People buy art supplies for a variety of different reasons. Teachers buy supplies for their students, individuals buy supplies for themselves or their families. Many stores out there cater to different sorts of supplies. Places like Michael's or JoAnne Fabrics have a bit of everything, for a multitude of different projects. There are also places that are very specific. Dick Blick stores specialize in drawing and painting supplies. There are also catalogues from which people can order supplies; these are often much more specialized in their wares. Here's how to get the best art supplies for your budget and needs.
A good number of people buy their supplies at places like the supermarket or a drug store. This is often because people tend to be in a rush and dropping by a supermarket is a convenient and cheap way to pick up simple things like pen and paper. Larger stores, like Staples, have larger selections of art supplies - but they still can't match the selection at specialty stores. Children are among the largest groups of users of common art supplies like markers and paints, whether in school or at home.
For those people that wish to buy professional-quality art supplies, there are a number of options. Some people create many styles of art, while other people specialize in only one are. Painters will require canvas or paper, brushes, paints of many types such as oil, watercolor, or acrylic along with paint thinners or thickeners, pallets and other tools. Someone who specializes in drawing would need different pencils, different kinds of paper, maybe a light table, rulers, and inking pens among other things.
Any person who is planning to buy art supplies should take into account what they need and how much they are willing to pay. A simple set of graphite pencils can cost anything from $5 to $40, depending on the number of pencils and their quality. Blank paper can range from $3 a pad for newsprint to $20 a pad for watercolor paper. Paints also have a rather broad price range. Crayola watercolors that can be bought basically anywhere for a fairly cheap price; true, professional-quality watercolor paints can cost much more depending on where you get them.
Generally speaking, buying art supplies does not need to be a huge affair. Just always remember what you're looking for and don't blow your budget. Whether you require markers or pencils, bric-a-brac or fabric, yarn or paints, know what you're looking for and keep that in mind.