There aren't a whole lot of shops in Colombo that cater specially to art students. Artworld is one of the handful - it's a small shop, with a range of canvases, and paints and paintbrushes by big brands like Faber Castell, Camel and Acron. Luckily, the stuff is also affordable, so it's kind of ideal for amateur artists who don't have a lot of cash to spend.
They've got a big range of paints - watercolour, fabric, oil, acrylic. The prices for the paint tubs are between Rs. 5 and Rs. 250, depending on the size. You can get a whole set of Fevicryl fabric paints for example, for about Rs. 450, while the huge tubes for bigger projects are for about Rs. 400.
This is a great place for canvas - I personally have been using their canvas (which are mostly Phoenix-branded) for years. An average sized 30x40cm canvas without a wooden frame, is about Rs. 450. You can get flat hard canvases (they make for a better painting experience) or else ones with the frame if you want to hang it up immediately, which would cost about Rs. 100 more. They've got them in circular, triangle and oval shapes too, which are generally hard to find and interesting to work with.
Faber Castell paintbrushes are probably the best on the market right now - they're basically what Apple paintbrushes were in the 90s. They've got a large range of Faber Castell merchandise in stock, plus favourites like Fevicryl, Acron and Camel. Again, pretty affordable, so it feels like shopping at any stationery shop. If you're a watercolour artist, a fun thing worth trying out is the Faber Castell watercolour pencils (Rs. 1750 for a set of 24).
They've also got charcoal pencils, high quality sketch pads (Rs. 500), and easels (Rs. 3000). We were told the supplies are imported from India and China.
This is also a stationery shop - so you get exercise books, pens and what not. You see this as you walk in, where they also do photocopying, lamination and book binding. Turn right to enter another small room full of the art supplies.
Artworld is an underrated treasure trove that provides growing artists what they need, at affordable prices. It's personally my go-to for art supplies and for a little supply-refresh I spend Rs. 1000 maximum here. We're on the lookout for other art supply corners (another one is Malee Book Centre), so let us know in the comments if there's a place we should check out.
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