Ep 125 Gift Ideas for Artists or Why not Treat Yourself

Ep 125 Gift Ideas for Artists or Why not Treat Yourself

In today’s art podcast we are going to talk about gift ideas for artists. So, if you are hoping for an arty gift yourself, you could sneakily put this podcast on while your family are nearby… You never know, it might give them some good art present ideas! Alternatively, you can always treat yourself.

Ep 125 Gift Ideas for Artists (Treat Yourself or Others)

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This podcast is sponsored by Evolve. Evolve can teach anyone how to paint in a realism style to a professional level in a year. They offer online lessons, support and also provide the materials you need. To find out more sign up for a free masterclass at

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Let’s start with some stocking filler gifts for artists!

Obviously, pens and pencils would be a perfect addition to a stocking! Here are some of our favourites:


Unipin Waterproof Pen and Pigma Sensei waterproof pens (waterproof)

These for me are the ultimate waterproof pens

Papermate Flair Pen

These are a bit like felt tip pens, when used with a waterbrush you can get some lovely mid tones.

Chunky marker

I really just put this in as Sandra hates them

2b pencil

A great all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with this as a present

Mechanical Pencil that you put 2B leads in

I have a couple of different makes – Rotring Tikki

White gel pen

these are great for adding white highlights.


Lamy Joy Fountain Pen

I really like the Lamy Joy Fountain Pen, which I recommended to Tara, but she didn’t like at first, but Tara you love it now don’t you. It’s got a lovely broad tip so I think it’s great for sketching as it gives such a lovely variety of lines.

Lamy Safari pen

I also love the Lamy Safari pen, with the broad nib. It’s not a calligraphy pen like the Lamy Joy, but it still gives a subtle variety of lines.

Like a lot pf pens, Lamy pens come with cartridges, but you can pick up some cartridge converters to go in the pens. These are far more economical than the cartridges and better for the environment too, because you just refill them when they run out!

Pentel Japanese Brush Pen

I also love the Pentel Japanese Brush Pen, but I have to say I really didn’t like it at all at first. I didn’t feel it gave me the control I wanted, but after a bit of persevering with it, it’s now one of my favourite pens to use! So I’d highly recommend that one.

Sailor pen

An interesting pen for any artist to try out is the Sailor pen. So, it’s like a fountain ben, but the tip goes off to a 55 degree angle… It takes a bit of getting used to, but you can get a really thick line with it, but also if you turn it the other way, you can get a super-fine line too.

Bottle of ink

Another handy addition to any stocking would be a bottle of ink to refill your pens… But you have to be careful to use the right ink in a fountain pen because they can really clog up. So, I would recommend Noodlers ink. That’s a really good one to use and it’s water-resistant too. Or, if you would prefer watersoluble ink, the ink made by Lamy is the other one I use.

Reservoir brush/Water Brush

Another handy gift would be a reservoir brush (also known as a water brush). This one would be perfect for an urban sketcher. It’s basically a brush with a reservoir in the handle which you can fill with water and it’s great for when you’re sketching on the go.


How about something to keep them in?

Pencil case or tin

I have so many pencil cases it’s ridiculous

Pencil roll

These are great as it’s easier to find which item you want

pencil roll


Putty rubber / Kneaded Eraser

Another must-have for an artist is a Putty rubber. And these are great because they can be moulded into the finest point to erase tiny little areas, or lift tiny highlights, but also they can be rolled into a lovely big sausage, so you can erase much bigger areas.

Two-hole pencil sharpener

Also, a two-hole pencil sharpener would be good. So these have one hole the size of a standard pencil, and another for a chunkier one,


Neocolor 2

My favourite wax pastels. They ar so versatile, you can get watercolour or gouache like effects

When I first got these I wasn’t keen but now I love them. You draw and then water to get lovely quick watercolour effects

I like White Nights Watercolours
These are great for taking on holiday and urban sketching

Prismacolour are good
Another great tool for quickly laying down colour

color pencils

Postit notes

who can resist a postit note. Add them to your art or mark your favourite pages in an art book


Giant toilet roll

Okay, so this might sound weird, but something every artist would find useful, is a giant toilet roll… Well, I mean kitchen roll! So my husband knows me well enough that I appreciate a giant toilet roll even more than flowers, so quite often he’ll arrive home with one of those, which I find really romantic!


