Since Christmas is coming up I’ve created the ultimate Christmas gift list full of creative gifts for the artist in your life!
Not only do I know 100% that the receiving artist will LOVE one of these gifts, but I’ve also asked my followers and thousands of website visitors, who are all artists, what they’d love to receive in 2022. They’re all added to the list.
Keep reading to find out which gifts are worth giving (I’ve only compiled the most popular and mid- to high-end brands in the industry) and also learn how to find out which kind of art gift your giftee likes.
This article may contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you. AF links help support this blog so that it can exist and expand for years to come!
1. High-end paper
What is the one thing that all artists of every discipline need? Paper! Whether your gift-receiving artist works with paints, pencils or inks, paper is what they’re always in need of.
And let me tell you that the Arches brand is the Lamborghini of paper.
If your giftee works with wet media like inks, watercolor, gouache etc. it’s best to buy Arches watercolor paper.
They come in two main variants: hot- and cold-pressed. Hot pressed means that there’s no texture: the paper is completely smooth. Cold pressed paper means that the paper is roughly textured.
Arches hot-pressed paper:
Arches Watercolor Block – 8′ x 10′, Hot Press, 20 Sheets
What I’ve seen is that most artists prefer cold-pressed paper. So I’d recommend buying that one if you want to play safe.
Arches cold-pressed paper:
Arches Watercolor Block – 9′ x 12′, Cold Press, 20 Sheets
If your artist uses dry media, like (colored) pencils, then you want to buy this one:
Arches Drawing Paper Block – 10′ x 14′, Extra White, 16 Sheets
2. Budget-friendly paper (but still good enough to sell artwork)
If you think that Arches paper is bit out of your budget, you can opt for Canson paper. Canson paper is a well-known and trustworthy paper brand.
I actually own a few paper packs of it as well. I even sell art I made on Canson paper, so it’s definitely not a low-end brand.
Like any other brand they have multiple variaties of paper, but to be safe you can get one the following ones:
Canson XL Bristol pad Smooth:
This one is excellent for pencils.
Canson XL Bristol – Pad, 14′ x 17′, Smooth, 25 Sheets, Tapebound
3. Toned paper
Toned paper is paper that has color to it. It’s usually a warm brown/beige or grey. Toned paper is very popular among colored pencil artists.
They make the colors pop!
Canson XL Sand Grain Dry Mixed Media Pad – 9′ x 12′, Gray
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Pad – 19′ x 24′, Vellum, 20 Sheets
Strathmore toned paper
Whenever I post a video or picture using this kind of paper most of the comments are questions about which paper I use. Strathmore is, I’d say, a little more high-end than Canson.
This is the one I reccomend everyone:
Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Toned Sketch Pad – 18′ x 24′, 24 Sheets, Warm Tan
Sketchbooks either have a spiral to keep the pages together or they have the pages glued or bound together like a regular book.
Here are some of the most popular mid- to high-end sketchbooks out there:
Etchr cold pressed landscape sketchbook:
Etchr Mixed Media Hardbound Sketchbook – A4, 8.3′ x 11.7′, Cold Press, Landscape
Strathmore toned paper sketchbook:
Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Toned Sketch Pad – 12′ x 9′, 50 Sheets, Warm Tan
Winsor & Newton Spiral Sketchbook:
Winsor & Newton Spiral Sketchbook – 10′ x 7′
Canson watercolor sketchbook:
Canson Montval Field Watercolor ArtBook – 14′ x 11′, Cold Press, 20 Sheets
Copic Wirebound Marker Sketchbook – 7′ x 5′
5. Colored pencils sets
Let me introduce you to the 3 main brands for colored pencils:
- Prismacolor Premier pencils
- Faber-Castell Polychromos
- Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils
Prismacolor Premier pencils:
The Prismacolor premier pencils are the cheapest of all three brands. They are wax-based, which means that the pencils go down creamy and very smooth.
I actually own this set and I’d buy them again if I had to.
