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- How much should I pay?
- Who has the best prices?
- What's in the baskets?
- Art supply retailers prices compared
how much Should i pay?
Nearly everything artists use can be obtained on sale, with a coupon, or at a discount. Many shops give a price reduction when presented with a student I.D., and most issue discount shopping cards at no charge upon request. Given all this, there is rarely any reason to pay the full "retail" price.
who has the best prices?
To help you decide where to shop, the cost of filling a shopping cart with a selection of products purchased from several different art supply retailers are compared below. Prices are as of Autumn 2014 and are based on the retailers' regular (not sale) prices.
what's in the baskets?
In addition to a few basic brushes, painters' baskets include a selection of frequently used colors. In addition, for oil painters there are 2 canvases, paint thinner, and linseed oil, and for watercolor artists there is a pad of watercolor paper. Student baskets contain student grade paints, while professional baskets have professional quality paints. Baskets for drawing include a kneaded eraser, package of vine charcoal, pencils, chamois, and a sketching pad.
(NOTE: Every attempt has been made to ensure that all vendors' baskets contain identical brands and products. However, since not all retailers offer exactly the same products, in a few instances it was necessary to substiture a different brand or product. Wherever that has occurred, the substitution is an equivalent product with a similar retail value.)
WHERE TO SHOP LOCALLY
Below is a listing of area art supply retailers with links to their web sites.
allegeny art company
318 Leedom Street, Jenkintown (215-884-9242),
and 22 South State Street, Newtown (215-579-1060).
artist & craftsman supply
In central Philadelphia at 307 Market Street, the personable owners are eager to help and answer questions (267-861-6008).
dick blick art materials
Blick, at 1330 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
(215-545-3214), has highly competitive pricing.
merion art & repro center
Located at 17 West Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore (610-869-6161), MA&RC offers digital reproduction and plotting services in addition to art supplies. Highest prices among retailers surveyed.
plaza artist materials
Located in the heart of University City, Plaza features a wide selection. (215-823-6893).
wayne art supplies 112 East Lancaster Avenue in Wayne (610-254-9011).
WHERE TO SHOP VIA INTERNET
The best values and broadest selection are often found via internet. The following are companies that have no local stores but maintain web sites with attractive prices or difficult to find items.
art supply warehouse (800-995-6778)
Very attracive pricing but cumbersome web site. For an annual fee, members receive notice of special sales and enjoy further reduced prices.
cheap joe's art stuff
Not only does Cheap Joe offer discount pricing, the Artist Resources section of his web site provides useful tips, videos, and even a discussion forum.
italian art store
Highest grade professional products for painters. Based in Morristown, NJ.
The makers of Rublev paints from both common and rare natural pigments, a range of other items is also available, including guilding and metalpoint materials. The Articles page on Natural Pigments web site is an excellent resource for instructional and technical information.