From the millions of different possible color combinations to the stunning paintings that can be made, painting with watercolors is one of the most relaxing and fun hobbies that one can have. Though it may not be for everyone, it is an art form enjoyed many around the world.
Painting with watercolors seems like an easy thing – until you try it once!
Like most art forms, practice makes perfect with watercolor. Watercolor enthusiasts have to be truly dedicated to their craft to make beautiful pieces.
Luckily, watercolor artists in an art or craft store are increasingly spoiled for choice with the dizzying number of products and brands. Watercolor professionals and amateurs alike often stick to their preferred supplies. So when a birthday rolls around, you may be wary of trying to get your favorite artist an appropriate gift that they can actually use.
So what are the best gifts for watercolor artists? Since many artists have watercolor supplies they are particular about, the best gifts for them are unique, but useful items, perhaps something they would not buy for themselves. Portable materials, high-quality cases for brushes, light boxes and ‘fun’ extras like watercolor markers are all useful.
In this guide, we’ll go over the 11 best gifts that you can buy for the watercolor artists in your life, or yourself if you love to paint with watercolors. The guide will take you through some unique ideas that you can keep in your pocket and pull out whenever needed.
Gift Guide – 11 Best Gifts for Watercolor Artists
Buying gifts for someone who already has everything they need – or who needs very specific tools and materials – is a very hard thing to do.
Watercolor artists, and artists in general, are folks that usually have all the tools and supplies they will ever need to create their paintings and masterpieces. And even when they don’t have it all, a non-artist (or different kind of artist) probably won’t be able to tell what it is actually high quality, which will create the desired effects, etc.
Plus, the sheer amount of products that you will find will surely leave you more confused than before unless you happen to be a watercolor pro yourself!
That’s why we’re here to help.
When it comes to buying gifts for watercolor artists, we suggest sticking to the periphery. Look for supplies that are still useful, but not the most crucial tools and materials – because your favorite artist will know best which paints and brushes they prefer.
Instead, think of nonessential, but nice to have tools, especially those which an artist may not invest in for themselves or, if they are a beginner, may not have invested in yet.
To help you out further, here are some of the best gifts for the watercolor artist in your life:
|1.||KomalC Leather Pen Case||Buffalo leather pen/brush case with 7 slots|
|2.||En Plein Air Watercolor Package||Includes easel and tripod with palette, room for brushes, traveling case|
|3.||MEEDEN Porcelain Watercolor Paint Palette||Ceramic painting tray with 17 wells, 13 x10"|
|4.||Art Graf Water Soluble Tailors Chalk||6 richly pigmented chalks in earth tones|
|5.||Escoda Watercolor Travel Brush Set||Brushes (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) in leather travel pouch|
|6.||Winsor & Newton Watercolor Brush Markers||12 blendable colored markers with dual tips (fine nib & brush)|
|7.||Creative Mark Leaning Bridge||Transparent bridge; rest hands for steady painting|
|8.||The Encyclopedia of Watercolor Techniques||Covers materials, techniques, and composition|
|9.||Faber-Castell Clic & Go Artist Water Cup||Collapsible water cup (12 oz) with brush rest|
|10.||Arteza Watercolor Sketchbooks||2 sketchbooks, 110 lb paper, 8.25 x 8.25"|
|11.||Huion LED Light Box||A4 size tracing pad, USB powered, 1100 lux|
|Bonus||Attitude Aprons Fully Adjustable Artist Apron||Artist themed apron, one size, poly-cotton blend|
These gift ideas range from simple to unique and from economical to luxury. We’re confident at least one of these will be perfect for the artist in your life.
1. KomalC Genuine Leather Case
One of the best things that any artist can have is a handy little case where they can store their brushes and other utensils. This leather case is made from the finest buffalo leather and has been handcrafted by experienced craftsmen which makes it a luxurious gift to give.
This leather case is great for watercolor artists that like to paint on the go or who need a case that’s worthy of those expensive paint brushes. As any painter knows, those brushes need a safe, protective place to rest. A damaged brush tip is a game ender!
There are 6 slots for brushes, pens, or pencils as well as a wider slot for other tools. Your artist can pop in two or three of their go-to brushes, a pencil or two, and perhaps even a small bottle of masking fluid. They may even fit a pocket palette into that larger pocket!
Any watercolor artist can paint on the go easily with this small pouch. With this gift, you can add convenience to the watercolor artist in your life and if you want to go a step further, you can always have it engraved as well.
