Da Vinci's Toolbox

Artist Materials

Below, please find studio supply lists, one for every level of advancement. Only purchase the kit for one level of advancement at a time. As your youngster advances from one level of practice to the other, their kit will expand over time. 

This gear is available online at your favorite supplier in the USA. Estimated 2020 online retail prices (pre-tax, rounded to the nearest dollar) are listed per item. You may already possess some of these materials in your home; be sure to check around the house before purchasing. But please use only quality gear. Just as one cannot learn to play music on a junk piano, lower-quality art materials will not allow your youngster to uncover the mechanical and perceptual possibilities of graphic/painterly media and materials. True art materials are truly fine things built at a premium, sold at a premium, and bought at a premium.

Only purchase the kit for one level of advancement at a time.

Advancement Level 1

(estimated total: $90.00)
  • small set of graphite drawing pencils for artists, any brand. Please include at least one of each of the following: HB, 2B, 5B and 8B. Kindly avoid cheap junk. Also avoid Staedtler Lumograph pencils. Quality brands include Faber-Castell, Derwent, Kimberly, Tombow, Schwan…  Approx. $12
  • small set of 12-count color pencils. Please avoid cheap or brandless color pencils. Prismacolor brand highly suggested. Approx. $13.00
  • Small set of markers. E.g. Prang Classic Art Markers.  Approx. $5.59
  •  one white eraser (please avoid pink, blue, other colors).  Approx. $2.00
  •  one drafting brush or clean, unused feather duster. Approx. $10.00

  • one Tuff Stuff eraser stick, now also known as the Factis BM2 Eraser .  Approx. $5.00.  
  • refills.  Approx. $4.00
  • one gray kneaded eraser. Approx. $2.00
  • small box of soft vine charcoal . Approx. $4.00
  • drawing paper pad, 80 lb. (120 g/m2) weight, 9” x 12”/22.86 cm x 30.48 cm/A4(European Standard) or closest size.  Approx. $6.00
  •  one tracing paper pad, 18” x 12”/45.72 cm x 30.48 cm/A2 (European Standard) or
    closest size. Approx. $8.00
  • stack of printer paper as scrap. Approx. $4.00 (from your home office supply)
  • one or two non-oily rags. Approx. $5.00 (free if you cut-up old t-shirts!)
  • small set of small-to-medium sized blending stumps, all under 1 cm diameter. Approx. $3.00
  • one sheet of fine or very fine sandpaper ( more or less 200 to 400 grit). Approx. $3.00
  • one pencil sharpener. Approx. $2.00 
  • one ruler (wood or plastic, please avoid metal, as these can stain papers), 12 to 18 in/30 cm to 45.72 cm. See-through ones, made of acrylic plastic, with raised grip, are best, but any good metered edge will do. See C-Thru brand example shown here. Approx. $2.00

  • one roll of easy-off masking tape (not fancy; nothing with too tough a grip. Traditional Scotch brand for household use is perfect. )  Approx. $2.00

  • one roll of Scotch brand removable tape (always in sky-blue packaging). Approx. $3.00
  • two clean and smooth (non-corrugated) cardboards of thicker ply; make one of these be a medium size (approx. 12” x 16”/30 cm x 40 cm), and the other a smaller one (approx. 8” x 10”/ 20 cm x 25 cm). Approx. $2.00

Advancement Level 2

(estimated total: $100.00)
  •  small set of dry chalk pastels (NOT oil pastels, please) . Approx. $6.00
  • watercolor paper pad, 140 lb. (250 g/m2) weight, 9” x 12”/22.86 cm x 30.48 cm/A4 (European Standard) or closest size. Approx. $6.00
  •  small set of transparent watercolor tubes containing wet/soft paint (key colors include at least Lamp or Ivory Black, Payne’s Gray, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue. Do not buy whites, please.)  Approx. $17.00

  • one “flat wash” watercolor paintbrush, 1.5 in/38.1 mm wide at the ferrule. Approx. $24.00
  • one “pointed round” watercolor brush, one-quarter in/6.4 mm wide at the ferrule. Approx. $12.00
  • one Artagain black paper pad 9” x12”/22.86 cm x 30.48 cm/A4 (European
    Standard) or closest size.  Approx. $13.00
  • one Artgraf brand cake of so-called “watercolor” graphite.  Approx. $10.00

Advancement Level 3

(total: $30.00)
  •  one Bristol paper pad, vellum surface (not plate), 18” x 12”/45.72 cm x 30.48
    cm/A2 (European Standard) or closest size. Approx. $9.00
  • handful of pre-cut, scrap fabrics, assorted colors and prints for collaging. Approx. $10.00
  • one small bottle fabric glue. Approx. $3.00

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