Searching for that perfect gift that’s bound to leave a great impression on your recipient? If you’re shopping for your favorite artistic friend or loved one, consider one of these 22 gifts ideal for painters. From creative gifts that educate to gift sets that inspire, whichever you choose, they’re sure to love it.
Artistic Tool Gifts
What better gift than the tools your favorite painter needs to do their job (or their favorite hobby) every day? But don’t just pick up some canvas and paint brushes at your favorite hobby and craft store. Look to one of these unique options instead.
The Buddha Board is a unique gift that will allow your fav artist to practice their skills without any extra pressure — because this one-of-a-kind board is going to erase their work within seconds. A mindfulness tool that’s designed for both artists and non-artists alike, the board works with water and a special pen to allow for in-the-moment painting but then quickly erases your progress before you have time to critique it or make changes. It’s the ultimate antidote for the perfectionist.
Is your intended recipient constantly splattered with paint? Barely have a paint-free shirt in their closet? Help them keep things a little cleaner with this gorgeous linen apron. Lightweight, with no ties that can tangle or get in the way, it’s easy to wear without obstructing the wearer’s movement.
This gear upgrade for your favorite painter comes from Uncommon Goods. The handmade palette features an understated floral shape. It features eight paint wells, six brush notches and a bowl in the center for rinsing away each shade as you go.
Whether they’re taking their paintbrushes and other tools on the go or they’re just keeping their at-home workspace tidy, this leather roll can help. Available on Etsy, it comes in a range of colors and can be personalized with your recipient’s name or initials or even with a logo. The roll features six pockets and ties neatly together when not in use.
If your artist is working in a small space or busy household where they don’t have their own separate art studio, they could likely benefit from a little organization. This rolling, collapsible tote from Amazon is not just easy to carry and super spacious, but it can also fit a ton of art supplies and gear. With large areas for bulky supplies and multiple pockets for keeping smaller items handy, it’ll ensure that they never lose a favorite paintbrush again.
If plein air painting is your painter’s preferred weekend hobby, help make their next jaunt out into nature a little easier with this plein air-specific backpack. Zippered pockets store and keep safe supplies such as brushes, pencils, palette knives, solvent, panels and more. Straps on the side hold a tripod, while a special pocket keeps tripod feet handy.
This paint palette is certainly eye-catching. The resin palette is clear but dotted with real flowers and other botanicals. Since you order it from Etsy, you can customize the palette to include the flower colors that you want, both a primary and secondary color.
Inspirational Painters Gifts
Sometimes an artist has all the tools they need, but they’re lacking a little in the inspiration department. Help your fav artist get those creative juices flowing with one of these gifts.
If your artist lives in New York City, a Metropolitan Museum of Art membership is an absolute no-brainer. Any time they’re feeling stuck or in a rut, they can just head on over and enjoy all the wonders the museum offers, free of charge.
Your favorite artist lives elsewhere? You can find similar memberships at art museums all across the country.
Every artist, no matter their medium, could likely benefit from a little creative discovery and self-reflection. This journal helps them out with tasks and tips accompanied by original artwork. Users are asked to doodle, draw, write and think, sparking creativity and inspiration along the way.
Who doesn’t love a good coffee table book, especially a coffee table book that reflects one’s top interests? This gorgeous hardcover art book celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Museum of Modern Art with works handpicked from the museum’s extensive collection.
If your artist friend prefers The Louvre to all other museums, then this coffee table book is a must. The book compiles a whopping 3,022 paintings — every single painting that’s on display as part of The Louvre’s permanent collection. It’s like a trip to a museum without ever buying a plane ticket.
This is one gift you’ll have to give before it’s gone. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has been making waves all over the world, allowing attendees a one-of-a-kind look at the artist’s most well-known masterpieces in a larger-than-life setting. The experience has various locations all over the country and even the world, so you can pick the location closest to you and then give your fav artist a night out to an event they won’t soon forget.
Is your painter a diehard Van Gogh fan? Charmaine Chan, painting enthusiast and founder of Icesword, recommends Irving Stone’s book Lust For Life. “This part biography, part fiction is based on letters written by the painter himself to his brother, Theo Van Gogh. The novel describes his tumultuous personal life and the source of inspiration for his celebrated works like “Sunflowers.” Any painter would like to know the backstory of creative mavericks, and this book fits the bill. Besides, it’s a delightful read.”
Educational Artistic Gifts
If your artist is hoping to level up their skills, give them something that can help.
A Craftsy membership is an awesome artistic and educational gift because it will allow your friend to not only level up their skills within their own preferred artistic medium but also lets them try out some new mediums, too, thanks to the more than 1,500 available classes across 20 categories. There are a wide array of painting classes on the platform, but other topics of interest include drawing, woodworking, photography and even baking.
Similarly, a Masterclass membership will allow your artistic friend to explore a range of interests far beyond even artistic topics. Sure, there are classes on painting, photography and design, but your friend can also explore business classes, gardening classes, wellness classes and beyond.