2. En Plein Air Pro Watercolor Easel Package
A catch-all product that is good to use indoors or outdoors. This easel is one of the best in the market. It is easy to handle and lightweight; that’s a good feature in a tripod easel set that’s made to travel.
The setup includes a palette stand as well as the palette itself, so you don’t have to pull up a table to your side to have your paints on hand. There are multiple wells and room for mixing. Plus, the palette can be removed and used flat on a table. So if you head back to the studio, your palette can move to the desk with you.
The tripod also offers a wide stance for greater stability meaning, so you don’t have to worry about your easel wobbling all over when you’re trying to control the flow of paint! We’re sure your favorite watercolorist will adore this travel-friendly setup.
3. MEEDEN Porcelain Watercolor Paint Palette
Palettes come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from many different materials. The most commonly used material is plastic as it is cost-efficient and easy to replace if it’s overused.
One of the best gifts, in our opinion, a watercolor artist can receive is a porcelain palette. This palette is made of premium hand-glazed pure white porcelain (making the surface non-porous). It is heavyweight (so it won’t be sliding around) and durable. It will last a long time.
There are 17 paint wells around the edge with two mixing areas in the center. The palette is as easy to clean as a plastic one, but with a more luxurious feel thanks to the higher quality of the material. This palette is not only good for watercolors but also for gouache, oils, and other paints.
4. ArtGraf Water Soluble Chalks
Something that is unique and not a medium that many watercolor artists will have is water-soluble chalks. These chalks come in a set of 6 and have the most beautiful earthy tones that one can imagine.
These chalks come in a cork box which can be reused to store other supplies but you will have to wait to store anything else in this box as these chalks are highly pigmented and can last a very long time.
The different combinations that can be made with just these 6 colors make this set a very versatile kit that can be used to make several art pieces. The chalks can be used dry as well to do the initial sketches and then with just a wet brush you can transform them into watercolors.
One of the most unique but useable gifts on this list, you can’t go wrong by gifting these to the watercolor artists in your life.
5. Escoda Watercolor Travel Brush Set
Poor quality brushes can take all the fun out of using watercolors and it can be incredibly frustrating. If you have ever experienced this or have heard anyone moan about it, this is a great gift to give.
This brush set contains travel-size brushes in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, which is a nice variety, especially for a beginner who may not have a broad range of sizes yet. The fibers of the bristles are made from a unique blend of synthetic materials that mimic the feel of natural kolinsky hair.
The handles are extremely easy to hold and use with stability. The brushes are handmade in Spain which adds a touch of luxury to this set. They hold water and color better than many others on the market, so you know the company isn’t just banking on their sleek appeal, but is rather investing in making quality materials. All the brushes have a finely pointed tip, perfect for fine details and lines.
6. Winsor & Newton Watercolor Brush Markers
There are so many different paint markers in the market nowadays. And watercolor lovers can join in the fun!
If your favorite watercolorist wants to take their craft on the go, but may not be up to transporting an easel, paints, and brushes, watercolor pens could be the perfect sister hobby.
These Winsor and Newton Watercolor Markers are highly pigmented and optimal for blending. The 12 colors are also dual tipped, with a fine nub-style tip and a brush tip tapering to a fine point, so your artist can play with different strokes, lines, and levels of detail.
Winsor and Newton is a trusted artist brand, so you can rest assured these paint markers will live up to their established high precedent.
7. Creative Mark Artist Leaning Bridge
One of the most tragic things that can happen to artists while painting is smudging over a part they just painted because they accidentally brushed their hand over it!
Even a careful artist can get tired, or misjudge how quickly their work has dried. That’s where this useful gift comes in.
Many people already have Mahl sticks but those are more so for the paintings that are done on an easel. While it depends on each artist, most watercolor paintings are done on more of a surface level. This artist’s bridge is perfect for such a setup!
Modern watercolor artists who are self-taught or simply new to the craft might not know about artist’s bridges as they are more of an old-school item. These bridges are used to lean on while you are painting meaning that the masterpiece underneath will not be at the mercy of your hand movements.
They are available in many different lengths but buying one that is as big as the biggest canvas that your watercolor artist friend may use will enable them to use it on all their future projects and they will always thank you for it.
8. The Encyclopedia of Watercolor Techniques by Hazel Harrison
Tools and watercolors are not the only things that a watercolor artist may need. There are many times when they may need some inspiration or tips that can help them make better paintings each time.
The encyclopedia of watercolor techniques is a book that will help them with exactly. This book can look pretty on a coffee table or the shelf but is also very helpful for new watercolor artists as well as those who have been in the game for a few years.
