Kafi_Z
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Hi guys, I've been trawling the numerous sixth form stationery threads recently but as someone taking A Level art in September, I don't feel like there is anywhere on here where people are discussing supplies specifically needed for Art in sixth form, so I created this thread (which also covers stationery because the two often overlap).

Hopefully this can be a place where other self confessed art nerds like me can discuss the sorts of things we have or are planning to get for the A Level course as well as anything else related it, and maybe some current sixth formers can help us out too
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you’ve posted in the right place? Posting in the specific Study Help forum should help get responses.

I'm going to quote in Tank Girl now so she can move your thread to the right place if it's needed. :yy:

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Renaa
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Hi, I did AS Art at sixth form and could answer any questions you have or give opinions on what you are planning to take

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Hazllye
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Sketchbooks are a definite! I found a3 the best size for them, and usually one or two per unit..if you can get any Pink Pig brand of sketchbooks, they've got great quality paper to use for painting on etc and are great with the binding as if your sketchbook gets really thick from putting loads in there, it still stays in one piece! (They're about £10 each)

Also, just loads of different types of papers, materials, fabrics from charity shops or discount shops, these are great for making interesting backgrounds to work on.

Post it notes definitely! They're great for sticking in your sketchbook of ideas you want to do later and where it could go or what to explain there. Even moreso near deadlines when you can see exactly how much you have left to do and it's so satisfying putting finished ones in the bin. And a small notebook just to put down what you've done lately and what to do that night etc.

Media wise though, I'd say bits of everything to experiment with and from there you can get more of what you want to develop and work with more, since you might find a new technique and use it more than what you used at GCSE. I ended up using a lot of charcoal and fine liner/biro even though I'd not used it at gcse and loved it which was great since a pack of it went a long way.

It can be really easy to spend a fortune on the subject, but a lot of the stuff you use will last a while and longer than the course (watercolour blocks etc) or are things from around the house like newspaper for backgrounds or biro pens. It's worth investing in and getting good quality paints and sketchbooks though.

Oh, and definitely headphones & music. Lots of music..

Hoped this helped somewhat! I loved getting stuff for A Level art, it was the actual work that I never wanted to do



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Kafi_Z
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(Original post by Hazllye)
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Thanks a lot, this is all really helpful and the sort of stuff I wanted to know because I want to be prepared to prevent any last minute rushing around for the essentials like a sketch book, which I wasn't entirely sure if we would be provided with or not. I already went and bought an A3 sketchbook which seems pretty good but if it doesn't hold up well, I'll look into getting the one you suggested.

I did use post it notes for the past couple of years in the same way as you for GCSE art and I completely know what you mean by it being so satisfying to peel all of them off one by one as the deadlines approach! By small notebook, would a general planner work? I wouldn't want to have a separate one for art because I'd probably lose it haha

I currently have a bit of quite a few mediums so hopefully I'll see what I want to focus on next year after the course starts, I may move from mainly colouring pencils to watercolour, but we'll see.

I'm definitely prepared on the music front, I actually just finished syncing all 1200+ tracks from my phone onto my laptop

Hopefully I'll enjoy the work just as much as the buying aspect, I hear it's A LOT of work, even compared to GCSE which I spent the majority of my time on in terms of school work.

Again, thanks, this was all super helpful advice
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Hazllye
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(Original post by Kafi_Z)
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No problems, if you've got any other questions feel free to pm/post
& I think it depends on the sixth form for how much they provide..some provide everything you need and more for it, whereas others (mainly bigger schools) ask you to get most of it yourself or buy it from the school.

It's a good idea to get folders for your sketchbooks, and depending on how your course works, ones for bigger scale work, A2, A1 folders just to stop them from getting wet and keeping everything in one place.

Yeah, a general planner is great! I just found it good to write down on a Thursday/Friday what I needed to do for the weekend, and sometimes what I'd done in total for each unit so I knew which unit I needed to do work for (there was always one that I'd not done as much work for simply because I didn't enjoy it) but also to help think of bits of art I needed to finish. But yeah, any kind of planner is good cause it normally permanently stays in your school bag/art folder.

Also, make sure you keep every piece of art you do, even if you don't like it at the time, or if it was for an old project and you didn't end up using it - there was a lot of stuff I used/improved that I didn't think I'd use again! It can be helpful to have everything you don't like at the time in a pile/drawer
Not wanting to sound contradictory haha, but it's important to be selective at the same time, not just sticking stuff in because it's there.

Music is so important lol! 1200 tracks should be just enough

& It is a lot of work, but it's really rewarding as well at the end when you see a huge pile of art that you've done over the months and the final piece you made.
It definitely effects other subjects because deadlines are normally end of April-mid May, and around that time you want to be revising for other subjects, but its solidly art-finishing (as it is for most of the year tbh) and staying up to get it done.
Compared to GCSE I'd say its about 4-5x as much work, and A2 Level kinda doubles it again. You quickly get used to it though, so don't let that put you off!

Anyway, all of the best with your art! I'm guessing you've just finished art GCSE? How did you find it?
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Kafi_Z
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(Original post by Hazllye)
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I guess to be on the safe side I'll just buy it myself, I mean like what's the worst that could happen? I'll just have more supplies at home, which, lets be real, is never a bad thing!

I have an A3 and A2 folder from the GCSE course which I plan to continue using to take my sketchbook to and from school. I also got given this A3 portfolio folder which has like 20 plastic pockets which I plan to use for things I do on loose paper, I don't really know yet though.

