Gift Ideas for Watercolor Artists

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What Gifts do Watercolor Artists Wish For?

How do you know what to gift to a watercolor artist? Do beginner painters prefer different art supplies and art-themed gifts compared to more seasoned watercolor artists? (I don’t think so.)

We artists love a slow inspection of every single aisle in an art supply store. Just the same as a quilter gets inspired by the latest prints in a fabric shop, or a stitcher swoons at the display of this season’s newest colors of embroidery floss.

But if you’re not an artist, how do you get gift ideas for watercolor artists?

a vintage painter's palette lapel pin for an artist
Vintage Artist’s Paint Palette lapel or tote bag pin

Artist Themed Gifts

It helps to look for gifts that are a variation on a theme. For example, if the artist in your life already has a studio apron, they probably don’t have a lovely, pink, stone washed, linen apron (see below).

And if your favorite artist already has a brush holder and a small mixing palette, maybe they don’t have one made out of ceramic in the shape of cute turtles, right?

This is my favorite artist’s apron I’ve ever owned. It’s a dusty pink linen, and it comes in several colors here.

Art Supply Gathering as a Beginner

When I first started painting with watercolors, I kept my meager art supplies in a milk crate under my bed. I used the most inexpensive paper I could find, and pigments that were just a notch above school-grade poster paint. My brushes were no better.

These days, my favorite watercolor brush is a #12 round DaVinci Cosmotop. That brush keeps a good point, holds a ton of pigment, and has enough spring to remain straight after I’ve dragged it across the paper. And it doesn’t cost a fortune. If you paint, what is your favorite brush?

a hand made cloth artist brush or pencil holder
I love this cloth paint brush carry case. It works for watercolor brushes, pencils and craft tools. Perfect for painting in the garden, or carrying favorites to a friend’s house for an afternoon of art-making.

For the Love of Art Supplies

As a beginner watercolor artist, I didn’t want to invest in something I wasn’t sure I could master. I started my acquisition of good art supplies very slowly by scouring estate sales, and graciously accepted hand-me-downs from other watercolor artists. Back then, I took great delight from those gifts I received from friends and family, and I still do.

I will never tire of art supplies. I think it’s safe to presume that all artists feel this way. So you can’t go wrong presenting art supplies as gifts to watercolor artists in your life, or at the very least, a few art-related goodies.

If art supplies already outweigh the creative space your artist occupies, this post about storage solutions for art and art supplies might be handy.

meme for artists who have too many art supplies
For a small art-making space: the ledge shelf in my studio is a smaller footprint than a stand alone easel for larger watercolor paintings.

Creative Gifts Ideas for Artists

Watercolor art supplies are consumables; you use all the pigments you buy, and wear out the brushes over time, and paint in all the sketchbooks. So that makes either one of those categories a safe bet, especially if you can sneak a glance at the type of paper and brushes your artist already loves.

You can also branch out, and consider things like ledge shelves for an artist’s creative space. Shallow wall shelving can be used in place of a free standing artist’s easel in a small room. (I use one to prop up larger work in my own studio.) Artists can mount the shelf at the perfect hight for either seated or standing art-making. The shelving can also be used to display artwork that’s in process, or finished pieces during a studio show.

Take a look at the other artist gift ideas below.

artist studio wall shelf unit for display of paintings
In small art-making spaces, these wooden ledge shelves work great for either working on watercolor in process, or lining up pretty containers of brushes and pencils, etc. They’re also handy for displaying finished work for viewing with customers during a studio sale.
an artists or crafter's lapel pin as a gift idea
Adorable cutting mat with an assortment of crafter’s tools pin ?
artist gift idea of a famous painting scene with a cat's paw instead of two human hands
A lapel pin featuring symbols of great art, but with cats. I couldn’t resist. Scout made me do it.
a portable watercolor palette and premium watercolor set fas an artist's gift idea
Sennelier Watercolor Travel Palette These paints are very good quality. The pigment load in each tube is rich and strong, lightfast color. Sennelier watercolor sets are very expensive, so this is a nice way to test them to see if you like painting with this particular brand of watercolors.
Dog Bed Squatter, Watercolor (sold)

What’s on Your Art Supply Wish List?

If you’re shopping for gift ideas for a watercolor artist, and you’re totally stumped, leave a comment about the particulars on your artist, and we’ll reply with more ideas. Other artists might even weigh in. Don’t be shy, because we’ve all scratched our heads to buy gifts for the cooks, gardeners and mechanics in our lives. Focused interests and pass times can be worlds away, but supporting someone’s creative explorations is a lovely gesture of support and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post


P.S. Here are more artist gift ideas from the archive.

And here’s another gift list with 5 basic artist tools every beginner should have.

Here’s another list of gift ideas for artists – focused on watercolor supplies.

And this post features gifts for a beginner printmaker.

I hope they help you find just what you’re looking for!

Art Quote

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Blaise Pasqual
Click the kitty to visit this free online mini course – Six Tips to Paint More

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8 thoughts on “Gift Ideas for Watercolor Artists”

  1. I love when you share like this!
    My two favorites to add are:
    a divided acrylic refrigerator bin to use as a water cup (sections for dirty water, clean water and a roll of paper toweling to blot my brush)
    You can find these on Amazon, Home Goods, etc.
    a Japanese-type smock, no ties, just pop on. Now on sale at World Market

  2. I hope you get well soon! You captured pets sleeping so beautifully!!Thank you for all the great suggestions,a nice idea for our many art friends at Christmas. It’s hard to come up with something to give to people at times.

  3. Beautiful paintings and super post. I generally buy my supplies at the same store. They know me, and joke around with me when I visit, which is often. I am not a browser when I’m on a project, although it’s tempting. I want set colours and brushes a good canvas, and I’m gone. It’s nice to go to a store where the people are friendly, helpful and funny. It’s serious work — we need people who give us a break. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

    1. Hi there, you – How wonderful to have a local outlet to purchase your art supplies! You lucky painter! That would be so grand…. And they know you. That’s even better. When I was in college, I used to wish I had a part time job in a book store, and a part time job in an art supply store. (I had neither – I was a waitress.) I’m glad you have a local option. Happy wintertime painting to you! XOXO

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