This book is written by a professional artist so it has tips and tricks that are useful and will help anyone make better paintings with watercolor. The book is divided into 3 sections that take the reader through the materials they need, all kinds of techniques (basic and more advanced), and the composition of their paintings.
This encyclopedia is beginner-friendly, but will also be of value to a pro thanks to its variety of details and inclusions.
9. Faber-Castell Clic & Go Artist Water Cup
Water cups are often nothing special. Any little vessel that can hold water will usually be fine for anybody that wants to paint with watercolors. Ask anyone of the people in your life that love painting with watercolors and chances are they will tell you that the water cup is the last thing they think about.
This Faber-Castell Click & Go Artist Water Cup will likely be a delightful surprise for any artist! One of the best parts of this cup is that it is collapsible so it is very easy to travel with and store away when it’s not needed.
The cup is made of rubber which means it can grip onto any surface that you put it on, keeping it from sliding around too much. The scalloped edge is not only a pretty touch; it is perfectly designed for resting a paintbrush when it’s not in use.
The interior of this cup is very smooth and easy to clean. This is a gift that not many watercolor artists will think to buy for themselves, but which is sure to be appreciated. It’s a beautiful upgrade from the old jar or plastic cup your artist could be using now.
10. Arteza Watercolor Sketchbooks
Watercolor paintings are usually done in one go since watercolors dry so fast. Many watercolors in your life will tell you this or if you are one yourself, you will know that practice is one of the most important things to be done before the actual painting can begin.
This watercolor sketchbook has 68 sheets of watercolor paper which means that artists can practice their paintings on these pages for as long as they want. They can perfect each stroke and detail before beginning their actual painting. Or they can simply enjoy a painterly sketch wherever they find inspiration.
The paper is 110 pound weight, acid-free true watercolor paper and are square in shape (8.25 x 8.25″). The size of this notebook is very backpack friendly which means that artists can take them anywhere they want and paint up a little scenic view from the mountains or just from their backyard. The linen binding is simple, but adds a bit of chic, helping your artist feel professional and inspired to do their best work.
When you gift this to the watercolor lover in your life, they will appreciate it as it allows them to practice their paintings and paint on the go as well.
11. Huion LED Light Box
One of the most important things in painting with watercolors is the preliminary sketching or blocking. Many artists will practice their sketches on different sketchbooks before then sketching the design onto the watercolor paper or canvas that they intend to paint on.
While this is a process that works for many, it also carries a certain amount of risk in which they can mess up what they’re drawing. The pencil itself can also damage the tooth of the watercolor paper which can compromise the integrity of the final painting.
Lightboxes are a common solution to this problem and this Huion one is one of the best in the market. It is USB-powered which means you can just plug it into your computer or laptop and get it going. You don’t have to limit yourself to sitting next to a power outlet.
It is very lightweight and thin which means you can take it with you while traveling and it will store very easily as well. The switch is on a dimmer which means that the light can be adjusted very easily.
It will certainly be one of the best gifts that you can give to a watercolor artist as it means that they don’t have to fret about messing up their sketches anymore. We also have an article devoted to light boxes if you want to peruse a few more options.
BONUS – Attitude Aprons Fully Adjustable Artist Apron
We promised you 11 gifts but here is one bonus gift that can be used as a fun, little gift when you want to just send something for your watercolor artist friend. If you love painting as well, this may be something that you can buy yourself as a little treat.
This gift is as fun as it is practical. Painting can always get messy, especially with watercolors which may splash or splatter with a bump. This apron will protect clothes and help any artist get in the mood for a good creative session.
It is a great gift to give to someone who loves watercolor painting and put a smile on their face and help them protect their clothes against any rogue paint drops that may happen while they are painting.
Painting with watercolors is one of the most relaxing and fun things that one can do, that is of course if you’re interested in painting. Whether you love to paint with watercolor or know someone who does, you will know that it can be very hard to buy gifts for them come their birthday.
This guide lists the 11 best gifts that the art world has to offer and we can guarantee that whoever is on the receiving end of these gifts will be a very happy and thankful watercolor artist. The key to buying great gifts is getting the other person something they will use and that is what the gifts in this guide are.
From the unique chalk pigments that come in a dandy oak box to the light box that can make tracing sketches a breeze, we have you covered when it comes to buying something for the watercolor-obsessed friend that you have and love.
We hope this guide helps you in seeing the so many unique things that you can buy for watercolor artists and the next time you want to buy them a gift, this guide helps you find an elite gift that has them thanking you for a lifetime.
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