Product Recommendations The Leading Source for Art News & Art Event Coverage Thu, 15 Feb 2024 17:04:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Product Recommendations 32 32 168890962 Affordable Art for the Home From $15–$5000 Thu, 15 Feb 2024 18:00:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Given that works of art can fetch millions, tens of millions, and even hundreds of millions of dollars, the average person who wants to brighten up their place with art may well despair that they’ll never be able to own anything other than a cheap repro of Monet waterlilies. But is it really true that good art is beyond the reach of ordinary mortals? Well, no—you can obtain a quality piece of work that fits your budget and home. Multiples, limited-edition prints, signed originals, and rare, collectible posters are available from a wide range of online sources, including galleries, nonprofits, auction houses, and publishers. And some of these finds can actually accrue in value.

The only problem is that you have to know where to look, and that’s where we come in. Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best sites to find art for your home, priced from $15 (because we do know that “affordable” is a relative concept) to $5,000. If you have empty space on your wall, here’s your chance to fill it.

Essential Sewing Supplies to Get You Started Stitching Wed, 14 Feb 2024 20:00:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Have you dreamed of how great it would be to incorporate sewing into your artwork (or even just hem a pair of pants)? Starting to sew is easily achievable. You won’t be making your first fiber art masterpiece overnight, but beginning with a simple project will help you feel accomplished and encourage you to continue. I learned to sew about 25 years ago and started teaching others how to do it just over 10 years ago. I have taught children and adults in private lessons and group classes, at birthday parties and, ever since Covid, in virtual classes as well. We always start with an easy project that can be completed in a few hours, like a set of napkins or a tote bag.

The Best Beginner Fountain Pens, Selected by the ARTnews Recommends Editors Tue, 13 Feb 2024 18:01:17 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

This month is International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo), a celebration of putting pen to paper and the perfect time to buy yourself a fountain pen.

Fountain pens may seem like a relic of the past, something charming but antiquated. But fountain pens never really did go out of style; in the last 10 years or so, new fountain pen companies, stores, and reseller websites have sprung up and thrived. Sol James, resident pen expert at Goods for the Study in New York, noted a marked increase in customers coming in looking for fountain pens after the pandemic, which had given people more time to get into at-home hobbies.

The fan base is also shifting. While collectors have long sustained the luxury fountain pen market (the Wall Street crowd has kept Fountain Pen Hospital in business since 1946), new and younger enthusiasts are often drawn to the “gadget” quality of the pens, opting for more affordable, modern-looking implements.

For more about fountain pens, along with a list of pens we recommend for beginners, read on.

The Best New Art Books to Buy as Holiday Gifts Thu, 21 Dec 2023 14:00:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTnews may receive an affiliate commission.

’Tis the season, which means it’s time to start racking your brain for gift ideas. But if your list happens to include artists or art lovers, the choice is a no-brainer: Give them a book on art. Whether it’s an artist bio, a critical anthology, or a sumptuously illustrated catalog, it’s bound to be appreciated (unless you’ve seriously misjudged the recipient’s preferences in art—in which case, it’s the thought that counts). And you don’t have to limit yourself to art cognoscenti. There are plenty of art books that anyone can enjoy, and even if it’s never cracked open, there’s always a place for it on the coffee table as a signifier of your friend’s good taste (and of course your own). Needless to say, they are thousands of titles out there. To help you make the right choice, we offer our recommendations for the best new art books for giving. (Prices and availability current at time of publication.

The Best Art Gifts of 2023 for Artists and Art Lovers Alike Thu, 14 Dec 2023 18:06:16 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

The ARTnews holiday art gift guide has arrived, with art-inspired products for every enthusiast on your list! Whether you’re shopping for an artist, a writer, a hobbyist, or an aesthete, our list of art gifts has you covered, with suggestions for everything from art supplies to art-themed apparel and accessories to artists’ limited-edition home goods. 

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today—Updated Mon, 27 Nov 2023 20:44:45 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

It’s Cyber Monday! Not all sale items are actually good buys, but we’ve done the research and found real (if sometimes modest) deals on electronics, photography gear, and software. Our recommendations below will help you get a jump on your holiday gift shopping for family, friends, and even yourself. We’ll be updating this page throughout the weekend, so check back often.

