Christmas Gift Ideas For The Artist In Your Life
Christmas Gift Ideas For The Artist In Your Life
Well, it is that time of the year again, some love it, others hate it but we all fear looking at our back balance after the fact, thats right; its Christmas (Shouted in my best Slade voice from their famous Christmas track)
Last year, I put together a list of affordable and one or two not so affordable, gift ideas for either the artist, colourist or crafter in your life, or perhaps a gift to one’s self. The list was well received and so I thought that for my article in Color Magazine, I would compile a similar list idea. Giving all the creative minds out there the ability to accidentally on purpose leave your issue of Color Magazine on the kitchen table, open at my article, with perhaps what you would really really like circled, laying in wait for that unsuspecting loved one, family member or friend to stumble upon completely by chance and be presented with their very on Eureka moment. Of course you and I will know that no such moment has occurred, if fact it was your Eureka moment which will result in a gorgeous Christmas gift.
I know this may seem a wee bit devious, but I like to think of myself in this instance as a kind of Art supply Cupid, shooting my highly sharpened pencil through the uncreative mind of our loved ones who ordinarily would not know one end of a paint brush from the other. After all, who wants to be complicit in allowing their loved one, family member or friend to waste money on the tradition pair of Christmas socks that are wore Christmas day and Christmas Day only
I am of course only joking guys. Here is my Christmas gift ideas for the artist in your life, in no particular order.
Derwent Inktense Travel Set
Early 2018 Derwent announced the release a a few new products they would be introducing to their already extensive range, one such product was the Derwent Inktense Travel Pan Set. I am sure most of you know about Derwents Inktense Blocks and Pencils, however, for those who don’t , Inktense are very unique in that, although coloured pencils or blocks, similar in appearance to pastel blocks, when activated with water the pigment turns to ink. The pigment, unlike watercolour cannot be removed when dry, which allows for many layers to be applied.
Derwent decided that due to the popularity of the Inktense, they would provide a compact travel version in the format of pans. The entirety of the product looks exactly the same as a travel watercolour set, with the exception that the paint is water soluble ink allowing the artist to paint in a very different style. the travel set of Inktense is the perfect gift for the traveling artist in your life.
Xacto Ranger 55 Pencil Sharpener
With all the money we artists invest in our colored pencils, looking after them in number one priority. After all, if you own a high powered sports car that cost thousands of dollars, you wouldn’t just wash it in cheap shampoo, you would care fro it and protect it. Well, to us passionate about colored pencils, they are our sports vehicle.
This is why I have added into the list, this Xacto Ranger 55 Pencil Sharpener. It is so important that when sharpening your colored pencils that a blunt inadequate sharpener is not used as this will chip or splinter the wood, which will in turn break or shatter the core. The Xactor Ranger 55 is incredibly sharp and offer the artist various hole widths, allowing for different diameter pencils to be held in place correctly and sharpened, from you Prismacolor Verithin to the Conte à Paris Sketching pencils. The Xacto Ranger 55 will accomodate 8 different pencil widths and will cost a fantastic £18 in the UK, $19 in the US and €20 in Europe.
Cynthia Knox Classic Still Life Book
Next up is one of my own personal favourite colored pencil artists. Cynthia Knox is a well known name throughout the colored pencil and art community in general and highly respected. Cynthia has many online colored pencil tutorials, as well as this, Cynthia Knox has many personal colored pencil achievements, but perhaps most impressive is Cynthia’s huge selection of books she has published helping hundreds of new and seasoned colored pencil artists refine their skills.
One of Cynthia’s more recent books is “Classic Still Life”, this is yet another absolutely outstanding book from Cynthia which delves into so many issues that colored pencil artists encounter and help to overcome. Cynthia’s books are always beautifully illustrated with her own art and “Class Still Life” is no exception. This book would be perfect for any colored pencil artist, colourist or crafter. For people in the UK, Cynthia Knox’s “Classic Still Life” will cost £21, for those artists in the US it will cost $27 and for those in Europe it will cost €25
Conte à Paris Sketching Set
Quite recently I completed a review on The Art Gear Guide of this very set, the Conte à Paris Sketching Set. On my Pinterest and Instagram accounts, I had seen these beautiful art pieces of portraiture, animal portraits, still life and nudes, done on grey or tan paper in beautiful sanguine, sepia, white and black pigments. The art had a loose and free form to them, impressionistic and organic but the palette work really well together.
Almost all pencil manufactures produce similar styled sketching sets, however this set by Conte is incredibly well priced and affordable to most. It is a small set of just 12 pencils, but it is the kind of set that all artists should never leave the house without. The range of pastel, graphite and different charcoals makes the selection and combination all the more interesting, resulting in gorgeous art. This small compact set would be ideal for any artist, for those of us in the UK, this Conte à Paris Sketching Set will cost £12, for art enthusiasts in the US, this set will cost approximately $14 and for those in Europe €16.
Derwent Pencil Buddy
I actually included this fantastic tool on my list last year and I received so many emails telling me that they had purchased the Derwent Pencil Buddy and loved it. The Derwent Pencil Buddy sits on your desk with a slight slant, allowing the artist to safely place the pencils into the Buddy core first. The inside of the Pencil Buddy has fine fibres that move as the pencils are placed into it. This make drawing and selecting the pencil you need so easy, no more pencils rolling of the desk and shattering the core, your pride and joy pencils will be protected and kept safe.
