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. You don't need fancy supplies, special types of paper or artist quality pencils to color. 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 get on different budgets. I put together various 'coloring kits'  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 you can color. Just grab some free images from the artists' website 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 $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. Try out the artist editions of your favorite books. These are printed only one side. They have perforations so you can tear them out to gift or frame. They also 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'll end up buying more. Try out watercolors, Inktense pencils or markers. Little extras like 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.