How we pick each product:
Our mission is to recommend the most appropriate artists’ tool or supply for your needs. Whether you are looking for top-of-the line equipment or beginners’ basics, we’ll make sure that you get good value for your money by doing the research for you. We scour the Internet for information on how art supplies are used and read customer reviews by real users; we ask experts for their advice; and of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as artists, teachers, and craftspeople.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

Blueair air purifier

$243.92 $349.99 30% off
Buy Now On Amazon

This air purifier is very good at removing a variety of airborne particles, including pollen, dust, dander, mold allergen, and smoke and will work in larger spaces (cleaning 526 square-foot rooms in 30 minutes or 219 square-foot rooms in about 12.5 minutes when set on high). Easy to use and clean, it is also quite energy efficient.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

13% off Apple Magic tablet case keyboard for iPad

$259.00 $299.00 13% off
Buy Now On Amazon

This Apple brand accessory is great for turning either an iPad Pro or iPad Air into a laptop of sorts. It attached using Apple’s smart connector, so there’s no need to mess around with connecting via Bluetooth. Because it is an Apple product, it almost feels like you’re typing on a MacBook Air keyboard. It also features a laptop-quality trackpad. Like all Apple products, it’s thin, lightweight, and very nicely designed.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

19% off Zagg Pro Keys tablet case keyboard for iPad

$87.99 $109.00 19% off
Buy Now on walmart

If you’re looking for great Bluetooth tablet case keyboard for your iPad Pro or iPad Air, but are on a budget, consider this lightweight, durable model from Zagg. A magnetic stand that attaches to the back of the case holds your device at two convenient viewing angles, and corner bumpers provide 6.6 feet of drop protection.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

37% off a Zendure Power Bank mini charger

$44.39 $69.99 37% off
Buy Now On Amazon

When you’re on the go, having a dependable power bank Is essential. This pocket-sized portable power bank features pass-through charging function, allowing you to charge the battery bank while also charging your USB-C and USB-A devices.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

15% off an Apple 15.3-inch MacBook Air laptop

$1,099.00 $1,299.00 15% off
Buy Now On Amazon

The first Apple Air laptop to have a 15.3-inch liquid retina display, this ultrathin, ultralight laptop features 8GBs of memory (which can be expanded up to 24GBs) and a powerful 8-core CPU and 10-core GP. With a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and three-mic array for audio, it is ideal for videoconferencing.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

30% off a GoPro MAX

$349.00 $499.99 30% off
Buy Now On Amazon

This GoPro is a bit pricey, but it offers three types of cameras in one. It can shoot traditional hero-style video and photos, immersive 360-degree footage, or 180-degree images and video. It can also live stream video in  1080p. Other features includes horizon leveling (for a cinematic look), distortion-free panoramic photos, and great stereo audio (using its six on-board microphones). Buy it now for $349.00 and save 30%.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

39% off a Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 tablet

$139.99 $229.99 39% off
Buy Now On Amazon

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A8 10.5-inch Android tablet has a big touchscreen, as well as expandable memory, rapid charging, and a long-lasting battery. Buy it now for $139.99 and save 38%.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

25% off School of Motion courses

Make 2024 the year you learn a new skill. School of Motion courses in motion graphics, animation, visual effects, and more, are now 25% off through November 29.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

25% off Google photo books and canvases

Get 25% off photo book and canvas orders, as well as free shipping on photo print orders of $15 or more, through November 30.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

Up to 70% off Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud includes many of the go-to apps for digital creatives, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush, Audition, After Effects, Animate, and Character Animator. And Adobe includes more help features and tutorials than ever before. Get it through this today for up to 70 percent off.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

Up to 50% off Shutterfly Photo Prints

This offer is good for up to 50 percent off Shutterfly products (some exclusions apply) through or the Shutterfly app. Go to the website for more info. There are other discount codes available, including Promo code SHIP79, for free economy shipping on orders of $79 or more.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

25% off Boris FX Plugins

Through November 26 get 25 percent off all Boris FX products, including the Boris FX Suite with Boris FX Sapphire, Boris FX Mocha, Boris FX Continuum, and Boris FX Optics. Sale is limited to one new product purchase per customer. Offer not valid on floating, dongle, or academic licensing options.) For more, go to

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

Up to 55% off Mixbook photo books and cards

Save on holiday photo cards, custom photo books, photo calendars, and canvas prints with discount code CYBER23. Free shipping on orders over $49.00.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

29% off a Nikon Z5 full-frame mirrorless camera

$996.95 $1396.95 29% off
Buy Now on ADORAMA

One of Nikon’s very capable Z-series, this camera has a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and 5-axis in-body image stabilization for better results in low light. It can shoot 4.5 frames per second with autofocus and capture 4K-resouotion video at 30p. In addition to the Nikon camera body, this bundle comes with a SanDisk 32GB SDHC memory card, camera bag, software and other accessories.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

38% off an Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

$79.99 $129.00 38% off
Buy Now On Amazon

If you’re looking to create works of art on your Apple iPad, the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) is a must. WIth tilt- and pressure-sensitivity features and virtually no lag when used with the Apple iPad, it can be used for digital painting and sketching as well as note-taking. It also has a flat edge that attaches magnetically to your iPad, which will keep it charged.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

40% off Photoshop Elements 2024 and Premiere Elements 2024

$89.99 $149.99 40% off
Buy Now On Amazon

Although many photographers and other creatives use Adobe Creative Cloud, which comes with Photoshop and Premiere Pro, not all artists need to use that cloud-oriented option. That’s why there’s Photoshop Elements 2024 and Premiere Elements 2024. For starters, there’s no subscription. You just pay once. The software is also easier to use: For instance, on Photoshop Elements 2024, which is for editing photos, there are one-click edits to instantly add blur or remove a background, smooth skin, de-haze or colorize a photo, and more. In Premiere Elements 2024, which is for video, you can quickly trim video clips, improve graining videos, and even produce stop-motion videos. Right now, you can buy both software packages for $89.99—a 40 percent savings.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

