Gift Guide for the Artist in YOUR Life! (UNDER $10 items and up!)

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Gift Guide for the Artist in YOUR Life! (UNDER $10 items and up!)

[Intro Music] Hello everyone, my name is Emily and today we’re going to do a last-minute holiday gift guide for artists If you have an artist friend that you want to buy for this or future holiday seasons, this guide includes gifts from under $10, moderately priced gifts as well as very expensive luxury gifts Each price level will have products relating to watercolors, acrylic paint and colored pencils and sketchbooks too Hey guys, this is future Emily. I just want to kind of pop in and let you guys know that usually the best way to go is kind of mix and match between tiers Like for example getting your friend a set of 24 Prismacolor colored pencils and then getting a ream of just plain cardstock for them to draw on Just because you get something for someone that may be a little bit nicer or considered a luxury item, doesn’t mean you have to spend that kind of money across the board Anyway back to our regularly scheduled program Now there are thousands and thousands of products out there and the products that I have chosen either I have personally used or I’ve had sources very, very close to me that I trust tell me that the product is good I have not only listed the products I’m about to talk about in the description down below, but I have also included links to said products They are tiny URL links, but that is only because some of the URLs are very, very long So I needed to shorten them in order to fit them all into the description Most of these links take you to amazon.com, but I want to be very clear right now, I am not part of the Amazon affiliate program though I probably should be because tons of these links are Amazon I also have some Dick Blick links listed if the product is cheaper Though, if you have Amazon Prime and have free shipping, then obviously Amazon is almost always the way to go I only have one affiliate link in the description and it’s for Arteza and it is only listed as an alternative to the Amazon link and the only reason it’s there, is if you decide to buy the product off of Arteza instead of Amazon Then it helps me out just a teeny bit So let’s go ahead and get into our first category which is the inexpensive category, which are items that are listed around or under $10 So let’s go ahead and start talking about some of my favorite inexpensive watercolor products So typically for the paints themselves when they get this inexpensive they are going to be non archival, they will not be using real pigments and what that means is that these paints are really meant for practice, being used in a sketchbook if non archival paints are used to make a finished piece, you need to make sure you take extra care when storing it and make sure that you are keeping it out of direct sunlight If you want to make sure the paints you are about to buy are archival or light fast, make sure you check the light fast rating on each color in the set, as well as checking if the set is listed as archival So let’s start out talking about the Prang watercolor set which is my number one most recommended inexpensive watercolor set You can find a set of eight for as little as $3 and a set of 16 for as little as $7 Keep in mind I am rounding up to the closest dollar I not only love these colors because they’re easy to reactivate, give them a spritz 30 seconds. Boom There as buttery as Well butter But also because they are highly pigmented and they bloom very similarly to some of my favorite professional watercolors You do have to work in layers, which is true with any watercolors but the prang watercolors, if built up too quickly can leave a bit of a glossy finish But as long as you’re careful, you can avoid that but I think that they’re a great, great, great option for beginning artists and young artists You know., someone who’s just starting to dip their toes into the watercolor genre if you are not able to get your hands on a set of Prang watercolors and it is very, very last-minute and you just have to run up to Target and get what you get, the Crayola watercolors are a really good second They run at a really similar price to the Prang watercolors, anywhere between $3 and $8, depending on what size set you get and even though the aren’t quite as pigmented as the Prang watercolors, They are reactivated very similarly and I much prefer these types of watercolors that have a little bit of you know tackiness to them, over anything with a chalk cake, I would really recommend avoiding the chalk watercolors if you can, because a lot of the time they’re just not worth the money, and that’s not to say every brand of cake watercolor is exactly the same I just feel it’s more worth it to shell out maybe one extra dollar for the Prang or the creel the watercolors because they are so much easier to reactivate I feel like the chalk cake watercolors take a lot, a lot of extra water with very low pigment payout, but again not always the case So if this price tier is the only tier you can really afford this holiday season, which is totally fine There are some great things on this list and you’re buying for a young artist who is just starting to get serious about their art,

