Summer is a good time to develop some of the artsy skills you’ve been putting off. Getting good quality art supplies for reasonable prices, as well as actually finding what you need is relatively hard in Beijing. Many of you know about the row of art supply stores across from the National Art Museum of China, but have you been to the shops near the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Wangjing? Recently, they were renovated and combined into one large department store for art supplies: the Beijing International Art Material Center. Here’s a peek inside.
Most of the small, individual shops are gathered in the second floor. Once upstairs, you will be faced with an entire hallway full of stores selling almost anything that you might need for your summer art escapades.
Rows of paint, shelves of paper, boxes of brushes, and clusters of easels can be found in any of these shops near the back corner. Brands include Faber Castel, Marie, Winsor and Newton, and Sakura. Bear in mind: Generally, you get what you pay for.
This being said, most of the supplies are reasonably priced. A set of good quality watercolor brushes (5-6 brushes) ranges from RMB 38 to 55. A batch of sketching paper (20-30 sheets) can be as low as RMB 10. There aren’t many art stores on the first floor, but you’ll find cafes and bookshops (with art books, of course).
Recently, the third floor of the department store has been holding a sale for a variety of art supplies, such as kneadable erasers, sketch pads, watercolor paints, and more. Prices are getting down to the single digits, so don’t miss out!
Beijing International Art Material Center, Bldg 15, Huajiadi Beili (across from Central Academy of Fine Arts), Chaoyang District 北京国际画材中心，朝阳区花家地北里15号楼（中央美术学院对面）
Take buses 132, 471, or 944 and get off at Huajuadi Nanjie
Photos by Freda Zhao
Freda Zhao is a beijingkids intern (of the month) currently studying at the Western Academy of Beijing. She is one year from graduating high school. Outside of school work, she enjoys reading, painting, and mimicking cat sounds in her backyard (to draw strays to her house and feed them).