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Ms. Becky's Recommended Art Supplies  

I am proud to admit I am an "Art Supplies Addict"! I own more art supplies than I could use in ten years, and truthfully, few things give me more joy than getting a new art supply to play with! 

As an art teacher, I always aim to provide my studio students with the highest quality and most affordable supplies possible for their own projects at home. I almost always use art supplies my students can obtain as well. To me nothing is more creatively frustrating than falling in love with a supply that you can't get again.   

One of the best parts of being an art teacher is trying out new art supplies, tools, and machines. Over the years, I have learned two primary lessons about purchasing art supplies:

1. Expensive supplies do not necessarily mean they are good quality. 
2. Though really cheap art supplies almost always turn out to be of poor quality, less expensive ones can still provide excellent results.

Parents often ask me for advice on art supplies for their children. To help them, I have compiled a list of the general supplies below that I use in my studio or my personal work. I am confident in the recommended supplies because I have already used them! I know that kids already love them, and parents will feel they are getting their money's worth.

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Ms. Becky says:

Not many times can I find a supply that is, cute, great quality, AND economical! But, this is that time! 

I purchased four sets of these over the years, and I still have them years later. The synthetic bristles REALLY hold up well. 

Although it's true they are super fun to look at, the fact they are color coordinated is also practical. Instead of having to look carefully at the head of the brush to see which ones I need to pull out for a project, instead, I look at the color handle and it's easy to find them! Tthey are easy to store, organize, and keep track of too! 

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Ms. Becky says:

My all time favorite art supply

are Watercolor sets!

These are all very good quality and come with all sorts of super neat accessories; paintbrushes, some come with watercolor paper, all sorts of stuff! 

Travel sets are my jam! 

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Ms. Becky says:

Watercolor Crayons are another student favorite in my studio! A number of years ago, they were hard to find; but they have gained popularity in recent years. Students were SO excited with how they worked!

I paired these with the refillable watercolor brushes. (See below)

Use a light hand for a delicate shade. Use a 

firmer stroke for a bolder, dynamic effect.

My favorite brands are shown above. 

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Ms. Becky says:

In the little squirrel project above, I introduced the students to watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons. They LOVED them! The thing they liked i particular was the control they had in putting down the color itself and the control they had when they applied water using the refillable water paintbrush! They felt SO accomplished using this medium. This particular set is my favorite; it's made in Germany. 

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Ms. Becky says:

Although I used these in my card making for years, I really didn't begin to use them in the studio until the little squirrel project posted to the left of this post. So may students wanted them after we used them! 

They are the PERFECT tool to use with watercolor pencils. Super portable too! The only additional things you need are watercolor paper, of course, a paper towel and a flat surface to use. Super easy to use in the car, plane, friends house. Virtually no mess. Gosh, I love these.

Regarding with ones to buy; they are about the same, but personally, I like a wide variety of small, medium and wide brush ends.  

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Ms. Becky says:

At first glance, these tiny tubes of solid tempera paint could be mistaken for glue sticks. When I was introduced to these a few years ago, that is exactly what I thought these were; colored glue sticks! 

Although I own a few sets of these, I must admit that I don't use them in the studio. I do use them in my personal work when I create cool abstract stuff! They are PERFECT for self expression art and art therapy!

And, they are super portable! 

The best part to me is their versatility. I can take them on trips along with a few of my most versatile paint brushes and I can use the paint sticks with my regular paint brushes. They dry in about 60 seconds too! 

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Ms. Becky says:

I have a "Love/Hate" relationship with colored pencils. I love their versatility, the array of colors, the lack of mess. BUT, pencil leads break so easily! 

The few times I have used them in the studio, it seems like the students spent more time sharpening then colorizing. Ugh!

When I found these woodless ones, I didn't know what to make of them. But, there are truly EXCELLENT!

You still have to sharpen them occasionally, but being these are almost completely pigment, they are very, very sturdy, and hardly ever break; even for a person like me who presses really hard!

Can't say enough good things about these!

