A business doesn’t stay open for nearly 60 years unless it’s doing something right. Desert Art Supplies on East Charleston Boulevard has stood its ground—and expanded to Henderson—thanks to its knowledgeable customer service and array of products. From a variety of canvases and airbrushes to drafting equipment and screen printing supplies, the family-owned business caters to all art enthusiasts. They’ve outfitted novices with their first sketchbooks and have supplied the high-quality spray paint used in murals all over Downtown. We poked around the shop with manager Ty Parker and his crew to look at some of the season’s most popular items. Instead of buying your “creative” cousin another ugly sweater he won’t wear, consider one of these:
Be one with your scribbles with Zentangle, an activity to help relax your mind through repeating simple shapes. The end results are intricately detailed patterns and designs. “It’s a fancy form of doodling,” Parker says. It’s good for both children and adults, and all you really need is a pen and some paper. No artistic training required. Books start at $8.99.
Used in everything from architectural design to comic books, these professional grade pens are double-nibbed so you can create full, broad strokes and finer details. They come in any color imaginable and are refillable, too. $7.99 each.
Prismacolor pencils and sets
You can’t go wrong with Prismacolor pencils. Stashed in every artist’s tool kit are these high-quality color pencils with thick, slow-wearing and soft lead. Buy a pack of 12 or a set of 150, depending on how much you love your relative. Starting at $11.81 for a 12-color set.
RENDR No Show Thru Sketch Book
Sketch books are another universal necessity for artists. What sets RENDR’s hardcover books apart is that their pages are made so that ink from the heaviest markers won’t bleed through. They’re like the Kotex of sketch books. Starting at $17.99.
The Tattoo Coloring Book
The Tattoo Coloring Book is exactly what the title suggests. Created with adults in mind, the book celebrates the art of tattooing with a variety of traditional designs—skulls, girls, roses, tigers and hearts. It’s great for artists or body ink enthusiasts. According to Parker, local tattoo artists buy it to use for reference. $14.95.
How to Draw Zombies
These last few episodes of The Walking Dead have been a drag with unnecessary backstories and tangents (just kill Beth already!). You’re better off creating your own zombie apocalypse with Fantasy Underground’s 128-page How to Draw Zombies. The book gives step-by-step instructions on how to draw, paint and digitally illustrate the brain-eaters. It’s a great way to get kids interested in art, Parker says. Other books in the series include How to Draw Vampires, How to Draw Wizards and How to Draw Steampunk. $19.95.
Perhaps drawing zombies is too hands-off for you. The store carries a variety of Smooth-On liquid rubber products that are used for mold making, casting, special effects and makeup. They even come in cool names such as Dragon Skin. You can locate the section in the store by the employee-made zombie that dangles above the aisle. Ask to see their Pinhead, too. Prices vary.