you think that they may be kind of leaning towards a career in the arts I would definitely get them supplies that at least emulate professional supplies to kind of help them dip their toes into the deep end of the pool if that makes sense, and it’s not always a really good idea to get young artists really nice supplies right out the gates because one they’ll be afraid to use them because they’re so nice and they don’t want to waste them but two it can be a little bit intimidating because they feel like they have not yet mastered or even gotten a grasp on the medium So even if you do have the extra cash laying around to get a luxury item for a young artist, I would definitely hold off on that and just kind of try to float around the inexpensive to the moderately priced products on this list Now for some brushes to go with those watercolors Now, firstly I want you to figure out if your artist friend likes to paint in a large format or in a small format, and my frame of reference is basically a standard printer sized piece of paper So eight-and-a-half by eleven. If they paint around eight and a half by eleven or smaller I would consider that small. Anything larger than that. I would consider that large If you don’t know what style of brush to get them default to round brushes They are always useful and if they work small try to stick to the sizes two, four and six If they work large try to stick to the sizes eight, ten and twelve Don’t worry, it’s really simple, the numbers go up, the brushes get bigger, the numbers go down, sometimes even into the fractions they get so small, the brushes get smaller Now, if your artist friend works really large-format Then you definitely want to get them something bigger than a size 12 brush Basically, just look at their paintings What’s kind of the average size of their paintings, and kind of visualize what size brush would work best against that canvas For good reference, a size six brush is about the same thickness as a number two pencil My pick for inexpensive watercolor brushes are going to be the Princeton select line The most inexpensive brush in that line is $2.50 and the most expensive brush, a size 12 brush is $5.50 Now, of course if you buy a bunch of these brushes the price can start to add up But luckily you really don’t need more than two or three different sized brushes I have a Blick link down below for buying the brushes individually and keep in mind they are way cheaper individually on Blick than they are in Amazon but I do also have an Amazon link for a set of three for $11 They are detail brushes, so kind of specific and I don’t really recommend buying them off of Amazon but if you need that one-day shipping and you need to get them now, then I’ve got that link there for you as an option I’ve got one really solid recommendation for the watercolor paper because if you’re gonna spend a little extra money in any place, it really should be the paper That recommendation is the Strathmore 500 series ready-cut watercolor paper it is 100% cotton, which is ideal for watercolor paper and starting at the 5 by 7 size. It’s only $7 for 25 sheets Even though it’s a smaller format, it’s a great price for 100% cotton watercolor paper In terms of colored pencils. I actually really highly recommend the Crayola colored pencils They’re actually really sturdy and pretty damn pigmented for a really inexpensive colored pencils I would definitely choose the Crayola brand over other brands like Rose Art and Cra-Z-Art The price difference between the two is pretty minor Sometimes it varies but usually they’re within a buck of each other I definitely recommend getting a larger set of the Crayola colored pencils for your artist friend, just so they have more colors to work with Yes it’s true that sometimes less colors is better because then you can learn to mix and blend but unfortunately the Crayola colored pencils can sometimes get a little muddy when too many colors are layered on top of one another but there’s an easy fix to that and that’s just getting a box that has a larger variety of colors For paper to use those colored pencils on I highly recommended just getting a big ol’ thing of cardstock Yes, I realize that the cardstock I’m using as an example is priced at $13.99 but that’s like 4 cents a sheet practically but luckily cardstock is so widely available, you will definitely be able to find some in your price range Even if it’s just a few sheets to get your artist friends started If you want something a little bit more specific that is geared specifically towards colored pencil, you could spend a little bit more money and invest in the Strathmore 300 series Bristol paper pad, to me the biggest difference between the paper pad and the loose cardstock is really just the convenience of having the Bristol paper all collected into a glued pad Other than that, at this price level, I feel like you could go either way and really not go wrong Just make sure whatever cardstock you get is acid-free So when your artist friend decides to draw on it, It will increase the longevity of the finished product Now when it comes to really inexpensive acrylic paints that perform well, I’m kind of like at an impasse right here

