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Teaching & Learning Art Online: Home Art Supplies

There are art supplies in your home that you didn’t know about!

Limitations can be inspiring, here’s your chance to transform mundane objects from your home into artwork!  Search your kitchen, bathroom, and pantry, there’s a lot to find. Experiment and see what works.

Show us what you make!

Tag us @art.prof on Instagram with #artprofshare. You can also email Prof Lieu.

Get your art featured on this page.

If you’d like to be considered to have your artwork posted on this page, you can submit your artwork below. Please know that your artwork must have been created with a home art supply that is listed below. Questions?  Contact us!

-Prof Lieu

PAINT MATERIALS

Home Art Supplies: Flowers

Flower Petals
Most colored flower petals can be rubbed into paper to make lovely patches of color.

Painting with Turmeric

Turmeric
Mix turmeric with a bit of water and you’ll create am earthy yellow ochre.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Matcha Powder

Matcha Powder
Dissolve matcha powder in water to get a subtle pale green wash.

Home Art Supplies: Hair Dye for Painting

Hair Dye
Hair dye has bright, vibrant colors that are great for painting!

Home Art Supplies: Dandelions

Dandelions
Rub dandelion flowers onto paper and you’ll get a brilliant yellow color!

Home Art Supplies: Tulip Leaves

Tulip Leaves
The leaves of a tulip make luscious colors when rubbed onto paper.

Home Art Supplies: Color with Japanese Maple Leaves

Japanese Maple Leaves
The deep maroon color of Japanese Maple leaves makes a rich patch of red when rubbed onto paper.

Painting with Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid 
Kool-Aid dissolves fast in water and gets bold colors similar to liquid watercolors.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar
You’ll get beautiful brown wash with a touch of red with balsamic vinegar!

Soy Sauce & Toothpaste Painting, Chloe O'Sullivan

Chloe O’Sullivan
soy sauce & toothpaste

“My aim was to use the soy sauce like watercolors, I reduced the soy sauce with water to do the lighter and mid tones and pure soy sauce for the darker tones. The toothpaste was for the white highlights, which if i was to do again I would probably change that for some other item. Using these household items has really sparked some new ideas, which is always great. You can jot the ideas down and come back to them at a later time, or just dive right into new exploration.”

Painting with Turmeric and Beets, Milagros Santos

Milagros Santos
turmeric & beets

“I took a reflection photo of a self portrait, then printed and highlighted my reflection with the beet and turmeric color. The turmeric was used literally as a crayon. I draw with pencil a face and added a butterfly colored with beet and turmeric diluted in alcohol drops.”

Coffee & Balsamic Vinegar Painting, Simple Triskell

Simple Triskell
coffee & balsamic vinegar

“I really enjoyed working with the coffee and vinegar! I typically use watercolor and the coffee behaved very similarly. It was very, very light going on, so I attempted to darken it by adding more coffee grounds, but even then it was too light to give me good contrast. I revisited the list on the site and noticed the balsamic vinegar which turned out to be the perfect color for the darker areas – it worked really well with the lighter washes and gave me the depth I was looking for. Where the balsamic went on heavily it dried to a sticky looking sheen – I suspect it is not archival. 🙂 But it was a really fun experiment!”

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Sprinkles

Sprinkles
Sprinkles produce lovely soft colors and dissolve easily in water.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Leaves

Maple Leaves
Maple leaves rub easily onto paper to create a bright, saturated green tone.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice produces a deep red that has a lovely touch of purple.

Painting with Saffron

Saffron
Let some saffron threads soak in water and you’ll get a soft yellow ink great for light washes.

Home Art Supplies: Foundation Makeup

Foundation
Foundation makeup is very smooth and spreads beautifully with a brush.

Home Art Supplies: Color with Violet Petals

Violets
Rubbing the petals of violets produces a beautiful patch of blue!

Home Art Supplies: Color with Lilac Flowers

Lilac Flowers
You can create a lovely subtle greyish lavender color when rubbing lilac flowers onto paper.

Home Art Supplies: Eye Shadow

Eye Shadow
Eye shadow blends well and can be rubbed with your fingers to get a soft, painterly patches o f color.

Painting with Icing Coloring

Icing Colors
Icing colors can be used exactly like watercolor cakes, and have intense colors.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Tea

Tea
Tea makes a lovely soft ink wash that is delicate and subtle!

Painting with Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid 
Apparently Grape Kool-aid looks like a grey India ink!

Painting with Jello

Jello
Jello can be like watercolor; just be sure to heat the water so the jello dissolves.

Paprika Painting, Sally Webster

Sally Webster
paprika

“I put all my home art supplies on the kitchen counter and tested mustard and paprika with a basting brush. Surprised to capture an idea of home, I set the slip of paper in the window to give it a little light. Then I snapped a shot when the sun rose over my neighbor’s house.”

