Holiday Gift Guide: 2022 Edition

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Now that I've been painting a few more years since I published my original holiday gift guide, I have new additions to suggest as gifts for the watercolor artist in your life this year! 

As always, these are not sponsored suggestions. They're supplies or tools I use and love in my own watercolor practice. I'll provide links to websites where you can purchase them, but I highly encourage you to shop your local brick and mortar businesses this year if you can!

Cheap Joe's Watercolor Paper Sample Packs

Cheap Joe's watercolor paper sample pack

Watercolor paper is hugely personal. Each artist has different styles or brands they like, but it can get pricey to try them all when you're getting started and developing your own preferences. Enter: sample packs!

These things rocked my world when I discovered them. I love trying new supplies, and this made it both easy and cost effective to try tons of quality watercolor paper. There are various sets to choose from at Cheap Joe's, and who knows? Your watercolor artist just might find a new fave.

Art Portfolio

black portfolio on amazon

With all that painting your watercolor artist is doing, they're gonna need a way to store their completed masterpieces. A portfolio is a great way to keep things organized, protected, and portable!

This is one I purchased a couple years ago that's still going strong. I liked the option of the long shoulder strap (although I've not yet used it) as well as the smaller handles. Plus it has an interior pocket & an elastic strap to hold the artwork in place.


Brusho set

This sh*t is bananas. In a good way! It's super concentrated pigment powder that explodes across the page when you use it. A tiny tap of the jar is all you need to start with, as a little goes a very long way. You can buy it in a set like I did (and which I link to here) or individually.

It's definitely not for the watercolor artist who wants maximum control. But for anyone looking to experiment, or get looser with their watercolor practice, this is a great tool for it.

Hake Brushes

3 hake brushes

Hake brushes come in giant sizes, so if your watercolor artist is looking to start painting larger, or wants to loosen up in their beginning painting layers, a hake brush is a handy tool to have. They're also great for quickly wetting the paper down with clean water.

The link I provided is to the hake brush set I started with in 3 sizes, but I've also gotten a set with even larger sizes. They tend to be widely available and cheap.

Masking Tape

masking tape stack

Ok, ok, hear me out! This may sound lame, but your average dollar store masking tape is a great supply that your watercolor artist needs a ton of! 100% cotton watercolor paper is sturdy enough to paint on both sides, but in order to do so you gotta attach it to a board or other hard surface. And masking tape is a great way to do so. But it's got to be masking tape, because painter's tape sounds great in theory, but is too wussy to hold up to buckling, wet paper in my experience.

Stock up on masking tape for their stocking because your artist doesn't want to spend their own money on this boring but incredibly useful supply that they will use once and then throw away. (Full disclosure: I use mine twice, but I live like I was born during the great depression.)

I've linked to the Dollar Store version because I've purchased and used it many times. It's cheap and works just fine. Getting assorted widths of tape would make you their hero.

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