Artists fall into the category of both easy and hard to shop for at the same time. Do they already have this art supply? Do they even like this type of medium? Should I just get them a gift card instead and let them pick out something on their own? Do they actually have space for any other art stuff? All are valid questions. In this post I’ll be going through my top 10 gifts for artists in the 2020 holiday season. Lets begin!
*No links are affiliated I just really love Blick Art Materials
- For the marker enthusiast: Copic markers
Copics are one of, if not the best art marker on the market. Available in a variety of styles the main attracting feature to these markers is their wonderful brush tip, as well as a corresponding chisel tip on the opposite end of the marker, allowing for different types of coverage based on the application. In addition copics are refillable and are available in over 300 colours. While expensive, they’re definitely worth the price-tag.
2. For the watercolorist: Daniel Smith watercolor sets
Daniel smith paints come in over 200 colors and are available in a variety of styles, from metal tinned and plastic cases, to tubes that last years, and the economically priced dot cards that are perfect for trying colors before buying a whole tube. Daniel Smith makes 3 types of watercolors; their normal set, a set of shimmering paints that were specially curated, and the primatek series made with genuine pigments and stones for a unique and at times shimmering look. In addition to the paints themselves Daniel smith makes a special watercolor ground, similar to gesso in clear, white, black, and gold that allows nearly any surface to be primed for watercolor painting. Daniel Smith also manufactures acrylic gesso and a number of oil painting products. All products are made in America in Seattle, Washington.
3. For the acrylic painter: Liquitex Basics
Liquitex manufactures a variety of levels of paint, the basics series is both economical and high quality for the price point. While many professional acrylic painters prefer Golden paints for their paintings, Liquitex Basics are ideal for the beginner, intermediate, and even the professional on a budget. They have rich color pay off and dry quickly without being too quick to not have time to mix on the palette.
4. For the oil painter: Royal Talens Cobra water mixable oil paints
Oil paints are known for their hard to clean nature and at times toxic chemicals used in the paints and their mediums. Thankfully, due to advances in science and paint making there are now oil paints that clean up with soap and water, allowing painters with allergies and asthma to experience oil painting without compromising their health. Royal Talens Cobra water mixable oils are a student directed line but are loved by students and professionals alike, they are less sticky than Winsor and Newton and clean up easily with a warm cup of water and dish soap making after painting clean up a breeze. As with all oil paints, they do take some time to dry fully.
6. For the sketcher: Stillman and Birn Nova Mixed Media sketchbook
This unique sketchbook holds multiple types of paper in one book, allowing multiple uses without needing to buy multiple sketchbooks with different colored/weighted papers. The sketchbook is ideal for mixed media art and keeping an art journal, as well as colored pencil artwork on the toned paper.
7. For the illustrator: Sakura pigma micron pens
Micron pens are a cult favorite among the art and illustration world for their smooth lines, long life, and water and copic proof design. Micron pens are pigment based and available in a variety of tip sizes and colors, including a brush, chisel, and plastic nibbed version.
8. For the Graphic Designer: Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache
Gouache is an opaque watercolor commonly used in graphic design and illustration. Winsor and Newton, along with Holbein, is the leading choice for gouache in comparison to cheaper brands. It has a smooth matte consistency, flows smoothly on the paper, and can be layered due to its opaque nature when dry. Gouache can be diluted and reactivated with water for a variety of effects.
9. For the Animator: Artograph LightTracer Light Box
Light-boxes are essential for animators when working on multi-page animations and when moving sketches to the final paper. A light-box allows the design to be seen clearly underneath the final paper, making the design easier to move with less potential mistakes.
10. For the Mixed Media artist: Strathmore 500 series softcover mixed media art journal
Mixed media I have found can be a fairly loose term when it comes to sketchbooks, for some the paper is really more like a Bristol with less weight, others only hold up to a few washes of watercolor and warp when adding collage, but this particular sketchbook I believe truly deserves it’s mixed media title. I have one that is nearly full and it takes everything I throw at it with no bleed-through, minimal ghosting, and very little warping when being clipped down. It is my personal favorite for mixed media artwork and for using acrylic paint and paint markers.
If you really don’t know what to get the artist in your life, gift cards to their favorite art supply store are always greatly appreciated, that saves you the stress of picking something out, and they get to take a trip to their favorite art supply place!
From this list did you see anything you might want to try? Do you have any additional recommendations? Let me know, I’m always game for art supply recommendations to try!