40% off a Blink Outdoor 4 (4th Gen) smart security camera

$71.99 $119.99 40% off
Buy Now On Amazon

Keep an eye on your studio when you are not there! For years, Blink has been making a variety of affordable security cameras that are easy to install and to use. Now you can find a bunch of them on Amazon for up to 60 percent off. For instance, save 50 percent on the Blink Mini Pan-Tilt camera, which is great for indoor use, or save 40 percent on the new Blink 4 fourth-generation outdoor camera.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

19% off an Epson EcoTank ET-3843 printer

$299.00 $369 19% off

Target already has a bunch of products on discount as part of its pre-Black Friday sales. We especially like this Epson Ecotank printer, if only because you don’t have to deal with the hassle and cost of ink cartridges. Instead, this model comes with high-capacity ink tanks. Just fill ’em up and you’ll be able to print for months (or even years!) without needing to refill—and saving on ink in the meantime. Buy now for $299 and save $70.00.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

23% off a Canon EOS R5 mirrorless camera (body only)

$2999.00 $3899.00 23% off
Buy Now ON B&H

Canon introduced the EOS R5 full-frame mirrorless camera in the summer of 2020, and it soon was on many photographers’ wish lists. The EOS R5—now on sale at B&H—has a 45-megapixel image sensor with an ISO range of ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (expandable up to ISO 102,400). You can also capture 8K UHD RAW video with this camera, one of the first that could do so at this resolution. It can fire off 12 frames per second in mechanical shutter mode and 20 fps using the silent electronic shutter. It also has Canon’s powerful Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which allows it to snap into focus incredibly quickly. It can track people and animals and has excellent in-body image stabilization. Buy now for $3,399.00 and save $500.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

18% off a Sony a6100 mirrorless camera with E PZ 16-50mm lens

$699.99 $849.99 18% off
Buy Now on Best Buy

It may be a few years old, but the Sony a6100 mirrorless camera, which comes with a very compact 16-50mm kit lens, is still a very capable camera. It has a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor, can shoot 4K-resoution video, and offers a very versatile autofocus system. Unlike some Sony a-series cameras, this model doesn’t have in-body stabilization, which may be a deal-breaker for some. It was originally priced at $1,100 and is available from Best Buy for $699, which is very good price for this digital camera. Buy now and save 36 percent.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

Sigma Lenses $50–$200 off

Sigma makes third-party lenses that fit full-frame and APC-size-sensor mirrorless cameras from major brands like Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and others. Recently Sigma announced Black Friday instant savings deals on 14 lenses, running through December 10. You can save anywhere from $50 to $200 on a variety of prime and zoom models.

Cyber Deals on Tech for Artists Continue Today

$20–$150 off BenQ computer monitors

For those who want a high-quality computer monitor, BenQ has a number of models that are worth a look. The company also makes projectors and related products. And starting November 15, you can find some items for up to $500 off. Plus, if you shop on the BenQ website from November 24 through 27, you can get an extra 15 percent off on select products if you become a BenQ member. See the website for more information.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today Mon, 27 Nov 2023 15:55:49 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

It’s Cyber Monday! Many US retailers have marked down selected wares, including art and craft supplies. To help you parse the offerings, we’ll be tracking some of the best deals on artists’ tools, from pastels to tablets, to give as gifts or to keep for yourself.

We will be updating this page, so check in with us often. A word of advice: Move fast, as many of these products will sell out quickly. (All prices current at time of publication.)

Related Articles

How we pick each product:
Our mission is to recommend the most appropriate artists’ tool or supply for your needs. Whether you are looking for top-of-the line equipment or beginners’ basics, we’ll make sure that you get good value for your money by doing the research for you. We scour the Internet for information on how art supplies are used and read customer reviews by real users; we ask experts for their advice; and of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as artists, teachers, and craftspeople.


This Cyber Monday there’s lots of great tech for artists, collectors, and galleries on sale. Check out our Black Friday deals on electronics, photography equipment, and software, and more here.


Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

30% off Terracycle Zero Waste boxes

$108.50–171.50 $155.00–245.00 30% off
Buy Now on terracycle

Terracycle’s Zero Waste Boxes help keep trash that can’t typically be recycled by curbside recycling services out of landfills and incinerators. With a Zero Waste Box for just about anything you can imagine, the company makes it easy to recycle beauty supplies, plastic packaging, coffee capsules, and lots more. Just fill the box, tape it up, and send it back using the prepaid shipping label. Their boxes, however, can be expensive. This weekend, get 30 percent off any box, including this one, which is ideal for art studios and classrooms.


Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

20% off Pomegranate jigsaw puzzles

Who doesn’t enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle? It’s a great pastime that can relieve stress, and it doesn’t involve a computer screen. And they make a great gift for the puzzle fanatic in your life. The independent publisher Pomegranate faithfully reproduces fine-art masterpieces in its sturdy, well-cut puzzles. Shop puzzles based on works by Georges Seurat, Edward Hopper, Henri Matisse, Faith Ringgold, Alma Thomas, and others, and save up to 30%.


Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

20% off Museum of Modern Art Design Store merchandise

If you are shopping for an art lover in your life, you can’t do much better than the Museum of Modern Art Design Store, which carries exhibition catalogs, artist and exhibition merch, home goods, accessories, and more. Save 20% storewide this weekend on items like this stuffed pumpkin based on a Yayoi Kusama artwork.


Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

50% off Master Class memberships (billed monthly) ***Deal Ends Today!***

You’ve most likely seen one of the commercials for MasterClass, the online education subscription service that gets celebrities from to record tutorials on a wide range of topics from cooking to science to philosophy. Instructors include musician Alicia Keys, chef Gordon Ramsay, editor and fashion icon Anna Wintour, comedian and actor Steve Martin, and other luminaries. For a limited time, you can buy one MasterClass annual membership and get an additional annual membership free.


Blick is having an in-store holiday sale through December 24, but you can also find great deals online through its cyber sale. Many of the best deals are on student-grade tools and supplies, so if you are on a budget or just starting out, this is an especially good sale for you. Here are some bargains that caught our eye.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

46% off a Canson XL Fluid Mixed Media Pad, 9 x 12"

$8.84 $16.25 46% off
Buy Now on dick blick

We love Canson’s XL mixed-media paper, which can be used with both dry and wet media and is bright white and acid free. At 250 gsm, this paper is almost twice as thick as Canson’s regular mixed-media paper, making it durable enough to use for heavier applications of wet media. Save 50% on a 9 x 12″ pad.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

50% off Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors, set of 24

$53.99 $109.49 51% off
Buy Now on Dick Blick

Take 50% off Winsor & Newton’s stutio watercolor set from its Cotman line. Cotmans are student-grade paints that provide strong, non-grainy color and good transparency. Notably, they have excellent lightfastness ratings, so you can use them in final pieces without fear of fading. This set features 24 full pans of Cotman paint in a practical range of colors, all in a lightweight plastic case.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

45% off Holbein tube watercolors, set of 12

$47.71 $86.75 45% off
Buy Now on DIck Blick

If tube watercolors are more your style, this set of 12 from the premier brand Holbein offers all the colors needed for landscape painting.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

45% off Holbein Acryla gouache, set of 12 colors

$59.40 $108 45% off
Buy Now on Dick blick

Save 45% on Holbein’s student-grade acrylic gouache paints. Unlike professional gouaches, which use gum arabic as a binder, this gouache uses fast-drying acrylic. The set of 20 ml tubes contains one tube each of 12 essential colors: Carmine, Scarlet, Deep Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Light Green, Viridian, Ultramarine Blue, Sky Blue, Violet, Burnt Sienna, Jet Black, and Titanium White.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

57% off Winsor & Newton ProMarkers, set of 48

$99.99 $231.49 57% off
Buy Now on dick blick

Winsor & Newton Promarkers, which are filled with high-performance, alcohol-based ink, are on sale, and you can save the most when you buy large sets of 48. Promarkers blend and layer very well, and also allow you to dilute the intensity of a hue. They’re a great cost-saving alternative to pricier Copics, and at these prices, even Prismacolor Premiers. Take 56% off this dual-tip set of essential colors.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

40% off a Rembrandt oil color set

$291.57 $485.95 40% off
Buy Now on dick blick

Take 40 % off this oil paint starter set, which contains 15 colors in 15 ml tubes, plus charcoal sticks, 2 hog-bristle brushes, one 75 ml bottle of painting medium, a wooden palette, and a double palette cup. It’s all packed in a handsome wooden box, making it a thoughtful gift for any aspiring artist.


Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

Keep your studio air healthier and smelling better with a Conway air purifier, which captures allergens like pollen, smoke, and mold spores and also reduces organic compounds.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

20% off a Ridgid shop vac

$119.00 $149.00 20% off
Buy Now on HOme Depot

Ridgid shop vacs are well-reviewed wet/dry vacuums ideal for art studios, woodshops, and other workspaces. This powerful, high-capacity 16-gallon model comes with a plethora of attachments and a debris filter.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

34% off a Craftsman two-drill set

$99.00 $149.00 34% off
Buy Now on lowes

Take 34% off a Craftsman 20-volt power tool combo kit of two drills. Today’s cordless drills are incredibly powerful, handy and versatile, and they’re also easy to hold and carry. This two-set drill combo kit from Craftsman comes with a 20V drill/driver and 20V impact driver. Both are lightweight, compact, and are easy to handle. They come with a soft storage bag, batteries, charger and accessories.