Maybe your artist needs a little push to explore a new way of painting. If so, you could give them that push they need with the gift of some new, and possibly unfamiliar, gear. These watercolor brush pens are a nice change of pace for those who are more accustomed to traditional watercolors or painting in general. The beginner’s kit comes with 24 colors and two refillable water brush pens.
Along the same lines, if you doubt your artist is going to use a Masterclass or other membership if they don’t already have the needed tools for a class at the ready, consider giving them a subscription box that supplies both the gear they need and the educational resources. The subscription boxes from Let’s Make Art include monthly deliveries of supplies plus tutorials. The watercolor subscription box, for example, includes four watercolor projects, access to tutorial videos, paint, paper, outlines and more.
“Look at me! I’m an artist!” Gifts
Worried your favorite artist already has enough gear and inspiration to last them a lifetime, and they don’t really need your help in that area? Get them one of these gifts that show off their artistic flair in another way.
This color wheel umbrella is not only a high-quality necessity that will keep them dry as they run from art class to art class. It’s also a subtle way for them to let everyone around them know that they’re serious about their craft.
Similarly, this gorgeous color wheel pendant necklace will tell everyone just what your gift recipient is all about. Understated yet vibrant and fun, the small pendant comes in 22-karat gold on an 18-karat gold chain. The necklace comes ready to gift in an adorable glass vial.
While it might not be for everyone, this watch is sure to delight any artist who fancies themselves a Salvador Dali fan. The analog watch features the artist’s face, and his iconic mustache is, of course, the watch hands.
Budget-Friendly Artist Gifts
Shopping on a budget? You can still pick a fantastic art gift for your favorite person. Here are a few options, all under $30.
Your favorite artist can take their watercolor painting on the go, thanks to Viviva color sheets. Each notebook is filled with ultra-pigmented watercolor paint sheets. Just grab the color sheet, wet your paintbrush, swirl the paintbrush against the page and then watch as the color is transferred to your favorite sketchpad or canvas. Water-resistant sheets between each color page in the notepad keep the colors separate, and a reusable mixing palette is included.
Watercolor has never been so convenient or portable.
Your favorite artist can’t be sitting at their canvas constantly. For those times when they want something else to do but still want to keep their fingers busy in an artistic way, get them a puzzle that reflects one of their favorite artists. From Jackson Pollock to Frida Kahlo, you can find an array of adult-friendly, thousand-piece puzzles out there, reflecting renowned artists’ works, at an affordable price.
These beautiful ceramic paintbrush holders are just the thing for the artist who’s still just dipping their paintbrushes in coffee mugs filled with tepid water. The holders come in eight muted colors, from a lovely lilac to a duck egg green.
Tips for Choosing the Best Gifts for Artists and Illustrators
It’s no secret. Artists can be temperamental people. They can be picky, especially when it comes to their artwork and their artistic process. In fact, they can be so picky that you might steer clear of buying them anything related to their artwork at all. However, if you take a few things into account, you’re more likely to pick something they’ll love than not.
Really think about your recipient.
First, really think about your recipient and what they’ve told you about their artwork and their artistic process. Do they have certain mediums they love more than others? Certain styles? Favorite artists? Are they looking to get into any new mediums? What’s their skill level?
Go unique versus basic.
Artists are often one-of-a-kind individuals, and they can appreciate the unique or out of the ordinary. If you’re struggling for something to buy, consider something that’s truly one of a kind or customized — unlike anything they’ll find anywhere else.
Gift cards and memberships are a-okay.
Whether you go with a gift card to a favorite art supplies store or a membership to an art museum or educational tool, gift cards and memberships are always a-okay gifts for anyone in your life. Don’t fall prey to that old idea that gift cards aren’t a personal gift. Recipients love spending them.
It’s also okay to just ask.
And, if all else fails, just ask your recipient what they might need or want! Whether it’s a new paint set, something as basic as some new acrylics or an easel, what they really want could be simpler than you think.
Need More Great Gift Ideas?
Didn’t find quite the gift you were looking for on this list? You can find a range of gift guides for everyone in your life — from Mom and Dad to your boss to that random friend you just know likes hiking — in our expansive (and ever-growing) list of gift guides.
The 21 Best Gifts for Painters:
- The Buddha Board
- Artist’s linen apron
- Petal Palette
- Artist’s Leather Roll
- ArtBin Rolling Tote
- Sienna Plein Air Ultimate Backpack
- Floral Paint Palette
- A Metropolitan Museum of Art membership
- Imagine Out Loud: A Journal of Creative Discovery
- MoMA Now: Highlights from The Museum of Modern Art, New York
- The Louvre: All the Paintings
- Tickets to Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
- A Craftsy Membership
- A Masterclass Membership
- Watercolor Brush Pens
- Let’s Make Art Watercolor Subscription Box
- Variety to Go Rainbow Umbrella
- Color Wheel Pendant Necklace
- The Surreal Salvador Dali Art Unisex Analog Watch
- Viviva Color Sheets
- An Artist Puzzle
- Ceramic Paint Brush Holders