Iguana Art Academy

Materials: The Basics for Nurturing Creativity at Home or School

Create an Creative Environment!

Nurture your children’s heart and mind growth by keeping your home or school stocked with creative tools such as these. We’ve compiled a list of basic, affordable art supplies that can be found locally or online (direct links make it easy for you!). Remember creativity is a beautiful, happy thing. :)

Essential Drawing Supplies

  • Paper: you can’t get cheaper than your basic copy paper at a penny per sheet . Pick up two packs to feed the creativity.  Copy paper is perfect for younger kids (up to age 10 or so). $5/500 sheets at Walmart
  • Sketchbook: if you’re spending more time on your drawings, then the next step up from copy paper is a sketchbook with archival paper. We recommend an 8.5×11″ spiral-bound hardcover.  $9 at dickblick.com
  • Graphite Pencils: Capture a full range of values (shades) with a trio of graphite pencils in three grades: 4H, HB, and 6B. We recommend you purchase at least two of each grade.  Only $0.65/each at dickblick.com
  • Pencil Sharpener: A dull pencil most certainly dulls Alvin Brass Bullet pencil sharpenercreativity, so make sure you have a reliable pencil sharpener on hand. The Alvin Brass Bullet sharpener won’t eat up your pencils, but sharpens with minimal waste.  $5 at dickblick.com
  • Kneaded Eraser: Even the pros make a mistake now and then (actually more often than that). A kneaded eraser can be stretched and made like new, is easy on your paper, and can be molded to a point for precise control. Get a large one for $1 at dickblick.com.

Essential Color Pencil Supplies

  • Color Pencil Basics: Crayola Color Pencils. These pencils produce nice, strong colors and shade nicely.  $8 for a pack of 50 at Walmart
  • Color Pencil Premium: Prismacolor Pencils. These richly-pigmented colors are recommended by Iguana instructor and colorist Julie Sprinkle. A set of 36 pencils is $29 at dickblick.com

Essential Painting Supplies

  • Acrylic Paint Basics: Crayola tempera paint sets are perfect for younger artists. The set includes six 2 oz bottles. $7 at Walmart
  • Blick acrylic pint set of 6Acrylic Paint Intermediate: A starter set of the basic primary colors, black, and white should get you going nicely. Mix two primaries to get your secondaries (green, orange, purple). A six-pack of pint-sized bottles is $27 at dickblick.com
  • Acrylic Paint Premium: Golden Open Acrylics are pro-grade colors and dry a bit slower to allow blending and working into your paintings. A set of 6 colors is $24 at dickblick.com. We recommend picking up a tube of black and an extra tube of white.
  • Pad of Acrylic Paper: This paper is made to remain flat and provide a smooth flow of your acrylic paint. A 10-sheet 9×12″ pad is only $6 at dickblick.com
  • Acrylic Brushes: We recommend using golden taklon synthetic brushes for their long life, good spring (they don’t wilt), and smooth flow of paint.  Pick up these three, and you’ll be ready for anything: Flat Size 4, Flat Size 8, Round Size 8. Each less than $3 at dickblick.comFoam palette w mixed paint e
  • Paint Palette: A stack of foam plates make for a terrific throw-away palette. No mess, no clean-up! Pick up a stack at your grocery for a few bucks.
  • Paper Towels: Professional artist and Iguana instructor Timothy Chambers suggests keeping plenty of Bounty paper on hand! Tim says fold a sheet in half, lay it beside your palette, and keep those brushes clean as you work!

With these supplies, your home or school will be fertile ground for creativity to grow! We recommend having a designated place for your art projects. Doing so will allow you to set up habits and rules to keep your art room clean and tidy. Have kids clean up and take good care of the materials (especially their brushes) so they’ll be ready for their next inspiration.

This is a basic list of supplies, and some items are used in our courses. Each course has its own material list.

Have fun!

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