Good quality art materials

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My watercolor paper dilemma got me thinking about art materials.  My husband is an art teacher and between the two of us we have tried out a lot of what Blick and Discount School Supply have to offer.  I have tried to cut corners due to budget restrictions but am often then really disappointed (these liquid watercolors are my exception – they are amazing!).  It is frustrating as I want to be able to offer my students the best but in order to do this I would have to raise tuition dramatically.

Through trial and error I have finally settled on my favorite pencils and crayons.  They are certainly not cheap but they seem to last forever so I think that in the long run the money is very well spent.  The Lyra Giant pencils are beautiful.  They are chunky and therefore easy for little fingers to grip.  They highly pigmented, therefore giving a richly rewarding coloring experience (sounds like a blurb sorry, but it actually comes from me!).  The children love them as they are so satisfying to use.  They seem soft but rarely need sharpening…..not sure how they manage that?!?

My favorite crayons are without a doubt the Stockmar beeswax crayons.  We are currently only using the blocks but they make sticks as well. The design means you can easily cover large areas, but also use the corners to make lines and detailing.  The pigments are rich and they really do last for years, even with very heavy use.  The big plus for me is that they simply will not break, no matter how hard you try! Oh yes and they smell of beeswax which adds to the sensory experience.

Well, it is getting late so I will continue this post tomorrow.  The students today were having such fun drawing that I took photos and notes to share with you.  until tomorrow……

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2 responses »

  1. I had to look up your CV to see if you had a background in photography? Your pictures are amazing and simple but speak alot. Secondly, I thank you for your materials list as I do bookmark them for future reference. With the cost of some of these materials, I am interested in your opinion about how many sets should a classroom of 10-12 preschoolers have? 1 set per child or 1 set for every 2-3 children?

  2. Thank you for your comments on the photographs. Nope, I certainly have no background in photography but my husband is an artist so I guess I learn from him!
    Your question about how much to buy a class is also something I have been thinking about. I know (Waldorf) schools where each child will have a little tin of Stockmar crayons. That gets incredibly expensive and, in my opinion, is unnecessary for young children. I would say that two of three sets for your class size is sufficient.
    We have the Stockmar crayons at home but I only recently got them for school. Before that we had a selection of prang crayons and I learned that through observation three crayons of each color really is enough. As long as they are clearly organized then the children generally are happy to choose a color that is not being used, or wait their turn.
    FYO I found the Lyra pencils and Stockmar crayons gently used on Ebay for a fraction of the cost new. Good quality supplies last so well that buying used really can be a wonderful alternative.
    Good luck!

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