You have a budding artist whose dedication to her art is ready to bloom. Pick out gifts for teenage artists that make it easier to let her creativity shine.
With our current situation of teens looking for fun ways to spend their time at home, a creative outlet is just what might help them pass the time and develop their talent.
Pick out the best gifts for your teenage artists to unleash their creativity
Presenting your teenagers with a gift basket will show them how much you care about them and their mental health and stimulation. Everyone knows just how much creating something new can improve mental health and spark joy, plus add a sense of pride and a feeling of accomplishment.
As your favorite teenager’s dedication to her craft grows, you can help her invest in more professional level tools. For now, allow her to test her creativity with these art tools. Here are some ideas of the best gifts for teenage artists and a list of essential resources to help get them started.
Drawing Gifts for Teenage Artists
Graphite Pencils for sketching
For artists who love to draw, a set of premium professional-grade sketching pencils is a must.
Look for pencils made of high-quality leads in a range of grades from hard 6H to versatile HB and soft 4B. The different grades of lead/hardness will decide the intensity of the line that is drawn.
There are artist erasers designed for different tasks.
Kneaded rubber is useful for erasing colored pencil, pastel, graphite, and charcoal and easily molds to fit the size and shape of the area to be erased.
An ArtGum eraser helps erase and dry clean the erased surface by absorbing graphite and dirt.
The Latex-free-plastic eraser easily removes pencil marks for many surfaces and is a clean eraser material.
Pastels can be extremely satisfying with their rich tones and smooth application for creating illustrations or for coloring. When looking for pastels you highly pigmented chalks that deliver rich color saturation. Some pastels can be used wet or dry to achieve different results. Pastels that can either be sharpened to a fine point or can be dulled for fuller color coverage are the most versatile. You also want a set of pastels that are rich and creamy to allow for easy blending and shading.
A versatile set of archival quality pigma ink pens allow your artist to use them for cartooning, illustrations, scrapbooking, journaling, bullet journals, fabric projects and for rubber stamp and other paper arts.
The archival quality will mean the ink is waterproof and face and chemical resistant for long-lasting art. Look for ink that does not feather, smear, or bleed through most surfaces when dry.
Choose a set with many tip sizes and styles including brush tip, graphic, and micron.
Nicely pigmented alcohol-based art markers are useful for freestyling, shading, layering and blending. Ideal for all types of illustrating including cartooning, anime, fashion sketches, manga, and architecture.
An alcohol-based ink can be used on paper, glass, plastic, and wood. Good quality, versatile art markers will be doubled sided with a fine tip for detail work and lettering, and a chisel tip for broad thick lines.
A colorless blending pen allows you to blend marker colors into each other for a smooth transition.
Paper for Teenage Artists
A sketchbook of quality thick drawing paper is essential for artists to create with dry media. For budding artists, a sketchbook like this is good quality for practice and learning to perfect their techniques.
When looking for watercolor paper, the most popular and versatile is a cold press textured paper. These can be used with watercolor, pen and ink, marker, acrylic, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, and pencil.
A good watercolor paper will have a durable enough surface to withstand multiple washes of color and is a cold press textured paper.
When the occasion calls for a high-grade paper for your artist’s next finished masterpiece, she can use 80lb drawing paper rather than a 60lb sketch paper. These thicker paper can withstand repeated erasing and perfecting without tearing.
A medium surface paper readily accepts pencil, charcoal, and sketching sticks, soft pastel, oil pastel, marker, and pen and ink. A smooth surface, with a non-reflective finish, is especially suited for the line drawing and technical detail work your teenage artist will master with practice and dedication.
Painting Supplies for Teenage Artists
If your teenage artist is into painting, the following tools will help her create her own artist’s studio to inspire masterpiece after masterpiece.
Traditional oil paints were difficult to work with, tough to clean up, and involved the need to work with harmful solvents. These oil paints are developed to appear and work just like conventional oil color but are water-soluble to allow the painter to thin the oil paint with water. Plus, for grateful moms everywhere, easy to clean up with water.
Coloring Gifts for Teenage Artists
Coloring books are quickly becoming a therapeutic activity for both accomplished artists and those of us who cannot draw a stick figure to satisfaction.
Colored pencils featuring soft cores are the best choice for blending, shading, and layering. Art pencils with rich pigments and quality thick and durable leads are the best for both coloring books and for coloring in your own creations, allowing for forceful lines, delicate blends and smooth shadows without worrying about fracturing the lead core.
Your teenage artist will love these premium rich colored pencils.
Watercolor pencils are similar to their art colored pencil cousins with the added versatility of using a brush with water to blend and create dreamy liquid effects or left dry for sharp details.
The number and variety of coloring books available could be a post of it’s own. For now, just know that for artists a low-pressure release is to simply to enjoy coloring. Here are a couple of nice choices teenagers may like.
Sculpting for Teenage Artists
If your teenage artist loves to get her hands moving on with the cool art of sculpting but doesn’t have access to a pottery wheel or a fire kiln, then she may enjoy creating sculptures and art with modeling clay and sculpting tools.
Modeling clay is a product that stays moist when wrapped in plastic, but will harden in 24 hours when left out to air dry. Malleable by hand and works perfectly with the sculpting tools above.
Paper Craft Arts for Teenage Artists
When you are looking for gifts for your teenage artist do not overlook paper crafts like scrapbooking and rubber stamp art. There are entire sections of dedicated to these art forms and supplies in every hobby and art store.
Scrapbooking (memory-making) and stamp art allow the creative juices to flow wild for those artsy teenagers that may not be able to draw well but love to create with art media.
Using a stamp and ink allows artists to embellish and reinterpret art in the way they want to express it. Similar to a coloring book, rubber stamp art can use paint, watercolors, colored pencils, and more to color in between the lines. But then also take the art off the page and into multidimensional art.
The world of paper crafts is so vast. Incidentally, this is a great activity you and your teenager can take on together. A great way to spend some mother-daughter bonding time. Look for a post coming soon on Scrapbooking and Paper Arts for Teenagers here at Laboy Joy.
Electronic/Graphic Arts for Teenage Artists
Let’s not forget the other media of your child’s creative artistic ability. When your kid is on the go and cannot bring their tools with them, they may be able to get their sketching, drawing, coloring, and animation practice with one of my favorite gifts for teenage artists, an iPad Pro.
These devices are absolutely multi-purpose, but one of the many “advantages” of an iPad is to be able to unleash its full creative potential. One of the best drawing apps is the Procreate App that uses an Apple Pencil.
If you live near an Apple Store be sure to have your teenager attend a Today at Apple Session featuring the Procreate App and iPad Pros. They will surely get some new tips or techniques out of it.
Truly the ultimate gift for the teenage artists that is into graphic arts. Developing their graphic artist talents could really pay dividends for your teen in the years to come. That rare talent could translate into many different profitable career choices as adults.
Incidentally, if you are a MacBook Mama, check out this post for you.
Investing in tools for your teenage artist is a smart investment for the future
When given the space and time, teenagers’ minds and hearts can create beautiful pieces of art. This year above all others, surprise your teenager with a gift of the art tools she needs to unleash her artistic potential and move her heart through her art. She will love you for thinking of her, and you will thank yourself for nurturing her creative side.
Art is a hobby your teenager can nurture and rely on for comfort and enrichment for the rest of her life.
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Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.