I think we have a very similar way of working then, very systematic haha. I'm probably going to do what you did in terms of a planner because making lists and being able to see exactly what I have to do over a certain period of time makes me feel more organised and prepared to work.

Good tip about keeping all of my work. I tend to always do my own personal art as well as for school and maybe somehow tie them together but I don't know if I'll be able to do that next year in terms of time and workload, how did you find it?

If I ever do run out of music, there's always YouTube playlists XD

I was thinking about how art deadlines would clash with my other subjects and realised that it hopefully won't interfere with too much revision seeing as the only other subject I'm taking which is fully exam based is Psychology. The other two I'm taking, Graphics and Media, also seem pretty coursework based so hopefully it'll be okay. I'm already used to staying up til the dead of night to meet deadlines too

Yeah, I just finished my art GCSE. I enjoyed it a lot and I could see when looking through my books just how much improvement I'd made in my skills over the past 2 years which is cool. My teacher only occasionally checked my work though, which at the time, I found annoying, but I think it'll prepare me for the next 2 years as I hear it's all very independent. It's just a waiting game til results day now!
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Hazllye
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(Original post by Kafi_Z)
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Yeah, art supplies are ones that last forever most of the time, so it's better to get too much than running out of something when you need it at that moment!
Those folders work great, and I love the portfolio A3 folders for putting full A3 paintings/work in, because it makes them look a lot more professional and it keeps them undamaged through the whole year.
Just make sure you don't spend the whole time making lists! I seemed to do that a lot, making a list then taking an hour break thinking I'd accomplished loads haha!

I think it's good to do personal projects, but I'm not sure whether there'd be enough time at A Level to do both, anything art-wise I did was just for the units over the last couple of years - I got sick of doing art by the end of it because of the huge amount of it, but then it feels odd not coming home and spending 5-6 hours doing art.

Maybe over the gaps between now and starting A Levels, and AS and A2 though? If you find yourself bored over the holidays, it can be worthwhile going to art galleries/museums, as they're amazing places to help with ideas and primary sources for coursework! (which you need a lot of) Just take loads of photos and leaflets, and then if you get stuck for ideas you can look through them and do sketches from them etc.

Yeah, years 12/13 are a lot more independent, but the classes are a lot smaller (ours went from 25 to 5 over AS-A2) so it means when your teacher looks through your work, they tend to look through absolutely everything really in-depth which can be brilliant as they gave us lists of what to do next, and small bits that needing changing/adding to meet the mark schemes, as well as ideas to push the work more, and they might give you an idea of whereabouts you're working at now grade-wise (just don't take it to heart at the start of the year!). It might be completely different, though, depending on schools.
But, for a lot of the ideas they give you, they'll have the resources (laminating, odd fabrics, heat transfer etc) that could be quite expensive for you to go out and buy yourself, so use those instead of going out and getting it yourself that you might only use once.

Have you just finished GCSE then? If so, all the best for results this Thursday! If you loved art at GCSE then I think you will at A Level
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by Hazllye)
Yeah, art supplies are ones that last forever most of the time, so it's better to get too much than running out of something when you need it at that moment!
Those folders work great, and I love the portfolio A3 folders for putting full A3 paintings/work in, because it makes them look a lot more professional and it keeps them undamaged through the whole year.
Just make sure you don't spend the whole time making lists! I seemed to do that a lot, making a list then taking an hour break thinking I'd accomplished loads haha!

I think it's good to do personal projects, but I'm not sure whether there'd be enough time at A Level to do both, anything art-wise I did was just for the units over the last couple of years - I got sick of doing art by the end of it because of the huge amount of it, but then it feels odd not coming home and spending 5-6 hours doing art.

Maybe over the gaps between now and starting A Levels, and AS and A2 though? If you find yourself bored over the holidays, it can be worthwhile going to art galleries/museums, as they're amazing places to help with ideas and primary sources for coursework! (which you need a lot of) Just take loads of photos and leaflets, and then if you get stuck for ideas you can look through them and do sketches from them etc.

Yeah, years 12/13 are a lot more independent, but the classes are a lot smaller (ours went from 25 to 5 over AS-A2) so it means when your teacher looks through your work, they tend to look through absolutely everything really in-depth which can be brilliant as they gave us lists of what to do next, and small bits that needing changing/adding to meet the mark schemes, as well as ideas to push the work more, and they might give you an idea of whereabouts you're working at now grade-wise (just don't take it to heart at the start of the year!). It might be completely different, though, depending on schools.
But, for a lot of the ideas they give you, they'll have the resources (laminating, odd fabrics, heat transfer etc) that could be quite expensive for you to go out and buy yourself, so use those instead of going out and getting it yourself that you might only use once.

Have you just finished GCSE then? If so, all the best for results this Thursday! If you loved art at GCSE then I think you will at A Level
Great advice 👍
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username2400323
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GCSE Art vs AS/A2 Art (out of 10):

GCSE: 00.01
A-level: 10.01
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bloated_utopia
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lino printing is great and underrated. you can do crazy ombre prints and it's a good way to turn one drawing into a parade of experiments in colour, composition, repetition, and alignment. ur school may provide all the stuff needed or at least the inking stuff so it's worth looking into. small sketchbooks are great for constant observational drawing practice and you can just add them to your art folder at the end/fit them in with a project (or not, still good practice). they don't have to be fancy either, i get pretty nice ones under £2.
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