Friday, November 06, 2020

The Home Art Studio

Young artists-in residence have certain needs. 

Artists need a space to work. This could be a corner of a bedroom or the kitchen table. 

Maybe you are lucky enough to have a dedicated art space, art room, or home art studio. The art space should include a roomy table and comfy chairs. 

A standing or table easel, or a pony easel, would also be a great addition.  Running water and a washable, uncarpeted floor help make cleanup a breeze.

Artists need plenty of storage space for art supplies, such as bins, shelves, drawers, and cubbies. If everything is kept in its place, materials will be easy to access and put away. 

Artists need art supplies. Most young artists have a few basic art supplies at home. These might include a pan of watercolors, Crayola-type markers, crayons, colored pencils, graphite (drawing) pencils, glue, scissors, and copy paper. Everyone also has recycled materials such as egg cartons, cardboard tubes, corrugated cardboard, old newspapers and/or magazines, fabric scraps, and yarn/lace/ribbon scraps. All of these items make great art supplies and a starting point for assembling a home art studio. My advice is to collect art supplies from around the house and begin by using what you have!

To progress further in their creative endeavors, your young artist(s) will need additional art supplies, such as those found on our printable Art Supply List for Young Artists. These items can be ordered online, and many can be found at local retailers such as Walmart, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby.

And, yes. Art supplies can be pricey. However, there are ways around that. Young artists love to receive art supplies as gifts when Christmas and birthdays come around. Another option is the dollar store. You'd be surprised at the variety of art materials and supplies you can find for a dollar! Another option might be to make your own art supplies.  This is especially fun, because the process of making the art media can be just as satisfying as using it to make art! Check out the links below to learn how to make a few of your own art supplies.

Paint media:

Tempera paint. Make these nice thick paints for beginners. Best recipe I have found. 

Egg tempera paint. This paint was wildly popular amongst Early Renaissance artists.

Puffy paint. You need few common kitchen ingredients and a microwave oven. We made
this paint at the Art Center for some messy crazy fun and it was a real hit! 

Shiny paint. Sweetened condensed milk is the secret! Perfect for any age, including (and especially) toddlers! 

Liquid watercolors.  Uses dried up Crayola markers, so don't throw them away!

Sculpting media:

Play dough. A favorite with young artists, especially when they can make their own.  

Self-hardening clay. For young artists who are ready for a more permanent sculpting material, this is an air dry, self-hardening modeling clay similar to Model Magic. It dries and hardens at room temperature, then it's ready to be painted.

Drawing media:

Molded crayons. Custom shaped crayons made from small bits of used or excess crayons. 

Sidewalk chalk. For young outdoor artists. Plaster of Paris, tempera paint plus a few easy-to-find supplies from home. The molds are cardboard tubes, so these sticks of chalk are quite chunky. You can probably find (or make) smaller molds if you like. 

Sticky stuff:

School glue. The ingredients are all commonly found at home.  Add glitter and/or make your own glitter glue!

Papier mache'. A big favorite among young artists for making large 3-D sculptures! For more advanced papier mache' artists, try these papier mache' recipes. 


Art paper. Make your own beautiful art papers by recycling paper that gets thrown out. No special equipment required. 

Paper beads. Make their own colorful beads from recycled magazines, wrapping paper, etc. 

Happy ART-making... from our art studio to yours!

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