2010 gift guides: for the artist

Whenever I am prepping my column, What’s in Your Toolbox?, I always want to make a mad dash to the nearest art-supply store. I remember fondly the year I received the Prismacolor complete marker and pencil set for Christmas. Needless to say, I definitely felt like a snazzy, well-prepared freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Honestly, give me a set of blank sketchbooks and a watercolor set and I will love you for life! Here is a roundup of items for the artistic hobbyist, novice or old pro in your life. — Ginny

Image above: 1. Color Palette Guest Soaps, $19; 2. Ruler Ribbon, $10; 3. Studio Days Easel, $2,100; 4. Color Pencil and Brass Holder Set, $65; 5. Moleskine Kraft Notebooks (pack of three), $11.99; 6. Inside the Painter’s Studio, $35; 7. Lavender Hand Cream, $7.99; 8. Adhesive-Can with a Brush, $8; 9. Happy Tape, $2.50–$36; 10. Natural Markers, $5.99


These are all great finds. Especially the artist palette soap! What a beautiful gift idea.

Inside the Painters Studio, is a fantastic book.



The color palette soaps would be perfect for giving a host/hostess. I think it’s such a luxurious gift and for $19 I think I would gift one to myself too. Great gift guide.

KeLLy Ann

As an Artist, I always love getting supplies. I”m head over heels for Oil paints and new brushes. I certainly wouldn’t be sad if those soaps and sketchbooks showed up in my stocking! I’m really enjoying the visual that the soaps have too!


Such a fun gift guide! I’d be happy with anything on there but like you, a blank sketchbook and watercolors would be a beautiful gift (wait, don’t I already have those?)…

Katie Bee

I love your little story about the prismacolors and SCAD–my friend was similarly overjoyed to receive a prismacolor set before she headed off there, too!
I’m no artist, but I would adore any of these gifts myself. Beautiful guide.

Emily Rose

lol, Ginny, I felt the same way! I brought my colored pencils with me and was like I AM AWESOME! Only to discover we were only supposed to use primary colors in 2d design. ugh!


I got the colored masking tape from my Dad (who thankfully orders all his presents from the MOMA catalog) LAST Christmas and it’s so darn cute I haven’t used any of it yet!


Wow… the price on the easel is outrageous. Personally, I’d rather spend two grand on a car. Easels don’t cost that much and it wouldn’t be difficult at all to create the same effect on your own.


These are all great, and I am all for color spectrum anything, but when I first saw that easel on Anthropologie a couple of months ago it irked me. Just buy probably a much better constructed easel for a quarter of the price and trust me, if you are painting right, it should be slathered within a couple of years: http://www.dickblick.com/categories/studioeasels/#hframeeasels


Coccoina is a real trigger for childhood memories for all us italians!
I used tons of it when I was a child, in the same identical metal can version.
The smell of it is a jump in the past!

Thanks for this gift guide, I’d buy everything… For myself!


The color palette soaps seem impossible to find on the Lafco website–it’s so poorly organized. Any hints?


Oh sorry, finally found them–you have to search “guest soap” NOT “soaps” and they are just listed as “assorted soaps.” Thanks.


I agree with Sophie… As an artist, I have to say, this is a pretty spread, but it would KILL me if someone bought me a phony overpriced easel.

For less than half the price, you could buy your artist friend a REAL one, and go get some cans of paint from Home Depot and have a splatter party to break it in.

THIS is the easel I have (and LOVE): http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_product.cfm?item=51249

Also, more paints, more brushes, more materials, and if your artist friends don’t already have them, a membership to their favorite local museums always make wonderful gifts.


thank god someone commented on the easel! ds always does lovely give guides, but i went on a tirade to my bf after seeing this on antrho a few months ago….i think i would be offended if anyone even considered purchasing that for me!


That easel? Are you for real? You can buy a really nice real easel for a tenth of that price!

ginnybranch stelling

hey y’all!

just saw the easel comments, and i echo the crazy price. i just thought it was particularly beautiful and loved the worn-in, paint splattered-ness of it. i just wanted to add a bit of fantasy, that’s all :)


What a great article :) Too bad that the Inside the Painter’s Studio book is no longer available… :(