Holiday Gift Guide: Sketch Box

Santa_Blue_Pkg._2s_Fabian_QSince it’s the time of year when holiday shopping is in full gear, it seems like a good time to come up with some great gift ideas for artists. This is the first in a series of posts to help any of you with artist-types on your holiday shopping lists!


This gift guide includes everything I recommend to include in a Sketch Box. This box will be filled with some of the basic sketching tools your artist friend will need when they are ready to make that next big idea come to life! Great for artists of all ages and levels, especially beginners, these tools are perfect to set any artist on the right path.

The Box: First, find a great looking box at your local craft or art supply store, or found at home. Feel free to personalize the box with favorite photos, glitter or other decorations. The box can be of medium size, something portable but large enough to hold a variety of tools. Once you’ve settled on the box, it’s time to fill it up.

Sketchbook: There are many different sizes and styles of sketchbooks, and like most things, many artists have a preference. (I like all my sketchbooks to be spiral bound at the top of the pages.) Not sure of the size, company or style? Perhaps the easiest solution is to choose a pocket-size version so your artist can carry it with them wherever they go, and fit it in their box.

Pencils: Gather different types of pencils in a variety of different thickness/style numbers: 2H, HB, 4B, etc. This can be accomplished by choosing pencils individually or as a set. Feel free to also include funny pencils from your favorite department store, with sayings or pictures on them or funny toppers.

I prefer to sketch with mechanical pencils. My favorite one costs less than $1.50 each, but of course there are many types. I like having a bunch of them on hand, and I seem to have them everywhere — in my studio, my purse, living room — wherever I might be so I can sketch at any time.

Colored Pencils: On a related pencil topic, being able to shade in sketches with color is also helpful. So add some color pencils to the box for this purpose. Colored pencils are sold in packs or individually, and it’s nice to have a wide range of colors to choose from.

Erasers: Erasers are another one of those items that often seem to go missing, so it’s good to have extras on hand. There are a variety of different types of erasers artists use, and a quick browse through the eraser aisle at an art supply store will have plenty of options. I prefer the Pentel Clic erasers, which allow the erasers to be slid in and out of a plastic tube so it stays clean when not in use.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens: At less less than $2.50 each, these pens are a great addition to any artist’s tool kit. They are permanent markers with different tip point sizes and can be used for sketching, drawing and finished line work. Unlike your regular Sharpies, however, these pens come in very fine tipped points and are made with artists in mind for just this purpose.

Gather all these items into your box, wrap it up, and your artist will be ready to sketch up a storm! For some gift ideas for artists looking to organize their art studio, check in next week.

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