Category Archives: art supplies

Back to School Art Projects

Back to School Art ProjectsSummer holiday is over. September is the month when children return to school. Young students in their elementary years may experience mixed emotions about early mornings and homework. Starting up such a routine is less than thrilling but back to school art projects can make returning to the classroom exciting.

Listed below are art projects that are creative, fun, and great conversations starters. Since getting back to school is all about starting fresh and making new friends, these functional art pieces are sure to kick off the school year on the right foot.

Pencil Toppers

Make plain, old yellow pencils fun. A number of household items can be used to top a pencil. (Walnuts are an example listed here: This is a great back to school art project for young kids. And, it makes a student’s school supplies one-of-a-kind.

Notebook Designs

Many schools require students cover their books. Change it up this year by covering a textbook with something extraordinary – like denim. Also, make ordinary notebooks more exciting with stickers and original designs.


Adding patches and pins to a backpack can give it a new look. For young students, a themed backpack may boost confidence and increase excitement about going back to school.

Organizing the Homework Area

Schoolwork starts in the classroom and continues at home. Setting up a creative homework area is a fun and beneficial activity. These resources have a few fun ways for kids to set up their own homework stations: Maintaining this space within a home can be a great way to stay organized and make schoolwork enjoyable.

Back to school is anything but boring. Make sure kids get excited — and stay excited — by adding creative activities. These back to school art projects may begin at home but they are taken into the classroom. A student can show off his or her creative talents and stand out this year.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art Projects:

Candy Art: We Don’t all Have to be Artists to Create Art!

The Meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Art

Ideas for Creating Halloween Art

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Benefits of Making Your Own Paints

Did you know that you can easily and affordably make your own paints right at home? The supplies needed to make oil paints, acrylics, watercolors or pastels are fairly inexpensive and they can be easily purchased online or at a local shop. You don’t need a giant studio or an excessive amount of supplies to make your own paints – all you need are a few basic ingredients pertinent to each medium, and a tabletop that you can use as your work area.

You might wonder, “Why should I bother making my own paints?”

There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial for artists to make their own paints. For starters, when you break down a specific medium to its individual components, it helps you to understand the nature of the medium. Taking part in the process of creating an oil paint or a pastel stick provides invaluable insight into the qualities of that particular medium. Plus, the magic of watching loose powdered pigment transform into a usable paint can become part of the overall creative experience.

One of the best things about making your own paints is that you can control the hue, value and intensity of each color. If you need a specific shade of green that is difficult to mix using commercial paints, you can create your own. If you need a range of blues to create skyscapes and seascapes, you can create the exact colors that you need and save them for future use.

It’s easy to forget that there was once a time when all artists either had to make their own paints or purchase these supplies from a local artisan. The vast majority of artists today buy their paints and art materials off the shelf. Most artists don’t even think twice about how these materials are made or what is actually in them. This has changed our relationships to our art materials. By making your own paints, you can reinvigorate your connection to the materials that you use to create art.

In future articles, we’ll take a closer look at the process involved for making oil paints, pastels, watercolors and acrylics.


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Artists: what are YOUR favorite art supplies to make art while you are traveling?

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In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making art while traveling. In this blog post, we’ll expand the topic further to tell you about the best art supplies for traveling artists.

Whether you will be flying to Europe to sketch the Roman ruins or plein air painting next to your local fishing spot, the art supplies in this list are all portable and compact – but don’t let size fool you! These art supplies are more than capable of capturing the scenery around you.


Watercolor travel sets, such as Winsor Newton’s Half-Pan Watercolors, are perfect for traveling artists. Watercolors require minimal preparation and clean up, making them ideal for painting-on-the-go.

Aside from the pan of watercolors, all you need are: a paintbrush, a bottle of water, watercolor paper, and a tiny piece of soap for cleaning your brush. Art supply stores sell handy little plastic containers with lids that you can simply fill with water from your water bottle, and you’re ready to paint!

Watercolors are more ideal for travel than acrylics or oils, because they are easier to clean up and they are available in small, travel sized sets. If acrylics or oils are your main media, you can always do watercolor studies on-site and use them as references later for larger paintings in oils or acrylics.

Colored Pencils

Just a few colored pencils can go a long way. You don’t need to bring your entire set of 100 colored pencils the next time you travel – just bring anywhere from 6 to 12 colors, and you’ll be able to capture the essence of your surroundings. As long as you have a small range of different colors, you can mix them to create the colors you need.

