Not every artist needs everything on this list, but each one of these gifts is designed to enable your artist loved one to take their flavor of visual expression to the next level. Not only are these the brands and products that the professionals use at the top of their field, but they’re also jaw-dropping gifts that most artists can’t afford to get for themselves. Most artists buy tools on a budget, and in a lot of ways, that can limit how high an artist can climb. These gifts for artists are sure to delight any artist on your holiday shopping list.
You Can Be A Successful Artist if Your Parents Are Rich
That’s a saying that gets passed around in the fringes of the art world, but it isn’t necessarily true, especially when all that stands between the amateurs and the pros is the right resources with which to practice. These gifts should instill your artist with a greater sense of purpose and confidence. Once your artist becomes empowered by the best equipment, there won’t be anything left but to practice for their next masterpiece.
What Does Every Artist Want?
Every artist wants the best brands for their craft! This post focuses on the best tools for painting, because our passion fire goal is painting, but we also have some ideas for graphic designers, fashion artists, and hobbyists of all kinds.
The Best Gifts for Artists
The best gift for artists of all kinds is art supplies. These are things that get used up and worn down and need to be replaced throughout the course of the year so an artist can continue to work on his/her craft.
There are a ton of different things your artist might need depending on what type of art they produce. We have you covered with some painting supplies, drawing supplies, crafting supplies, and other items that various artists will use over the course of the year.
The Best Paint Brushes
Rosemary & Co. makes brushes designed for several media types, but they are the longest-lasting, most perfectly shaped, and sensitive brushes on the market. The brushes come in series based upon the preferences of their most famous clients, making these brushes an extra special gift if you’re lucky enough to find a series by one of your artist’s favorite influences.
They can literally paint with the same brushes used by the artists they admire, giving that extra personal insight into their own developing style.
The Best Easels
The king of portable easels, there are so many nice features to the Strada brand, it’s like not having to leave the studio to paint a landscape because everything you need is right there (except for a microwave). Strada easels come in various sizes and some are tweaked for watercolor/gouache paint. Even though the Strada is a variation on a classic design, it’s an evolved variation. It holds paint, brushes, palette, and unfolds to give you extra organization space for when you’re actively painting. You’re not limited by the size of the easel, and all of their easels can be attached to a standard tripod mount. The whole thing packs up tight enough for a backpack, is easy to clean, and will keep generations of painters outside enjoying the light.
The downside of the Strada easel is that it’s expensive, even when compared to other easels. You can find similar easels on Amazon that include tripods for a fraction of the cost.
The H-frame lets you handle anything from the smallest canvas to anything that will fit through the door. The easel itself amazingly doesn’t take up that much space and can be shifted out of the way with little effort. This easel doesn’t come with a box for your supplies but is much more cost-effective than Strada.
The Best Paints
Williamsburg Oil Colors are some of the finest pre-mixed paints available on the market. Unlike some assortment packs, Williamsburg sells series in full palettes of colors designed to complement each other and unlock a spectrum of expressive color that is automatically harmonized by the pigments chosen for that particular series. The colors Williamsburg chooses aren’t colors you’d normally think to use together in a color pool, and yet, painting with these presets is an excellent way to start seeing as an artist sees, in subtle shades and buttery-smooth brushstrokes. Of course, Williamsburg paints can be bought individually, if you want to pick your own palette.
Williamsburg is an expensive brand, so those on a budget or who want to get more paint for their money should opt for Winsor & Newton. These are still professional-level paints but they are much more affordable. Winsor & Newton also sells a variety of paint types, including acrylic paint, oil paint, and watercolor paint. It’s the perfect choice for artists using any medium.
Things to Paint On
Painters really need three things: paint, brushes, and something to paint on. There are a variety of painting surfaces available, but many artists are happy with traditional canvas or paper pads.
Be sure to know what medium your artist prefers. Watercolor paper is very different than canvas for acrylics, which is different than sketchpad paper. different papers have different properties that are better suited for different types of paper.
If you aren’t sure, a mixed media art pad is the way to go. The paper in these pads can usually handle most types of paint, and it gives your artist the opportunity to experiment with different mediums.
The Best Drawing Supplies
Many artists prefer the simple elegance of a sketch to a painting. The best gifts for these artists are drawing materials such as pencils, charcoal, and even pastel chalks.
Finding the perfect pencil for sketching is not easy. Although beginners can try to use general #2 school pencils, most experienced artists know that those only go so far. Instead, get a sketching set that comes with a range of graphite weights, an eraser, and even a charcoal pencil. This will ensure that the artist on your list has everything they need for the perfect sketch.