Michael’s Black Friday sale on craft supplies is in full swing, with great deals on everything from beads to framing. And don’t forget the items on Michael’s weekly ad. Pro tip: download the store’s app to easily browse newly released offers. Here are some of our picks for what to buy:

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

Up to 40% off artist paper pads

Save up to 40% on all artist paper pads, including drawing, sketching, and watercolor pads from Strathmore and our favorite mixed-media pad from Canson.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

Up to 40% off fine art markers, pens, and pencils

Save up to 40% on markers, pens, and pencils, including Gelly Roll markers, Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, Copic Sketch markers, and Tombo dual-brush pens.

Cyber Deals on Art Supplies and Gifts Continue Today

Up to 40% off paint and painting supplies

Save up to 40% on fine-art painting supplies from Liquitex, Gamblin, Pebeo, and more.

22 of the Best Movies About Artists Tue, 07 Nov 2023 13:46:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Compared with cops and superheroes, artists don’t appear on the big screen very frequently, but when they do, the results are often memorable. Dramas about art or artists can range from artist biopics to art-world satires, and as with just about any sort of story that gets the Hollywood treatment, accuracy takes a backseat to entertainment.

Still, if you’re a lover of art, there’s a lot to enjoy from this film genre, the best examples of which we’ve listed below.

Essential Art Tools That Every Studio Needs (and That Also Make Great Gifts) Thu, 02 Nov 2023 14:00:00 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Looking for a gift for an artist friend or a child in art school? Here is a list of a dozen things we think every artist, whether they work in traditional media or a less conventional medium, should keep on hand, along with our with our recommendations for specific products culled from past reviews. Many make quite affordable gifts, and even if the recipient already has a well-stocked studio, a really good tool is always appreciated. Consider combining a few items to make a useful kit. (Prices current at time of publication.)

Related Articles

Please note that these tools are for general use. You can find our reviews of more specialized materials and tools here.

How we pick each product:

Our mission is to recommend the most appropriate artists’ tool or supply for your needs. Whether you are looking for top-of-the line equipment or beginners’ basics, we’ll make sure that you get good value for your money by doing the research for you. We scour the Internet for information on how art supplies are used and read customer reviews by real users; we ask experts for their advice; and of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as artists, teachers, and craftspeople.

There are innumerable types of artists’ papers on the market. Smooth-surfaced processed paper is probably the best for sketching with pen or pencil. A good mixed-media pad is the most versatile and comes in handy in most situations.

ARTnews Recommends: Strathmore 500 Series Heavyweight Mixed Media Pads

Acid- and lignin-free, this 100% cotton paper has a slightly textured vellum surface. Each gluebound pad contains 12 sheets of natural white paper.

Budget Pick: Canson XL Series Mix Media Pad

Buy: Canson XL Mix Media Pad,9″X12″ Side Wire 2-Pack $39.00

Bright white and thick, Canson’s mixed-media paper takes dry media, from pencils to charcoal, very well. You have to exercise more caution, though, with wet media such as watercolors and ink, as the surface can warp with too much liquid.

Wooden or mechanical, soft lead or hard, pencils are vital components of any artist’s arsenal. Both sets below come with a sharpener and eraser.

ARTnews Recommends: Tombow Mono Drawing Pencil Set

Buy: Tombow 51523 MONO Drawing Pencil Set, Assorted Degrees, 12-Pack. Professional Quality Graphite Pencil Set with Eraser and Sharpener $13.10

If you’ve ever known the special frustration that accompanies a pencil that won’t sharpen evenly, you’ll appreciate the inverse joy of finding a pencil that does. From Japanese artist supply company Tombow, these pencils feature precisely centered lead cores that are adhered to the cedar wood barrel. Cedar wood is hard, so it shaves away cleanly and smoothly, exposing a sharp point. This set contains 12 pencils in degrees from a soft 6B to a hard 4H.

Another Option: General’s Semi-Hex Graphite Drawing Pencils

Buy: General Pencil 497BP Semi-Hex Graphite Drawing Pencils 4/Pkg-HB, 2B, 4B, & 6B, HB 2B 4B & 6B $5.92

With a hexagonal shaft made of hard cedar painted dark blue, the pencils in this soft-grade set of four range from HB to 6B.

The most practical type are pens with pigment-based ink that will not bleed or run if liquids are spilled on it or if watercolors or other paints are applied after the ink has dried. Many artist pens come in a range of tip sizes.

ARTnews Recommends: Sakura Pigma Micron Pens

Buy: Sakura of America 3 Piece Set Pen, Black $9.59

Designed in the early 1980s as an inexpensive delivery system for their patented pigment-based ink, Sakura’s Pigma Micron pen, with its familiar beige barrel and gear-shaped top, remains the best-quality disposable drawing pen in its class. Permanent, fade resistant, chemically stable, bleed free, and run-proof once dry, Sakura’s archival-quality Pigma ink makes the Micron the go-to tool not only for artists, but for anyone concerned with preserving their work. This set comes with three pens, each with a different fine to medium-fine tip size: 0.1mm, 0.3mm, and 0.5mm.