This is Prismacolor’s biggest set with all of their colors:
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils – Set of 150, Complete Set
This brand of pencils is the direct competitor of Prismacolor. They are a bit more expensive.
The biggest difference between the two is that these are oil-based and not wax-based. They are pretty much equal in quality but they can achieve more crisp detail as the pencils aren’t that creamy.
This is Faber-Castell’s biggest set:
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil Set – Wood Box, Set of 120
Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils:
These pencils are the most expensive of all of them. But they are used by a lot of professional artists. Your giftee will definitely love these!
Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils – Assorted Colors, Set of 100
Smaller sets of Prismacolor, Faber-Castell and Caran d’Ache
If you find that the full sets of these pencils are out of your price range, here are smaller sets:
Prismacolor Portrait set of 24 (a very popular set!):
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils – Set of 24, Portrait Colors
Faber-Castell set of 36:
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil Set – Assorted Colors, Tin Box, Set of 36
Carandache set of 40:
Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils – Assorted Colors, Set of 40
6. Alcohol Markers
Alcohol markers are markers with alcohol-based ink in them. If you buy any ink markers, always make sure they are alcohol-based, not water-based!
Copic markers are the Lamborghini of alcohol markers: no other marker brand comes as close to their quality, and they know it. That’s why they’re rather expensive… but oh so worth it.
Copic Ciao Double Ended Markers – Assorted Colors, Set of 24
Tip: Copics also come in a few variations. Always go for the Ciao ones: they are the cheapest, refillable and they have a brush tip. Brush tips are what most artists prefer!
Winsor & Newton Brush Promarkers:
Winsor & Newton is an art brand with a respectful reputation. I own their Promarkers and have used them as an alternative to Copics.
Winsor & Newton Promarker Brush Markers – Vibrant Tones, Set of 12
7. Paint Markers
Paint markers are markers with paint in them. It’s usually acrylic paint.
Posca paint markers:
Posca’s are one of the most popular acrylic paint markers out there. They can be used on almost every surface: paper, glass, plastic, rock… you name it.
Uni Posca Paint Markers – Basic Colors, Set of 16, Medium Tip, 2.5 mm
Arteza Acrylic markers:
Arteza is a popular brand among the younger crowd (although I know a lot of adults who use them too, like me!). It’s mainly because they advertise through social media like youtube.
Chances are your giftee has heard of them and wants to try them out!
Acrylic Markers – Set of 40 / Arteza
8. Acrylic paint
Here are the top brands for acrylic paints:
Amsterdam Acryclic paint:
Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylics – General Selection, Set of 72, 20 ml Tubes
Liquitex acrylic heavy body acrylics:
Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint – Set of 24, Essential Colors, 22 ml, Tubes
Winsor & Newton Acrylics:
Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Paint – Set of 20, Assorted Colors, 12 ml, Tubes
9. Gouache paint
You can see gouache as a mix between acrylics and watercolors. Gouache has been gaining lots of popularity in the last few years.
All in one Arteza gouache set:
This set includes 60 colors + a drawing pad.
Gouache Artist Bundle / Arteza
Winsor & Newton Gouache:
This brand is well known for its excellent gouache.
An introductory set:
Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache – Introductory Set, Set of 10 Colors, 14 ml Tubes
Holbein Gouache set
Another high-end brand for gouache:
Holbein Artists’ Gouache Set – Set of 24, 15 ml tubes
10. Oil paint
Winsor and newton:
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Paint – Set of 20, Assorted Colors, 12 ml, Tubes
Senellier Oil paints:
Sennelier Artists’ Extra Fine Oil Paint- Plein Air Landscape, Set of 8, 40 ml tubes
Just keep in mind that when you gift oil paints, and the receiver doesn’t have oil paints already, you must also gift a paint thinner (for cleaning and thinning the paint).
Otherwise, they can’t work with it!
