Prep-Clear 16ozLiquitex Professional Black Gesso Surface Prep Medium Bottle, 8-OunceGolden Absorbent Ground 8-Ounce (0003555-5)Liquitex Professional Gloss Fluid, Medium and Varnish, 8-ozPaint Brush Set Acrylic Xpassion 10pcs Professional Paint Brushes Artist for Watercolor Oil Acrylic PaintingLoew Cornell 842 25-Piece Foam Brush Set, 1-InchMasterson Artist Palette SealArt Advantage 11-Inch by 15-Inch Clear Acrylic PaletteSoHo True Color Peel Off Palette Butcher Tray Large 10.98×15.51Strathmore 365900 41-Pound 40-Sheet Stratchmore Palette Paper Pad, 9 by 12-InchArt Alternatives Marquis Artists Adjustable Desk Box Easel, NaturalRoyal & Langnickel Sorrento Tabletop EaselUS Art Supply 70 to 96 inch Tall Adjustable Classic Hand-Finished Wood Studio Adjustable H-Frame Artist EaselCONDA Cotton Canvas Professinal Bib Apron With 4 Pockets for Women Men Adults,Waterproof,Natural 31inch By 27inch
Watercolor Painting Supplies
Watercolors make fun, portable ways to create art. They’re easy to take on nature walks to painting en plein air or keep in a small case for creating anywhere away from home. Below are various types of watercolors for your teen to experiment with, plus some fun items to add interest to watercolor paintings:
Artist’s Loft Fundamentals Watercolor Pan SetPrang Washable Watercolor Set, 8 Classic Colors with Brush, Assorted Colors (80525)Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Color 12-Tube SetCaran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, 15 ColorsDerwent Water Color Pencils, Watercolor, Drawing, Art, 24-Pack (32883)Martin Mijello Airtight Leak Proof Fusian Watercolor 24-Well PaletteGrace Art Water Color Brush Set WS12Loew Cornell, Brush Tub IIC-Pioneer 200ML Garden Plastic Cleaning Hand Empty Spray Bottle Water Clear TriggerWater Brush Pen, Self-moistening, Portable, (Assorted Tips, Set of 4)Watercolor Sponges 6/Pkg-Strathmore Watercolor Postcard Paper Pad 4×6-15/Pkg
Oil Painting Supplies
Oil painting is so much fun, but takes a lot longer to dry than acrylics and watercolors. However, if your teen is serious about his or her art education, learning to paint in oils is a must. In this section, I’m listing the basics your teen will need for this medium:
Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Color 10-Tube Set, 21mlJack Richeson Shiva Oil Paintstik, Student Colors, Set of 12Speedball 8-Ounce Mona Lisa Linseed OilMona Lisa 32-Ounce Odorless Paint ThinnerMona Lisa 16-Ounce. Capacity Cleaning Tank (160-017)Set of 6 Artist Brushes. Great for Watercolor, Acrylic, Gouache, Oil, Face and Body Painting. Long Handle, Nylon Bristles, Anti- Shed, Art Brush for All Your Artistic and Craft Projects.uxcell 5-Piece Painting Knife SetWooden Palette 11.75×15.75 OvalGuerrilla Painter Large Mouth Double Palette Cup
Other Art Mediums
I wanted to include a few more mediums that are fun to work with which your teen may want to add to his or her repertoire:
Mixed Media Collage Supplies
As a mixed media artist, here are just a few of the various products I use on a regular basis. PLUS, old books, vintage lace, found objects, bubble wrap, shelf liner, and more! Mixed media is a fun, messy, “break all the rules” style of art:
Liquitex Professional Matte Fluid Medium, 8-OunceLiquitex Professional Matte Gel Medium, 8-ozMod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish (16-Ounce), CS11302 Matte FinishDeco Art Americana Decou-Page Widemouth Paint, 8-Ounce, AntiqueDecoArt Americana Decou-Page Photo Transfer, MediumColorBok 73470A Designer Paper Pad Mixed Media, 12Crafters Workshop Template, 12 by 12-Inch, TexturizedFaber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stencils, 101 CollectionKaisercraft T605 Scrapbooking Template, 12 by 12-Inch, BubblesStampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Stamp Set, 7 by 8.5-Inch, Mixed MediaStampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Stamp Set, 7Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Stamp Set, 7 by 8.5-Inch, Worn TextElements Remnant Rubs by Tim Holtz Idea-ology, 5 x 7 Inches, 2 Sheets, Black/White, TH93057Botanical Remnant Rubs by Tim Holtz Idea-ology, 5 x 7 Inch, 2 Sheets, Black/White, TH93119Numbers Remnant Rubs by Tim Holtz Idea-ology, 5 x 7 Inches, 2 Sheets, Black/White, TH93056
Sometimes an artist wants to sculpt, mold and create with good old-fashioned clay. Here are several types to have fun with, plus some nice tools with which to carve and mark:
Creative Paperclay for Modeling Compound, 16-Ounce, WhiteCrayola Terra Cotta Air Dry Clay 2.5 lb Bucket(Discontinued by manufacturer)Sculpey III S3 30-1 Oven Bake Clay Sampler, 30 ColorsSargent Art Plastilina Modeling Clay, 5-Pound, CreamDarice 11-Piece Clay Cleaning Tool SetArtists best – 8 Piece Carving and Sculpting Set For Clay and Wax
Stamp Making / Block Printing Supplies
My latest art endeavor is to create my own signature stamps and print blocks that I can use over and over. Below are some great supplies to invest in:
Speedball 9-Inch-by-11 3/4-Inch speedy-Carve Carving BlockSpeedball Red Baron Gray Linoleum Block: Mounted to 3/4Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment 1Speedball Block Printing Ink Starter SetSpeedball Bench Hook and Inking Plate for Block PrintingSpeedball Deluxe 4-Inch Soft Rubber Brayer
Encaustic Wax Supplies
Disclaimer: I have yet to try encaustic wax. I have my beeswax, my craft iron, and melting pot all ready — I just haven’t had the time to sit down and play with it all. But I wanted to include it here in case your teen is interested. Encaustic wax makes gorgeous art pieces! Here are the basic supplies needed:
R&F Handmade Paints Encaustic Medium Bagged Paint, 1-PoundEncaustic Art Wax 16 Wax Block Colors Expanding Set Encaustic Wax New in the BoxR&F Encaustic Paints Translucent Colors, Set of 6R&F Handmade Paints Encaustic Gesso, 16-OunceLyra Encaustic Electric IronRanger Melt Art Melting PotThe Waxmelter PaletteR&F Handmade Paints Encaustic Artist Brush SetEncausticbord 1/8 Inch – 6×6 Inch Pack of Four by Ampersand
Other Artist Tools & Supplies
Lastly, here are some basic tools to help your aspiring artist in some of the fundamental areas of art: perspective, color mixing, values, light, and more. Be sure to add these as you can:
The Color Wheel Artist’s View CatcherDaVinci Artist ViewfinderPicture Perfect 3 in 1 Plus View FinderColor Wheel 3505 Gray Scale and Value FinderColor Wheel 9-1/4Pro Art 1/2-Inch by 60-Yards White Artist TapeWestcott Triangular Scale (KT-90)Westcott Non-Shatter Ruler, Clear, 12 Inches,(13862)Scotch Multi-Purpose Scissor, 8-Inches (1428)
There’s a whole lot more art supplies available. I’ve given you a good start here. Have fun adding to your teen’s stock — it’s truly an investment in their gifts and talents, and possibly, their future!
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Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.