27 Awesome Gifts for Art Students & What to Consider Before Choosing One

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Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Dee

Are you looking for a creative gift for an art student? Being an art teacher, and a mom, I know how difficult it can be to choose gifts for art students!

There are just so many factors involved and it’s difficult figuring out which art supply brands to choose from and selecting the right art mediums and tools to buy!

Have no fear! This list of 27 awesome gifts for art students covers all kinds of gift options from paint to sketchbooks, art supplies, and even a fun arty game inspired by the greats.

These creative gift ideas will certainly encourage creativity and imagination and get your art student inspired to make art! Also, check out this article if you’re wondering how much to give for High School Graduation.

Gifts for art students

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

Choosing the right art gift for a creative person can feel like trying to paint a masterpiece with one paintbrush – challenging but not impossible.

For young artists just beginning their journey into the vast landscape of artistic expression, a set of high-quality paintbrushes or a pack of vibrant acrylic paints could make a wonderful gift. It’s an invitation for their creative juices to flow onto a blank canvas or a sheet of watercolor paper – especially because art isn’t the easiest college class.

For more experienced artists, an art history book could be among the best gifts you could choose. It’s not just a book; it’s a thoughtful gift that provides a wealth of inspiration, introducing them to different art movements and techniques.

For a unique birthday present, consider unique gift ideas like a limited edition artist gift from their favorite contemporary artist, or even personalized art gifts that resonate with their individual style. All check out how the Target Student discount works.

Art books that delve into advanced techniques and professional-grade materials also make great art gifts for budding and seasoned artists alike. Whether it’s the sweep of a paintbrush or the rich texture of acrylics, the right artist gift can truly brighten up the canvas of their special day.

27 Awesome Gifts for Art Students

Rulers for a Lifetime

Aluminum Artist Ruler 24″

Blick Aluminum Ruler - 24''

For anyone who’s doing arts and crafts, a ruler is an essential instrument for measuring and drawing lines.

But not just any ruler will do! If you want to make your gift as memorable as possible, consider buying this artist’s aluminum ruler – popular for art students and graphic students at school, in the studio, and for urban sketching. These things last a lifetime!

The rulers are plain but have large, clear markings. Why not help your art student start out with precision?

Artistic Fine-Liners for Pen Drawing

Sakura Micron Pen Set

Sakura Pigma Micron PN Pens - Set of 8

Art students, professional artists and other creative people choose these Micron Pens time after time. The durable ink is waterproof and fade-proof, so it won’t bleed or feather when used with watercolors .

Faber Castell 8 Pitt Black

Designed for art students, hobbyists, and professionals, the Castell Pitt Artist Pen pigmented ink guarantees high-quality linework for sketching, drawing, lettering and writing.

A great thing about the ink in these pens is that it doesn’t bleed through paper (and it’s waterproof too!).

The ink is also fade-proof and waterproof, so the color will stay true for a long time! These pens are my go-to fine liners, and are a must-have for all art students!

Quality Sketch Pads

Canson Universal Sketch Pad

Canson Universal Sketch Pad - 12'' x 9'', Portrait, 100 Sheets

This heavy, acid-free paper is well suited for line drawings as well as watercolors. The 35-sheet pad is bound on the short side with a double wire so can lay flat. All pads contain micro-perforated sheets for easy removal of sketches or artwork. This is a great gift for art students because they can take these anywhere they go and find a place to do some sketching.

Arteza 9X12″ Sketch Book

There’s nothing like a sketchbook to encourage creativity. The 9X12″ blank pages provide an ample space for creating image after image!

The paper is thick enough to be durable and comes in a lovely matte cover. Plus, at 9 X 12 inches, it’s big enough to hold plenty of art.

This is an excellent gift for any artist, especially an art student who is constantly needing to sketch and be creative.

Arteza makes high-quality sketch books with beautiful covers, thick paper, and matte black writing. It’s a great gift that will last long after graduation and will encourage creativity!

Cutting Knife & Mat

Olfa Snap-Off Blade Utility Knife

Olfa Utility Knife - Snap-Off Blade

Break-off blade knives are ideal in the classroom setting because when your blade is blunt you can snap it off and use a new, clean blade.

These blades are also refillable – you can purchase replacement blades in packs of ten from most art supply stores.

