Delightful Gifts for Artists
Maybe you are like me, or maybe this sounds like someone on your gift list :
One of the hardest things for me to come through on has been the promise I made to myself a number of years ago:
I determined I would once again create art.
Instead, it seems that all my time is spent writing, or cleaning house, or doing a hundred other things. I love writing about gardening, writing about art, writing about computer related things… but there is something about sitting down with some fresh art supplies and creating something with that media that is calming, restoring, and satisfying.
For a few years I have been collecting art supplies.
Here are is a collection of those I most want, if I don’t already have them.
Watch my additions, soon I will write about what I want to do with the paints, pencils, papers, etc.
This might be the ultimate procrastinator’s tale…. however, let this lens function as my wish list for art supplies, as well as my record of whether I actually follow through on the dream.
Perhaps you have helpful hints that will motivate and inspire me to stop only writing about it and actually create a brick and mortar oeuvre. Just note them in the comments, and all of us artist wannabees will be grateful.
(Oh yes, included in this post are examples of inspiring art that is fun to look at, AND a number of informative videos.)
For presents, either birthday or Christmas, art supplies might be the perfect choice. Artistic people seem to constantly need resupplying.
- sketching supplies
- water soluble supplies
- pans and palettes
Children benefit from all the things that encourage them to be creative. Basics are welcome. School supply lists can give you ideas, too.
Artist Paper – that stands up to water
For watercolor or pen and inks, a paper that is strong enough to handle the water and hold its surface texture.
Pen Techniques and Supply Suggestions
Know Your Papers
Sketch pads are usually made for dry utensils like pencil or charcoal, but the intended use is listed on the description that is found on the front. when giving a gift for an artist, and you aren’t sure which is their favorite medium, use one that is suitable for a broad range.
Stillman & Birn Delta Wirebound Sketchbook, Heavyweight 180lb, Ivory White, 25 Sheets, 7×7
Gorgeous heavyweight paper. archival quality multi-media paper. This is top of my own personal wishlist.
If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke. – Brendan Francis
Pen And Ink
Pen and ink was my forte in drawing. Working with it, alone and with watercolors, was the way I best expressed the art that resided in my mind. Later in life, encouraging my children to learn calligraphy meant giving up ownership to my pens. And while I do not regret that, since some of my girls developed real skills in calligraphic writing, I now find a desire for the high quality pens and inks that give the best results.
So guess what supplies are now high on my list? Yes, quill pens and inks.
I Love To Draw With Pen and Ink
I let my children have all my pens…. now, what about me?
Supplies For Pen And Ink Artists
- Winsor and Newton India ink
- Speedball Standard Point Dip Pen and Nibs
- Faber-Castell Pitt Artist’s Pens
- Strathmore Bristol Vellum Paper Pad
Pens and Watercolor Wash
What’s On The Artist Gift List?
This is the short list for gifts that I would be personally happy to receive, make your own for you or someone you know.
An adult Artist who loves watercolors and pen and ink. Also draws sketches with pencils.
- Paper for pencil, also for watercolor work.
- Derwent pencil set
- Kneaded eraser
- Winsor & Newton or Rembrandt watercolors
Art Gifts For Children
If I were buying a selection of child art supplies I would start out with a large sketchpad of drawing paper, a beginners set of pencils, including a gum eraser. Then I would add a small set of watercolors with some extra brushes (you always need more than one brush!), and a set of good markers.
Did you know that Mary Engelbreit started out with just markers to make her wonderful drawings? And look where she ended up- an Empire and a Career.
An Artist Easel
Delightful start to getting ready to draw or paint, and easel keeps you art ready to work on, and provides the perfect space to keep your utensils handy.
Use It Or Lose It Is The Rule For Your Talents
If you (or giftee) are just starting out, be sure to check out the tutorial videos and the lists here. Slowly build your stock of supplies, but try to give free rein to your creativity.
There are times we waste by not using our paints. Let yourself liberally use the paint and papers, the pencils, the inks… don’t let them sit and languish.
For Those Who Paint
Each medium has its own set of techniques , brushes, and painting supplies. Which artist are you buying a gift for this year?
- Brushes, sable watercolor brushes or synthetic
- Pan or tube paints
- Palette or mixing pan
- Watercolor paper pad
- Titanium white, ivory black, cadmium red, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light and cadmium yellow paints
- Palette and palette knife
- Turpentine or mineral spirits
- linseed oil
- paper or canvas
- paints in same colors as oils
- acrylic brushes
- palette and palette knife
Adult Coloring Books are Still Popular
A whole new world of Adult coloring books has opened up and colored pencils as well as crayons are used to give hours of peaceful meditative coloring.
Yes, I want the WHOLE set of these fine watercolor pencils. I want to be able to take my watercolors wherever I go, and this will be perfect.
These work wonderfully for the new adult coloring books that are now available everywhere. Consider gifting someone with one of these pencil sets and a beautiful, intricately drawn coloring book.
Try Your Hand At Coloring
Here’s the how- to if you ever wondered why someone would love to sit and color.
Gift Ideas for Artists – Get your gift-giving creative juices flowing
There are many gifts that will make your artist happy! That is one of the things that makes this so much fun. It is easy to shop for artists when you don’t know what styles they prefer because you are supplying them with something they always need, will actually use, and they can create their own style.