because I could definitely recommend the Liquitex Basics because one tube of the Liquitex Basics acrylics are usually under ten dollars but I still feel that they are a moderately priced item because even just getting three tubes of the Basics can add up really quickly to way over $10 depending on what colors you get I’m trying to be realistic about people’s budgets and I just cannot in all honesty consider Liquitex basics an inexpensive art supply I consider them moderately priced and we will discuss them later because I do think they’re pretty good paints but if you’re looking to get several colors for someone and not break the bank, I actually recommend the Apple Barrel acrylic paints and I know some people are gonna flip their wig and go: “Those are craft paints, those aren’t real acrylic paints” and even though yes, it’s true that they are craft paints They are a bit of a different beast than the thicker traditional acrylic paints, they are still acrylic paints and I still use them in a lot of pieces that I make I’ve used craft paints my whole life. I’ve always been able to make them work with minimal effort Sometimes, every now and again, you’ll run into a color that’s a little thin and requires two coats, but guess what? I have some nice professional paints that have certain colors that come out a little thin and require two coats. The biggest difference here is going to be consistency and longevity The craft paints are always going to be thinner than tube paints, that’s just a given because they’re meant to be kind of poured out onto a palette instead of squeezed out and mixed and these craft paints aren’t archival, so they really aren’t meant to last a super long time However, if your artist friend does some research on how to prep and seal their canvas, it should last plenty of time long enough for them to be able to look back and smile at their old artwork In terms of what brushes to use for your acrylic paints. I highly, highly, highly, highly, highly recommend the Simply Simmons brushes You can get them in sets as well as individually I still use tons of my Simply Simmons brushes today. I absolutely love them For something to paint on I recommend getting bulk generic canvases A lot of the time those are the absolute best value I also recommend buying a little thing of gesso so that your artist friend knows how to prep their canvas, as well as a little thing of varnish to help keep the art protected Some more really inexpensive things to paint on that are super easy to get or things like plywood, particle board, MDF panels. I can’t really link to these things because it’s going to depend on where you live But go down to your local hardware store and you’ll see a huge variety on what you have to choose from Most likely these boards will be anywhere between $4 and $15 and if you ask really nicely they’ll help you cut it for free if you don’t have some already, while you’re there I’d recommend getting some high grit and low grit sandpaper so you can sand the edges of the freshly cut panels, that way your artist friend doesn’t run the risk of getting any splinters while they’re working with the panels If you’re wondering exactly how these panels could fit into like a gift for someone, without it being like here’s some planks of wood for Christmas and there you go Ok, so say you get a 4 foot by 8 foot MDF panel and you get it cut into 4s and then you take it home, you sand the edges so that all four panels align really nicely, then you get a big ribbon and tie it in a bow in the front and bam! You’ve got a cute little package right there If your friend is worth anything they will definitely see the thought in the time that you put into making this gift But if you’re still a little concerned that just maybe they won’t get it upon first glance Then you could always grab a couple Apple Barrel paints, a little thing of gesso and a couple simply Simmons brushes and kind of throw it all together in a cute little acrylic painting gift set Now last but not least in this ten dollars and under tier we’re gonna talk about sketchbooks really quick If you want to get your friend a sketchbook for them to just kind of practice in Practice anatomy, practice structure, practice composition, then I definitely recommend the Strathmore 200 series sketch pad By the way, the reason I keep recommending Strathmore is because they are very widely available So even if you can’t get these things off of Amazon, chances are that you’ll be able to stroll down to your local art store relatively close to your gift giving day and still be able to pick up a Strathmore drawing pad of some kind But anyway, if you anticipate your friend needing a sketchbook specifically for practice, for messy graphite, drawings that are kind of all over the place, gesture drawings mostly, then I do recommend the Strathmore 200 series sketch paper The 300 series to me is virtually indistinguishable from the 200 series So I’m kind of avoiding mentioning it because I feel like you’re paying more for the exact same quality but that just might be me But if you anticipate your artist friend wanting a pretty sketchbook to do a tour of at the end of the year A sketchbook that’s going to hold up a little bit better, a sketchbook that’s going to handle different kinds of media I highly, highly, highly recommend the Canson XL mixed-media sketchbook

