The holidays are quickly approaching, and if you’re like me, you have artists to buy for.
I spent some time asking about fifty artists, across all mediums, what would be the best present EVER for this year’s winter gift-giving season. Here’s what I learned.
High-Quality Artist Paper
Photo courtesy of Legion Paper
High-quality artist paper is the number one item on many artists’ wishlist. Whether they draw, paint or use mixed media, all artists need paper — and it’s a tool that’s easy to overlook when brainstorming gifts. When it comes to the ultimate artist paper gift, look no further than The Legion Artist Pad Collection.
Consisting of eleven 9 x 12 inch drawing and watercolor pads, including the renowned Stonehenge, Lenox, Yupo and Stonehenge Aqua papers, this pack is true art paper indulgence. It offers a glorious range of untouched, unrivaled and, perhaps, unexplored surfaces.
The Mini Pad Sampler contains the same Artist Collection pads, but 2.5 x 3.75 inches in size. It’s the perfect size to experiment with and find out what you really love. Think of it as speed-dating, but with art supplies.
Legion Paper, $99.85
Handmade Watercolor Paints
Photo courtesy of Wildthorne
Handmade watercolors are immensely popular these days, and not just among watercolorists. Even artists who work in charcoal, oils or sculpture get a kick out of this medium as a way to express initial concepts. A few of my personal favorite makers are Stoneworks Mill, EarthMineralArts, A. Gallo, MCM ARTS and Wildthorne.
A Set of Travel Brushes
No matter what the medium, artists can breathe a sigh of relief as they head out into the world without having to risk damaging their brushes. Travel brushes include a removable cap to protect the fine hairs of the brush when you’re out and about. They’re available in all price ranges, for all mediums.
My very favorites (that can be used for oil, acrylic and watercolor) are the Escoda Versatil Travel Rounds. They’ve held up to countless travels and outdoor painting sessions, and are so great that I use them in my studio as well.
Blick, starting at $8.82
A Really Great Palette
Photo courtesy New Wave Fine Art Products
Raise your hand if you or your beloved artist paints from paper plates or white dinner plates from the dollar store? I have. Forever. As have many artists. Help them ditch these discount plates by gifting them a nice porcelain palette.
Heavy-duty palettes made from porcelain or glass hold up to a lifetime of work, clean off easily and completely, and show the true colors of the paints you mix. My favorite is the glass palette (suitable for all mediums!) by New Wave Fine Art Products. It never leaves my painting table and cleans up SO easily. It also stands in for a great monoprinting plate.
New Wave Fine Art Products, starting at $23.95
A Membership to a Local Museum
By nature, artists have endless appetite for inspiration. So the gift of museum access will be used and appreciated for sure. Some memberships include passes to bring a guest now and then, too… and that guest could be you!
Local Classes, Workshops or Online Lessons
All great artists are constantly pushing their boundaries, trying new things and always (and we mean always!) learning. To help the artist in your life discover a new craft or develop new skills, buy them a class. You could go local if one suits the artist’s needs, or get away to a weekend artist workshop if that fits your budget.