Prep/Supplies - Art - What type of colored pencils? Markers?

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Prep/Supplies - Art - What type of colored pencils? Markers?

Unread post by michele »

Posted: 6/21/2004

Call me cheap, but I just used Crayola, and usually a plain white card stock that you can find at a craft store or even Walmart. I did not think that my 6 year old really needed anything "expensive", and in our case I was right. He was happy with his drawings using inexpensive materials. I suppose that as my kids get older, if art is really their "thing" then I will look into getting the better quality supplies for them.

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Unread post by Sabrina-TX »

Posted: 6/22/2004

I have used cheap markers before when doing DwC, but they weren't my favorites. I prefer Sharpies for my older dc. Prang and Mr. Sketch markers for my youngers. Mr. Sketch last forever it seems. I'm still looking for thin line markers that I really like for the youngers that aren't permanent like Sharpies, so I'm using Crayola in the meantime.

As for the paper I've used copy/multi use paper for the simple beginning exercises. Once we get into the lessons I use cardstock or a heavier paper weight sketchbook. You just want paper that is heavy enough and rough enough that the marker colors won't bleed or smear. That can be frustrating!

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Flair markers

Unread post by Marie »

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:43 pm

We go to a large office supply store and buy a box of "Flair" black markers for the basic outline drawing. That way we have a large supply and don't have to ration when they can be used. We use these pens alot for other things as well.
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What type of colored pencils do you recommend?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Toni@homezcool4us wrote:I know there are definite differences in quality when it comes to crayons, and thus I'm wondering if this holds true for colored pencils as well?

What brand should I buy for use with Drawing With Children? We have Crayola colored pencils for "anytime" art here at home. I would be willing to pay more for a higher quality set though, if anyone has compared and can recommend such a set.

Also, with nature notebooks, is there a particular paper/notebook that is best suited for not only sketching in, but also then watercolor painting in?

Thank you!
Hi Toni,
I have received a variety of responses to this question, and some families are perfectly happy with Crayola!

My kids each have a fairly large set of Prismacolor (24?) & they have been happy with the results. The lead is a little bit softer & the color a little brighter. I think a decent pencil sharpener helps, also. Ours is just a tiny metal one, but some of the plastic ones were *wasting* our pencils :(

One set each lasts a few years for us if we are somewhat careful about storage so the leads don't break off -- with only an individual pencil or two needing to be replaced (and a couple of special colors added). They could probably share a set if they were working together more. However, neither of my kids are using them outside of *school* so that helps them last, too.

I usually use a coupon from Michael's or Dick Blick. And sometimes we save by giving (or asking for) the nicer art supplies as gifts. My son was thrilled this year to receive a set of color "sticks" in his Easter basket. They are colored pencils without the wood outside, and he can color faster!

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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Thanks, Julie.
This is exactly the information I was seeking. Btw, thank you for the tip about a metal sharpener. Our plastic sharpener is "eating" our pencils too (actually, breaking them).

Follow-up on Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:09 am:
I found good deals on the Prisma colored pencils on Ebay.

See the end of the story below, July 2007.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Well, our pencil box has a variety of pencils from the past few years. We like Prismacolor too, but have Crayolas and some other brand mixed in too that work okay. I donate the ones that aren't good for art but are fine for doodling to our church.

We use an electric pencil sharpener (an old one we've had for 15 years or so) and it does fine.

We found that the worst pencils we got were from the local school supply company. The leads of these pencils were often off-center and when I tried to sharpen them, the point ended up in the wood part of the pencil! Also, the lead was hard and grabby on the paper and the colors were weak. I'll stick with name brands from now on!
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Unread post by Jill S »

I second the Prismacolor recommendation, but they are definitely expensive. My kids love them, and so do I! A couple of my kids don't have strong hands and those softer leads still work well for them without frustrating them. We use an electric sharpener and I think it was a great investment because we love to color and I prefer the pencils to markers.
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What type of pencils and how many?

Unread post by sarajoy »

IndianaMom2Five wrote:What type of colored pencils do you recommend using with MFW notebook projects? Also what size of a set is best?
Thank You,
Good question. I just asked my mom the same thing last night. She is taking some art classes now and also teaches some.

