Nearly everyone has at least one artist in the family. When birthdays or the holidays come around, it might seem like a daunting task trying to buy gifts for an artist. There are 10 million types of pencils, and countless different kinds of paper, so it might seem overwhelming trying to find a gift that they’ll actually like and use.
If you find yourself in this position, then you’re in luck! I’ve rounded up some of the best gifts you can give to anyone who likes to draw or paint. Being an artist myself, I can guarantee you can’t go wrong with any of the items on this list!
To start with, probably the most obvious gift to give an artist is drawing paper. Paper is the foundation on which they build their artwork. And just like a good foundation is to a house, the right paper can make or break a drawing.
I personally like Strathmore’s line of drawing paper. It is high quality enough for a professional, but won’t break the bank.
Just as important as the paper are the pencils that an artists draws with. Contrary to what you might believe, all pencils are not the same, and you’ll need more than just a standard #2 to produce great drawings.
This drawing set by Royal & Langnickel provides nearly every drawing tool an aspiring artist needs to produce great artwork.
This set includes pencils ranging from 5H (very light) to 6B (very dark), several blending stumps, and even compressed charcoal for deep blacks.
If painting is what your artist is in to, you can’t go wrong with a quality paint set.
This set from Art Advantage provides just about all you need to get started painting– two brushes, 12 acrylic paints and two palette knives.
But, what makes this set really unique, is that the box that it comes in converts into a high quality, sturdy easel which provides the perfect angle and surface for painting.
If your artist is more experienced, or just wants to take their painting skills to a higher level, then they will need quality brushes. In the art world, you can’t find higher quality brushes than “red sable”. These brushes are natural hair brushes– the fibers come from the tail of the Siberian weasel.
If digital art is more their speed, there’s no way to do it without a proper drawing tablet. Digital tablets work like an electronic pen and paper. You draw on the tablet with the pen provided, and your lines show up on the computer screen.
Tablet maker Wacom, is the brand leader in this category. They make the best performing tablets available.
For an entry level tablet, I would recommend the Bamboo Create. This provides a great number of features at a reasonable price.
If your artist has the space for one, drafting tables make some of the best gifts you can buy.
What makes drafting tables so great is their adjustability. They can be adjusted to nearly any height or angle to help your artist find the perfect drawing position.
Of course, reference books are always a welcome gift for any artist. After purchasing this book myself, I would recommend “Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil” to any aspiring artist.
This book provides a truckload of tips and tricks for achieving nearly any effect with a pencil, and has proven itself to me time and time again.
Another reference favorite of mine is “Manga for the Beginner” by Christoper Hart. Christoper has the most easily understandable way of teaching that I’ve ever seen in print. He takes you through the basics of Manga drawing, all the way up to much more advanced techniques.
This book is a must for any artist who enjoys drawing cartoons or anime!