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Ms. Becky says:

I HATE cleaning brushes. It's tedious, time consuming, and many times fruitless work; because no matter how long I stab & swish the brush around in a water cup, there is always that tiny bit of paint, lurking in a place I can't see. Then, when I get the brush out again and begin to use it, the hidden paint softens and mixes in the the new paint! Maddening! I learned the trick of using make-up brush, silicone cleaner mats in one of my

art-teacher Facebook groups! They have truly changed my entire outlook on brush cleaning! Once I showed the students this trick, they actually ask to clean their own brushes! I can't even believe it, and yet it's true! 

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Ms. Becky says:

"Paint pens are super expensive per ounce of paint, no matter what brand you buy. Instead of having to use the colors the paint pen company chooses for you, get these refillable paint pens that come in a huge variety of sizes!

Then choose any COLOR paint you wish to make your OWN paint pens!

Ms. Becky says:

I discovered these when I was teaching full time in Georgia. I used them to write out each days directions for the students.

They had a "Love/Hate" thing for my rainbow pencils! Ha! Assigned seat work never looked so fun! Later on, I began to use them to colorize art projects when I needed to get it colored in lickety-split!

I was shocked to see how skilled at colorization I appeared to be by using these multi-color pencils. I kind of feel like I am revealing a secret but truly, these are SO much fun!  

Ms. Becky says:

When I bought a set of these for fun and mixed them in with my other glue sticks for the kids to have fun with, I never imagined they would cause such a stir! Boys, girls, young and old, LOVED these and would root through the glue stick box to find the scented ones! Students came back the next month and hoped that our project would use glue sticks, all so they could smell them again! The great thing is, although they are clear gel, they work just as well, if not better than regular glue sticks! 

These are DEFINITELY "Gift Worthy"! 

Ms. Becky says:

What is newsprint paper? Glad you  asked! As its name suggests, newsprint paper was first developed for the news industry as a cost-effective way to print daily reports. These thin, pulpy sheets are also favored by artists as they make for great surfaces to lay down sketches, whether one is working with charcoal, pastels, pencils, or other dry media.

The above link will take you to my preferred brands. If you're willing to buy 500 sheets, you can get it for as little as 1 cent per sheet! Great deal and great sketch paper!

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Ms. Becky says:

There are SO many types of watercolor paper that it is far too involved to go into here. But, in the end, for what most students need to get their feet wet in the world of watercolor the brand above will more than suffice.

This is a superb deal too. 9 by 12 is the perfect size for most projects and at 13 cents a sheet, you would be hard pressed to find and better deal. 

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Ms. Becky says:

What are rubbing plates? Glad you asked!

A rubbing (frottage) is a reproduction of the texture of a surface created by placing a piece of paper (or similar material) over the top then rubbing the paper with something to deposit marks, most commonly chalk, oil pastel, etc. The achieved affect is a dynamic perceived texture that adds incredible dimension to any project!

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Ms. Becky says:

What is an acrylic marker? Also known as paint pens, paint markers, and acrylic pens, they combine the convenience of writing tools with the versatility of paint. 

Each marker has a reservoir filled with water-based acrylic paint. It flows from the reservoir to a stiff nib ideal for both writing and drawing. With this nib, you can paint or draw straight onto a canvas — even without brushes, palettes, or other painting supplies!

Acrylic paint markers work on virtually any surface, including paper, wood, textiles, glass, ceramics, rocks, and so much more. They’re also kid-safe, non-toxic, and mess-free, making them perfect for home and classroom use. And they come in a dazzling array of colors and finishes — so you’ll never run out of creative ways to use them.

Ms. Becky says:

These are also very good paint/acrylic markers. These are a bit more economically priced; and you only get 12. But sometimes less is more! I personally prefer less choices. I get overwhelmed with too many choices. 

Ms. Becky says:

Whenever I hear the words, "Duel Ended" regarding anything, I get super excited! I love these markers! BUT, they are smaller than others, so the paint won't last as long. But they are super fun while they last! 

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