Colored pencils are great for traveling artists because they require no preparation at all – simply open your sketchbook, whip out your colored pencils, and sketch away! Clean-up is just as easy.

Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils combine the benefits of colored pencils and watercolors in a single media that is super easy to transport. Like colored pencils, all you need are a few colors of watercolor pencils, and you can mix them together to create endless color combinations. In addition to the watercolor pencils, you’ll need a paintbrush and a small container of water. However, you can also do without the water and just use the watercolor pencils like colored pencils, if you so desire.


Pens are excellent for capturing the immediacy of your surroundings. You can buy artist pens in a variety of colors. They are lightweight and inexpensive, and you can also use them to scribble notes in your sketchbook.

Pens can also be combined with watercolor washes to add color and dimension to a piece.


Even if you only have a pencil and paper, you can make art wherever you are! Drawing pencils are available in sets of varying softness and hardness, so you can also carry a whole range of pencils with you, to help bring the best out of your pencil drawings.

So, artists: what are YOUR favorite art supplies to make art while you are traveling?

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The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

How Color Can Transform Space

Street Painting in Washington, DC

Look around you. The buildings, the streets, the trees – they all look pretty much the same, day after day, don’t they? So much so, that you probably got to the point where you don’t really notice your surroundings anymore, other than to get from Point A to Point B, or to admire an occasional flower or sunset.

What would happen if someone painted multicolored stripes across the street you take every day to work? Imagine how much that would change your perception of the street and alter your day to day reality. Color has the power to lift you into another world, and take you beyond the ordinary. Many artists are utilizing this power to transform our everyday surroundings so that we see our own familiar spaces in a new light.

Here are three examples of how color can transform space:

  • In the image above, artist Mokha Laget, in conjuction with the Corcoran and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, recreated a striped street painting that she originally created 20 years earlier on 8th St. NW in downtown Washington DC. The painted stripes are an homage to former Corcoran professor and noted color field artist, Gene Davis, who died of a heart attack in 1985. The bright colors enliven the street, bringing a sense of wonder and whimsicality to the US capital.
  • Rio de Janeiro, capital of Brazil, is a city with striking disparities between the rich and the poor. Twenty percent of Rio’s inhabitants live in densely populated favelas that crowd the hillsides overlooking the capital’s more wealthy residents. The ‘O Morro’ Favela Painting project is an attempt to bring color and culture to the impoverished community, injecting vitality and pride into an otherwise depressed area rife with social issues. The Favela Project is employing favela residents to paint their houses in specific, carefully-designed patterns that when finished, will be a display of beauty and color visible from the center of Rio.
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude, famous for “wrapping” buildings, bridges and entire islands, once again soared into the spotlight in 2005 with their “Gates” installation in New York City’s Central Park. For 15 days in February 2005, 7,503 vinyl saffron-colored gates rising 5 meters into the air were displayed along Central Park’s pathways, stretching a combined length of 23 miles. Although the public had mixed feelings about the installation, the gates undeniably brought color to New York’s austere winter landscape.


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How to Make Your Own Oil Paints

In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making your own paints, rather than buying commercially-made paints from art supply stores. Two of the most appealing reasons for making your own paints include the ability to control the color and the quantity of the paint that you make. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how you can make your own oil paints using just a few simple supplies.

The two main ingredients you’ll need for making your own oil paints are powdered pigment and an oil, such as linseed oil (which most oil painters usually have on hand anyway). The tools you’ll need to mix the ingredients can either be a mortar and pestle (shown above), or a sturdy spatula and a flat glass surface. The mortar and pestle is the preferred choice because it will allow you to grind the pigment into finer particles.

To make your own oil paint, place your desired amount of pigment onto the glass surface or into the mortar. Add a small amount of oil and grind together the pigment and the oil using your pestle or spatula. Be sure to start off with a small amount of oil, because you don’t want your mixture to be too runny.

As the pigment absorbs the oil, note the consistency. If the mixture looks too dry, add more oil. If it is too oily, add more pigment. Your goal is to create a mixture that resembles the consistency of toothpaste.

Once the pigment and oil are thoroughly mixed, then you are ready to paint! The process is as simple as that. Your homemade oil paint can be mixed with commercially-made oil paints, and it may be stored in tubes or airtight jars for future use. segmation dot com.


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