I love these sketchbooks because they’re really versatile and they’re pretty sturdy They can handle a little bit of watercolor. They can handle ink, they can handle graphite They can handle colored pencil, marker I really, really think for the price you get a knockout product This is an amazing sketchbook to get for a young artist who is just starting to kind of feel out what mediums they really like They can play with everything in this sketchbook Okay that does it for the ten dollars and under tier I know that took way longer than I wanted it to take but I also kind of had to flesh out some tips and info that can be applied to the following tiers So I’m gonna go a little bit faster through these next two tiers The reason being that if you’re buying these art supplies, especially the luxury art supplies for your artist friend, there’s a really good chance that they are at least at the intermediate level So I really don’t need to go into detail about who these art supplies are for Not only that but pretty much 100% of the tips I gave in the first tier are applicable for the following two tiers before we get into the moderately-priced tier, Let’s hear a word from our sponsor, Skillshare Today’s video was brought to you in part by Skillshare.com Skillshare is an online learning platform dedicated to helping you learn a new skill They’ve got more than 25000 classes in art, cooking, business and so much more What’s great is their annual subscription rate is less than ten dollars a month That’s way cheaper than signing up for a class at your local community college Every creator on their site puts tons of effort into their lessons like Dana Batho and her course, Hand Embroidery Fundamentals I’ve been really interested in embroidery lately and I want to become who has an embroidery hoop in her hand every night and like the cute little granny cap, you know the type I want that! Anyway, this course showed me everything I need to know to get started with making my own embroidered creations I love that Skillshare has so many introductory classes I feel like I’ve picked up so many new hobbies because of using Skillshare Make sure to click the link in the description for two months of Skillshare premium for free, just to try it So why don’t you learn something new today with Skillshare? Okay, let’s get into some moderately priced items and for lower priced watercolors, but still in the moderate range I’d recommend the Mei Liang watercolors by light wish Now, this is a product that I don’t own and have not used in the past but not only does it have great reviews on Amazon, the reason I heard about these watercolors in the first place was because some of my favorite Instagram artists swear by them and if you guys know the Frugal Crafter here on YouTube, you know, she absolutely endorses these watercolors These watercolors are not archival but they are very, very vibrant and easy to work with Great for smaller less serious paintings and paintings within a sketchbook My next recommendation for moderately priced watercolors are going to be the Arteza half pan watercolor set I don’t believe these watercolors are archival, though I can’t be 100% certain because Arteza has not released any information about that However, these watercolors are beautifully pigmented and a lot of fun to work with I actually use them a lot in my own personal sketchbook just because you get so many colors for such a great price They’re just really smooth and buttery and pigmented and you have a pretty decent color selection I just wish there was a little bit more information on them at this point, but similar to the last watercolors, they’re great for non serious paintings and paintings within a sketchbook Now if you’re looking for watercolors that are just a little bit nicer but still in the moderately priced zone, I’m sure no one’s going to be surprised, but I highly highly recommend the white knights watercolors They are an amazing price for what you actually get You get full pans and each paint is made with real professional pigment They are light fast and really, really, really, really wonderful to work with They’re buttery. They’re smooth. They’re pigmented If you’re buying for an artist who is just starting to sell their work and just starting to dip their toes into the Professional realm, this is a great product for them In terms of watercolor paper, my number one most used paper is the watercolor paper from Bee paper It’s a 100% cotton paper, which is really important when you’re painting with watercolors My biggest advice to any watercolor artist is to always invest in the paper Don’t worry so much about the paints and the paints being expensive but the paper needs to be good quality Bee paper is good quality times 10 at a really affordable price For watercolor brushes I always recommend the Princeton Heritage 4050 line of brushes They make incredible synthetic brushes at a reasonable price Now these brushes have a lot of snap to them, meaning that they’re very firm If you want something a little bit softer with mixed hair I highly recommend the silver brushes by Black-Velvet They use real squirrel hair mixed with synthetic hair in their brushes The softer your brush is, the less control you’re going to have but the more water it’s going to hold So if your friend’s painting is fast and loose I’d recommend getting them the silver brushes by black velvet if their paintings follow more of a strict outline I would recommend getting them the Princeton Heritage 4050 brushes Now on to colored pencils

