I’m a bit timid to buy art supplies for my artist pals, unless I know for sure they’re missing something specific in their studio arsenal. But many of my friends and family are new at art, or they’ve *never* done art, but they’re interested in dipping-a-toe-in to check it out. With the popularity of group paint-along cocktail parties, adult coloring books, and youtube art tutorials demystifying the art process, I’m excited that so many people are discovering their art-making brains. Those folks are extremely fun to shop for, because they usually don’t have any art supplies, and a gift of something maker-ish could inspire their heretofore unrealized artist-self, which could spark an avalanche of creative fun!
The notion of jump-starting someone’s art-making engines must be universal, because there seems to be a wide swath of drawing and painting sets on the market that are heavy on the possibilities, and light on the costs. I’ve made a list of some of them here, in my last gift idea post of the season. If you’ve discovered some cool art supplies for the budding artists in your life, please share them in the comments, and we’ll have a fully equipped round table brainstorm of art-making in the New Year!
Craftsy produces comprehensive, fun online classes in a variety of creative arenas, and you can gift a class to someone on your list who’d like to learn a new skill from the comfort of home with a focus on sewing, quilting, painting, drawing and cooking, etc. Most of their classes are 50% off this week, so check out the offerings here.
This set would have sent me into cartwheels of excitement back in the day, before I had art supplies. It may be shy of professional quality pigments, but that will have no impact on the possibilities, fun and output of anyone who gets their hands on this box of goodies.
This is an excellent drawing set, with everything an artist might need to practice line drawing, shading, cross hatch, gesture drawing, and under drawing for painting later. It might be nice to add to this the Strathmore sketch pad, so it’s more of a complete drawing set.
This set has everything to get an acrylic painter started – all the brushes, paints, palette knives, palette and even an instruction book. If you want an even more comprehensive instruction book to go along with it, you might consider Learn to Paint with Acrylics in 50 small Paintings by Mark Daniel Nelson.
This is a great starter set of colored pencils made by the same company I use – Prismacolor. This is the Verithin line, which has a harder lead, so it doesn’t break as often, and the core sharpens to a very nice point for fine, detailed work. It might be nice to add a pad of Strathmore drawing paper in the 9×12 size if your gift recipient doesn’t already have drawing paper.
Entertaining a notion, like entertaining a baby cousin or entertaining a pack of hyenas, is a dangerous thing to refuse to do. If you refuse to entertain a baby cousin, the baby cousin may get bored and entertain itself by wandering off and falling down a well. If you refuse to entertain a pack of hyenas, they may become restless and entertain themselves by devouring you. But if you refuse to entertain a notion – which is just a fancy way of saying that you refuse to think about a certain idea – you have to be much braver than someone who is merely facing some blood-thirsty animals, or some parents who are upset to find their little darling at the bottom of a well, because nobody knows what an idea will do when it goes off to entertain itself.