11. Watercolor paint
Winsor and newton high-end watercolor:
Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor â€“ Field Pocket Set, Set of 12 Assorted Colors, Half Pans
Arteza watercolor drawing bundle:
Watercolor Drawing Bundle / Arteza
Schminke watercolor set:
This high-end brand gives you a paint tin plus 6 tubes of watercolor paint:
Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Artist Watercolor – Set of 6, Assorted Colors, 5 ml, Tubes
12. Soft pastels
Rembrandt Soft Pastels:
Rembrandt Soft Pastel Set – Set of 30, Landscape
Winsor & Newton soft pastels:
Winsor & Newton Soft Pastel Set – Set of 30
Unison Portrait pastels:
This is a high-end brand.
Unison Handmade Pastel Set – Portrait Colors, Set of 18, Full Stick
13. Paint brushes
Princeton Neptune brushes:
I own some of these and they are my favorite synthetic brushes.
Princeton Neptune Synthetic Squirrel Brushes – Set of 4
Princeton Select brushes:
Princeton Select Brush Set – Brush Set No. 22, Set of 6
Angelus synthetic brushes:
Angelus Synthetic Paint Brush Set – Assorted, Set of 5, Short Handle
14. Water cups
Masterson Rinse Well:
Such a unique art gift!
Masterson Fresh Water Rinse Well
Very popular on social media.
Paint Puck Ultimate Rinse Cup – Blue
15. Art Organisation
A must for markers:
Spectrum Noir Marker Storage Trays – Clear
Paint storage tray:
ArtBin Paint Storage Tray
The famous designer bag mogul Kate Spade also makes desk accessories. A need? No. A want? Definitely. So, perfect as a gift!
Kate Spade New York Strike Gold Acrylic Desk Accessories – Pencil Cup
16. Art Books
If you know which animated or CGI movie your giftee likes, chances are there’s a concept book full of concept artwork.
You can find a lot of concept books on Book Depositary.
Here are some popular art books that your giftee might like (click the image to buy):
17. Art Prints
Lots of artist love and support fellow artists by buying their art prints. They put those prints together to make their own inspirational corner, or wall.
Find out which artist is currently your giftee’s favorite. At the end of this article, I’ve listed some tips on how to find that out.
Buy your giftee an art print of their favorite artist! Almost all artists have some prints of their artwork, either listed on their own website or on their RedBubble.
Simply go to their social media and look for a link in their bio.
18. Art Gift Cards
If all else fails, just get them a gift card
- $55 Gift Card“>Dick Blick Gift Card $55
- $55 E-Gift Card“>Dick Blick E-Gift Card $55
19. Art Courses
Find your giftee’s favorite artist and see if they offer courses. Another great gift idea is to gift them a Domestika course.
Domestika is a course platform where thousands of professional artists of all disciplines offer their courses.
Lots of famous Insta artists are on there.
Click here to buy a gift card on Domestika.
20. iPad + Apple Pencil
Okay, this one is for the big spenders.
The ultimate Christmas gift would be an iPad + Apple Pencil so your giftee can draw digitally! I gifted myself an iPad Pro + Apple pencil 2 years ago and I still use them every single day.
It is expensive, though.
When I bought mine the iPad Pro cost about $1200. The image below is an 2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 128GB) – Silver (4th Generation) for $799.
As you can read in the 9,000+ 5-star reviews most people use this one for their digital art.
But you can’t create digital art on your iPad without an Apple Pencil.
The pencil that you need is a 2nd gen Apple pencil for $149:
I have to say, next to my colored pencils, my iPad and Apple pencil are my favorite art supplies. Not only do I use them for my art, but I also used them for my job.
I used to do some graphic design back in the day (and still do some!). You either need a Wacom Cintiq (waaaay more expensive than an iPad) or a Wacom without a screen (a lot harder to use) or the iPad mentioned above.
So if you’re struggling (as a parent) to decide to give your kid one of these, think of it as an investment if they might want to do design or art as a living.
21. Apple pencil 2nd gen cases
Just like protectors for phones you also have protectors for Apple pencils. Although I think the main use is that they are so cute! A perfect gift.
