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My Favorite Things: Artist Gift Guide 2021

It’s almost that time of year again and I have a NEW list of awesome products that made the cut for My Favorite Things: Artist Gift Guide for 2021!

I’ve provided links to Amazon for both the USA and CANADA sites in the downloadable guide but I would strongly encourage you to buy products from one of your local art stores if they are available.

If you’re in Canada I would recommend Delta Art  & Drafting Supply or DeSerres

For Calgary local please visit Kensington Art Supply & Instruction


  1. CANVAS LAMPS – I can’t take credit for discovering this product because it was actually thanks to a friend of mine on Instagram (@jessicaruthartist) that I very impulsively and immediately bought this product. Talk about a GAME-CHANGER! No more shakey inconsistently lit or awkward DIY overhead set-ups for me! If you are a creator that films your process with your phone this is a must-have product. It’s like a ring light and an over-head tripod in one. I’ve been searching for something like this for a long time but nothing existed that wasn’t overly complex and expensive. These small-biz owners came up with a brilliant idea and hey, it looks nice sitting on a desk too! If you don’t want to sacrifce the desk space it also comes with an attachment clamp for your desk. 

  2. CARAN D’ACHE PABLO COLOURED PENCILS – I reviewed this product not long ago on my blog and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’m specifically recommending the set of 12 for this product because it’s a test drive of the Caran D’Ache brand without having to give over your life savings. For once the inclusion of a white pencil in a set of 12 isn’t a waste of time. It’s highly opaque and the smooth lay down is dreamy. Layer to your heart’s content and get sharp details with these awesome pencils. 
  3. LIQUITEX ACRYLIC GOUACHE – To say I am in love with this product is an understatment. Obsessed? Yeah, we’re getting closer. I haven’t felt this way about a paint medium maybe ever. The vibrancy, the matte finish, the acrylic paint/ gouchae hybrid – perfection. Also I recently discovered can use it with colored pencil when it’s dry so I’m basically ready for a long term commitment. Can you marry a product? I’m kidding, but seriously I think this stuff is great. 
  4. DRAGONFLY BOOK PRESS – CUSTOM SKETCHBOOKS – I’ve been lucky enough to have one of these beautiful custom sketchbooks for years before the offcial launch of my sister’s business this year. These custom, handmade, hardcover sketchbooks are made to order with the paper of your choice! You can even select the book cloth and pattern combo you like best from the seasonally available selection. The sketchbooks are available in various sizes to suit the homebound or travelling artist. If you want to support another artist making products for artists, I highly recommend these!
  5. DERWENT DRAWING PENCILS – The Derwent Drawing Chinese White pencil has been a favourite of mine for quite some time. Its superior opaque quality is the stuff dreams are made of. Turns out they made a whole set of 23 other colours with the same qualities. Oh, and did I mention they are are all highly lightfast? You won’t find any overly bright colours in this set but it’s worth the investent for the superior coverage and rich pigments.

  6. TOMBOW MONO ZERO ERASER – Erasers, when used creatively, can be for more than just correcting mistakes. The Tombow MONO Zero line of erasers do the job they are intended for and so much more. This is a must-have tool on my drawing desk.
  7. AFMAT LONG POINT MANUAL PENCIL SHARPENER – Do you like your pencil points sharp? Like reaching to the moon sharp? This inexpensive manual pencil sharpener with a helical blade delivers and then some. See me test out various brands of colored pencils in my review video below to see the results in action for yourself.

  8. GRAPHIC ARTISTS GUILD HANDBOOK FOR PRICING AND ETHICAL GUIDELINES – This resource has been absolutely essential to my art business. Whether all of the information in the now 16th edition of this guide applies to you or not, it’s a MUST-HAVE resource for any artist planning to expand their business or take on commercial work. The guide not only gives you practical advice and average rates for specific types of work like magazine illustrations, but also gives you sample contracts for licensing your work, copyright registration, artist-agent agreement forms, cease and desist letters and much more!

  9. STRATHMORE VISION MIXED MEDIA SKETCHBOOK – I’m a big fan of Strathmore as a company as well as the paper that it makes. I love the idea of their Vision line of sketchbooks, because it allows YOU to create the cover.  Aside from that fun feature the mixed media paper features a perforated edge so that you can easily and cleanly remove your drawings or sketches. The paper also holds up to various wet and dry mixed media applications. 

  10. PRINTABLE COLOUR CHARTS BY BARBSOTIART – I’ve been absolutely floored with the popularity of this product that I created originally for myself as a way to organize my pencils and find the colours I need quickly. By removing the barrier of having to create the chart itself, you just have to fill these printable charts in with the colours you own once and use it over and over again as  a valuble reference tool. Learn more about the charts and see some of my customer testimonials by following the link below. 

Get all the links and


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