Coffee Painting, Rowenn Beth Kalman

Rowenn Beth Kalman
coffee

“I would never have considered using coffee to paint with if I had not seen other artists get such a cool effect. For this sketchbook page, I tried using instant coffee granules and water with different dilutions. The coffee blooms and flows when applied wet-on-wet like watercolors, and a thicker mixture lets the brush texture show.”

Sally Webster, Mixed Media Collage

Sally Webster
turmeric, beet, açaí, toothbrush

“After using a toothbrush to test several colors, I was drawn to turmeric, beet, and açaí. The turmeric was selected to be the background, and the two other samples were cut up into shapes to collage. I quickly glued down some shapes and cropped the image to highlight the toothbrush brush strokes.”

Finger Painting with Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid Powder
Rub your wet fingers into Kool-Aid powder to create dry and patchy marks!

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Mustard

Mustard
You’ll get a soft yellow tone similar to Naples Yellow with mustard.

Finger Painting with Toothpaste

Toothpaste
Toothpaste spreads easily, is translucent, and sometimes sparkly!

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Cocoa

Cocoa
Cocoa powder creates a warm brown ink wash!

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Beets

Beets
Cut a beet slice, dip your brush in water, and massage your brush on the beet slice like a watercolor cake! Boil the beets to make liquid ink.

Painting with Paprika

Paprika
Mix paprika with water and you’ll get a light wash similar to burnt sienna. 

Painting with Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce
You’ll get a soft subtle brown ink from soy sauce, similar to Walnut ink. 

Painting with Food Coloring

Food Coloring
Intense and bold colors are what you’ll get from food coloring, add water to create a range of gradients/

Home Art Supplies: Rouge

Blush
Blush lets you make a soft blend of colors that is light and airy.

Home Art Supplies: Nail Polish

Nail Polish
With all the colors, shine, and sparkle, you’ve got all the painting tools you need with nail polish.

Painting with Coffee

Coffee
Coffee produces a subtle raw umber color that can be used to create the effects of ink wash.

Home Art Supplies: Flowers

Flower Petals
Lots of flower petals will produce patches of color when rubbed onto a sheet of paper.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Grape Hyacinths

Grape Hyacinths
You’ll get a beautiful vibrant blue when you rub grape hyacinth flowers into a surface!

Sara Boeisa, Beet Root Juice Painting

Sara Boeisa
beets

“The beet root juice was so much fun to paint with and I loved the colour, but it got patchy at some point and I panicked, but it blended easily when I went over the edges. I would definitely try it again.”

DRAWING TOOLS

Home Art Supplies: Painting with Q-Tips

Q-Tips
Q-tips are great for stippling and creating an impressionistic look.

Drawing with a Plastic Knife and Ink

Plastic Knife
The serrated edge of a plastic knife creates a beautiful texture reminiscent of cross-hatching. Works well with liquid inks and acrylic paint.

Bleach Pen Drawing

Bleach Pen
Get any dark colored fabric and draw with a bleach pen. Wash the fabric and you’re have a lovely range of gradients in the fabric.

Drawing with Mascara

Mascara
Mascara has a thick intense black tone, and the applicator makes beautiful textured marks!

Home Art Supplies: Drawing with Beet Sticks

Beet Sticks
Cut up sticks of beets and draw! Dip the beet sticks in water to get the color to flow more.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with a Pipecleaner

Piper Cleaner
Pipe cleaners make terrific marks and textures!

Homemade Art Suppliess: Drawing with Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish
Shoe polish feels painterly and slick. Gesso your surface to create a juicer, more luscious mark.

Drawing with Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish
Shoe polish feels painterly and slick. Gesso your surface to create a juicer, more luscious mark.

Home Art Supplies: Feather Painting

Feather
The soft edges of a feather create a smooth, fluid stroke with paint!

Drawing with a Fork and Ink

Plastic Fork
Plastic forks create a beautiful set of marks that cover paper quickly, play with the speed of your marks! Works well with liquid inks and acrylic paint.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with a Toothbrush

Toothbrush
An old toothbrush makes great textures for painting!

Drawing with a Twig and Ink

Twigs
The uneven tip of a twig produces a broad range of marks. Dip into any liquid ink to draw.

Home Art Supplies: Painting with a Comb

Comb
Dip a comb in paint and you’ll create lovely patterns that you can layer over each other!

Homemade art supplies: charcoal

Natural Charcoal
If you have a fireplace, you’ve got natural charcoal in it. Natural charcoal is more crumbly than manufactured charcoal, and is like vine charcoal. 

