Gifts for Your Favorite Watercolorist

Well, aside from moi, of course. 🙂

Like many of you, I am a complete sucker for cool new art supplies. As we head into the holiday gift season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite “finds”, in case you’re looking for a gift idea for your favorite artist-who-has-everything-already.

Stocking Stuffer–Art Graf Watersoluble Graphite Tin

It’s so cute! And also really different. Graphite, but in “watercolor” form. It handles like watercolor, but dries to the beautiful silvery sheen of graphite. A beautiful way to combine your watercolor and pencil-drawing skills.  (Actually, any of these Art Graf drawing/painting tools would make a great gift!)

Art Graf's watersoluble graphite in a tin. Fun!

Art Graf’s watersoluble graphite in a tin. Fun!

More Cuteness—Armand’s Quire of Adorable Teeny Watercolor Papers

If you’ve taken any of my classes, you know how I’m constantly trying to save you money by encouraging you to tear full sheets of watercolor paper down to the size you want, instead of buying postcards, pads, block or what-have-you . . . so you know if I succumbed, this has to be some pretty dang gorgeous paper. A teeny quire—that’s 25 teeny sheets—of beautiful watercolor paper 4×5″ with four lovely deckle edges.  (Or you can get 15 5×7″ sheets or 10 7×10″ sheets, but the little ones are much cuter.)

Armand's teeny quire of watercolor paper.

Armand’s teeny quire of watercolor paper.

Okay, at $15, it’s probably two or three times as expensive as tearing it down from a full sheet, but it’s sooooo beautiful, and you won’t get those deckle edges by tearing. You have to touch it to fully appreciate how lovely this paper is. Total indulgence!

For Someone Special—Custom Sketchbook or Journal Cover

Don’t be scared away by the word “custom”. This is still a reasonably affordable gift (and so much more unique than another sweater).

Custom leather journal cover from Hide Bound Leather.

Custom leather journal cover from Hide Bound Leather.

I’ve been searching for years for a leather cover that would fit a sketchbook/journal with good heavyweight paper that could take a wash. Everything was either a tad too small or a tad too large. Finally, I found the perfect fit, by ordering a cover from Hide Bound Leather ( that’s custom-sized to the sketchbooks I use for my personal journal. Mine was around $50. Price varies with size and options like pen loops or closures.

(I know you’re going to ask—I’m using a softbound Strathmore MIxed Media Journal. For some reason, the paper seems to work better for me than the Watercolor Journal, and I like the size, a bit smaller than 8×10″. But the whole point of a custom cover is that you can fit ANY sketchbook or journal.)

No matter what journal or sketchbook you . . . ummm, I mean, your lucky gift recipient uses, you can have a perfect fit, too.  All you have to do is measure the height, width and thinkness of the sketchbook or journal you want to fit and type the dimensions into the order form on their website. Mine fit EXACTLY, and the leather is wonderfully soft and flexible.

One caveat: mine arrived in about a week, but I’m not sure how big a company it is or how backlogged they might get with custom orders for the holidays. If you are concerned about time, you might want to email them and ask.

If none of these ideas works for you, please consider supporting a wonderful local business with a trip to my favorite-art-supply-store-on-the-planet, Wet Paint (1684 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN. They’ve got plenty more great gift ideas, and some great deals in their holiday sale. The staff can help you find something special for anyone on your list. Plus they’re just about the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Tell them I sent you. 🙂

(If you live far away, you can still order online at, or call them at (651) 698-6431.)



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