Artist Gift Ideas

There is a reason why they call them "starving artists"; art supplies, especially high quality art supplies, are not cheap! So, with Christmas fast approaching I thought I'd help out fellow artists, new and experienced, with a list of artist gift ideas.

Everything that I'm listing are items either I have or really, really want:).

Art Supplies Gift Ideas

Starving artists, let me tell you why... the supplies are not cheap and the time that is often put into the art is not valued as such.  I can't tell you how often people ask me to paint something and are taken aback that I charge. The talent is a gift and to hone the gift - well, it's not cheap...(photographers run into this problem a lot too).  

I'm off my soap box now. :) On to the artist gift ideas that the artist in your life will greatly appreciate: 

Art Easels:  All of the easels listed I have bought over the years and love.  The easel depends on how the artist prefers to paint:

  • Plein Air Painters - If the artist likes to move their easel around or paint outside, then they'd like either a french easel or one that packs up (light and portable).  The ones listed above are exactly what I have and I'm very happy with them.

  • Studio Artists - Meaning they paint in a room, a single spot, all the time.  They'd like one of the stationary easels.  The American Heritage is very similar to the one that I purchased many years ago.  Note: I did modify mine by adding a base with wheels because while I do paint in my studio, I do turn it and move it.

Oil Paints: The saying 'you get what you pay for' is completely true when it comes to Oil Paints.

  • Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, in my opinion, is top of the line. It is like painting with gorgeous butter.  The Williamsburg oil paints are a bit more expensive but they do last longer because the pigment is very rich and intense, which means you can use less. The few colors that I have are Radiant White, Titanium White, Cobalt Teal, French Raw Sienna and I also have their Impasto Medium. So, you'll notice Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors are what I have in this gift guide, because frankly, most artists don't spend this kind of money on paints and you would seriously impress them with one of these paints - it's like the Louis Vuitton of paints.

  • Other quality paint brands are: Old Holland (I use their Flesh Tint and Quinacridone colors), Grumbacher, Gamblin, and Daler Rowney.  You can't go wrong with any of theses brands.

Paint Brushes: There are two types of brushes in my mind:

  • 'Scrub-in' brushes: 'Scrub in' brushes are the Hog Hair or Synthetic brushes - aka the cheap brushes or even really old brushes or craft brushes. Ones you can scribble back and forth because you don't care that they were less than 5 bucks.

  • 'Quality' brushes:  These are the Red Sable brushes.  The brushes that you feel and say - 'oh they are soooo soft!' The Red Sable brushes can cost a nice chunk of change.  The most expensive Red Sable brush I have was $125.  And it is coveted.  It is large, soft and just perfect with every's like the paint flows off of it perfectly and it glides across the canvas as though there were no bumps on the canvas.  It truly glides.
    (Note: I've tried the synthetic sable, they are crap compared to the real).

I hope this is a helpful gift guide for the artist in your life!

If you are an artist and I missed a great artist gift idea, please let me know in a comment below. Or feel free to drop a question and I'll give you an honest answer.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Grinning Like An Idiot: Create your Happiness. I'm a stay-at-home mom who doesn't 'stay' very well. I like to provide everyone with resources and ideas for crafts, painting and DIY!