Also, baby-wipes! I must admit I go through loads of those when I’m oil painting. I hate getting painty hands. Just aim to get the biodegradable ones.

Brush-cleaning soap would also make a great little stocking filler!


I have great little lightweight stool made by Lesfit. It’s a bit fiddly to set up by really light and small to carry


Iyou are an urban sketcher – I have one which has a pocket on the side where your back is which is great for keeping your wallet and phone safe in a city



A general sketchbook that can take a bit of water, economically priced too

Moleskine also popular

These used to be a favourite until I switched to Seawhite

Pink Pig brand
Beautiful sketchbooks


Toned sketchbooks

Toned sketchbooks are great as not everyone has them – Strathmoore, do a good one… also Derwent, and they come in different colours. My favourites are the grey and the buff. What I love about them is the mid-tone is already there, so using just a black pen and a highlighter pen, you can get a lovely tonal sketch.

Canson XL mixed media

My favourite sketchbook currently is the Canson XL mixed media. The paper is really white and it takes a really good wash without buckling.

Stilman & Birn

Stilman & Birn is another one I’d highly recommend. They have a few different varieties to choose from.


Also I’ve heard Kooshe Koene say really good things about the Hahnemuhle Nostalgie Sketch Books, but I haven’t yet tried that one. I’m figuring if Kooshe likes it, then it must be good!

How about an Art magazine subscription? That would be a really great gift for an artist.

Or, an Art-book – I don’t know many artists who can get enough art books.

Personally as a gift, I would tend to go for books about art or featuring art, rather than tutorial books, because tutorial books would depend on the type of artist you’re buying for, so it’s very difficult to recommend particular ones.


Sketching People

Sketching People an Urban Sketchers Guide to Drawing Figures and Faces

Lynne Chapman which also had Liz on podcast episode 45

Remedial Sketches

Lewis Rossignol who was also on the podcast Ep 61

Art Book Page Lewis Rossignol

Street Sketchbook

Street Sketchbook and Street Sketchbook Journeys – both by Tristan Manko

A World of Artist Journal Pages

curated by Dawn Devries Sokol


Online Art Courses

An online course would make a really unique and special gift for someone you know who would love to develop their skills. Our early bird offer of $29 dollars is still on, so don’t miss that.

Cartoon Course

We’ve just released our own course on creating cartoons and characters and that would make a really cool gift for someone who enjoys drawing characters.

Cartoon Course

Evolve Realism Course

If you are looking for the other extreme and you want to treat someone to some realism painting lessons, then you could check out the evolve course, which we mentioned at the beginning of the show. This would be more like something you would invest in for your grown up kids if they want to learn some serious art skills. And it is way cheaper than art school!

evolve oil painting how to

And as we said earlier, you can look at the free webinar to find out more, at kickinthecreatives.com/evolvewebinar


Let’s Face It and other courses

Lewis Rossignol course (not affiliate)

Ian Fennelly Artist urban sketcher workshop


There are also some fabulous subscription sites, where you pay an annual or a monthly fee for unlimited lessons on all things creative… Everything from art, to knitting, to photography… the lessons on offer are endless!

The sites we would recommend, are;


Thousands of courses on topis including art


They have a really cheap $2.49 year at the time of writing

They often have offers as well, so look out for those.


Also check out Domestika which offers individual courses


Life-drawing classes

We have a blog post where you can find details of online life drawing classes

Jolly Sketcher online life drawing session sketches


Art workshop

How about an art workshop? Just be sure to choose one that suits their style and is also easy to get to from where they live.

Or very often, local schools and colleges offer Adult Education Classes including art. So that would make a great gift. Otherwise, look for a local art class. That’s exactly how I started!


Please note, this post includes some affiliate links. That means that if you purchase a product via our link we will get a commission. Thank you for your support.


And we have a brand new question for you, which is:

Q. If you could go on a painting or sketching holiday, where would you go, and why?

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This week’s creative question

Q.  If you could ask Santa to bring you one Art related item down the chimney this Christmas what would it be and why?

f you could ask Santa to bring you one Art related item down the chimney this Christmas what would it be and why?


The best answers will be read out on a future podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the Facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.

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