Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Want to try different paint you have any feedback? (UPDATED!)

So it's going to be official...I will be teaching K-12 art next year, with my priority at the 7th Grade and Studio Art classes, and then filling in electives and the elementary grades.  More than likely, I will end up having the elementary grades once a cycle.  I have it on a good note that if I can increase the numbers of students in electives classes, that the district might have to hire another art teacher in the future (which would be good news!).  Unfortunately, the reason we are going down to one art teacher is because students aren't signing up for the electives...2-3 students per electives isn't enough.  I created a list of electives I'd want to teach, including possible projects, and the counselor is going to go back to the high school students to see who would sign up for them (I'm thinking a Ceramics class, Cartooning, Advertising & Design, Fashion Design...)

Anyways, the thing I'm starting to fret about is supplies and the condition of the other art room I will be using (yes, I will have two art rooms I'm in charge of).  I have a good idea of the supplies that are in the high school art room, as well as the [not so good] condition of a lot of the stuff, including paint.  I'll still be able to order supplies with the remaining budget (however due to the circumstances at our district, we need to do a 10% cut in supplies...not that big of a deal for me...)

Here's what I'm asking you...I want to make some changes in the high school room as to what supplies are used and such.  Depending on my electives, I'll have a class of 19 in Studio, and two classes of approximately 16-18 for 7th grade.  Studio will probably run the entire year, and 7th grade is every day for half a year.  Below are some supplies that I've been thinking of switching to in the past and I'd like your take on how they work if you've used them before!

6-Color Pump Kit, Gallons1. Blick Student Grade Tempera with Pumps:  A lot of the paint in the high school end is chunky, smelly, separated and from the 80's.  The previous teacher didn't do so much with painting, she was more of a sculpture teacher.  I generally use Crayola in the elementary end, but I want to try out the gallon size jugs of tempera for the high school.  I plan on buying paint palettes with the lids for conserving paint when we do paint projects (each student will get their own palette for paint, with a lid).  How do these pumps work?  do they tend to clog easily?  Would you suggest a different brand of tempera in the gallon size jugs?

UPDATED:  How about the upside-down dispensers for tempera???  Has anyone used these before?

I'm thinking that I could buy two sets of these gallon jugs, maybe an extra white, and be set for the entire school year, if not long as I can teach them to conserve paint properly and my idea to use the paint palettes with lids works!

Chromacryl Students' Acrylic2. Chromacryl Acrylics, 1/2 gallon with pumps:  I generally prefer to paint with acrylics (I'll be staying away from oil paint for now...I've never been officially trained or educated in oil paints.) so I want to go with the 1/2 gallons of Chromacryl.  I use this brand in the Elementary, but I usually go with the pint size.  Again, how do the pumps work with the acrylic?  Do they clog up a lot?  Are the pumps a waste of money?  Does anyone use a different acrylic paint that can be bought in bulk that is of the same quality at a cheaper price?

On the Elementary end, I've been using the round palettes and lids to hold the acrylic paint during an entire project and it really works well.  I've wasted a lot less acrylic doing it this way, so I plan to continue that in the high school.

In the next week or two I'll be trying to do an inventory of the other art room in my spare time, so I may have more supply questions to add!


  1. First of all - tempera - my favorite affordable tempera is Sax Versatemp, available from School Specialty, but I also got a few colors (magenta,violet, and turquoise in particular) where I'd buy Artista or some other brand because I was not satisfied with those Versatemp colors. I think the Blick tends to be a little thinner, but should still be good if the price is good. I had pumps many years ago, and stopped using them because they clogged ALL the time. Hated them! I just poured directly from the bottles. I usually bought yellow and white in gallon jugs and everything else in quarts, for manageability and to prevent spoilage.

    As for the Chromacryl.... How can I say this.... They are ridiculously thick. I bought them once, years ago, and still left some behind when I retired. It is incredibly challenging to get them out of the bottles, so I I wasted a lot. No way I'd use a pump with these, and actually I'd never buy them agin, except in tubes, which isn't a good idea for elementary students.. For my elementary and middle level students, my favorite acrylic is Nasco's Bulk-Krylic. The Blick acrylic colors and consistency are almost identical to the Nasco, with one difference; they are more of a mat finish when dry, whereas there's a gentle gloss to the Nasco paints. I'm sure you could use them a bit in a Studio class as well.

    For advanced high school (such as drawing & painting) are they painting on canvas? If so, I think you'd want a more grown up product with better opacity. If I went for Chromacryl for HS students I'd buy it in tubes, but I'd look at other brands of student grade tube acrylics, perhaps Liquitex? Remember, if high school classes are small, you won't need the big volume of paint for them so you can buy better product. But anyhow, if its just a studio class and nothing advanced yet, I think you'd do OK with the bottled acrylic like Nasco's.

    Let me know if I can help any more!

    1. I've been thinking about doing the tubes of acrylic as well in the high school but I'm not quite sure yet. When I was in high school, that's what we used, and I actually bought my own paint to use, but in my area, it would be pretty impossible to expect that from students right off the block.

      I wanted to go with the gallons and pumps to try and minimize space. Whenever I finally get the go-ahead to have access to the other room, I'll take photographs to share...the other room is FILLED with stuff...there isn't a lot of space due to art teacher hoarding tendencies... ;) Don't get me wrong, I'm not downing anyone here, I'm just saying, there is A LOT of stuff, and since I probably won't be in the best state to reorganize come summer time, I'm trying to plan ahead.

      Have you ever used those upside down dispensers?

    2. No, but they look pretty interesting for tempera and worth a try! I often stored my temperas upside done anyhow. But I'd still say know to bottled Chromacryl, with or without dispensers. It is so thick it just sticks inside the bottle, no matter how you store them.

    3. I just found your blog on pinterest and wanted to chime in. I teach grades 5-8 and use the Sax versatemp also. the pumps clog horribly, and unfortunately I threw the caps of the gallons away after I put the pumps in, so I have to store them with the pumps in them anyway! I use small bottles with nozzles, kind of like ketchup bottles that I fill from the gallons, and have a cubby bucket by the sink that holds them--2 each of primary colors and white and black, 1 each of brown, turquoise, magenta and peach. They need to be refilled about once or twice a month.
      I use Basics acrylics for my 7th and 8th graders, in tubes. I tried bigger bottles for a while, but so much got wasted and the color choices in Basics is great--from Sax with the educator discount the prices are great.

  2. I taught high school art for a few years we used Blick's acrylic in gallon sized (caps always disappeared) and crayola's tempera in the quart size. You can have students paint on masonite/hard board from the hardware store, if you have access to a table saw it is cheeper that canvas. We did you can just have the students paint it with gesso.

    At the high school level try not to micro manage the students to much, they work best (in general) with open ended lessons and space to work on their work. They are lazy and will need more motivating to actually work, some times you have to pull them to push them in the direction you want them to go. Show them your respect and passion for art and they will fallow.

    I just found your blog and I love what you are doing. I hope your district's art program grows it is so important for students.

  3. I use the pumps for washable paint and they are a must have. I fill 30 paint trays with the primary colors plus black in white in under 3 minutes, and it is a sight to see. Thanks to the pumps...

  4. Really I feel happy to see this useful blog, Thanks for sharing such a nice blog.
    Paint Supplies

  5. hi, any design ideas? i have one... rack for paint with a tube and peacock valve