My Favorite Things: Artist Gift Guide 2020

Not sure what to get the artist on your list? Want to share a list of awesome products that are already compiled for you? Look no further than My Favorite Things: Artist Gift Guide for 2020!

I’ve provided links to Amazon for both the USA and CANADA sites but I would strongly encourage you to buy these products from one of your local art stores if possible.

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

For Calgary local please visit Kensington Art Supply & Instruction

Various art supplies in holiday display

  1. FABER-CASTELL POLYCHROMOS COLORED  PENCILS – One of the most commonly asked questions amongst beginner colored pencil artists is what kind of colored pencils should I buy? If you’re serious about taking your art to the next level and are planning on selling your art, this well-loved brand combines quality with relative affordability. Don’t want to splurge on the full set of 120? Go for a smaller set now and upgrade later. There’s still a lot you can do with even half the amount of pencils if you’re creative about your color mixing skills.
    Faber-Castell Polychromos
  2. DERWENT BATTERY-OPERATED ERASER – This eraser is a game-changer. Not only does it erase efficiently and quickly but it also can be used for creating textures and effects in your colored pencil and graphite work. Be sure to buy a pack of refills as an add on.
    Derwent Battery Operated Eraser
  3. STRATHMORE TONED PAPER – These toned papers are available in regular weight and a heavier weight mixed media. Create stunning artwork with these mid-toned papers available in various sizes. Use a variety of dry media on the regular weight or let your creativity run wild with almost any medium on the mixed media version!
    Strathmore Toned Paper
  4. UNIBALL SIGNO BROAD WHITE PEN – The search for the perfect white pen for highlights sometimes seems impossible. This pen has a consistent flow and great opaqueness.
    Uniball Signo Broad white pen
  5. FABER -CASTELL GOLDFABER COLORED PENCILS – For artists new to colored pencils or those on a budget, these colored pencils are a reasonable price with the quality behind the Faber-Castell name. The extra bonus is that most colors in the set are consistent with their Polychromos cousins. When you decide you’re ready to upgrade you don’t have to give up your favorite hues. READ MY REVIEW HERE
    AMAZON – USACANADAFaber-Castell Goldfaber
  6. KUM LONG POINT PENCIL SHARPENER – Having a sharp point is essential to any colored pencil artist’s technique. This two-step handheld sharpener will sharpen your pencils to perfection.
  7. PRISMACOLOR COL-ERASE COLORED PENCILS – New to my favorites are these erasable colored pencils by Prismacolor.  They are essential to my process when I’m drawing out my preliminary line work for my larger pieces. They’re also great for sketching!
    AMAZON – USACANADAPrismacolor Col-erase
  8. BLUE YETI USB MICROPHONE – If you’re making the leap to sharing your art on YouTube, you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get started. This USB microphone plugs directly into your laptop or computer and sounds great with minimal setup. To reduce the extra noise and enhance the sound quality buy a pop filter or windscreen cover as an add-on.
    AMAZON – USACANADABlue yeti Microphone
  9. MOLESKINE SKETCHBOOK – This is one of my absolute go-to’s. These hardcover sketchbooks have an elastic closure and ribbon bookmark. The heavier weight 111lb cream-colored pages hold all types of dry media well and the lay-flat design makes this a great portable sketchbook. There’s even a pocket in the back for any keepsakes you may want to store from your travels.
    Moleskine Sketchbook
  10. ZEBRA ZENSATIONS BRUSH TIP PENS – For my mixed media and illustration friends these pens have become my absolute favorite, available in 3 different tips these flexible nib brush tip pens are great for writing sketching and illustration linework.
    Zebra Zensations brush tip pen


Artist James Gurney’s book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter is an excellent resource for artists of any medium who are interested in understanding the relationship of light and color. Take your artwork to the next level with this New York Times best-selling author’s book!

Color & Light Book by James Gurney

Barb Sotiropoulos

Barb Sotiropoulos

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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Hey, I'm Barb!

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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