KC GLOBAL A2 (25″x19″) Professional Grade Self-Healing Cutting Mat (Purple)

These cutting mats are a fantastic choice, especially for art students, because they protect all counter tops while providing additional support to artwork. You can easily can cut straight lines without fear of ruining the surface underneath.

Drawing Pencils

Caran d’Ache Grafwood Pencils and Sets

Caran d'Ache Grafwood Pencil Set - Assorted, Metal box, Set of 6

These high-quality drawing pencils will give any art student the edge! Drawing pencils are used for preliminary sketches and finished pieces.

Caran d’Ache Grafwood Pencils contain a wide range of tones from light to dark, making them perfect for drawing portraits and other subjects.

Prismacolor Premier Graphite Pencils

This professional pencil set makes for the perfect gift for anyone studying art! It comes with various pencils including woodless graphite pencils, a kneadable eraser, a sharpeners and a pencil file.

Leather Pencil Roll

This leather roll pencil bag comes with a sketching pencil set, charcoal sketch pencils, graphite pencils, torillons, a kneadable eraser, and basically everything an art student would need for sketching an drawing.

Art Student Carry Bags

Slip-on Art Student Back Pack

Notabag 3 in 1 Convertible Backpack

The smart combination of a bag and a backpack transforms with a single pull on the straps, so you can put it on your back. The Notabag features the signature, extra durable fabric in its purest form with details in a variety of colors. A thoughtful and practical gift for an art student!

Best Portfolio Bag

Alvin Prestige Deluxe Mesh Bags

Alvin Prestige Deluxe Mesh Bag - 12'' x 16''

Alvin Prestige Deluxe Mesh Bags offer visibility and protection against the elements. Ideal for drafting kits, drawings, artwork, documents, and more!

Best Carry-All Studio Bag

Xiem Studio Art Bag

Xiem Studio Art Bag

The Xiem Studio Art Bag is designed for art students, artists, and potters on the go.

This canvas bag has two large compartments and numerous pockets for art supplies. Two straps and a durable handle make it easy to carry around, and art supplies are held securely without falling out!

You can also check out this article for more inspiration… 15 Best Pencil Cases for Artists & How you Should Choose One

Give them a rainbow

Primsacolor Premier Colored Pencils Manga Set

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils Manga Set

Prisma colored pencils have soft cores and use fade resistant color pigments to ensure richness. They have an incredibly smooth lay down and are excellent for blending.

Derwent Inktense Pencils and Sets

Derwent Inktense Pencil Set - Assorted Colors, Tin Box, Set of 12

Derwent Inktense Pencils can be as versatile as watercolor pencils but offer a firmer texture that contributes to the brilliance of color.

These vibrant colored pencils are ideal as a gift for any art student.

These beautiful, streamlined color sets are perfect for a plethora of art projects, and they are one of my all time favorite colored pencils!

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and Sets

Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil Set - Gift Set of 24

Polychromos pencils offer buttery-smooth color laydown with vibrant colors for an artistic effect.

They’ve developed a pencil that is break-resistant, waterproof, and smudgeproof, with bonded design for sharp lines that stay rich and permanent.

Cretacolor The Brilliants Metallic Drawing Set

Cretacolor Metallic Drawing Set - The Brilliants, Set of 12

In the world of colored pencils, there’s a large gap between Prismacolors and Crayola. This set is the middle ground and it includes 12 premium quality drawing pencils not coated in lacquer. The colors are absolutely gorgeous for adults and kids!

Exciting Art Markers

Tombow 56189 Dual Brush Pen Art Markers

These Tombow pens are water-based, and ideal for coloring, artwork, illustrations, and more.

Uni-Posca Paint Markers

Uni-Posca Paint Markers - Basic Colors, Set of 15, Bullet Tip, 7 mm

Gift your art student Uni-Posca Paint Marks for them to paint in vivid color on practically any surface!

Uni-Posca Markers are opaque, water-based, and dry to a matte finish on both porous and non-porous surfaces. Odorless, fingerprint-proof, and water resistant the pens are great for doodling, making posters, writing letters, and drawing projects.