Get them in any color:
I have this one:
Procreate is THE illustrating app that you need on your iPad. I think most of the illustrators, designers and artists who do digital art use Procreate.
The great thing is that you only buy it once ($10) and get every update for free. You can even paint in 3D with it.
Procreate is only available on Apple products, so an Android tablet isn’t compatible. Buy it in the AppStore for your giftee!
Also, you can find tons of tips and tutorials on my website about Procreate.
23. Drawing desk
Another gift (as a parent) for your giftee, is a drawing desk. They differ from regular desks in that they are able to rotate making them more ergonomic.
They also often feature extra space for art supplies which still function after rotating the desk.
Luxe Drawing Table:
Studio Designs Futura Luxe Craft Table
Studio Designs Vintage Drafting Table – Distressed Black, 42′ x 30′
24. Filming Rig
A lot of (hobby) artists film their creative process. This may help them get more followers which is great for business (and it’s simply fun).
This rig is very popular right now and eliminates the need to buy a tripod + camera because this rig can hold any phone:
25. Blackwing pencils
Blackwing pencils are also known as the best pencils in the world. They are used by Disney legends and many other animation and illustrator legends.
This is such a fun and unique gift to give.
The best part is that Blackwing offers an Audition pack. It features every Blackwing pencil so you can test them out. After that, you can buy a full pack for a reduced price. You can shop them here.
26. Molotow eraser
This unique eraser is great for tiny details. I use them for all of my portraits.
Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser – Eraser and Refill Pack, Round
The following inks are well known for being one of the best:
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink Set – Essential Ink Colors, Set of 6, 30 ml
Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton Drawing Ink Set – 14 ml, Supplimental , Set of 8
Sennelier Abstract Acrylic Ink – Set of 5, 1 oz
28. Hand protector (digital art)
To avoid your iPad from thinking you’re touching the screen, when in reality you’re resting your hand while drawing, wear gloves. These gloves prevent unwanted gestures.
Blick Artists’ Gloves – Medium, Pkg of 2
29. Gumroad brush pack
If your giftee is into digital art, consider buying them a digital brush pack. The high realism brushes by Laura H. Rubin are a bestseller when it comes to realistic portraits. You can buy it here: (Just toggle on ”Give as Gift” before checking out:)
30. Art Easel
A real easel to practice painting. Every artist’s dream!
Richeson Basset Studio Easel – Dark Stain, H-Frame
Jullian Plein Travel Box Table Top Easel
Quartet Instant Easel – Black, Table Top, 14′
31. Paint palette
Whenever you buy a paint palette make sure it’s not plastic. Not only because it’s bad for the environment, but because water doesn’t interact well with it. The water will cling to your brush rather than stay on the palette.
Here are some fun non-plastic palettes:
Stephen Quiller Porcelain Palette – 13′ x 13′ x 1 1/4′
Richeson 7-Well Flower Palette – 7 wells
This one is made specifically for left-handed people:
New Wave Art Wood Palette – 16′ x 11′ x 1/5′, Highland, Left Hand
32. Coloring book (for adults)
Coloring books for adults are actually incredibly useful. This way the artist can practice laying down markers or colored pencils without having to worry about designing a drawing first.
A popular technique to understand your pencils!
Here are some coloring books (for adults):
Bob Ross (A classic):
Bob Ross Coloring Book
Earth and Space (I’m getting this one):
Earth and Space Coloring Book
A Splash of Color (you can also paint in it!)
Splash of Color Painting & Coloring Book
34. Masking fluid
Masking fluid is something I purchased years after getting into watercolors. These protect parts of the paper you don’t want to paint on. They come in pens and liquids:
Winsor and Newton (100% reccomend):
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Mediums – Art Masking fluid, 75 ml bottle
The Sennelier one includes an applicator tip:
Sennelier Masking Fluid – 37 ml Bottle with Applicator Tip
35. Fixative spray
To seal any precious artwork you need to protect it by applying a seal. This is one of those things an artist needs.