A Great Alternative: Le Pen

Buy: Uchida of America 4-Piece 0.3 Point Size Le Drawing Pen Set Art Supplies, 4 Count (Pack of 1), Balck $7.72

Behold LePen, a longtime favorite of pen geeks. Unlike our other choices, this super-slim, fine-line marker comes in only one weight (0.3mm in technical-pen speak). However, if you’re a writer who gets attached to a particular kind of pen, or a draftsman who needs only one line width for your work, this just might become your new favorite implement. The midrange nib size is useful for writing and drawing, but be warned—the ink, though a strong black, is not waterproof. This pack contains four pens.

The best work lights let you control the brightness and distribution of light on your desk or workstation. Some LED lamps allow you to adjust the color temperature to give you warmer or cooler light.

ARTnews Recommends:

Buy: Luxo LC2FEWT LC 22W Circline Fluorescent with 14W CFL Task Light, 30″ Powder-Coated Arm with External Springs, Weighted Base, White, Silver/Pewter $353.30

We are fans of the original Luxo Combination Task Lamp, which holds both a 22W circular fluorescent bulb and a 14W compact fluorescent bulb that can be used together or individually. The spring-balanced arm extends to 45 inches, and the angle of the head can be adjusted in any direction, for getting the best light possible on your work.

Budget pick: IKEA Forså Work Lamp

This enormously popular task lamp takes an E14 LED bulb (sold separately) is available in turquoise (actually a cool gray), beige, and nickel-plated finishes, the last suiting its bulbous retro styling. While not as sturdy as the Luxo, the Forså also has a spring-loaded arm with three different hinges, as well as an adjustable head. Those who dislike edge clamps will like its heavy base.

These can be divided into brushes best suited for drawing lines, for applying colors, and for creating gradations and shading, so a mix of widths and tip styles is recommended. Excellent synthetic alternatives to animal hair can be found, many of which are applicable to a range of uses.

ARTnews Recommends: Princeton Velvetouch Series 3950 Synthetic Brush Set

Truly all-purpose brushes, Princeton’s synthetic brushes can be used for acrylic, oil, or watercolor paints. This set of four short-handled brushes includes a #4 round brush, a #8 long round brush, a 3/8-inch angle shader, and a 3/4-inch wash brush.

Budget Pick: Blick Essentials Craft Value Brush Set

If you tend to go through a lot of brushes, or just need a wider variety without breaking the bank, consider this set of 25 brushes in all shapes, sizes, and bristle types, most of which, with care, can be used with a range of media.

Not just for architects and draftspeople, a long straight-edge ruler has infinite uses in the studio, from guiding cutting knives to drawing long, straight lines.

ARTnews Recommends: Starrett Straight-Edge Aluminum Rule

Buy: Starrett Straight Edge Aluminum Rule – Ideal for Schools, Shops, Metal Workers and Wood Workers – 48″ Length, 2″ Width, 125″ Thickness, 1/8″, 1/16″ English – ASE-48 $24.47

Even on a student’s budget, there’s no excuse for not getting yourself a high-quality tool with Starrett’s durable, affordable, 48-inch-long, straight-edge ruler. Made from anodized aluminum, it has a hole for hanging, which is the best way to prevent warping.

Pair Your Straightedge with a Drafting Triangle (Again, Not Just for Draftspeople): Westcott C-Thru Professional Triangles

Westcott’s smoke-tinted professional-grade triangles feature beveled inking edges to prevent smears, and a cut-out center for easy lifting.

Helpful for jotting down notes, sketching out ideas, or even making presentations, notebooks come in a wide range of formats and sizes.

ARTnews Recommends:

Buy: Rhodia Rhodiarama Webnotebook – Lined 96 Sheets – 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 – Black Cover $23.36

If you know your notebooks, you know that Rhodia’s have a cult following—and for good reason. They are bound with high-quality, smooth European paper that is ideal for taking fountain pen ink. The legacy brand, in business since 1934, offers options in a wide range of formats and sizes, including this hardcover journal with a rigid faux-leather cover, inner pocket, and blank pages.

Budget Pick: Muji Recycled Paper Double-Ring Plain Notebook

Popular with architects, artists, and designers, Muji’s super-affordable spiral notebook is bound with 80 sheets of 8.3-by-5.8-inch blank recycled paper. Available in buff or dark grey.

Some artists still use single-edge razor blades, but we recommend something with a handle, for safety’s sake. A good utility knife should be one you want to reach for over and over again. Deploy it for general everyday tasks, like opening cardboard boxes and slicing tape, or more specialized projects in the studio, like cutting canvas panels or trimming fabrics. When choosing a knife, it’s important to think not only about sharpness but also comfort and security. We’ve done the research for you; check out our favorites below. 

