It’s that time of year again when we start making our list of goodies to give or receive. I thought now would be a good time to give you some gift ideas for the artist on your list or maybe a few ideas for art supplies you would like to add to your own list.
I purposely didn’t include paint in this list since that is usually the first thing someone thinks about when you say artist. Established artists usually have a preferred brand or type of paint they like to use but might be open to trying something new. Beginners are still trying to find their perfect paint so are usually happy to try any paint you purchase for them.
This list includes several mediums and price ranges and a few whimsical gifts for when you just can’t decide. If you are just looking for stocking stuffers check out my post on Stocking Stuffers for Artists.
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Gift Ideas for Artists
1. Artist Brushes
Brushes tend to wear out or get damaged over a year of painting. Fresh new brushes are always welcome. There are hundreds of brushes to choose from for watercolour, acrylics or oils.
A gift of specialty brushes such as the latest trending brand or these Raphaél Kolinsky Red Sable Brushes for watercolour would be a great hit with artists.
Water brushes are also a great gift for artists. They are easy to carry and have the water in the brush. Water brushes are great for plein air painting or traveling. They also make great stocking stuffers.
If you are not sure what to buy, you can purchase an all purpose brush set that includes brushes for acrylic, oils and watercolors like this multipurpose set. Having extra brushes is always a good thing. 😊
2. Gifts for Drawing Artists
Drawing pencils make great gifts for artists who draw. They are perfect for all skill levels and mediums.
Whether the gift is for a graphite artist or someone who just wants to sketch out their ideas, good pencils are always welcome.
I have used several different brands, but I keep coming back to this set. They are my favourite drawing pencils.
For more information on the type of drawing pencils to buy, check out this article on the Best Drawing Pencils.
3. Drawing Paper
Good drawing paper can be expensive so treat the artist on your list (or yourself) to some good drawing paper. The right type of paper can make a difference in the finished quality of work.
There are papers designed for all mediums such as graphite drawing, colored pencil and pastels as well as mixed media paper which can be used for a variety of wet or dry mediums.
Smooth papers for graphite and coloured pencil, more textured for pastels. I like Bristol Vellum for my graphite drawings.
For more information about the best paper to buy for graphite drawing artists, read this article on the Best Paper for Graphite Drawing.
4. The Gift of Knowledge
Encourage the budding artist in your life with the gift of learning. Enrol them (or yourself) in a local art class or one on one lesson from a local artist.
Better yet, check out CreativeLive for hundreds of classes in drawing, mixed media, color, Photoshop, crafting, photography or even classes to help with the business side of art.
You may even find a few classes you are interested in for yourself.
5. Calligraphy Pens and Inks
For the calligraphy artist there are a variety of pens, inks and brushes available. A beautiful boxed set would make a great gift.
A gift box of calligraphy pen ink would also make a great gift and keep the artist supplied with ink all year.
I know an eraser is probably not something you would think of as a gift, but I’m talking about electric erasers that are great time savers for artists who draw. Electric erasers are especially good for colored pencil artists and are time savers as well as wrist savers.
Another great gift would be my absolute favourite eraser…the Tombow Mono Eraser.
It’s small enough to get into the tightest places and is great for adding highlights to hair. Great as a stocking stuffer or as part of a gift basket.
7. Artist Colored Pencils
Most coloured pencil artists have their own preference for which brand they use and many use several brands interchangeably.
A reasonably priced set of Prismacolor is a good place to start.
8. Sketching Gifts
A beautiful, quality sketchbook is always a nice gift for an artist or anyone who likes to draw or journal.
There are a variety of sketchbooks available from tiny pocket sketchbooks to large hard covered books to moleskin and beautiful ornate sketchbooks. An artist can never have too many sketchbooks in their art supply.
A personalized sketchbook would also be a great gift idea for the artist.
9. Camera and Tripod
If you are looking for a more expensive gift for the artist in your life or even for yourself, a good DSLR camera and tripod is a great idea.
Artists need to take good pictures of their work for marketing and social media and a good camera will get the best picture for them. The better the picture quality, the more likely they are to make a sale. A good camera is an investment for an artists business.
A good camera is also necessary to take good reference photos so the artist can get a better view of the detail and color values in their reference photo.
Having a good printer to produce prints, business cards, advertising etc., is a great advantage to any artist. A wide format photo printer would be best to get quality prints at home.
11. Drawing Tablet
An electronic drawing tablet, such as this Wacom tablet, that can connect to your computer, is another great gift for anyone interested in digital art or photo editing.
There are hundreds of web sites selling cute artist themed jewelry, t-shirts, bags or just about anything else you can think of.
You can make it a personalized gift or even a gag gift. Etsy is always a good place to check. It’s a great place to find gift ideas for the artist.
13. Gift Cards
Consider a gift card to their favourite art supply store or a gift certificate to Amazon. Artists can use these cards to purchase whatever they need and you don’t have to worry about getting the right supplies or brands.
A subscription to Amazon Prime might also be a welcome gift for an artist. Shipping sometimes costs a lot and getting free shipping with Amazon Prime can save an artist a lot of money over the year.
14. Artist Magazine Subscription
A subscription to an art magazine is a great gift for creative people. Choose their favourite magazine or let them try out one they haven’t read before.
These gift subscriptions from Stampington and Company are a great place to start. They have magazine subscriptions from many different genres, something to interest almost any artist.
15. Studio Decor
Gifts for the artist studio can include lighting, storage, furniture or just little things to brighten up the studio. A comfortable chair, a small cabinet or even new studio curtains are all excellent presents for artists.
I love getting unusual items for my studio and this year this Dali clock is definitely at the top of my list. It’s the perfect unique gift for artsy friends.
16. Gift Basket
If you really can’t decide, consider doing a gift basket for your artist friend (or yourself).
Fill the basket (bin, crate or whatever you like) with smaller items such as small sketch books, pencils, Micron drawing pens, pencil extenders, colour wheel, grey scale, chocolate, gift cards, candles, music, chocolate (yes, I know I wrote chocolate twice 😊 and maybe a cool artists apron.
Who doesn’t love getting a basket full of surprises!!
17. Art Books
Books about art and artist can add to an artists reference library and provide many years of instruction, inspiration and motivation.
While just about everything is available on the internet, browsing through a physical book over your morning coffee or while having a glass of wine in the evening is not only inspirational but relaxing as well.
For a few ideas for books that make great gifts for painters, see my post about Books for Artists.
18. Light-box/ Light Pad
A light-box or light pad is basically a glass drawing pad with an LED light. It is used in many crafts to trace patterns or lettering.
A lot of artists use a light box to trace over a reference photo to get a better idea of the details. They are also useful when trying to rearrange elements in a design.
19. Buddha Board
A Buddha Board is essentially a drawing pad without the paper and ink. You draw an image on the board with a water brush.
Wherever the water touches turns black as if you had applied ink. As the water dries the image disappears, leaving a clean board to draw on again.
It is great for short, quick doodling and provides wonderful stress relief and a great way to practice meditative drawing. The ideal gift to help an artist relax.
Does the artist on your list need a new easel? Or maybe you do. There are a few different types you can buy depending upon your needs and budget. There are tabletop easels, plein air easels for painting outside, large floor model easels and many more.
For a better idea of which easel you should purchase, I have a post all about How to Choose the Best Easel. If you need help on deciding which one to buy this would be a great post to read.
Free Printable Gifts for Artists Checklist
I hope you find something on this list to treat the artist in your life (or yourself). I will keep adding to this list whenever I think of more awesome gifts for artists, so check back often.
If you have ever gotten an awesome or really unusual artist gift, tell us about it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading. 😀