With hundreds of pencils, pens, pastels, acrylics and paints on offer, not to mention the different types of paper and brushes to choose from, here are a few tips to get your child started in the world of art.
All your child needs is a 2B pencil, a sharpener and an inexpensive sketchbook, which together should cost about HK$50. Encourage your child to draw light, sketchy lines instead of heavy ones so there is no need to rub out. Younger children will need a bigger workspace, so get them an A4 or A3 sketchpad or buy big rolls of sketching paper.
The younger the artist, the bigger the brush. It is easier for children aged three to six to grip a short, stubby paintbrush. Make sure the end of the brush is round, not sharp. For a starter set of brushes, buy one big stiff brush, one medium and three soft brushes (about HK$5 to HK$12 for a basic brush). For older children, a thin paintbrush allows for detailing, which can transform an image. While children can paint on canvas boards (the bigger the better), it's more cost-effective to use paper for beginners. Large rolls of paper cost about HK$85, which you can use to cover the table. For young artists, poster paint (about HK$100 per colour) is a good washable, non-toxic option which dries slightly glossy. Finger paints are also a good starting point for children under five - after that, they may become squeamish about getting dirty. Finger paints also wash off easily.
There are hundreds of options on the internet for homemade art supplies, including finger paints, watercolours, play-doh and crayons. Without stepping outside your home, you could probably find some art tools and materials such as sponges, plastic combs, old toothbrushes, Lego pieces, bottle caps or even fruit or vegetables cut in half that can be used as painting tools or stamps.