Packed with an array of tools you will need to create your next masterpiece. Allows artists to broaden their horizons with an eclectic mix of acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints. Fully equipped with brushes, canvas boards and palette knives. Sturdy case is great for travel.
If your preferred medium is charcoal, graphite, or pen, this probably isn’t for you.
This comprehensive 162-piece box comes well-organized in a wooden box. A generous supply of pencil crayons, watercolor paints, and pastels, provides opportunity for unlimited artistic experimentation and expression. A great gift for beginners or older children.
Experienced artists unlikely to be satisfied by the reduced richness of color and overall quality.
Includes drawing, acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints. Each kit includes an instruction booklet and an array of handy tools to help you get started. Reasonable price makes it possible to try out a number of different artistic media. Compact wood carry case is conveniently portable.
Appropriate sketch pads or painting paper not included.
Graphite, charcoal, and pastel pencils make it easier to render fine details. Willow sticks and blending stumps help achieve smooth texture and tone for larger areas. Professional kit that offers everything from a pencil extender to an art knife. Zippered case for portability.
If you like to experiment with color, consider purchasing additional pastels.
With crayons, short colored pencils, and markers, parents laud the variety in a small, portable carrying case that doubles as a lap desk for road trips and living rooms alike. Case can be stocked with different supplies if needed. Great for young artists in training.
Case may fall apart with rough handling and extended use. Does not include paints or graphite pencils.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you’re a long-time artist or you’ve always wanted to pick up a drawing habit, choosing art supplies can be time-consuming and confusing. With the endless variety of pencils, paints, erasers, and other drawing materials available, how does one choose? An art set simplifies everything. These sets include an assortment of drawing and painting tools that cater to every experience level.
Before you add an art set to your cart, it would be useful to consider some factors. Is this art set for an absolute beginner? If so, you might search for one that comes with a drawing guide with expert tips. Some art sets are meant for drawing only, while others include both drawing and painting tools. And, of course, you’ll want everything in a neat, attractive box.
All artists, aspiring or veteran, must have a good-quality art set. But a beginner can be intimidated by a 180-piece kit. In that case, beginners should lean toward sets that include a drawing booklet for reference. You may also want a smaller art set, with no more than 60 pieces. That should be plenty to master the basics, play around, and figure out the drawing techniques you like before you move on to a more comprehensive kit. Veteran artists already know their style and will have an easier time deciding on a set. While experts can certainly benefit from a 145-piece set, there’s no harm in choosing a simpler model, too.
Drawing: Of all the art-making tools, the pencil is the most utilitarian and common. Chances are you’ve already used a No. 2 pencil for doodles in the margins of your notes or for quick sketches in lieu of an art set. Here are some of the drawing tools an art set might contain:
Painting: If you know that you want to stick with paint, then a painting set isn’t a bad idea. Some of these include a mini palette and arrive in a wooden box that can be turned into an easel.
Multimedia: Whether you’re a multimedia artist or you want to dabble, a multimedia art set can cover all your needs. Many of these sets contain graphite pencils, colored pencils, watercolors and/or acrylic paints, a pencil sharpener, one or two erasers, and a miniature palette.
Container: Art sets include dozens of pieces, so it's imperative to have a sturdy container that keeps your things in order. Many painting or multimedia sets arrive in a wooden box, and some boxes turn into a desktop easel. If you anticipate traveling with your art set or sketching or painting outdoors, a container with a handle is especially useful. Some more streamlined sets come in a zippered case that you can easily toss in your bag or backpack.
Sketchbook: If you’re particular about the paper you use, you may already have a sketchbook on hand. For those who aren’t, it’s always helpful to get an art kit that includes one. Sketchbooks aren’t a given with all art sets, so be sure to check carefully. Sketchbooks aren’t terribly expensive, and art supply and craft stores have a wide selection.
Art sets range in price from $10 to $150, with most sets in the $10 to $50 range.
Inexpensive: As with many things, when it comes to art sets, you get what you pay for. An art set in the $10 to $15 range is a great gift for kids and a small investment for you. However, someone who’s worked with high-quality pencils and paints will immediately notice the diminished quality, especially if the art set contains 80 or more pieces.
Mid-range: Art sets that cost between $15 and $25 are a step up in terms of quality. You can find a compact set of drawing pencils or acrylic paints at this price point.
Expensive: If you’re looking for a quality art set with over 100 pieces, $25 to $50 is the sweet spot. These sets will likely arrive in a nice wooden box. The higher the price point, the higher the quality and more comprehensive the components.
Premium: Over $50 is the price category for artists who know what they’re doing. Professional-quality pens, pastels, and paints aren’t cheap. Many of these sets can be transformed into a desktop easel, too.
Q. Do art materials expire?
A. Different materials have different shelf lives, but a well-kept art kit can last a few years. Just remember to store the set in a cool, dry place and avoid dropping the materials.
Q. Are art sets nontoxic?
A. Not all kits are nontoxic. Oil paints, for example, should be used in an open and well-ventilated space. Most of our recommended art kits don’t include oil paints, however. Acrylic paints are non-toxic when used for conventional painting. Check the kit’s ingredients and labels to be sure.
Q. Are art sets suitable for children?
A. Yes, there are sets suitable for children, grandchildren, or prized art students. Just check the materials to make sure they’re nontoxic. Also note that art kits contain small pieces, therefore they’re not suitable for children under age three.