A selection of unique gifts for artists to suit different budgets.
You don’t have to be an art expert to find a gift that your artist friend will love. Get them something useful to use in the studio, a present that will help them improve their skills, something to inspire them, or make them laugh…
This guide is roughly ordered from the less expensive to the more expensive luxury gift items.
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Best gifts for artists: Under £35 ($46)
Price: from £18
Choose from a selection of pencil sets presented in a compact tin box, perfect for travelling. These pencils are high quality, pigmented and lightfast. The medium sized set includes water soluble graphite that can be used as a pencil or like a watercolour pencil, 12 earth tone pastels and 12 pencils including graphite, charcoal, sanguine and white. These sets are the perfect gift for people who love to sketch, as they provide a range of materials to experiment and try new techniques with. This is a fantastic reasonably priced set that would be great for a student or intermediate artist.
A paint brush with a personal touch: these brushes are excellent quality and are suitable for use with watercolour, acrylic, oils and various other mediums.
Price: from £31
Daniel Smith is a high end, professional artist brand revered by watercolourists around the world. The paints are highly pigmented, lightfast and feel wonderful to use. The colours are bright, bold and are made by hand in Seattle Washington. Any artist who knows their watercolours would be delighted with a set of these.
Price: from £4.10 each
For those into illustration, graphic design or marker art, Copic Markers are a must have. They are a luxury art item used by professional designers worldwide. The pens have dual tips, are highly pigmented, blendable and layerable. As a gift, they are certainly worth splashing out on for the incredible effects that can be achieved.
Price: from £15.20
One of the most favoured brushes by watercolour and gouache artists, the bristles are made from kolinsky sable hair. If you or your artist friend would prefer a brush that uses synthetic rather than animal hair, the da Vinci Casaneo is a great alternative. These brushes are ultra soft, absorbent, taper to a point and come in travel varieties perfect for those who love to take their paints outdoors.
Artists with this mug set will never again make the mistake of dipping their brush in their tea. A set of two decent-sized mugs that can be used for tea, coffee, or paint water!
Unique sketching gifts
Price: from £19.90
A gift for those who love to experiment, have fun with their supplies and get messy! This is a completely unique and new art supply that is relatively unknown. Mould it into small sharp points, or roll it across the paper to cover large areas. The putty is water soluble, so use it with a brush and some water to spread the graphite across the paper like watercolour. Artists can achieve some weird and wonderful effects using this.
Price: from £6.20
Artists use graphite powder to achieve wonderfully soft, atmospheric and even hyperrealistic drawings. If you or the person you’re buying for is a portrait artist, this is definitely a material worth experimenting with.
For people that love making art and eating chocolate, this is the perfect crossover gift.
A book is a thoughtful and elegant gift for any occasion. Find a book to instruct, advise and inspire, to take their art skills and business to new levels.
Tips on how to build a career as an artist, with industry advice from professionals.
A wonderfully instructive book on how to create luminous watercolour paintings.
Discover the art of portraiture and the techniques of the Old Masters in this beautifully presented hardback book.
Learn how to capture the colour and light of landscapes in this instructive book.
The perfect gift for artists with a studio. Get them a custom made sign for their door, it is weatherproof so it can be attached indoors or out.
Get some inspiring and colourful wall art to brighten up their space.
Thousands of talented independent artists sell their art through Redbubble, so you will surely be able to find an original design that would make the perfect gift. Choose for artwork to be printed on 70 different products. Society6 is another marketplace where you can find prints, reproductions and merchandise of quality art, to suit a range of tastes.
If you would prefer to shop in an online gallery, Saatchi is another great online gallery where you can find quality fine art and prints.
A set of beautifully smooth, vibrant oil pencils. They are water resistant and smudge proof. With oil pencils, artists can build layers in their drawings and create blended effects.
If you really like someone, you’ll get them a set of 120. The pencils allow artists to create incredible realistic effects in their work and are a dream to use.
This artist uses Polychromos pencils to draw hyperrealistic portraits.
Draw, sketch and paint in this hardback book. The pages are thick and suitable for different kinds of painting media.
A paint brush holder with a practical handmade design. Paint brushes that are left in water for too long can become splayed at the tip. This is the perfect solution as it allows painters to store their brushes flat above the paint water.
The most practical gift ever? Maybe. But your artist friend will thank you when they realise how much paint they’ve saved by wringing it from the tubes. You can probably get around 5-10 sessions worth from the paint that would otherwise be jammed inside.
Handmade from soft leather, this personalised leather pencil roll is a practical and stylish place to store paintbrushes and other supplies. It’s perfect to keep supplies in one place, especially for artists who like to sketch and paint on the go.
Best gifts for artists: £35+ ($46+)
Prices: from £52.99
The finest quality sketching set on this list, Caran d’Ache pencils are made for professional artists. Crafted in Switzerland to the highest standards, the pencil leads feel smooth and glide across the paper. The sets come with an assortment of different sketching materials, which include charcoal, graphite, water soluble pencils, erasers and sharpeners.
Produced with high quality pigments, this set includes 8 colours, a brush, and a palette in a travel box. The paint is made in France with the recipe remaining much the same for the last 100 years. Sennelier paint was a favourite amongst the French Impressionist painters—they would have painted with these colours.
Michael Harding oils are craftsman made oil paints that feel luxurious to use. The colours are bright and pigmented and all paints are made by hand. The paint sets are all professional quality, but the introductory set is perfect for beginners.
Jackson’s Art and Blick often have offers on Michael Harding paint, so keep an eye out, as you may be able to get a deal.
Golden heavy body paint is thick and perfect for textural applications, but it can be thinned with a medium for detail work. This brand uses quality pigments in their professional quality paints. The Primary set provides a perfect foundation for those getting into acrylic painting.
The person you’re buying for may already be a pastel artist, and if they are, they’ll know that Unison pastels are some of the most pigmented and creamy pastels you can get.
However, pastels are a particularly alluring medium for those who don’t use them. This is because they’re so easy to get started with—colours are mixed straight on the surface, so the artist can just start drawing straight onto their paper or panel without much preparation. Plus, they’re easy to transport and give this incredible feeling of spontaneity when using. My preference is painting in oils, but sometimes I’ll take a set of pastels to go paint outdoors or to travel with.
Both Monet and Picasso used pastels, for sketching out compositions and drafting paintings.
Price: from £41
Superior quality watercolours that are a joy to use. Schmincke only use the highest quality pigments and the paints look vibrant on the paper.
A beautifully crafted leather sketchbook cover, that will fit an A5 pad and an assortment of brushes and pencils. It’s a perfect accompaniment for art class, or for artists who enjoy sketching on the move.
Artists love supporting other artists! On Saatchi there is a wide selection of museum quality, archival prints made by established artists. There are quality large canvases, textured oil and acrylic paintings to suit a range of tastes, so you might just find an original you or your friend would like. Artfinder is another excellent online gallery that features more emerging artists. Society6 and Redbubble list works at a reasonable price and print on t-shirts and backpacks amongst other merchandise. Alternatively, you can find prints by independent artists on Etsy.
The ultimate drawing set. Any person who loves to draw will have everything they need in this set. It comes with charcoal, graphite, pastel, colouring pencils, a mannequin, an artists’ guide and much more, all presented in a luxury wooden box. This is a brilliant starter set, the quality of the pencil is more for students and intermediate artists.
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