Another great gift for artists who love to draw is a sketchbook. Sketchbook paper is designed specifically for graphite, so it’s perfect for those who love to make amazing works with just pencil and paper. These new drawing supplies might inspire them to think of fun and creative things to draw!
The Best Crafting Materials
If the artist on your list is into crafting rather than drawing and painting, the gift ideas listed above may not help. Make sure you know exactly what type of art each person likes to create when deciding upon the perfect gift.
Clay is a perfect gift for those who like to make pottery, while yarns are ideal for your loved ones who enjoy the art of crochet. Jewelry makers may want a variety of beads while woodworkers might be interested in stains. Think outside of the box when considering what gift your artist would like best, especially if they don’t work in traditional media.
Gifts for Beginners
Not all artists will appreciate the high-level gifts on this list. Perhaps you have a child who is dabbling in their creativity or a friend who wants to start a new hobby but isn’t sure what to pursue.
Art sets make perfect gifts for aspiring artists. These usually come with a variety of different materials to help someone decide what is right for them. Many include paints, pencils, an easel, and everything that someone needs to dabble in the arts.
Beginners and children exploring their love of art may also be interested in art kits. There are kits available for a variety of crafts, from crochet to drawing to rock painting. These kits have everything you need to get started with a specific hobby.
The art sets and art kits don’t have top-of-the-line supplies in them, and some of the kits can seem a little cheesy, but they are a perfect and inexpensive way to explore a new hobby or dabble in a variety of different arts.
Other fun gifts for beginners and children just starting to explore their love of art include markers, crayons, construction paper, and coloring books. These things are easy to find at your local craft store.
An Amazing Gift Idea for Graphic Artists
The Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 is the Holy Grail for the digital illustrator, painter, animator, and anything else you can do with the Adobe Suite. If you land a decent visual arts job, chances are this is what you’ll be using. Think how much of a head start you’d have if you’d been practicing on one of these babies throughout your art education. What school you went to stops being very important when you already grasp the intricacies of the industry-standard hardware.
The Wacom pro is incredibly expensive and probably only suited for the professional artist on your list. Wacom offers a much cheaper option that’s just as good for hobby artists, and a basic drawing tablet that is designed for students.
A Cool Gift for Fashion Artists
For the fashion artists and designers out there, check out these mannequins that can be fine-tuned to the exact measurements of the individual who will be wearing the outfit. This saves so much time not having to wait to fit a garment, but some mannequins are also capable of some rather expressive gestural poses, making them ideal not just for design, but also for display in an artful storefront or display point.
A Thoughtful Gift for Artists
Nothing beats education. The ability to learn from living people about how to do something you’re passionate about is a gift that keeps giving.
The New Masters Academy lets you stream all of their art tutorials and gives you access to the reference photos each artist is using in their videos, so you can draw, paint, or sculpt while following along. The price points vary but start at $39/month. You can pay extra to get one-on-one assistance, but the videos themselves are pretty thorough.
You can start a 14-day free trial with NMA to see what they offer. I did the math, and if you streamed their tutorial videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you wouldn’t be able to watch all of their growing content videos without being glued to the screen for at least 2 months straight. So yeah, tons of content meant for both traditional artists and digital artists.
Stocking Stuffers for Artists
The gifts for artists on this list are amazing, and the artist in your life will be happy with any of them! But if you want to give them an even more magical Christmas, stuff their stocking with some of their favorite art supplies.
The best things for stockings are items that artists use all the time but wouldn’t be as fun if given as an actual gift. Think glitter, glue sticks, a pencil sharpener, scissors, and other small items that your artist might need.
The Best Gift For Artists is Support
All these tools and art materials are perfect gifts for the aspiring artist on your list. Sometimes though, what you really need is someone who believes in your abilities, and is willing to invest in your future success. A single gift from this list isn’t everything an artist will need, but these are gifts no artist will be disappointed with. Gifting something from this list will show that you support your artist and you want them to succeed. Set your artist up for success, while showing them how much you believe they’re destined for greatness.
What Do You Get Someone Who Likes Art?
Do you need a gift for an art lover rather than gifts for artists? The best gift for an art lover is…art! Find an artist that uses the style they enjoy and ask for a commission. You might be able to find newer artists charging reasonable rates on Etsy or on Instagram. If your art lover is into contemporary realism and oil painting, give your wonderful author a shout! You can find his work on ArtPal.
Alternatively, you can shop online at a variety of galleries to find original works or prints. You are sure to find a piece that your art-loving friend will appreciate!