Best Drawing Boards

Jullian Art Drawing Board

Jullian Art Drawing Board

This drawing board is perfect for art students and artists. It adjusts to five angled positions and is made of oiled beechwood. The board has a full-length pencil tray and an adjustable canvas carrying strap. It can be easily over the shoulder when walking to class, going to the studio, or drawing on location!

Blick Sketch Pad Board

Blick Sketch Pad Board - 23-1/2'' x 26''

Perfect for an art student or artist who needs a firm, sturdy surface to sketch on. Clips will holds a large sketch pad to the board and can be adjusted depending on the size of the pad. Once you are finished with your sketch for the day, the large rubber band holds everything together for easy transport.

Painting Sets

Acrylic Painting Set

Looking for something creative and unique to gift an art student? The Ohuhu Acrylic Painting Set is an all-inclusive 42 piece art studio! This kit contains everything a beginner painter will need to get started.

HIMI Gouache Paint Set

These Himi Gouache paints are Eco Friendly & Non-Toxic, with a creamy, rich pigment. They are fully washable and perfect for art journal painting and other painting projects. The paint will not crack, chip or crumble when it dries and can be reactivated with water.

Gouache vs Acrylic Paint | What’s the best paint for you?

Drawing Guide

How to Draw Cool Stuff: A Drawing Guide for Teachers and Students

How to Draw Cool Stuff is a simple step-by-step illustrated guide for making your own art. This book explains how you can turn basic shapes into complex images, and provide an easy introduction to the world of illustration!

Art Student Jewelry

WUSUANED Art is Life Cuff Bangle Bracelet

Give the gift of elegance with this stainless steel artist bracelet. Packed in a soft velvet bag for presentation, this truly one-of-a-kind gift is just the thing for artists, painters, designers, and art lovers alike.

FUSTMW Artist Paint Brush Earrings

These paint palette earrings are a fun gift for an art student. Made from Zinc Alloy, and nickle, and lead safe.

Art Games

Words of Art Game

Words of Art Game

Get your art student to play the Words of Art Game with friends and family. Each player chooses the art card they think is the best visual representation of the designated storyteller’s prompt.

This unusual game features 150 different art pieces from a variety of artists, including world famous painters (Jasper Johns, Romare Bearden, Picasso, Warhol) as well as newer stars like Sarah Sze or Cecily Brown.

A quarter of the works are by women and more than a third are created by artists of color.

Gifts for art students

What can you gift an Art Student?

There are so many awesome creative gifts out there but it’s tough to find the right one because there are so many factors involved!

Consider what type of art they like.

If they have often told you how much they LOVE the way the Impressionists blend color, or the angst of the German Expressionists, then perhaps consider gifting them something that would help them explore their own painterly mark (for instance a palette knife or some gel medium?). But if it’s obvious they love watercolor painting in their art journal, then something like watercolor pans, or even watercolor brush pens might do the trick!

Think about what they might already have.

You don’t want to give them something they already have a ton of! Try to get an idea of what they already have, so you can get them something new!

What is the purpose for your gift?

Do you want your gift to be a big surprise or a helpful gift – something they need vs something that inspires?

Put yourself in their shoes!

What art have they done recently? What do they seem to enjoy painting with? What would make their artistic practice easier?

Talk to their nearest and dearest!

Chat to their friends, siblings, or parents and you may uncover some great ideas and further information about what gift to get.

Consider the quality!

For people who are beginners to art making there are lots of student quality paints and tools that you can gift them that will do the job perfectly! (Always a good idea to check the reviews on these).

What about Graduation Gifts for Artists?

Money is always a great graduation gift… because, well, art grads usually don’t have much. So cash helps! But once they’ve graduated from art school, art students usually set out looking looking for job.

Gifts for art students


When it comes to the gifts, there’s always that one person who is difficult to shop for – and art students are no exception!

From drawing pencils to sketchbooks and paint sets, this list includes exciting and inspiring art supplies and gift ideas.

Whether you know what they need or not, this list of 27 awesome gifts for art students should help point you in the right direction.

Happy shopping 🙂

Related Articles:

[Looking For a Mixed Media Sketchbook? 16 Best Mixed Media Sketchbooks for Wet & Dry Media]

[Gifts for Graphic Designers]

[Gifts for Artists Who Like to Draw]

[Gifts for Artists Who Like to Paint]

Gifts for art students

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