Gifts for artists - for christmas and beyond


I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but it’s coming up to that time of year and frankly, a list of gifts for the artists in your life {or for loved ones looking for gifts for you!} can come in handy any time!

This year I’m sharing a range of ideas, from supplies to books to a section I’m rather imaginatively calling ‘miscellaneous’. Many are things I’ve used and love myself, or would like to try! {Hint hint. ;)}

I’ve tried to include a range of prices to suit all pockets, and the books in particular extend beyond painting to all kinds of creativity. {Some of the links are affiliate links.}

Art Supplies

Mica watercolours

Finetec Coliro Mica Watercolours

I bought these for my niece, who loves art {yay! Happy Auntie Tara!}, along with a small sketchbook and a couple of paintbrushes {round and flat}, which makes it a really neat little gift she can use immediately. I mean, who doesn’t want some glittery watercolours that look like eyeshadow?! {Especially when you’re ten.}

Click here to learn more and purchase


walnut ink

Walnut Ink

I use this a lot. It’s essentially sepia in colour, and you can use it to stain or draw or add depth. A lovely alternative to black or Paynes Grey for drawing with pen or brush. {I like to draw with a pipette.} This particular brand doesn’t fade or stain your hands.

Click here to learn more and purchase

egg tempera paint by sennelierEgg Tempera Paint

Marc Chagall was a fan, it’s made with egg yolk, and not only that, you can extend it by literally adding more yolk! What’s not to love?! Semi opaque, water soluble and permanent, it’s similar to gouache, with a satin matte finish. The link below will tell you more; I just have it in Prussian Blue at the moment and find it densely pigmented and a fun addition to my toolbox.

Click here to learn more and purchase


winsor and newton drawing ink set

Winsor and Newton Drawing Ink

This comes in sets of different colours and I have a few individual ones – they’re lovely to use and in sweet little old fashioned looking glass bottles. Ink is such a useful material if you like mixed media – it’s portable for travel and plein air sketchbooking, you can draw with it, stain, flood, drip, pour…

Click here to learn more and purchase



Studio - Sally CoulthardStudio: Creative Spaces for Creative People – Sally Coulthard

I read this for ideas when I was planning my studio, but it’s a lovely read any time. Always fun to peek into other artists’ and creatives’ workspaces!


Slow StitchSlow Stitch: Mindful and contemplative textile art – Claire Wellesley-Smith

Sometimes I like to go on a little creative tangent and will be obsessed with something for a while, even if it never actually ‘goes anywhere’. Earlier this year, one of those things was the idea of slow stitching; a quiet, meditative, soothing practice. This is a lovely book full of ideas and beautiful examples of hand stitched work.


On being an artistOn Being an Artist – Michael Craig-Martin

I was not familiar with Michael Craig-Martin before, but found this book really interesting, both as a kind of memoir and also a journey inside the mind of an artist. The chapters are quite self contained so you can dip in and out according to what topic feels interesting.


Conscious Creativity - Philippa StantonConscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create – Philippa Stanton

Just a delicious, sensory experience this one, and a super gift for anyone doubting their creativity. Philippa has synaesthesia, and experiences the world in an incredibly unique and sensory way. In this book she shares how you can do the same, and how it can enrich and enhance not just your creative thinking, but your life too.


Paint AlchemyPaint Alchemy – Eva Magill-Oliver

A lovely book, with beautiful visuals and practical ideas. I particularly liked Eva’s breakdown of the five principles of design, which can be useful in terms of assessing your art.


Natural Processes in Textile ArtNatural Processes in Textile Art: from rust dyeing to found objects – Alice Fox

Another ‘tangent book’ forย  me, and again a lovely experience to read and look through. So many fun and intriguing ideas for working with nature.


The Artist's HandbookThe Artist’s Handbook – Mark David Hatwood

One for the artist who wants to sell their work and needs practical tips and advice from a successful gallery owner. {Who is also absolutely lovely – he turned my work down for his gallery and it was the nicest, most uplifting ‘no’ I’ve ever received!}


Creative Spark by Tara LeaverCreative Spark: {Re}Igniting Your Creativity with Everyday Wisdom – Tara Leaver

{Well of course I am going to have to mention my own book here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ } Written with the beginner/restarter in mind, this was the beginnings of my ‘happy artist movement‘. In it I share the things that helped me rediscover my art and creative confidence, and I gather it’s helped others do that too.


Command stripsCommand Strips

These are not at all sexy but they have revolutionised the way I use the walls in my studio {and home}. I can now quickly and easily hang up {or stick up} works in progress together and be able to contemplate them without them taking up floor or desk space. They are easy to remove and don’t damage the paintwork at all, plus there are different strips/hooks for different weights. Something to give as part of an art related gift, perhaps!

Click here to learn more and purchase


Lucy and Yak dungarees

Lucy and Yak dungarees

The comfiest thing you will ever wear, with roomy pockets for art supplies, and ideal for throwing on over your clothes to paint in. Mine are – or were – blue, are covered in paint, and look even better for it, if you ask me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus the company has strong ethical leanings and sells much more than just dungarees! I’m already thinking about my next pair…

Click here to learn more and purchase



The Hambledon brass frames

Brass hanging frame

I bought a frame from The Hambledon {based in Winchester but also online} after treating myself to a beautiful watercolour on paper by Lisa Hardy. It’s perfect! Gorgeous design, easy to slip a card or small painting in, lovely ribbon to hang – simplicity itself.

Click here to learn more and purchase




Palette studio sign

Palette Studio Sign

What can I say; every art studio/room/corner should have a sign!

Click here to learn more and purchase



If you’re still looking for inspiration, here’s another gift guide from a couple of years back. And for more books, this post has you covered.