Welcome to the Late Blooming Watercolors Late Holiday Gift Guide! Christmas is just over a week away, so this gift guide will only be useful if you need to do some last minute shopping for the budding watercolorist in your life.
1. Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketcher's Pocket Box Set
This is one of the first sets of decent watercolor paint I purchased, and it's still my number 1 recommendation for those getting started with watercolor. It's considered "student" grade paint, but it's still a huge step up from the Crayola watercolors many of us used as children. It comes with a minuscule brush that you should just throw away really, but I guess it comes in handy in cases of extreme supply desperation. This is a great last minute gift because this set is often sold in stores, including at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, so you won't have to worry about the current shipping delays.
2. Peerless Watercolor Sheets
Peerless watercolors are a unique type of watercolor on paper that your watercolorist friend may never have heard of, and probably hasn't tried yet. They also make a great travel supply since they're already dry and super pigmented. They've got a long and storied history as well, as they have been around since 1885. The only downside with this gift idea is they might be hard to find in stores. (In the past I've seen them at Artist & Craftsman Supply here in KC, but I haven't been in store in a while to know their current inventory situation.) Peerless is also running a "pay what you can" offer on their website through the end of December, if your gift recipient doesn't mind a possibly delayed gift at a bargain price.
3. Watercolor Coloring Books for Adults
Another great gift for travel, watercolor coloring books are printed on heavier paper to keep the wet paint from bleeding through. (Evidently I'm really into travel supplies this Christmas...which is super odd since we haven't been traveling all year for obvious reasons!) The paper isn't the 100% cotton I usually recommend, but it suffices for a quick way to just get painting. I own a copy of the book pictured above, Painterly Days: The Flower Watercoloring Book for Adults by Kristy Rice, but a quick Amazon search shows there might be some newcomers on the scene to check out as well. A watercoloring book is a particularly great idea for the person in your life who doesn't like to draw or is impatient and just wants to get painting, but you will most likely have to order one online, which means it may not arrive in time for Christmas.
4. 100% Cotton Watercolor Paper
If all else fails, you can never go wrong giving a watercolorist good quality, 100% cotton paper. Blocks (glued on all 4 sides) are, once again, convenient to travel with or work with en plein air, but any size pad of pre-cut watercolor paper is useful for an artist to have on hand. Arches brand paper is often available in big box stores like Michael's & Hobby Lobby, so it's another easy last minute art gift.