If you want to get a child into art, painting is always a fun activity. There are many ways of going about it. Kits are fun, but basic supplies are always useful. Here are some suggestions.
* Start a child off with an easel. There are full-size easels for small children, usually made of plastic and sometimes wood or plyboard. More professional models for an older child who enjoys painting can be purchased in full-size wood models that are adjustable or desktop models, often constructed of lightweight aluminum or wood. There are even more expensive art desks that give a great angle for painting and drawing, but they do take up quite a bit of room.
* As far as paints go, choose acrylics and watercolor paints instead of oil paints, which are not the best for little kids. Learn more about the different types in the Art Paints guide.
* Palettes are a perfect accessory to paint. Plastic palettes are easy to wash and have small indentations for separating the different colors. Wooden palettes and plastic flat palettes are more professional and thus better for teenagers.
* Canvases are great if a child has an easel, otherwise, heavy stock paper is good so that it can stand up to the wetness of the paint. Paper also tends to be cheaper, which is best for younger children. Teenagers might appreciate stretched canvases, especially if they are really into painting.