For artists in the UK, the Derwent Pencil Buddy can be purchased for approximately £34, for artists in the US, the pencil buddy will cost $45 and finally for artists in Europe the pencil buddy costs approximately €45. If this fantastic tool is given to the artist in your life for Christmas, they will be eternally grateful.
A4 Ultra Thin Lightbox
There is a lot of controversy around items such as light boxes, some artists disagree with their use and others feel they are a good idea for a few reason but one such reason is building up memory muscle. To always trace using a lightbox and never learn to draw, is perhaps not the best way forward. However, if you are a new artist, just getting started, using a lightbox can be a fantastic help, enabling the artist continually draw a certain object, such as an eye, whilst using the lightbox, muscle memory is developed and allows the artist the ability of drawing freehand quicker.
A Lightbox such as this, would be fantastic for a friend, loved one or family member in your life just starting out on the artistic journey. Here in the UK, this A4 Ultra Thin Lightbox will cost you £9.98. For artists in the US, the Lightbox will cost approximately $18 and for artists in Europe, €14 is what it will cost.
Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Palette
For the Watercolour Pencil artist in your life, this little gem will be with them for ever and open so many new options regarding the use of watercolor pencils. The Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Palette is a thin piece of plexiglass, a tough type of plastic. On one side of the palette is a slight rough textured surface, similar to sandpaper. The opposite side is smooth, this side is not for watercolor pencils but for aquarelle markers.
The Palette also has a thumb hole in it, allowing the artist to hold exactly the same as a painters palette. On the rough textured side, the artist rubs the watercolor pencils across it, picking up pigment. From here, a wet brush is applied to the pigment, allowing the artist to mix the pigments much better than they would ordinarily on paper. The same method on the other side of the palette is used with the brush or chisel tip of an aqua marker. this is a really excellent tool for the watercolor enthusiast in your life. In the UK, this Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Palette will approximately cost £7.99, in the US it will approximately cost $15 and in Europe €16.
Koh-I-Noor Pastel Pencils
Pastels are a wonderful medium, however, a lot of people don’t like them on account of the pastel dust and mess that can sometimes be attributed to them and some people just really don’t like the texture. However, given the absolutely beautiful art work that be accomplished with pastels, it is a shame for an artist to miss out on such a gorgeous medium based on how they feel.
One such alternative is pastel pencils, you can still achieve the same effects but without having to hold the dusty pastel chunks. The pastel is in the centre of a wood barrel just as any other pencil, not only does this allow the artist to use pastels without worrying about mess and texture, but the pastel pencil allows for nice detailed work. The Koh-I-Noor Pastel Pencils are a wonderful set to start out with, Koh-I-Noor are a magnificent company, they produce high quality art supplies but at relatively low prices, considering the quality. This 24 set of Koh-I-Noor Pastel Pencils are a fantastic gift for any artist who loves pastel art but concerned about the mess and texture. Here in the UK, the 24 set of Koh-I-Noor Pastels will cost approximately £22, in the US the set will cost approximately $24 and in Europe, the cost is approximately €18.
Lumograph Staedtler Mars Assort Degrees Of Pencils 24 Set
Graphite art is such a versatile medium, with the extensive grades of graphite, art can be pushed to the limits when tones of light and dark are accomplished. One of the issues with Graphite and in particular the darker, softer grades of graphite, 4B, 6B, 8B etc can create a metallic appearance when light reflects of it. Depending upon where the art is hung and the type of lighting, this aspect of graphite can become troublesome when viewing the art and the darker tones look almost reflective detracting from the image.
This 24 set of Mars Staedtler Lumograph Assorted Pencil Degrees consists of four pencils that make the entirety of the set a bit special. There are 20 graphite pencils in the set as one would expect and 4 Carbon pencils from the Lumograph Black range. The four pencils range from 2B, 4B, 6B and 8B, because the pencils are carbon and not graphite, the 2B pencil is almost the equivalent to an 8B Graphite pencil. The reason this is the case is due to the carbon, it creates a rich dark tone but most importantly, the carbon lays down almost like a matt finish, eliminating the metallic appearance created with the graphite. This is a fantastic set of pencils for graphite artists, enabling them to eliminate this thorn in the side for graphite enthusiasts. Here in the UK, this set would cost approximately £24. Unfortunately at the time of writing this article I was unable to locate any prices for this particular set in the US, however, I will continue watching Amazon and update the list as soon as possible. Finally for people in Europe, this set would cost approximately €22.90.
Ann Kullberg’s Color Magazine Subscription
Last but by no means least, a wonderful gift for any artist to receive on Christmas morning would be a subscription to Ann Kullberg’s Color Magazine. Color is a monthly publication and comes in a few convenient formats, digital via your tablet or mobile phone or a print issue which is delivered to your address every month.
The print version of the magazine can be sent outside the United States, however, there are different tariffs available, making every subscription package fit the individuals need. Follow the link which will take you directly to the subscription package information page. Here you can select the subscription that best fulfils your needs or the needs of the lucky recipient of this gift
Color magazine is a hugely popular publication among the colored pencil community, not only offering fantastic tutorials, featured artists and reviews, but also offering the opportunities to take part in Art related competitions, offers on lots of art products and so much more.
Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays
On behalf of myself I would like to wish all the readers and subscribers of Ann Kullberg’s Color Magazine a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and I wish every one of you the most wonderful New Year, hoping that 2019 is filled with love, happiness success and above all good health.