She recommended just a basic pack of 12 of the Crayolas. Her teacher was impressed by some of her work with them and admitted she'd have to look at them again and maybe take them off her "yuck list."

I'm eager to hear what others have found to work also.

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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

We love PrismaColor products. They are more expensive - but they sharpen nicely - don't break as often like I found was happening with our others- and the color is really nice. I kept purchasing crayola, rose art, etc., then finally I broke down and purchased PrismaColor when AC Moore had a 50% off coupon - my kids really liked them so much I purchased a second set so each of my older ones could have their own.
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Unread post by kellybell »

We've got an old diaper wipe box that has an odd assortment of colored pencils. We've got some PrismaColors too and none of them have disappointed me. And, our OLD Crayolas seem to be fine, but last year, we hit a sale and bought a couple of 12-packs of Crayola (I think they were a dime a box -- one of those great back-to-school sales) colored pencils and about HALF of them had the lead just a bit off center making them hard to sharpen correctly. Also, we had purchased some off brands from a local school supply company and most of them were "off" in the same way. I've not tried Rose Art but have had bad luck in the past with their products.

So, we're hobbling along with our weird assortment, throwing out pencils as they become too stubby. In the future, we'll get the pricey ones (PrismaColor, etc.) and we'll probably buy on-sale Crayolas to take with us on vacation, just in case they don't come back with us...
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what we do

Unread post by Heidi »

I broke down and bought prisma color pencils - 2 different kinds too. I can replace individual colors - which is a savings in the long run.

Mine do everything still in basic pencil first. My oldest is now learning to use the drawing leads - so we will see if he makes the switch.

I bought the "scholar" ones for their drawing exercises in HGTA, and nature and geography drawing exercises required in ECC because these wear the longest but have the sharp colors and sharpening ability of the finer ones. My daughter has a heavy hand - and these hold up well.

They use the finer ones for when they have especially completed a really "excellent work".

They use rose art and all others - which we have found to not last well in our home - for things like fun activity books, coloring books. My kids barely ever use crayons - they color most things with these instead- stuff not school related.
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Unread post by Amy in NC »

Basic Crayola pencils have worked fine here. My dc are not overly artistic & don't know that there is anything wrong with their pencils. If they show more interest I might consider more expensive pencils.

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Unread post by RachelT »

We've used Crayola and some more expensive art store type of colored pencils. Both work fine, but for my young kids the more expensive ones were a lot softer and were easier to use to create more shades of color.

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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Prisma was more expensive.
Likes: the lead quality is soft and flows nicely.
Dislikes: We lost at least 30% (and probably more) of the lead, as it would fall out when we sharpened the pencils (it wasn't the sharpener; we tried three different ones).

I will only buy Crayola this coming year.

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it depends on how you want to use them

Unread post by Eve »

It depends on how you want to use them.

Being an artist, my favorite pencils are by prismacolor, or Berol pencils. They are WAY more expensive, but they are perfect for blending various colors and shades...etc.

HOWEVER, I would recommend just buying the cheaper pencils, like Crayola, to start with. If your children show some interest in art work, then I would consider letting them express themselves better with high quality art pencils.
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Unread post by Lucy »

This is just my experience here. About 5 years ago I bought the Prismacolor pencils. What we have found is that they are easier to sharpen (meaning they do not break off easily once sharpened and it does not take much to sharpen them) and the colors are also much richer.

Also when I taught a class for our homeschool group I needed to provide colored pencils and was able to get a good deal at the time on Prang pencils. These have also worked well, but again the Prismacolors were better.

Crayola may have improved their product by now, but we found these to be the hardest to sharpen and to break easily. We still have a few mixed in our box which has become very mixed now after so many years.

Just a note we have used these over the years extensively for mapping and some for art.

Hope that helps!
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Sharpies and markers

Unread post by Ariasarias »

southernshae wrote:In the archives someone mentioned using Sharpies with their older children. That seems like it would be a semi-economical way to go (they're not cheap, but I've seen more expensive "art" markers out there). Anyone else tried this?

