9 Must-Have Art Supplies for University Students 

Sep 15, 2020 | Art supplies, Students

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Whether you are heading to university for the first time or returning after a break, having the right art supplies when you are studying art is as important as having a calculator for Maths – maybe more so!  

But if you’re working on a budget, you only want to buy the most important stuff. To help you decide what that is, here’s a list of the must-have art supplies for every university student. 

The essentials 

Let’s start with the essentials, some of which will be needed even if you aren’t studying art but are taking courses such as architecture. 


Art pencils are a big decision to make because there are so many types and brands. If you have a brand you like such as Derwent or Faber Castell, then stick with it. If not, ask our staff. We’re always happy to match the right people to the right pencils! 


Mistakes are a common part of art, so a quality eraser is a must-have. Made from malleable putty, it will remove graphite from pencils from almost any surface.  Mistakes – gone! 


Like pencils, sketchbooks come in the widest range of sizes and materials. It’s a good idea to have a selection and your course may even recommend certain ones. Aim for smaller sizes to keep handy as well as your bigger pads that you can stand on an easel. 


You may prefer pens for art or want to have some to experiment with. Faber Castell has an excellent selection, and they are very high quality with reliable results. Look for a range with a wide selection of colours to choose from, even if you only start with a few basic ones. 

Canvas and easels 

Canvas boards are great for larger projects. Think about the size of the project beforehand.  For the best results, invest in a quality easel too.  

Other must-have art supplies

As well as these five essentials, there are other supplies to consider, depending on what you are studying and what you are interested in. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your shopping. 

Watercolour paper 

This is a special smooth paper designed for watercolour paints, pencils and pens. If you plan to dabble or this is your favourite medium, you will want a plentiful supply of this. 


Watercolour paints, oils, acrylics and even inks, there are thousands of variations of paints and the ranges can sometimes be overwhelming.  But when you use a locally based art supply shop, you can always pop back for more when you realise you need them! 


If you are using acrylic paints, palettes are really useful for mixing paints and creating shades. There are also wood palettes, designed for oil paints. 


If you’re all set with paints and palettes – then you need brushes!  We have a wide range to choose from. It’s better to avoid cheap brushes as they often shed bristles which is annoying and affects the quality of your painting.  

Get the right supplies 

There are plenty of options when it comes to art supplies for university students and many items we haven’t mentioned here – varnishes, Mahl stick, Masonite and more.  But if you visit our store here on the University of Greenwich campus, we can help you fine-tune what you need!