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Gifts for Watercolor Artists

Updated on May 29, 2015
Artist in the Simplon
Artist in the Simplon | Source

So, you have a watercolor artist on your gift list? Or maybe you'd like to get watercolors for a dear one who needs a soothing hobby?

There are different types of watercolors. Watercolor paints are sold in "Artist Grade" (for professionals) and "Student Grade" (for serious learners). You can also buy cheap watercolors meant for children and others that want to dabble a bit before committing to something more expensive.

Gifts for watercolor artists will include sketchbooks, waterproof pens that watercolor sketchers often use in combination with watercolors, and watercolor pencil sets.

Watercolor artists also appreciate inspirational watercolor books, easels that lay flat for watercolor painting, and palettes - especially porcelain palettes. They always need brushes that can be quite pricey if you choose sable!

How advanced is your friend in the wonderful world of watercolor? Is this a professional that paints daily, or a hobby artist, or a newbie?

If your friend is new to watercolor and a child, go with the cheap paints. They won't know the difference, most likely.

If your friend is new to watercolor and an adult, or a hobby artist, consider the student grade watercolors.

If your friend is a professional, expect to spend the big bucks on professional grade paints, or buy some accessories, if you know what your friend needs. Professional watercolor artists usually have decided preferences on what types of paints and brushes they prefer.

Catamarans | Source

A cool combo gift! A watercolor sketchbook plus waterproof pens to use with watercolors!

Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set
Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set

I'm avid about pens I love, and these Sakura Micron pens are at the top of my list. They are 100% waterproof – absolutely no bleed – and the colors are fantastic. For use with watercolors in my sketchbook I use black pens, but I've also purchased blue, pink and yellow. The blue is my favorite for journaling. Pink is for serendipity, and I use yellow to mark up books as I read them, and I write notes in the margin. So, honestly, I'm recommending this pen because it is my #1 favorite brand of pens – meant for artists but great for writers too.


The Best Watercolor Sketchbook

Moleskine Watercolor Album Sketchbook - 5"x8" (Spanish Edition)
Moleskine Watercolor Album Sketchbook - 5"x8" (Spanish Edition)

Here's my choice for the best watercolor sketchbook . . . a Moleskine! I have other brands, but this is my favorite. I love Moleskine ruled notebooks for journaling in as well. This Moleskine watercolor notebook has nice thick 200 gram cold-pressed textured paper and is a great size for any creative sketching you'd like to do. There's an elasticized closure and an inner pocket. Highly recommended!


A convenient watercolor sketch kit for travel or hiking

Thanks for coming by to look at my gift suggestions for watercolor artists. I'm a relatively new watercolor artist. I decided to "become an artist" when my children became adults and left home. I tried a lot of mediums, settled on watercolor, and love it.

This is the watercolor sketch case I bought for myself. It is small, but carries a lot of gear!

There's a zippered front pocket good for erasers and other small objects. The flap had a velcro closure. Inside there are two more pockets (not zippered) that I use for art pencils and notes.

The main compartment has a zipper all the way around it. There's a small water bottle and a brush, plus the paint tray with ten commonly used Windsor Newton Cotman half-pan (dry) watercolor paints. They are student grade. This is a great kit for a watercolor sketching beginner.

The kit comes complete with a little Winsor Newton watercolor sketchbook. Though it isn't my favorite sketchbook (the Moleskine notebook I favor is a bit larger) it is convenient on hikes, and very serviceable. The quality of all this is great!

What didn't come with the kit, that I tuck in anyhow, is a 4"x6" plastic tray for mixing paints. I also keep a set of seven Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor brushes that I purchased separately.

Artist (Professional) Grade Watercolors

Watercolor paper

Watercolor artists require a special, porous paper for their art. Watercolor paper can be pricey so most artists would welcome getting more. What a nice surprise for a birthday or Christmas! Watercolor painting can get expensive which is why a gift of watercolor supplies would be so appreciated by anyone dedicated to the art!

Watercolor paper pads are suitable for the beginners and serious watercolor students on your gift list. I would hesitate to buy paper for the professional watercolor artists because they'll know what they want and already know where best to get it. They may also have a huge store of quality paper in the closet! Ask first!


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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Some great suggestions, well detailed. Thanks for sharing!! ;-)