ARTnews Recommends (For Heavy Work): Olfa Snap-Off Blade Utility Knife

The first thing to know about Olfa’s knife is that it’s loaded with an extremely sharp blade. Just one stroke is needed to slice smoothly thoroughly a cardboard box. The carbon steel metal also stays sharp for a very long time, but when you’re ready for a new one, simply snap off the blunt end to reveal a fresh edge: The knife is loaded with a long blade divided into eight 8mm sections. These are rigid, thin to provide precision, and highly resilient.

We Also Like (For Fine Work): X-Acto #1 Knife Set

No art or craft studio is complete without at least one X-Acto knife for precise cutting. X-Acto’s standard #1 knife is the go-to knife when it comes to finicky cutting, and this set comes with one handle plus three #11 blades, one #10, one #16, and one #17 blade.

Multipurpose artist’s tape is always useful. But you’ll also need a stronger tape for general use.

ARTnews Recommends (Artist’s Tape): Blick Artist Tape

Formulated with a positionable adhesive, this artist’s tape won’t leave residue or tear your paper. It’s also easy to write on and comes in six colors, making it ideal for labeling.

We Also Like (Gummed Tape): Kraft Paper Tape

Eco-friendly and forming a stronger, longer-lasting bond with cardboard than than plastic packing tape, water-activated gummed paper tape is gallery and museum preparators’ choice for packing art, as well as for sealing the backs of frames.

10. GLUE
Artists use many different types of adhesives, but here are two basics that every studio should have.

ARTnews Recommends (PVA): Lineco Neutral PH Adhesive

Polyvinyl acetate, or PVA, is just another term for white glue. A rubbery synthetic polymer with adhesive properties, polyvinyl acetate emulsion is PH neutral, water-soluble, and dries clear. It’s perfect for woodworking, bookbinding, handicrafts, and wallpapering. It’s also useful for sizing a porous medium such as canvas or wood or sealing a finished collage—just cover the surface in a layer of polyvinyl acetate. For projects using very thin paper, PVA can be diluted with one part water to three parts glue. For all these gluing, sealing, and priming tasks, PVA is handy to keep around. Lineco’s version is buffered and has excellent “lay flat” properties.

Another Option (Epoxy): Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy

Buy: Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy, 5 Minute Set, .85 Ounce Syringe, Clear, (Pack of 2) $11.17

It’s never a bad idea to keep epoxy in your home or studio. The most common consumer-grade epoxies are two-part epoxies, which keep the resin and hardener separate until it’s time to use them. For jobs that require you to hold the pieces together, a quick-set epoxy is the best choice. Gorilla’s dispenser is fitted with two syringes and a plunger that dispenses both liquids at once in equal amounts out of separate nozzles. The result is a clear, super-tough epoxy that sets in just five minutes and cures in about a day.

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a good pair of scissors. It’s nearly impossible to list all the various uses for a pair around the studio, but everyone knows the specific frustration of using dull, weak, or uncomfortable ones.

ARTnews Recommends: Kai 8-Inch Dressmaking Shears

Buy: Kai 5210 8-inch Dressmaking Shears (N5210) $14.25

Japanese scissors are supposed to be the best (thanks to the country’s long tradition of blade making), and Kai’s are ultrasharp and beautifully balanced. Plus, they’re comfortable to hold and come in versions for both right- and left-handed users.

Buy: N5210L 8 Inch Left Handed Scissors $12.49

Also a Good Option: Fiskars “The Original” 8-Inch Orange-Handled Scissors

Buy: Fiskars Original Orange-Handled Scissors – Ergonomically Contoured – 8″ Stainless Steel – Paper and Fabric Scissors for Office, Arts, and Crafts – Orange $9.42

“The Original” is in the name because just about everybody remembers when these orange scissors were ubiquitous fabric cutters in American households. They don’t feature soft grips or titanium-coated blades, but these industry standards prove that good design sometimes matters just as much as cutting edge (sorry) innovations.

Almost every artist, regardless of what medium/media he or she works with, will eventually need a set of common household tools. You never know when you may have to assemble a frame, hang a work of art, or nail an installation setup together.

ARTnews Recommends (For Household Use): Apollo Tools 39-Piece Hand Tool Set

Buy: APOLLO TOOLS Original 39 Piece General Household Tool Set in Toolbox Storage Case with Essential Hand Tools for Everyday Home Repairs, DIY and Crafts Red/Black – DT9706 $24.49

This kit features an 8-ounce claw hammer, pliers, tape measure, utility knife, bit driver plus 20 bits, screwdrivers, hex keys, scissors, and more, all in a compact storage case.

We Also Like (For Crafting): Garrett Wade 26-Piece Crafts Kit

This 26-piece basic kit includes all you need for small crafts work, including bench vise, hand vise, clamps, caliper, picks, probes, tweezers, flat and needle-nose pliers, and a polished mini steel anvil.

