A Gift Guide for Artists

In this gift guide for artists, we hope to provide some guidance to choosing a gift for a loved one. At KennedyArt we pride ourselves on our knowledge and love of Artist’s Materials and by far the easiest way to choose a gift for someone is to call in to us, where we very much enjoy taking you through all the options and ensuring you leave with that perfect gift. However we are aware that this is not always possible and we hope this short guide will provide you with a few pointers to help.

The guide is aimed as a short set of pointers to those who are feeling their way, it is not meant to be a comprehensive resource.

We will split it into 3 sections: Adult, Teenager/Young Adult & Children

These sections will be further split into the 4 main art mediums: acrylic, oils, watercolour and dry art (drawing/sketching/markers/pastels).

A brief note about the quality of paint before we go on – artist quality and student quality paint have very different price points. In simple terms, this is because artist quality paint uses pure colour pigment and student quality uses imitation or mixed colours. For a more detailed explanation on this please follow the link below.



Very much the universal “one size fits all” answer to starting out. Handling a little like oils but non-toxic and easy to clean they are a favourite for beginners time and again. They are also popular with established artists who like their quick handling and easy clean up.

Basic Beginner: Below are some sets that are easy to use for anyone. Click on the image for more information.

Artists: we have a few sets with Artist’s Quality paints offering high pigment loads, enabling stronger more vibrant pictures to be produced. We’ve included these links below.

Sennelier Artist Quality Acrylic Paint Wooden Gift Set of 15 21ml Tubes and Accessories



In many ways oils are often considered THE traditional painting medium. We have a huge range, at prices to suit all budgets.

Value Beginner: We have set with enough to get anyone started in oil painting included in the links below.

Pebeo Oil Paint XL Collection Box

Sennelier Rive Gauche Oil Paint Set with Wooden Easel

Sennelier Rive Gauche Oil Paint Discovery Set

Mid-range: This is something unique to us – artist’s quality paints at a superb price point. A great buy for any serious painter. Links below.

Norma Oil Paint Wooden Box Set of 11

Top End: What can we say here – the highest quality oil painting sets. The type of presents we would love to get ourselves!

Schmincke Mussini Oil Paint Wooden Oil Box Set

Sennelier 2 Tier Wooden Box Oil Paint Set with 22 Tubes

Sennelier Wooden Box Set of 12 Tubes of Oil Paint



Often looked on as being more difficult than Oils or Acrylics, Watercolours have unique advantages – marvelous fresh paintings and not as much kit required. However it is well worth reading the expanded section on different paint qualities. With watercolour you are using very little colour and lots of water and they are (mostly) transparent. This means it is very difficult and can be extremely frustrating trying to produce a satisfactory result using Student colours – they tend to turn to muddy shades when mixing.

Student Quality: Low price point but compromising on colour. Links below

Schmincke Akadamie Watercolour Set of 12 1/2 Pans

Sennelier Student Watercolour Set of 12 Half Pans

Cotman Watercolourours Sketcher’s Pocket Box

Cotman Watercolour Field Box Set

Artist Quality: With high loads of pure pigments/colours there is no comparison to these paints.

Schmincke Artist Quality Horadam Watercolour Set Metal Box 12 Whole Pans

Schmincke Artist Quality Horadam Watercolour Set Metal Box 18 Whole Pans

Schmincke Artist Quality Horadam Watercolour Set 24 Metal Box Whole Pans

Schmincke Artist Quality Horadam Watercolour Set Metal Box 36 Halfpans

Schmincke Artist Quality Horadam Watercolour Wooden Set Of 48 Whole Pans

Sennelier Watercolour Travel Set 8 Tubes

Sennelier Watercolour Metal Box Set of 12 Tubes

Sennelier Watercolour Set 20 Tubes Wooden Box


Dry Art

This peculiar term covers Drawing, Sketching, Pastels and Markers among others.

