The festive season is almost upon us, and other such cliches. :) I generally like to keep things low key over the holiday period but there are some aspects of it that I love, fairy lights and mince pies among them. I also love choosing gifts for loved ones, researching ideas, and finding fun things to buy for myself give to artist friends.

If you need some ideas for the artists in your life {and it doesn’t just have to be about Christmas of course}, or if someone is asking you what you’d like for Christmas, here’s a gift guide for artists to give you some inexpensive ideas based mostly on materials I use or items I own myself. Because you can never have too much art in your life.

{Some of these links are affiliate links.}

I was recently eulogising about this funny looking bit of rubber on Instagram. It may look weird but this baby can do all sorts of wonderful things to your art – it’s made a huge difference to the way I paint. It slices through paint, smooths bubbles out of collage, creates sharp edges and translucent layers, makes all sorts of marks and feels lovely in your hand.

We artists love our supplies, so why not wear them as well?! {And I don’t mean all that paint down your front and along your sleeves and across your forehead.} These earrings are discreet but quirky – they’re made from pencils and come in all sorts of colours. You could match your paintings, if you want. :) And the shipping is free anywhere in the world!

This chunky pencil {which comes in other colours too} is great for drawing over your paintings and creating highlights. It’s waxy but water soluble, and affordable. Wins all round.

Looking for a way to bring something new and exciting to your paintings? Gold leaf is not as expensive as you might think, and really makes paintings shine, literally and figuratively. I just use whatever liquid glue I have to hand to stick it on – lay on a thin layer, let it get tacky, then gently press the gold leaf onto it. When it’s dry, brush away the excess with a stiff paintbrush.

I wanted to try Yupo for a while and kept resisting because it seemed very expensive. Essentially it’s artificial paper – it’s very thin and has a silky surface that makes for interesting textures, scratching in, and other effects with paint or inks. That’s my first go on the left – not exactly a masterpiece but it was more about trying it out and seeing what it could do. You can see a video of the experiment in this post. 

Yes I wrote this. :) It’s helped lots of people returning to their art after a gap, or in need of some reassurance/permission/inspiration/reminders about how to enjoy their art again. You can see some reader comments here.

I recently bought this apron and absolutely love it. It’s made of soft denim, has three deep pockets, looks amazing with paint all over it and is even part of H&M’s Conscious label. {I realise this won’t align with everyone’s clothing purchasing choices, but there are all sorts of aprons out there.}

I don’t have these {yet!}, but man, what a good idea! Artists need a good supply of both coffee {or tea} and water, and I think most of us have probably mixed up the two at some point.

Love this necklace for its tiny palette and the fact that you can personalise it with the artist’s birthstone and initial.

Not in fact a watercolour palette, but a phone cover. Makes me wish I had an iPhone! Although I suppose it might be quite easy to lose it in the chaos of a painty studio. ;) Basically I think you just can’t have too many art references in your life.

Eli Trier is an artist friend of mine, but she doesn’t know I’m sharing this and I’m not on commission! I bought this vest top from her shop a few months back and have worn it so much it’s got a bit stretched and faded. {And I still wear it, because it looks amazing.} I’ve also ordered a grey t shirt version.

I couldn’t care less about the artist ‘label’, but I just love both the irony and Eli’s design and am always looking for ways to support my fellow artists. AND, there’s a sale on until December 15th.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Please share your ideas below!

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