Christmas Shopping for An Artist

Does your child love to draw? Ever caught them with your nail polish about to redesign a portrait on your mantle or coffee table? You may have a budding artist on your hands. Ever had to go Christmas shopping for an artist? How about shopping for your little artist’s birthday?

Well as an artist and knowing several other artists, one thing is for sure! Most artists are in the practice of giving rather than receiving, and its really hard to go pick out that “Special Something” for an artist. Well not really! You see there are several small things that you can always get, that an artist will always use no matter how inexpensive or small that they may seem to you. Ranging from art supplies to drawing tutorials (which are my favorite) and beyond. Contrary to popular belief, many of them are not that expensive at all and can bring a lot of excitement to an artist. And an excited artist is a productive artist!

In this post, I have included some links to the products that I hope are helpful in trying to decide what to get your small budding artist, as well as, a friend that loves to draw or paint. And you might be inspired to try some of these things out for yourself!!

First of all, let’s look at some supplies. I tried to keep the dollar amount small to include parents that may not be too sure of their child’s true interest in art.

1.Crayola Inspiration Art Case: This is a very inexpensive and fun art set. It is 140 items ranging from Crayola crayons, 20 colored pencils, 40 washable markers, 15 sheets of paper to start with, and an organizer/carrying case. Although Crayola is primarily focused towards children, I still use a lot of Crayola products for such things as blocking in colors, preliminary color schemes, and overall doodling. I will say Crayola has a tendency to be easily erased because their products are machine washable. But Crayola products are very respectable in the creative realm for children and adults that want to practice art also. And their products are very inexpensive!!!

2.Art 101 142-piece wood art set: If your artist is a little “too grown” for Crayola, There is the Art 101 142-piece wood art set. This is a pretty good set to really get your feet wet with different kinds of art media. While not exactly “Artist Quality” this set is pretty much an extension or “next step” in art and color exploration. It comes with a beautiful wooden case to store your color pencils and pastels. It also comes with a limited palette of watercolors and also a color chart. In my opinion, while it may be a more in-depth array of supplies to experiment with, I wouldn’t be surprised if you or your artist would soon be looking for higher quality materials. But for around $30 it will no-doubt keep an artist busy!

3. 82-Piece Deluxe Art Set: The 82-piece Deluxe Art set by US Art Supply is also a decent set for the “Next Step” artist. What I really like about this set is that although it has a smaller list of items, they are more directed to the media that is included. It also includes not only a drawing pad but also a Sketchbook! I am a huge fan of sketchbooks, I keep several to use for notes and ideas for future work. I always advise people to keep a Sketchbook journal and spend at least 20 mins everyday sketching in it. Even though it is around $10 more than the Art 101, I think this would definitely be the more “bang for your buck”!

4.133-Piece Deluxe Art Set: Also from US Art Supply is the 133-piece Deluxe set which is consideredly more expensive (@ $120) but has a whole lot more materials that can ultimately propel your skills. While the paints, pencils, and pastels are still “student grade” at best, it serves as a good overall kit for the more serious hobbyist. I would go so far as to say that you definitely could not get all of these items separately at the cost of this kit. With two easels, 4 separate sets of brushes, stretch canvases as well as canvas panels, drawing pads, and all of the paint that comes in this set, you could very well do worse as a beginner artist or hobbyist.

5. 121-Piece Art Set: The last one I will be talking about is the 121-piece deluxe set which is from Us Art Supply. Priced at $129.96 it is a very good deal as far as the equipment you get with this set. The field easel alone is around $75-$110 depending on where you go. I absolutely love this style of this easel. I have one that was given to me several years ago, and I use it more than my studio easel! It is highly mobile, sturdy, and you can carry a good amount of paints and pencils in it. I haven’t even gotten to the fact that it has its own palette! (I use the palette of mine as a makeshift tabletop) I will stick to my opinion of the paints being of “Student Quality” at best, but these will undoubtedly be upgraded anyway as you buy more paint to replace the used ones.

Those are just 5 kits that I felt are pretty good to start with. They each have their own good and bad points and you should definitely do your study on each one. Think about what you are trying to achieve, do you want to just dabble in painting, do you want to learn to compose portraits, or paint open-air landscapes? Each of these sets can give you or your “little Artist” hours of fun. Always remember that each artist is different and likes certain things that differ from others. If you or who you are buying for are truly serious about pursuing art, as a hobby or a way to make money, try to buy the best quality of materials that you can afford. It will definitely pay for itself further on down the road. Student grades are ok to start out with or use on an “underpainting”, but as a rule, I never use them as my finished surface. If you find this helpful or have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments section below…… also like and share!!!