Art Gifts for Teens (and Adults)

Art supplies are gifts that any artistic teenager or adult would be happy to receive. Here are some that will help keep their art skills honed, creative juices flowing, and supplies organized.

Prismacolor colored pencils are top of the line. Once you use these colored pencils you will not want to use any other. The soft, creamy leads allow colors to go on smoothly and blend easily. The pigments are light-resistant and waterproof. The color cores are thick, durable, and long-lasting. This set contains a mouth-watering 72 delicious and vibrant colors from which to choose. This is a superior colored pencil that is perfect for many different styles and approaches, including mixed media projects.

Staedtler Color Pen Set, Set of 36 Assorted Colors (Triplus Fineliner Pens). Courtesy of

The Staedtler Color Pen Set comes in 36 brilliant fine-tipped colors. They are perfect for detail work and can be used with all kinds of different papers with minimal bleed-through, if any at all. The ink is a water-based acid-free ink that is dry safe, meaning it can be left uncapped for days without drying up. This is useful when drawing or coloring and switching between colors constantly. Perfect for journaling, sketching, adult coloring books, mandalas, etc. The pens come in a sturdy cardboard box that can be used to store them.  More »

At its purest level, art is about the process, not the product. The Buddha Board (12 x 9 x 0.15 inches) helps bring us back to that childlike purity before we became caught up in the product, deadlines, grades, etc.  It's a zen-like equivalent of the child's etch-a-sketch, a magical childhood favorite toy. It's also environmentally friendly - you keep using it over and over without adding new materials or discarding any.  It is very basic, consisting of only three things:  a stand that holds water, a board, and a beautiful bamboo brush. It is hard to pass by without picking up the brush, dipping it in the water and painting a stroke that appears black on the white surface. The brush glides exquisitely across the surface and leaves a beautiful velvety black mark. Within a few minutes, as the water evaporates, your painting gently fades away, leaving a blank slate ready for the next painting. 

This 24 x 36 inch portfolio is perfect for carrying all your artist's artwork.  It is an ideal way for an art major or high school student taking AP Studio Art to keep their artwork safe, secure, and organized in one spot. It is rugged, sturdy and holds a good quantity of work that is held in place with an interior cross piece.  The portfolio also has interior pockets for storing pencils and other small art supplies, a larger exterior pocket, and a handle that converts into a shoulder strap.

This set consists of 24 long-handled bristle and nylon paint brushes good for acrylic, oil, or watercolor. The brushes come in a variety of styles and sizes and are conveniently organized in a canvas roll-up carrying case with a sturdy velcro strap that keeps the brushes safely stored while transporting.

This drawing set comes with a variety of drawing materials, a 5 x 7 inch sketchbook, and a 6 inch human mannequin to give an artist all the tools necessary to practice drawing the human form. The set includes 12 graphite pencils of different hardnesses, compressed lead, compressed charcoal, vine charcoal, blending stumps, erasers, a small ruler, and more. It all comes in a convenient wooden storage box that measures 13-7/8 inch by 6-7/8-inch by 2-1/2-inch. 

Here are all the things an artist needs to draw on the go and transport drawings safely. The set consists of an 18 x 18 inch artist drawing board, a 12 x 18 inch professional drawing pad, three different pencil sets: a watercolor pencil set, a colored pencil set, and a drawing pencil set; 3 pastel sets;  both black and white compressed charcoal sticks, erasers; sharpener and blending stump; a 20 x 20 inch portfolio to carry everything in and an instruction book. This complete set of drawing tools will inspire any artist to get drawing!

This is a compact wooden table top easel set for the beginning artist or anyone who wants a convenient portable art studio. Everything fits in a convenient storage bag making it easy to carry anywhere. The paints and brushes are kept in a drawer that is easily accessible while the easel is in use.  The set also includes 4 brushes, 12 acrylic paint tubes (12 ml), 1 palette knife, 1 graphite pencil, 1 white eraser, 1 sharpener, 3 acrylic artist boards, and an apron. The product measures 14.9 x 3.2 x 11 inches.

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ArtSnacks gift certificate (detail). Photo by Lisa Marder

What could be more fun than getting a few surprise art supplies each month? That's just what ArtSnacks is: it's a subscription service for some of the best art products around, 4-5 of which are delivered right to your door every month. Every order comes with a "menu card" that describes the products and how best to use them. You can join ArtSnacks starting at just $20 a month and get free shipping anywhere within the U.S. More »

Sometimes, even with the best supplies, artists need a little help to fuel their imaginations and get them working again. This simple little book, one in a series of such books, will do just that. By giving you blank pages on which to draw and 642 drawing prompts ranging from the mundane (a spigot, a glass of milk) to the conceptual (girlish laughter, a mirage), this inspirational sketchbook is sure to inspire.