When someone has been practiced in their craft, it does make sense to give quality supplies. You wouldn’t believe what a difference a well made paper or pigment produces in a finished piece.
Art Papers are always welcome
There are many types of papers for artists, but a basic sketchbook is always welcome. A good quality paper that will take a number of media is probably the best choice.
There are differing weights, whether they are suitable for wet medium (like watercolors), and differing component materials ( cotton, wood pulp, etc).
Luckily, most list on the cover or label which medium they are useful for, eliminating guesswork.
Please, please, I wish for this gray toned paper sketchbook by Strathmore. It will be the perfect paper for pro look sketches that pop from the page. Super inspirational for an artist.
Save and Display Your Child’s Art
My daughter-in-law uses this for displaying my grandchild’s masterpieces. It is a beautiful frame- such a great idea!
Children’s Gifts, And Those for Moms
Giving children art supplies of some sort is almost always welcome. Level of interest makes the sorting out of whether we get coloring books, markers and crayons, or oil paints, brushes, and canvas.
For moms- ways to organize and display the resulting art sparks many ideas for appropriate presents.
- a wall-hung case
- a metal wire with clips (I saw this idea at Ikea)
- decorative magnets strong enough to hold artwork onto frig or magnetic board
Brushes and Pens
If you know that the artist on your gift list paints in a certain medium or loves to create pen and ink drawings (Zentangle, anyone?), then gifting a great set of brushes or new pen nibs or inks is a very thoughtful thing to give.
Good quality is always appreciated, and to be considered much more than quantity. In other words, one bottle of excellent quality ink is better chosen than five bottles of less expensive, and thus less dependable inks.
This is why it pays ot now a little about the person. Young artists who are beginning to experiment might be the exception to this rule.
Beginners should feel free to use the supplies and not worry about mistakes. That is why pads of paper are always welcome, too. Plenty of room to practice and perfect their art. This is th ecase in which a gift of less expensive quality, but greater quantities are welcome.
Which Brush for Acrylics?
This video will explain it all for you. Very helpful if you are faced with an array of choices and aren’t sure which to choose.
Are You an Artist? – What do you use?
What is your medium of choice?
- pen and ink
- acrylic paints
- oil paints
- clay sculpture
- graphic computer art
- pencil sketching
- oil pastels
- collage findings
Another gift idea besides the art supplies would be lessons, either with a teacher or online. So many courses are available that are fun and easy. My son loved taking a class with others that resulted in an easy to accomplish oil painting to take home. Look for these which are often offered locally.
My Daughter Uses Mine, The Wacom Drawing Tablet
This is the way I create most of my art- with graphics software and a graphic tablet. The Wacom pen tablet is on your graphics artist wishlist, believe me!
Not all artists use hardcopy paper. Increasingly there are very fine pictures produced with software graphics.
When it is time to invest in something like a pen tablet, it may be out of budget for a young artists, particularly if they are trying to improve the quality of their chosen software. Buying Adobe Photoshop or other Creative programs leaves little room for the peripherals.
That is why this may be one of the best choices, if you know they have it on their wishlist. Wacom makes several types according to the output desired. Art, Photo, Comic?
Artist Drawing Board – When it is fun to go back to the drawing board!
Wow, someone is so lucky and going to be so happy this year when they go back to the drawing board. Especially a sleek high style one like this.
I have a cheap drawing board, but this is the one I really want. It is a beautiful piece of furniture that really WORKS for an artist.
How Many of You Are Like Me?
Do you have talents you let go dormant?
- I have talents, but I don’t have time
- I have talents, but don’t have supplies and tools (or instruments)
- I am unsure if I have talents
- I secretly believe I have a talent, but I am afraid I will fail
- I have been pursuing and developing my talents
- I’ll think about this another day
Wherever you are on the spectrum, think about going into the coming year armed with all the supplies you need to accomplish your artistic dreams. Or help make that happen for the artist on your list.
If I were buying a gift for an artist that primarily created in pen and ink, watercolor, or colored pencils, I would choose a large kit.
A younger artist still experimenting with what they like, or someone who primarily works in sculpture, collage, or oil painting, would probably appreciate a smaller kit. Just see whether they liked the medium before investing lots of money in it.
An Ingenious Paint Accessory, the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette
I want one now. I have canvases, I have acrylics. I used to paint with tempera and watercolors, and occasionally oil paints, but have never actually used acrylic paints very much. I think it would suit me best to work with them… and I love the description of the palette.
My own method for keeping paints usable is to cover them with Saran wrap, but this is far superior for the purpose!
Pressed Flowers Can Make Pictures
I’ve always admired Penny Black’s pressed flower art, so I could start making my own supplies for that, couldn’t I?
Unusual maybe, but if an artist likes to use mixed media, and often incorporates natural elements into their work, a flower press, along with an inspirational book of ideas could be an inspiring and welcome gift.
Art supplies are not only pens and pencils, or paints, brushes, and papers, they might also be such things as pressed flowers or found objects. Creating collage is one pursuit that many have found relaxing and expressive.
When I read Penny Black’s book on pressed flower pictures, it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of using such materials in creating art. Simpler uses make wonderful crafts for cards, too. Bits and bobs of buttons and lace are well known to scrapbookers for the way a collage can be created with the most ordinary of throwaway objects. We just have to use our imagination!
The first virtue of a painting is that it be a feast for the eyes. -Eugene Delacroix