Best Gifts for Artists: Creative Ideas for Every Budget
If you’re looking for the best gifts for artists for a holiday, birthday, or other special occasion, here are some gift ideas sure to spark their creativity.
1. Trip to an Art Museum
Some of the best gifts for artists are experiences. Plan a trip to a nearby museum with the artist in your life and see the works of great artists from around the world. If you don’t live near a museum, visit some art galleries or attend a local art show.
2. Art Classes
A gift certificate for an art class gives an artist an opportunity to improve his or her skills, explore a new medium, and get creative in a supportive environment.
Classes are offered at many local arts & craft stores, art schools or continuing education centers.
3. Sketch Book
Sketch books are always an appreciated gift for artists because they’re a place to capture ideas, make quick drawings, or plan out a new creative project.
They come in all sizes and price ranges. 9"x12” or 11"x14" books are good sizes for most artists. Smaller sketch books are also useful to carry anywhere.
4. Drawing Pencil Set
Pencil sketching teaches fundamental skills useful in many forms of art. It’s a medium those of every skill level enjoy. Pencil sets are available for beginners to professionals.
To make a complete gift set, here a few items to add:
- Drawing Pad, Sketch Book or Bristol Paper Pad
- Art Erasers
- Art Pencil Sharpener
5. Charcoal Drawing Pencil Set
Sketching in charcoal is a different experience than pencil. Its intensity creates a striking contrast on white paper. In addition to a pencil set, here are a few charcoal sketching essentials:
- Charcoal Pencil Pad or Bristol Paper Pad
- Exacto Knife (for sharpening pencils)
- Art Erasers
6. Color Wheel
Color wheels make a great gift for new artists. They give ideas for color combinations, explain color relationships, and are helpful for learning how to mix colors.
7. Acrylic Pour Painting Gift Set
An acrylic pour painting set will give them a chance to experiment with the popular technique for making colorful abstract paintings with unique marbleized patterns.
Here are three basics to make a starter set:
- One or two 8-ounce bottles of pouring medium
- Three or four bottles of craft acrylic paint or artist fluid acrylic paint
- Two or three 8x8” or 8x10” stretched canvases
8. Acrylic Ink Pouring Technique Set
This colorful ink set from Liquitex lets artists try out the acrylic ink pouring technique. The “Deep Colors” Set includes three colors of ink (Iridescent Bright Gold, Deep Violet and Turquoise Deep) and a small bottle of pouring medium.
9. Jacquard Pearl EX Powdered Pigments
These versatile, non-toxic, powdered pigments can be used in all sorts of arts and craft projects, or mixed with paints to create a metallic or pearlescent finish. They’re sold in individual bottles or in sets and are available in many colors, as well as metallic shades.
10. Artist Gift Bags
If you’d like to make a customized gift bag for your favorite artist, it’s easy to do with a few supplies to get started in any medium, some tissue paper and a gift bag.
Here are a few examples:
Watercolor Painting Gift Bag
- Watercolor Paint Set
- Watercolor Paper Pad or Yupo Synthetic Paper Pad
- Watercolor Brushes
- Plastic Mixing Palette
Acrylic Painting Gift Bag
- Acrylic Paint Set
- Pack of Stretched Canvases or Wood Panels
- Acrylic Paint Brush Set
- Palette Paper Pad
Oil Painting Gift Bag
- Oil Color Introductory Set
- Oil Medium Set
- Brushes for Oil Painting
- Stretched Canvas
Gifts for Artists Who Paint
- A brush set for their favorite medium
- Brush soap
- Palette Knife Set (for oil and acrylic painters)
- Acrylic Mediums
- Oil Painting Mediums
- Tabletop Easel
11. Storage Cases and Portfolios
A place to keep art supplies is a welcome present for creative people. This could be a small pouch to store pencils, markers, paints, or a larger case for bringing supplies to and from class.
- Mesh Zipper Pouches - These can be found in sizes ranging from small to very large. They're useful for holding everything from pens, pencils, sketch books, artwork, and more.
- Plastic Carrying Cases with Handles - Cases are ideal for holding many types of supplies, including paints, brushes and painting accessories.
- Rolling Cart with Drawers - A cart makes supplies easy to access when they’re needed, and stored neatly when they’re not. They make it simple to keep a workspace or studio clutter-free.
- Portfolio Case with Handles - Portfolios come in all price ranges. There are basic cardboard or plastic ones for beginners and heavy-duty nylon ones for professionals. They can be used for carrying and storing artwork.
12. Books for Artists
Here are two of my favorite books for artists:
Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive and Successful Artist
- In , artist Carole Marine shares how her habit of completing one small painting a day increased her creativity and success as an artist. It's an inspiring and informative book for painters of all types and skill levels. Daily Painting
The Artist's Way
- Artist and writer Julia Cameron’s international best selling book is a gift artists at any stage of their journey will appreciate. It teaches ways to find inspiration, overcome blocks, and bring more creativity into everyday life. The most current version is the 25th Anniversary Edition that was released in 2016.
13. Gift Experiences for Artists
Here are five ideas to give him or her a break from an everyday routine and a chance to recharge their creative batteries.
- Spa Gift Certificate
- Artist Retreat
- Artist Workshop
- Trip to a scenic destination
- Trip to a city with great art museums and galleries
14. Gift Cards
Gifts cards are one of the best gifts for artists. They'll have the chance to browse a store for their favorite supplies for try a new medium.
Here are some gift card ideas:
- Art Supply Store - Either local or online
- Arts & Crafts Store
More Best Gifts for Artists
Artsy Coffee Mug & Bag of Coffee
Pastel Pencil Set
Drawing Books for Kids
Tracing Paper Pad
Prismacolor Colored Pencil Set
Drawing Paper Pad for Kids
Ampersand Scratchboard & Tool Kit
Acrylic Pour Painting Supplies
Archival Storage Boxes for Artwork
Art Supply Storage Case with Handle
Artist Gift Poll
What do you think makes the best gift for an artist?
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you've found this list helpful for choosing a gift for the artist in your life.
© 2018 Carrie Kelley