My youngest might actually do some damage since they are I don't think I want him using a permanent marker, but my older 3 dc want to do the art lessons too, and I know they'd be okay and responsible .

Another question....I did read the introductory pages of DWC and came away with the feel that you use markers for all of the work (filling in, outlining), but wouldn't it be okay to use crayons for the filling in and black marker for outlining?
Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:36 pm

Honestly, we used the markers for a little bit -- to mainly get them to not feel they had to erase every mistake, to see how they could work with their mistake. Somehow, we eventually move back to pencils.

As far as kind of markers, I bought a few fine, black sharpies, but the rest of the work I used the thinner Crayola kind.
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:35 pm

In the beginning lessons of DWC, we used thin washable crayola markers. Permanent markers would not be a good idea for my dd. She now prefers colored pencils, especially for her Bible Notebook.
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:03 pm

My DD age 6 uses some sharpies particularlary thicker ones to help make coloring things black easier.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:15 am

We ended up using a set of the more expensive "art" markers for the DWC lessons. It made them more special and they were a different media for us. I agree with the above post that using these markers forced my kids to get used working with their drawings instead of erasing all the time. Like someone else said above, my ds still prefers to use pencil most of the time in the Bible Notebook, but the DWC got him to begin drawing and to feel more capable.

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Cheaper colored pencils?

Unread post by niki »

shawnswife wrote:ICDAT suggests using a more expensive colored pencil such as Scholar Prismacolor. I have looked around and I am either going to spend around $8.00 to have them shipped to me or around $8.00 in gas to drive to the nearest store that carries them. I'm wondering if anyone has used cheaper standard color pencils and if you and/or your children were happy with them or not. ICDAT says that the better pencils produce brighter colors, but we're on a tight budget and can't have everything... Any feedback is appreciated :).
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:53 am

I have both. Crayola, rose art and Prismacolors. I must say all in all I do like the quality of Prismacolor much better and they will last much longer than the cheaper brands like crayola and rose art. Prismacolors sharpen better, don't break as often and they really do color better...but we do get by on the lesser brands, because that's what I've replaced with.

It's not going to hurt your art program. Buy what's in your budget.

If your child ends up loving art and drawing all the time, you can upgrade when the time is right.
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Unread post by southernshae »

Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:05 am

I agree with Niki that the prismacolors are more vivid, but I have to say that ours do not last longer (we also have Crayola and Prang). When we sharpen the prismacolors the colored lead breaks off *very* often. I've tried all sorts of different sharpeners, but it still happens. I guess it's because the lead is softer?? Anyway, we do prefer to use the prismacolors, though. They get used more than the others. But, if they had never used prisma, they wouldn't know what they are missing, KWIM?? :).

You didn't ask, but the markers are expensive, too. We found (and really like) the Mr. Sketch markers. We found them at an office supply store for about $8 a set. They are holding up well and are vivid . Also, you can use them like a finer point marker or use the broad side.

My dd loves drawing so much that she had asked for lots of them for a birthday present.
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:06 am

Here's another thread so you can gather as many viewpoints as possible: [above]

I suggest you use whatever you have until either (1) you next need to drive to that area for something else or (2) you next need to give your kids a special gift or otherwise have a reason to splurge :o)
Paula J
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Unread post by Paula J »

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:42 am

A brand that I have found to work better than the Crayola or Rose art is Pure by Pentech. These seem to stay sharp longer and the leads don't break as bad when you sharpen them. they also have nice colors. I found mine at my local $1 store. They of course don't have them all the time though, just something they had gotten in.
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Unread post by Lisa M »

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:49 pm

Something I learned a while back when I first invested in good quality colored pencils - DON'T DROP THEM!! Keep them upright in a can, or keep them in the box, but DON'T SET THEM ON THE TABLE! When they roll off the table and bounce, leads break inside.

So the higher quality pencils truly do last longer, but only if you don't drop them.....that's why we have good pencils for art, and cheap pencils for map coloring and daily use.

My 14yo daughter, however, has her tin in her room for her careful use only.
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