October Prime Day Deals for Artists from Walmart, Adorama, Blick, Best Buy, and Newegg Thu, 12 Oct 2023 00:09:01 +0000 If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Amazon’s second Prime Day event of the year started yesterday and runs through midnight PST tonight, with big discounts on tech devices for the home and studio. But you can also find deals at other retailers like Blick, Walmart, and Adorama, where we are seeing some great bargains on cameras, computers, and art supplies.

Related Articles


You’ll find exceptional deals at Adorama during their 48-Hour Flash Sale as well as Sony’s Adorama Days, through October 15.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Mirrorless Camera Body with Accessories Kit
Buy for $997.99 and save 33%

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II, which originally debuted in 2021 at $1,600 (body only), was designed for videographers (though it still takes great still photos). It has a 20.3MP sensor with AR coating, great autofocus, and image stabilization with Panasonic’s latest Venus Engine. It’s also capable of unlimited video recording in various settings and can record C4K/4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit without cropping, with simultaneous output over HDMI during internal recording. Additionally, this model can wirelessly live stream using the Panasonic’s Sync smartphone app supported by USB PD outdoors or indoors. It comes with an accessory kit that includes a Slinger shoulder bag, a 128GB Lexar memory card, and a Pro Optics LCD screen protector.

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera with Lens
Buy for $848.00 and save $150

Introduced in early 2019, this fantastic Sony mirrorless camera is capable, lightweight, and boasts a lot of features: It has a 24.2-megapixel image sensor (APS-C sized), it can shoot silently in burst mode at up to 8 frames per second, and it is capable of fast continuous shooting with autofocus and auto exposure at up to 11fps. It also comes with Sony’s powerful tracking features and Real-time Eye AF and can shoot 4K-resolution video clips. It comes with an accessory kit that includes a 32GB SanDisk memory card, Slinger camera bag, Pro Optics lens kit, and more. 


What’s nice about Walmart’s Deals for Days Holiday Kickoff sale is that appears to be open to all consumers, not just Walmart club members (or Walmart+ members). It runs through October 12, with up to 60% off on sale items.

Lenovo Ideapad 5 14-Inch 1080 Touchscreen Laptop with Windows 11 Home
Buy for $449.00 and save 46%

This Lenovo IdeaPad 5 has an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mobile processor with Radeon graphics. It also comes with 8GBs DDR4 RAM, a 512 GB NVMe TLC SSD drive for storage, and a 14-inch touchscreen display. 

Apple Watch SE (1st Gen) GPS, 44mm, Space Gray Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band-Regular
Buy for $149 and save 52%.

The main reason this version of the Apple Watch SE is so inexpensive is that it’s a discontinued model. But it is still an Apple watch, and it’s over 50% off.


We don’t know if Blick was looking to compete with Amazon (in point of fact, Blick’s everyday prices tend to be lower than Amazon’s Prime Day deal prices on art supplies), but they are currently running a Fall Cyber Deals sale, with impressive discounts on drawing and painting supplies, which ends tonight.

Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils, Set of 50
Buy for $50.00 and save 42%

Winsor & Newton’s highly pigmented wax-based pencils can be used as dry media or with water for painterly effects. This set includes a pad of paper and a brush.

Da Vinci Oil Brushes Wood Box Set
Buy for $95.25 and save 34%

This set includes four long-handled Da Vinci Grigio oil-painting brushes—a size 12 flat, a size 8 filbert, a size 8 flat, and a size 4 round, as well as a free painting cloth and brush soap. The brushes come in a wooden box, making this set an attractive gift for an oil painter.


Best Buy’s Flash Sale ends tomorrow!

Hercules Swivel Office Chair
Buy for $258.99 and save 26%

For those looking for a nice chair for their office or art studio, this office chair should fit the bill. It’s 44 x 29.5 x 29 inches, has an ergonomic design, and is adjustable. And it comes with a 2-year limited warranty. 

SanDisk 128GB iXpand Flash Drive Luxe for iPhone
Buy for $30.99 and save 53%

We love this little flash drive, which makes downloading or transfering files and photos from your iPhone a snap. The Lightning and USB-C connectors allow fast transfer speeds, and the automatic backup feature safeguards the content on your phone.


Newegg’s Fantastech II sale appears to run on until the end of 2023 with great deals on gaming devices and more.

ASUS Gaming Desktop ROG Strix GA15DK-DS776 with Windows 11 Home 64-bit
Buy for $1049.99 and save 44%

This Asus computer desktop is loaded with lots of great features. It comes with 16GB of RAM, so it won’t slow down, even if you have lots of apps open. Plus it has a 1TB SSD for storing media, which responds instantly without any lag. Also included: Windows 11 Home (64-bit). And now, it’s almost half off.

MSI 24-inch Computer Monitor
Buy for $119.99 and save 20%

This monitor offers full HD quality and is also an IPS grad panel, for less image distortion and minimal color shifts. In addition, it has a 170 Hz refresh rate, for smooth-looking footage when watching video with lots of action, a display port, and two HDMI ports.