Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ordering Supplies

Ordering and opening art supplies is kind of like Christmas.  It is very fun and exciting!  However the ordering part can be pretty tricky.  Staying on budget is very important, but I want to get everything I need and stretch my money as far as it can go.
I'm getting ready to order my supplies next year in a few weeks.  Which brands do you reccommend?  Or which ones should I stay away from?  Do I go cheap or spend a few extra dollars on something better?  I definitely want to get my money's worth but don't want to spend it all on materials that just aren't that great.

Crayola? School Smart? Dick Blick?
Sargent? Sax?

Paint. Paint Brushes.  Colored Pencils.  Oil Pastels.  Paper.  Glazes.  The list goes on and on....

With so many brands to choose from, it is hard to keep them all straight and know which one will be best.
Does anybody have suggestions on what to order?


  1. Don't go cheap on tempera paint. Crayola is the best for that. Also if you have the room get the gallon jugs and the paint pumps. Also go with Tru-Ray for colored paper. It holds it's color longer and it is brighter.

  2. For paint I use Sax Versatemp (available thru School Specialty). I enhance with a few other brands/colors, as the paint is nice but I do not care for the color of the turquoise and violet. I also use quite a bit of Nasco's Bulk-krylic - a student grade acrylic. We use it to paint papier-mache, or projects made from air dry clay. As for watercolors - the question is liquid or pan; depends on what/how you teach, I guess.

    I get Crayola Oil Pastels. Not because they are the best, but because they are hexagonal and don't roll off the table. Plus the sets include gold and silver (!!)

    LOVE the Royal "Big Kids" Choice paintbrushes - they come in flats, rounds, filberts, etc, and are great brushes and last long. But I also have some other brushes for larger stuff and for watercolors.

    Don't get School Smart brand pencils or colored pencils. The quality is poor. Get good old Ticonderoga pencils - my kids love th large "beginners" pencils. Get good quality colored pencils - Crayola or Prang are nice and soft; my students love the Crayola "Write Start" ones in particular for basic colors and good coverage.

    I do use the School Smart brand Art Paste but I think the Crayola Art Paste is a little stronger (I use these for papier-mache.) I use lots of Elmer's Glue-All; NOT "School Glue" if you want it to really hold, and I use a lot of low temp hot glue. It's very handy. And I order a LOT of black Sharpies every year.

    As for paper - sigh - the quality has changed over the years. I don't like the watercolor papers I've received lately. I order a few different weights - 90lb. for tempera painting, 50lb. for quickie drawings, 70lb. for general usage. And TruRay Construction paper is worth the extra $$ because the colors are better and the texture is smoother.

    I don't have a kiln so I can't help with the glaze question......

  3. I'm a big fan of Sax and Triarco (not sure if you're able to use them) Dick Blick is also great, although it can get annoying when my sophomore boys shout out the brand name over and over and over....

  4. I just did a post on supplies;

    Also check out the link under "Extras" at the bottom of this page:

    I would go Sax over Dick Blick, they are always slightly cheaper. Don't skimp on good supplies, they will last longer and you will be happier.

    Crayola Tempera
    Liquid Watercolors
    Good brushes (see the suggestion under "extras")
    I'll have to get back to you on glazes.

    I'll be doing another post soon on the supplies I ended up ordering...

  5. Ha ha - I remember when their motto used to be "Dick Blick Ships Quick". Try saying that 5 times in a row real fast...

    I have a funny story about this but I don't have the guts to write it on a blog comment!!

  6. Most of what I order is through School Specialty (SAX). Things I like: Tru-Ray construction paper (pretty color-fast), Sax liquid watercolors, Sharpie pens, Crayola watercolor markers, Versatemp and Crayola tempera and acrylics, Prang watercolors, Pentel oil pastels -- they are soft and smushy for blending, but don't last real long, Ticonderoga beginner pencils, magic rub erasers large size (gallon) Elmer's Glue All. I get a few assorted things (like metallic paints) at the local Blick store.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions! Will definitely take them into consideration as I get my order ready for the next school year!