Artopia Studios inc

Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta

Proud Donor & Supporter.

Explore Your Creative Side

Kids & Teens Art Classes at Artopia




6 pm to 8 pm


10 am to 12 noon
1 pm to 3 pm
Classes are $20 + GST and you must register for a minimum of 4 classes
Jaime Sproul

Please bring the following to your first class:

  • sketchbook
  • any drawing supplies you already own (pencils, eraser, etc.)
  • bring an image that you want to work off or alternatively, I have lots of reference photos if you want to work from one of those images instead.

About Colin's Classes:

Commonly, students work in pencil to start off, and quite often move into acrylic painting as they move forward. Other art mediums (pastel, watercolor, pencil crayon etc…) can also be done. Below is a list of supplies, broken into drawing and painting and these can be purchased at Artopia.


Artist quality pencils (these are different than your typical HB pencils that you use at school), Specifically, I like my students to have AT LEAST one soft (dark), one medium, and one hard (light) pencil. I find a 4H, an HB and a 4B pencil are a great start.

  • A kneadable eraser
  • One white vinyl eraser
  • A sketch book. There are two important considerations here. First, the dimensions (how big a sheet of paper is) and second is the weight (how THICK is that paper). I like my students sketch books to be at least 9x12 inches (11x14 is also good) in dimension, with a paper weight between 90-110 lb. This weight of paper is great, because we can use both pencil and watercolor/water soluble pencil crayonsTracing paper. This also comes in a book (like the sketch book).


In my children's classes, I do not allow the use of oils, as there are issues with both fumes and overall clean up. We will use acrylic paint as a substitute.

  • I only ask my students to buy 5 bottles of paint, as we can mix any color we will need from those 5 colors:
  • o - Black
  • o - White
  • o - Primary cyan (also known as primary Blue, pthalo blue, pthalo blue green shade, process blue, process cyan) à technically, pthalo blue is a different color, but it works quite well
  • o - Primary magenta (also known as primary red, Quinacridone magenta, Quinacridone red, process red, process magenta) à technically, Quinacridone magenta and red are different colors, but they both work well
  • o - Primary yellow (also known as process yellow, Hansa yellow medium)

If you want to buy more colours, that's up to you. Sometimes a burnt umber (brown) can be helpful, as although we can mix brown with the paints I have recommended, it can be very tricky, especially for younger students!

  • Canvas: This can be stretched canvas or canvas board. Canvases closer to the size of your sketch book makes transferring a drawing to a canvas MUCH easier and is recommended.
  • Brushes: I like a type of brush called a filbert. I like my students to have one small (1/4inch), one medium (1/2 inch), and one larger (3/4 inch) filbert brush. Also, a one inch flat brush is great for filling in larger areas with paint.

Reference material:

This is a tricky one. Most working artists work from photographic reference. That is to say that they work while looking at a photograph for reference. This in itself isn't difficult. What can be tricky is finding good quality photos from which to work. A drawing/painting can be doomed from the start by a bad reference photo. We are looking for Clear photos. Also, since this is a class for children, too much going on in a photo can be very overwhelming for a student. I recommend simpler photos to start, of an animal, still life, flowers etc… There are no real rules here, just some suggestions. I am slowly amassing a collection of old calendar photos of wildlife/landscapes etc so that I can help out students who can't find good reference photos.

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