If you want something that is good quality but is not going to break the bank, I would start by getting your artist friend the Prismacolor Scholar colored pencils Now I know you hear “Prismacolor” and think well, those are a little bit more expensive Prismacolor Premier are the most common type of colored pencils But Prismacolor does make a more inexpensive version of their colored pencils called Prismacolor Scholar There’s still really good quality, not quite as soft as the Prismacolor Premier but still really good quality, pretty pigmented and for a reasonable price However, if you’re interested in getting something with a little bit higher quality, then I would go up to the Prismacolor Premier colored pencils They’re very soft and buttery and highly pigmented and if you don’t feel like shelling out a ton of cash for the huge huge packs, they do make smaller packs like 12, 24 and 36 packs For smooth paper to draw on with your colored pencil I’d recommend the Strathmore 300 or Strathmore 400 series of Bristol paper The Canson excel series also has some great bristol pads both plain and recycled paper For something with some color, you can also reach for the Strathmore tone tan and tone gray series It’s something a little bit different and a little bit more challenging than using just plain white paper I’ve got a few recommendations for moderately-priced acrylic paints The Liquitex Basics acrylic paints are actually pretty decent and really easy to find The Arteza acrylic paint set seems to be one of the best reviewed products that are Arteza puts out People seem to really like the quality of these paints for the price Then I recommend the Masters Touch paints and they’re only available at Hobby Lobby unfortunately, but I really love them and think they’re a great price and then if we’re gonna go a little bit more high quality, a little bit more expensive. I really really really like the Windsor in newton Galleria acrylic paints For moderately priced canvases I highly recommend the Blick studio canvases I feel like Blick, out of all the art stores, makes a huge effort to make sure their store-brand is on par with Name-brand products and then I also have high approval for the Windsor and Newton stretched canvases For medium to large sized brushes, I recommend the Blick Studio acrylic brushes and then for small details like really small paint brushes I recommend the NicPro acrylic brushes For sketchbooks I highly recommend the Daler and Rowney cachet sketchbooks They’re the ones with the kind of hard black cover that are wire bound They also come in a traditional book style as well but I prefer the wire bound because you can open the sketchbook nice and flat You don’t have to go around cracking spines and stuff. You can just open it and draw For mixed-media I really like the Arteza mixed-media sketchbooks Out of all the artists are products that I’ve tried thus far the mixed-media setchbooks are my absolute favorite The paper feels incredibly high quality, very different from other mixed-media sketchbooks that I’ve used and I love that they come in a 2-pack which kind of gives you more bang for your buck Now for luxury items which are items that are up there in price but very, very, very good quality Starting with watercolors and more on the affordable side of luxury, of course you all knew this was coming I’m going to recommend Regina’s watercolors. They’ve been my number one go-to watercolors this year I think almost every single major piece that I have made have been made with Regina watercolors The palette itself is wonderful. It’s got an incredibly unique glass mixing surface So it makes mixing and cleaning a total breeze it’s also magnetic so you can snap your pans into the pallet without worrying about them falling out and that’s just the pallet every single paint is handmade beautifully with real professional pigments They’re the most pigmented easy to use paints I have ever worked with The standard ultimate palette starts at only $72 and this gives you the palette itself and 20 colors The pans themselves range between one and two dollars depending on what size you get What sets Regina watercolors apart from all other watercolor brands that I’ve come across, is really the inclusion of the palette that is part of the purchase Regina has worked really hard to perfect her palette It’s such a far cry from the flimsy tin palettes you get with any other watercolor set out there Even with Schmincke Horadam, which I’m about to talk about It’s just a lot of effort has gone into making these palettes incredible and it shows The next luxury watercolors I’m going to recommend are going to be the Qor watercolors by Golden They do make a palette of half pans, but I actually recommend the tubes over the half pans Golden formulated their own binder that’s really unique to Qor watercolors specifically in order to make the paint’s really vibrant and juicy The Qor watercolors are some of my absolute all-time favorite watercolors Definitely up in my top three and then for the most expensive of the luxury watercolors, but very, very high quality are going to be the Schmincke Horadam watercolors. They are very expensive. Incredibly high quality. Very archival but boy these guys are definitely a luxury item