Pastels: One of the more difficult mediums but can achieve results like no others. Lots of colours tend to be needed as they can’t be mixed – only blended. Good pastels are expensive as they are difficult to produce, indeed some ranges are still made entirely by hand!

Oil Pastels: Similar to oil paint in that they can be worked and thinned.

Our selection of artist oil pastels can be found here: Oil Pastel Sets

Chalk Pastels: Very fine and soft, our ranges of artist chalk pastels are hand made due to how deflect they are. Chalk pastels allow for very vibrant colours with easy bendability.

Our range of artist quality chalk pastels can be found here: Chalk Pastel Sets

Sketching: Below is a link to our range of sketching sets. We’ve got something for everyone.

Sketching Gift Sets

Coloured Pencils: These can be a lovely gift option for anyone that enjoys sketching as it adds another element to their drawing. Below are a few options sorted by price. The more expensive ones, once again, have better pigments leading to richer colours.

Faber Castell Goldfaber Pencil Set of 12

Faber Castell Goldfaber Pencil Set of 24

Faber-Castell Goldfaber Pencil Roll with 27 Coloured Pencils

Faber Castell Goldfaber Pencil Set Of 36

Faber Castell Goldfaber Pencil Set Of 48

Polychromos Pencils Set of 12

Polychromos pencils Set of 24

Polychromos pencils Set of 36

Polychromos Pencils Set of 60

Polychromos Pencils Set of 120

Markers: The range here is limitless – some of our most popular and recommended sets are below. Worth noting however, markers should be used with Marker Paper – using them with ordinary paper leads to them drying up prematurely. We’ve included some links to the correct paper as well.

Water based paint markers:

Set of 8 PC-5m Standard Posca Colours

Set of 8 PC-5m Pastel Posca Colours

Set of 16 PC-5m Standard Posca Colours

Set Of 60 Posca Pens in Assorted Sizes And Colours in Sturdy Black Carry Case

Alcohol based markers:

Winsor & Newton ProMarker Set of 6 Rich Tones

Winsor & Newton ProMarker Wallet – 24 Grey and Black Tones

Winsor & Newton ProMarker –6 Pastel Tones

ProMarker Wallet – Student Designer Set of 24 Colours

ProMarker Essential Collection Set of 48

Water Soluable Markers:

Albrecht Durer Watercolour Markers Set of 5

Albrecht Durer Watercolour Makers Set Of 10

Marker Paper:

Faber Castell Marker Pad A4

Marker Pad Daler A4

Bristol Pad Daler 250g A4


Things that every artist always needs more of:

Every artist will always need more brushes and paper. (There’s nothing like painting with some new brushes!) Below are some examples of brushes and paper for the oils, acrylic and watercolour.

Oil and Acrylic Brushes: Worth noting you can use the same type of brush for both, however they must be kept separate. The first link is to brushes that are on the cheaper end of the scale. The second link is to a higher quality of brushes that any oil or acrylic painter would love to have.

Da Vinci Red Handled Hogs

Da Vinci Maestro Hogs

Watercolours: There are two main options for watercolour brushes – synthetic and natural haired bristles. Synthetic come in at a lower price point but don’t hold the water as well as a natural haired brush. The first link below is for a selection of synthetic haired brushes and the second is for natural haired brushes.

Da Vinci Cosmo Synthetic Brushes

Da Vinci Maestro Sable Brushes

Painting Surfaces – Every artist always needs more!

Oil and Acrylic: The best option for this is usually canvas boards or canvases. Canvas boards are cheaper and great for practice work. Canvases are ideal for finished pieces.

Pintura Canvas Board

Pintura Canvas

Royal Talens Canvas

Watercolour: One thing to keep in mind when buying watercolour paper is that there are 3 types of surfaces – hot pressed (completely smooth), cold pressed (a slightly rough surface) and Rough (the roughest surface) Below are links to three types of artist quality watercolour pads and blocks.

Arches Watercolour Blocks

Langton Pads

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbooks

Escoda Pads


Students & Young Adults