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Ten Luxury Christmas Gifts For Artists

Updated on September 19, 2014

Ten Luxury Art Gifts for the Artist in Your Life

That touch of luxury says it all. I'm a professional artist and I can vouch for the fact that artists just love those extra-special materials and tools that are just that little bit indulgent. Yes, you can use cheaper materials, and in many cases a large quantity of cheap material is best for students, but it is so nice to have a few totally luxurious items.

Wouldn't it be lovely to be presented with a really top-notch easel that's stable and actually works? As for sketch books: I still have my very nice, bound books from twenty years ago and cherish them even now. There's something so wonderful about having really beautiful tools and materials from time to time for that very special work of art.

As a little extra I've included three posters of my favourite paintings which would make great stocking stuffers.

This is a gift from one artist to another, from me to the artist in your life, because, as they say in another walk of life, "we're worth it!"

I run painting holidays at Les Trois Chenes, or 'The Three Oaks', in Limousin, S W France

Luxury Art Materials Won't Make a Rembrandt

But they make us feel just that little bit more like an old master!

Buy this poster for constant inspiration! It's always nice to have a goal and one of my goals as an artist it to be able to paint like Rembrandt. When I lived in London I would often call by the National Gallery to go and see the works in the flesh, so to speak. There's nothing to compare with first hand experience of the works, but to have a good quality poster of your favourite artists comes in a good second.

A Beautiful Sketchbook with Top Quality Paper - Should be an artist's constant companion

I've begun my selection of art materials and equipment with a sketchbook because I think that practice and observation is the key to success in art. An artist is always looking, seeing and thinking about the visual world. Ideas to be noted, colours, thoughts, observations. Details to be caught, light, dark, textures. The sketchbook becomes a collection of material to feed the artists work, but more than that, it becomes a diary and history of progress. A beautiful object and a wonderful gift.

A Solid Beech Studio Easle - A classic

My second must-have is a good, solid full-sized easel. Desk easels and sketching easels have their place but an artist that is really devoted and serious needs a flexible easel that stands on the floor and allows the painter to view the work at close quarters and at a distance.

I've chosen this one, because your easel will take pride of place in the studio and you'll have to look at it for many years - i've looked at mine and loved it for half a century - what better gift could you give than that?

When choosing an easel the qualities that I look for are stability, strength, enough weight to keep it on it's feet but not so heavy that I can't easily move it, (I'm a smallish woman). I also want to be able to paint very small works and large ones so it should be easy to adjust the height and the canvas should then be firmly supported. Art is enough of a struggle without fighting your easel.

Winsor & Newton 7006130 Shannon H-Frame Studio Easel
Winsor & Newton 7006130 Shannon H-Frame Studio Easel
One of the most popular easels available. Oiled beechwood, sturdy H-Frame construction, fully assembled in the box. Maximum height 104", and holds a canvas up to 53". The adjustable angle allows the painter to capture the best available light.

Winsor & Newton Oil Paint With Jewel-like Colour - Choose the best!

The better quality the paint the more saturated and pure the colours. if you use very poor quality paint and mix red and blue you may well end up with plum or at worst brown, so it is worth investing in paint of a reasonable quality. I've chosen these Winsor and Newton paints because they are good paint, but better still they are luxuriously presented in a wooden box and include thinner, brushes, palette knife and canvas - all you kneed to just get going straight away.

for more guidance and ideas about oil painting materials, have a look here. Oil Painting for Beginners - Tools and Materials

Choose from oil or chalk pastels
Choose from oil or chalk pastels | Source

Sennelier Soft Pastels are So Sensual - So luxurious they make me shiver!

One thing that I just adore in life is a really good soft pastel. I love the creamy texture, subtle colours and sensuous response. Senelier pastels are some of the very best commissioned by Degas, a master of pastel, and used by Czanne, Gauguin, Monet, Bonnard, Soutine, Picasso, Modigliani and Kandinsky amongst others.

This box contains every colour in your own imagination - a gift of pure luxury.

Sennelier 100 Full Pastel Portrait Wood Set
Sennelier 100 Full Pastel Portrait Wood Set
100 Artist quality soft pastels in a luxury dovetailed wood box. The pastels have the purest colours and are made from the best natural pigments and finest chalk in the world

The Very Best Paint Brushes - They come in all shapes and sizes

A good brush is an essential tool of the trade and the artist will need a range of brushes depending on the effect to be created, the medium used and the scale of the painting. These sable hair brushes are good for watercolours and small scale oils and acrylics, or for details or meticulous work. They should be looked after very carefully; cleaned thoroughly and smoothed to a nice, fine point before drying.