For example a half pan set of eight colors in a tin travel box is going to set you back $100 If you’re buying for a professional artist who doesn’t already have these colors, then this would be something to reach for as a super luxury gift In this case, every cent you are paying is going towards the paints themselves Not the palette in this case because they do come in just kind of that standard tin palette But the paints are incredibly high, fine quality You can tell just by working with them They are very transparent without being low in pigment These paints are in a league of their own so to speak They are very rich, pigmented, translucent, almost like a mythical fairy creature Just again totally different category than any other paint I’ve ever used but they are such a luxury item that I’m scared to use mine half the time I pull them out for really important projects, but seldom do I use them otherwise because they are just so precious to me So if you have the money and you’re buying for someone who you feel like already has every art supply ever Then this would be a really great item to reach for and in terms of watercolor paper I highly recommend the Arché or Arches. I’ve heard it pronounced both ways watercolor pad. It also comes in a block version meaning that it is glued almost all the way around the edges, So that you can paint directly on the block and not worry about the paper warping But where as the Arches watercolor pad is relatively affordable still, the watercolor block will set you back a few more dollars Depending on where you look sometimes a watercolor block can be double the price of the watercolor pad and it’s the exact same paper Both versions are 100% cotton, have great texture and consistently year after year come out as the number one best watercolor paper to use In terms of a luxury watercolor brush, pretty much his luxury as you can go are the Winsor and Newton series seven watercolor brushes They’re 100% kolinsky sable hair, which means they hold a ton of water and are really great for watercolor However they are much more suited for people who like to paint fast and loose or large areas of space, opposed to people who are a little bit more precise with their paintings because these are very, very soft brushes Moving on to colored pencils I would recommend the Faber Castell Polychromos They’re just starting to beat out the Prismacolor Premier color pencils as the best colored pencils on the market However, they are more expensive than the Prismacolor pencils In most places they come in a little under double the price Now this is just my personal opinion, but I prefer the Prismacolor Premiers Maybe it’s because I’ve been using them my whole life, but a lot of people believe that the Prismacolors are a little bit more waxy than the Faber Castell Polychromos if you’re looking for a really nice bristol pad the Fabriano bristol plus is always a great option moving on to acrylics, my highest rated acrylic paint is going to be the Golden heavy body and a close second is going to be the Liquitex heavy body They are very comparable to each other, very similar in pricing and they’re both archival professional paints Once you start adding colors to your cart, they can get a little pricey So my recommendation is always to seek out an introductory set or grab the primaries with a white and black For luxury acrylic brushes I’d recommend the Escoda Opera Takatsu synthetic brushes, if you like something that’s a little bit more firm And if you want something with a little bit more give that has real animal hair I would recommend the Raphael Kevrin+ acrylic brushes They’re nice and soft and hold the pigment just a little bit longer than synthetic brushes would, but again by now I’ve probably beaten it into you, the firmer the brush the more control you have, the softer the brush the less control you have In terms of canvases, I’m going to recommend the Blick Premier canvases They’ve got a variety of different builds and the masterpiece canvases which have an even larger library of builds to choose from Now to finally finish out this almost half hour long video at this point, are sketchbooks. One of the best reviewed sketchbooks out there is the Crescent Rendr., No Show sketchbook This sketchbook would be ideal for those who like to work with ink whether it be marker ink, pen ink, wet ink, India ink, any kind of ink because a render sketchbook boasts that it will not show through to the other side of the page, making it much easier to utilize both sides of your paper Another really lovely sketchbook brand would be Moleskine For the last few years, I’ve been using the A4 hard cover Moleskine sketchbook, and I absolutely love it Both sketchbooks have very high ratings on any website they are listed and they continue to pop up on a bunch of best of top 10 lists Alright guys that is going to be the end of my last minute holiday gift guide and if you’re watching this in 2020 then never mind, maybe this wasn’t so last-minute after all, but if you’re watching this in 2019, I hope this helped in some way, shape or form Thank you guys so much for watching and don’t forget to stay out of trouble. See you guys later

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