Colored pencil fixative:
Brush and Pencil Advanced Colored Pencil Fixative – Final Fixative, 9 oz
Fixative for most mediums:
Grumbacher Final Fixative – 11.75 oz, Matte
36. Washi tape
Washi tape is similar to painter’s tape but it’s cute. They feature all kinds of designs. The main reason to use them is because of how they look, but they are also used to create borders when painting. Lots of journalers have them as well.
Some people collect these. Here are some of my favorites:
37. Electric sharpener
A sharpener is something every artist needs. An electric sharpener, is something pencil artists need. Electric sharpeners are a game changer. I’ve had mine for quite a few years now and I still love it!
Here are some great sharpeners to consider:
X-Acto Mighty Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener
Stanley Bostitch Super Pro Glow Commercial Electric Pencil Sharpener
38. Tickets to an art event
If you live in an area that hosts art events, consider buying your giftee some tickets! This is a great place to meet fellow artists.
Here are some great art events to consider:
- LightBox Expo
- Animation, illustration & gaming industry event
- Hosted in California
- Very popular
- A local museum that carries art
- A local exhibition
- A local drink and draw
- This is a gathering of artists to, you guessed it, have some drinks and draw together
- The Art Department – Playgrounds
- This is an art event hosted in The Netherlands and Germany
- Great for when you live in Europe
- View Conference – Italy
39. Wacom Cintiq (Digital drawing tablet)
An alternative to an iPad is a Wacom Cintiq. This is a drawing tablet/screen that you hook up to your computer. It functions as a second screen on which you can directly draw using a pen that comes with it.
The biggest pro of a Cintiq is that you can use any professional industry software on your computer, like Photoshop and Illustrator, which you cannot use on an iPad. The only con a Cintiq has is that you cannot easily take it with you because it’s a big screen and it must be plugged into a computer.
Wacom Cintiq small:
Wacom Cintiq 22 medium:
If you want to gift any fineliners, you should definitely go for Microns. They are THE brand when it comes to fineliners. Here’s a nice assortment of sizes:
Sakura Pigma Micron Pens – Set of 10, Black, Assorted Wide
41. What’s currently trending
Jelly gouache has been insanely popular lately. The fun packaging and consistency of the paint have gone viral on Youtube. Chances are your giftee would love to try one of these out! They’re definitely on my list.
Jelly Gouache 24 set:
Jelly gouache 56 stet:
How to find out what your giftee likes
If you’re not sure what your giftee likes, stalk them. No seriously, go to their Instagram page and look at who they follow.
Big chances are they follow some of their favorite artists. If you see that they actively like their posts, you can look if those artists sell art prints or even courses. Win!
Does the giftee post their art? If so, what medium do they use? If you’re not sure what they use, check their hashtags. They probably use hashtags that include the brand or medium they use.
Wrapping your present matters
Since (hobby) artists are visual people, they’d really appreciate the packaging. You can do something as simple as adding a sprig of a Christmas tree to your packaging.
Here are some aesthetic ways to wrap your Christmas presents:
What to buy when you feel overwhelmed
If you feel overwhelmed after all of this information, here’s a summary:
- Find out what your giftee likes (stalk them!)
- Paper is what an artist is always in need of
- An artist gets excited from nearly anything that allows them to be creative
Unfortunately, art supplies may get expensive. Buying supplies from dollar stores is not the same as buying them from actual creative stores. Trust me, I’ve tried multiple times.
This is because actual art brands have one thing in mind: Making sure their products last, because chances are, the artwork created with their products will be sold. And thus they must be light-fast (withstanding time).
Also, pigments are expensive.
But I’m sure your giftee will appreciate anything you get for them. Even if it’s a self-drawn portrait of the both of you!
I hope I informed you enough to make the artist that you love, feel loved!
Also, if you’re an artist reading this article feel free to write down in the comments what you’d love to receive this year. This way others can read it and I can add it to the list!