I love sable brushes, but good quality nylon ones are just as good. Hogs hair brushes are used for different purposes to the fine-tipped sables.

Professional Grade Artists Watercolours - See those colours sparkle

Just as with the oil and acrylic colours, watercolour must be of a high quality if bright, saturated and brilliant colours are to be produced. It's so disheartening for a painter to struggle with chalky colours that turn to various shades of mud, so it really is worth while splashing out on a great set of watercolour paints that an artist would probably not feel that they could treat themselves to. You'll see the quality of your gift reflected in their work.

Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Compact Set, 14 Half Pans
Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Compact Set, 14 Half Pans
Pocket-sized set in a plastic box with a palette that slides out of the bottom and mixing area in the lid. There is also a dish for water or mediums that snaps onto the side. The set also includes fourteen half pans of Winsor & Newton professional grade artists watercolors and a sable travel brush. (Product description)

Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils by Faber Castell - The name says it all!

Faber Castell is famous for the quality of its materials and Albrecht Durer is famous for his drawings and paintings. Just look at the rendition of a hare above.

What I love about watercolour pencils is that they form a bridge between painting and drawing. You can use them as normal coloured pencils, but you can also add water to achieve a watercolour effect. They are in their element, in my opinion, when used to draw as well as 'paint'. They are clean and easy to handle and ideal for travelling and sketching outside. For me, a really worthwhile addition to my stock of materials.

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Tin, Set of 60 Colors (FC117560)
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Tin, Set of 60 Colors (FC117560)
Faber Castell watercolour pencils contain high quality pigments that are bright lightfast and acid free. The leads are bonded down the complete length of the pencil which prevents breakage. (Product description)

Winsor & Newton Stretched Canvas Stretchers for Oil and Acrylic Paintings

Always buy a strong cotton canvas and make sure that it's sized and primed with the correct products, (at least if you are hoping to hang them in an art gallery or hand them down to your children!). It's nice to have a little stock so that several paintings can be worked on at the same time. If you'd rather stretch your own though, I show you how in the link box below.

A Complete Painting Course in One Book - A completely essential tool!

Nothing beats a good textbook and this book is excellent. I is a structured course that the art student can work through. It is liberally illustrated with good examples of painting and it is choc-a-block with good information. I use this book myself when planning painting lessons and courses and I find it invaluable - a book, in fact, to have on the shelf for reference at all times.

Modesty does not prevent me from pointing out that some of my work has been used to illustrate this book and it's sister book, the Complete Drawing Course.

The Complete Painting Course/a Comprehensive Learning Guide and Reference Manual
The Complete Painting Course/a Comprehensive Learning Guide and Reference Manual
By Ian Simpson, Hazel Harrison and Judy Martin (October 1993) Hardcover with 224 pages Language: English

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© 2011 Barbara Walton

Leave a comment for me - I'd love to hear from you

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    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      6 years ago from France

      I do think so. Like special perfume, I wouldn't dream of buying a whole lovely box of top quality soft pastels for myself but would love to receive it as a gift. Thanks for dropping by and taking the trouble to leave a message.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I like the idea of picking a really special item for a gift for an artist. I bet that might be something that most artists wouldn't choose (or be able to afford) to pick for themselves.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      6 years ago from France

      Do you lust after these luxury artist gifts, LluviaDeArte? (I know I do). Thank you for taking the time to leave a message.

    • LluviaDeArte profile image


      6 years ago

      I am an artist- thank you for writing this is. Fun Read.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm an artist and i love your page and i love the colors of the rainbow.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana

      Great gift ideas for artists. I know couple of them and their taste is not easy to satisfy;)

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 

      8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      These are especially nice gifts for artists. One can never have enough artist supplies. I hope to get an easel someday.

      Blessed by a Squid Angel**

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This lens made me think of my father.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thanks for sharing this........

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lots of temptations here for any artist - great lens. Wish I had known about you before we booked our next French holiday! It will have to be next time.

    • drawfantasyart profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from UK

      I'm always buying new arts equipment and tools and there are a few things I've spotted here that will do for my toolbox. Much appreciated the time and effort put into this lens!

    • norma-holt profile image


      8 years ago

      As a bit of an artist myself this is a great lens and some wonderful ideas here. Featured this on Art Supplies. Thank you for blessing Squidoo Hot Tips today, much appreciated. Hugs

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 

      8 years ago

      We can all "make do" when we don't have lots of money to spend, but nothing compares to working with quality tools and supplies. We should be sure to treat ourselves to the luxury of the best once in a while.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Art supplies can be very cost prohibitive so giving and getting them as gifts is a real treat.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful lens, Barbara. Makes me want to take up painting, and travel to Limousin! I love the personal comments you added. Blessed!


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