Fine Arts

Dear Artists ~

I am often asked what fine art materials should a student have on-hand for a successful and satisfying fine art experience. The following list was compiled by Science Illustrator and owner of Sierra Nature Prints, Peg Edwards, who taught for CRHS and now offers art classes out of her studio in Scotts Valley. Her recommendations are as follows:

A few tips on stretching your dollar(s)
For instance, if your student prefers colored pencils, then the larger the set you can afford, the better.

Paper does matter, try to match the paper with the medium. 

WHERE: I'd recommend going to Lenz locally if you're only getting a few things, otherwise you can save money by shopping online at Blick
or Cheap Joe's I buy locally for small quantities, but order online for large amounts. At Lenz, or Palace if you prefer, ask for the student or teacher discount.

Students should have a portfolio and a palette, but it never hurts to have one at home AND in any art class:
Palette, this one has a well for a water container

Here's the list (non-essentials are in parentheses):

Watercolor cakes transparent 24 colors
(Tubes are nice, too, but pricey let your student choose the colors you can never have too much white or too many shades of green! )
Watercolor brushes set of 7
Watercolor paper
(Arches watercolor block - this is the best paper, but pricey, use cold press

You can buy watercolor trays or tubes locally at Lenz Arts, Palace Arts, or online at:
Trays are good for beginners:

Tubes: less expensive:

Tubes: expensive:


Prismacolor pencils at least the 24 set, the more the better
Essential - colorless blender
(non essential but nice
Electric sharpener for the above
Colored pencil paper 9 x 12
(Some students prefer dark colored paper for pencil and pastel

Graphite pencils
Standard SPIRAL BOUND sketch pad 9 x 12 This can also be used for outdoor sketching

Scratchboard 5 x 7 and 8 x 10
Scratchboard tools
Drafting brush for dust
(Essdee - this is the best scratchboard, but pricey

Micron pen set
Bristol paper for ink - 2 ply is fine

Set of pastels (these are harder and less messy)
Pastel paper
(Some students prefer dark colored paper for pencil and pastel

Set of colored markers
Marker paper


Set of Acrylic paints at least 24
Acrylic pad 9 x 12
Canvas you choose the size

Magic rub eraser
Kneaded eraser
Ticonderoga #2 pencils