3D MATERIALS

Drawing on a Banana with an Etching Needle

Banana Drawing
Use an ice pick, an etching needle and draw into a banana peel. Your lines will ripen and turn brown!  (we stole this from Song Kang)

Sewing Pins Sculpture

Sewing Pins
Find any soft flat surface: styrofoam, foam board, etc. and push pins in varying directions.

Toilet Paper Tube Sculpture

Toilet Paper Tubes
Using a single toilet paper tube, cut, curl, and fold the tube into an abstract sculpture.

Toilet Paper Sculpture, Neil Espinosa
Toilet Paper Sculpture, Neil Espinosa
Toilet Paper Sculpture, Neil Espinosa

Neil Espinosa

“I really want to try 3D art, but I can’t afford clay, and my hot glue gun was stuck at school. That’s why I decided to work on something that is available in my house. Toilet paper tube is very accessible and easy to work with, which makes it just the perfect material to start with. Cutting and forming the tube was very easy.

Following the natural curve of the tube creates graceful forms. When cutting against the curve, the forms created are much stiffer. Lastly, the supply allows me to work in a large quantity, which is just amazing.”

Paper Bag Sculpture, Darinka Arones

Brown Paper Bags
Versatile and sturdy, any brown paper bag has sculptural potential. Bags with handles spice it up!

Carving an Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash
Use a linoleum cutter to carve a design into an acorn squash. Small shavings means you can still eat the squash later. A paring knife works too.

Aluminum Foil Sculpture, Hema Somaya

Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is incredibly versatile, create delicate petals of form or twist and crunch the foil to create structured forms.

Corrugated Cardboard Sculpture, Kira Held

Corrugated Cardboard
Tear apart corrugated cardboard sheets and reveal the textured pattern inside. Cut, curl, fold, twist, anything is possible!

Home Art Supplies: Bean Mosaic

Dried Beans
Arrange dried beans into a mosaic, then eat them!

Outdoor Sand and Rock Sculpture

Sand & Rocks
Use rocks and sand to make a pattern. Layer colors and textures over each other. Look at Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration.

Q-Tip Sculpture, Evan Young

Q-Tips
Bend, fold and twist Q-tips and then assemble them together.

Carving an Eggplant

Eggplant Carving
Cut a thin piece of the skin of an eggplant, (eat the rest!) then use a linoleum cutter to carve a design. A paring knife works too.

Nail Sculpture

Nails
Find any soft flat surface: styrofoam, foam board, etc. and push nails in varying directions.

Home Art Supplies: Carving Watermelon

Watermelon Carving
Cut a piece of watermelon rind, then use a linoleum cutter to carve a design. A paring knife works too.

Toilet Paper Sculpture, Luna Yuan

Toilet Paper
There’s a lot you can do with a single sheet of toilet paper: twist it, fold it, tear it! Use glue or water to dramatically transform the toilet paper.

COLLAGE SUPPLIES

Home Art Supplies: Old Postcards

Old Postcards
Many postcards are artworks in themselves, you can’t go wrong with the incredible range of visuals in postcards.

Home Art Supplies: Wrapping Paper

Wrapping Paper
Use up those awkwardly sized scraps of wrapping paper that will probably go in the recycle bin anyway in a collage!

Home Art Supplies: old photos

Old Photos
Some of you might remember when getting a photo meant driving to a store to have the film developed.  Sift through those boxes of photos!

Home Art Supplies: Cracker boxes

Cereal or Cracker Boxes
With tons of bold colors, and text, cereal and cracker boxes can be cut out and used for any collage.

Home Art Supplies: Xeroxed Sheet Music

Sheet Music
Xerox or print out copies of any sheet music, a broad variety of shapes blended with text can be beautiful and rich visuals for collage.

Home Art Supplies: Sandpapers

Sandpaper
Sandpaper comes in so many colors and textures, perfect for spicing up a collage.

Old Artwork
A lot of us have old sketches, paintings that we probably won’t be needing again! Recycle your artwork and give it a new life.

Home Art Supplies: Magazines

Magazines
Magazines have an amazing range of colors, textures, and words, great to add variety to any collage.

Home Art Supplies: Newspapers

Newspapers
For those of you who read newspapers the “old fashioned way,” put them to good use after you read them in your artwork!

Home Art Supplies: Xeroxed Illustrations

Black & White Illustrations
Xerox or print out illustrations from any era, you’ll discover tons of graphic shapes and detailed textures depending on the era of illustrations you choose.

Home Art Supplies: Old Books

Old Books
We know cutting up a book feels practically sacrilegious to some people, but old books can have beautiful visuals if you’re willing to sacrifice them!

Home Art Supplies: Junk Mail

Junk Mail
That junk mail is probably going into the recycle bin anyway, so you might as well transform it into an artwork.

TEACHING & LEARNING ART ONLINE

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