Prismacolor Art Supplies

We have a very modest homeschooling budget and I can be kind of cheap (Damien is curing me of this) so I initially balked at the cost of buying quality art supplies. But with three artistic, creative children this became a necessity, not luxury. I'd rather buy these than boxes of curriculum anyway.

After doing a little research I settled on some basics for the studio (aka the learning room/former dining room). We've started with archival quality paper (which we already owned), sketching pencils, kneaded erasers (happily, these are cheap), Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Prismacolor Watercolor Colored Pencils. Next up Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Markers, Prismacolor Art Stix and maybe pastels.

Since I'm a photographer artist and not a painting/drawing/sketching artist I benefited from reading Art Supplies for Kids by artist and homeschooler, Barbara McCoy/Harmony Art Mom. I appreciated the tutorials since this mixed flower bed photo is the closest I get to painting.

My kids have the following to say about the new watercolor pencils, their favorites so far.

  • "It's easier to do watercolors." - Celine
  • "I feel like I can do better drawings with them." - Laurent
  • "I drawed a candy store with the watercolors. It's very colorful." - Brienne

Any artists out there who would recommend additional or different products for children? Also, what about DVD or on-line lessons and tutorials - free or otherwise. I'd really love to hear your feedback.

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  • claudia

    claudia on Sept. 10, 2008, 9 p.m.

    I always feel like my PSE6 is my box of watercolors or oil pastels, don't you? I'll be teaching art to 4th & 5th graders at our co-op this year using lots of activities from the book - Art for Fun Projects by Sue Lacey - got it at Borders. Basically the kids learn about famous artists, how they saw the world, and use that as inspiration for projects using the different tools and/or mediums they used. Good choice on the prismacolors and the shot of them too :)


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 11, 2008, 8:41 a.m.

      PSE6... took me a little while to figure out what you were talking about smile. I use the free software GIMP for editing but to be honest since getting my d300 I rarely edit. I'm just so darn pleased with SOOC results. Once I get tired of that (tack sharp quality is still a novelty) I'll probably go back to editing some. But I think we're going to get Aperture, and I don't know much about it except that it's not too expensive and will do what I need (I think). But first we'll need a computer upgrade, man these photos are hard drive hogs!

      Thanks for the book idea. I love studying art with the kids that way. Kids sound of Charlotte Mason-ish.

      -- Renee


  • Ginny

    Ginny on Sept. 10, 2008, 10:29 p.m.

    I know what you mean about the cost of the pencils, but I so agree that they are worth their price. My children love to create and I found the inexpensive ones break often and sharpen lousy. Love your picture. So pretty.


  • KimberlyNoelle

    KimberlyNoelle on Sept. 10, 2008, 10:58 p.m.

    thanks for the reminder. I always forget the art stuff and my oldest likes it, but he never remembers it either. (I'm a sciency person. I appriciate art, but that's as far as it goes.)


  • Andie

    Andie on Sept. 11, 2008, 9:08 a.m.

    I've never taken an art class in my life. With my own kids, I just let them have fun with it, create anything and everything. The fact alone that you've brought in more mediums is really all you need to do. Maybe add in some tubes of acrylic paint later, some pastels...even clay. It's all good.
    Beautiful shots! a.


  • jfrancis

    jfrancis on Sept. 11, 2008, 11:05 p.m.

    of all God's majesty created, few equal the simple beauty of mixed flowers whose breath we will breathe tomorrow.


  • Carletta

    Carletta on Sept. 11, 2008, 11:55 p.m.

    We tried a set of colored pencils before and my children didn't take to using them. I may try again with something higher quality like the ones you suggested. Thanks!


  • Naomi

    Naomi on April 13, 2009, 1:45 a.m.

    I love prismacolor! That's what my art teacher told us we should buy and they work really well for me. If they your kids are ever interested in doing charcoal, or black and white pictures, Derwent is another good brand.


  • Elisha

    Elisha on June 16, 2009, 9:28 p.m.

    Prismacolor is pretty good. I recommend never getting student brand art supplies. They may be cheaper, but it's hard to get anything good out of them and that may discourage someone from using them again (think kid's crayola watercolors, very bad and nothing like the real thing) If you want videos to teach art history Simon Schama's Power of Art is excellent and is something to think about for when they get a bit older. The segments are usually about an hour long. Also, even though as a kid I thought museums were boring, seeing some paintings in a book is just not the same as seeing them in real life, especially if you just learned about them. Good luck and if you have any art related questions I would be happy to answer them (I just earned a BFA in painting.)

    Elisha's last blog post... New Art Blog


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