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Coloring Supplies On A Budget

Happy new year everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend with friends and family. For my first post in the new year, I wanted to write about coloring supplies for beginners. I've talked a lot about various art mediums - pens, pencils, watercolors etc. - in my previous posts. I've gone fairly in depth into each type too.

But what if you're new to coloring and just want to try it out? Maybe you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a hobby. Or you're just confused with all the choices out there. Can you start coloring on a budget?

The answer is a resounding YES. You don't need fancy supplies to color, special types of paper or artist quality pencils. Of course you can get them later on if you want but they aren't must haves to get started with. So this post is all about what supplies you might want to get with different budgets. I put together various 'coloring kits' you can get, starting from zero! Yup, you read that right. You can start coloring for free, without spending a dollar (other than printing costs).

Coloring Kit I - $0
As long as you have access to a printer (at home, school or work) you can color. Just grab some free downloadable images from the Internet (many artists make them available on their own site or through the publisher) and print them out. Next look around your house for coloring mediums. You will likely have some Crayola pencils or markers, few Sharpies or gel pens etc. lying around. That's all you really need to start with.

Coloring Kit II - $50
So you started off with free images and Crayola markers for a few weeks. Now you're interested and want to do more. What can you get for $50? Well plenty, as it turns out! Have a look around in your local bookstore, Amazon or Book Depository for any coloring books that catch your eye. I usually recommend any books by Millie Marotta, Johanna Basford or Hanna Karlzon. The Creative Haven series are also a great choice, especially if you like to use markers.

You have 2 choices for colored pencils - Marco Raffine (72) if you would rather save your dollars for markers/pens or Prismacolor (72) if you like pencils. For pens, the Stabilo 88 wallet pack of 30 is a great choice. The KUM sharpener has good reviews on Amazon and is excellent value at just $5 or so.

Coloring Kit III - $100-$150
If you can afford to spend a bit more, you have many choices open to you. You can get a few more books you like, so you don't get bored of coloring in hundreds of leaves or mandala patterns all at once. Try out the artist editions of your favorite books. These are printed only on side, have perforations so you can tear them out to gift or frame and feature much thicker paper - almost like card stock.

For pencils, Prismacolor (132) is still a great choice but there are other brands out there like Lyra (72). These are all artist grade pencils so you can buy them open stock i.e individually from your local art stores or online. When you want to replace a few colors, there's no need to buy the whole box again! Add a Tombow eraser, a case for your new supplies and you're all set!

If coloring turns out to be your thing, you can always add to your collection. Why not try out some watercolors, Inktense pencils or markers like Copic/Tombow? Little extras like sandpaper blocks, blending pencils, pastel blocks and color wheels will also help you create beautiful artwork. As with any hobby, the sky's the limit if you can spare the cash. If you do want the best supplies out there, I recommend Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and Albrecht Durer watercolors. The Derwent Inktense pencils will also be a fun addition to your kit.

Just remember that there's no need to get everything at once. Start out small and you can always add more supplies as your interest grows and skills improve. Happy coloring in 2017 everyone!


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