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Essential art resources needed in primary schools

What are the absolutely essential art resources you need to deliver high-quality drawing lessons in primary school?

We all know school budgets are tight. And, sadly, art and design are rarely high on a school’s list of priorities for expenditure. Meg Fabian, the author of Drawing is a Class Act, says you can get by with surprisingly few absolute basics:

  • 2B pencils
  • fine line pens (tip size 0.4 mm)
  • charcoal, medium thickness
  • white chalk
  • fixative
  • oil pastels

Discount stores are often an excellent place to pick up art resources cheaply, but make sure you check for quality. Gradually extend your range a little at a time.

If you are lucky enought to have a bit more money, here are Meg’s recommendations for what a well-resourced art cupboard should have:

9781903853627 Drawing is a Class Act, Years 5-6 Brilliant Publications

Drawing is a Class Act, Years 5-6

9781903853610 Drawing is a Class Act, Years 3-4 Brilliant Publications

Drawing is a Class Act, Years 3-4

9781903853603 Drawing is a Class Act, Years 1-2 Brilliant Publications

Drawing is a Class Act, Years 1-2

  • H, B, 2B, 4B, 6B pencils
  • Fine line pens (tip size 0.3 and 0.4 mm), water-based
  • Fine (tip size 0.4 mm), medium and broad permanent pens
  • Charcoal, thick and thin
  • Fixative
  • Oil pastels, 25 colours, bright and subtle, extra white and black
  • Art pastels, good range of colours, including landscape colours
  • Conté crayons (soft pastels), black, white, earth colours, sepia, burned sienna, etc
  • Pens (with nibs) and drawing inks, including white
  • Good-quality crayons, some sets in people colours
  • Art quality coloured pencils, landscape and portrait sets
  • Water colour pencils
  • Graphite
  • Metallic crayons
  • Metallic pens –fine and broad
  • Sketchbooks with cartridge paper pages
  • Clipboards for outside drawing
  • Black plastic viewfinders
  • Magnifying glasses with flexible necks that clamp onto desk
  • Lamps with flexible necks
  • Collection of reproductions of works of art, filed according to topic or subject, or QCA art documents
  • Collection of CD-Roms featuring works of art for use on computer and white boards
  • Collection of artefacts for drawing

For more tips and lesson plans to support a skills-based approach to drawing, get Meg Fabian’s Drawing is a Class Act series for primary schools.


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Filed under Art and design, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school