If you're looking for gift ideas for the artist in your life, here's a list of 10 favorites that are sure to bring a smile to their face this holiday season.
1. Strathmore Art Journals
We've got a wide selection of art journals that come in hardbound, softcover, and wirebound format. The range of paper types allows you to select which journal best suits the artist's style and preferred mediums.
Hardbound Art Journals:
These journals have a lightly-textured, durable matte hard cover. They’re super sturdy and will stand up to lots of use. Find them in Sketch, Toned Tan, Toned Gray, Mixed Media, Recycled Drawing, and Watercolor.
Softcover Art Journals:
These flexible, lightweight journals have a rich, velvety softcover. They are lightweight and come in convenient, portable sizes that make them great for travel. Find them in Sketch, Drawing, Toned Tan, Toned Gray, Mixed Media and Watercolor.
All of our hardbound and softcover art journals are made with durable smyth-sewn binding that allows pages to lay flatter.
Wirebound Art Journals:
Our Wirebound Art Journals have a durable matte hard cover and come with wire binding which allows them to lay open completely flat. Select from Watercolor, Sketch, Drawing and Black Drawing paper.
2. Strathmore 400 Series Sketchbooks
Our 5.5" x 8.5" 400 Series Sketchbooks are a perfect option for artists on the go. They're a great travel size and a classic choice that you can't go wrong with for any type of artist. Choose from either our 400 Series Sketch or 400 Series Recycled Sketch, both with 100 sheets for lots of drawing, sketching and idea capturing.
3. Strathmore Toned Sketch or Toned Mixed Media pads
Toned papers in both Tan and Gray have become top favorites among all types of artists. The mid-tone background saves time for the artist because they don't need to render the middle color values themselves like you would on a traditional white sheet of paper. They're perfect for both light and dark media. Artists can push highlights and shadows to make dimensional drawings that stand out.
Toned Sketch papers come in spiral-bound pads and are great sketchbook options for dry media.
Toned Mixed Media papers are heavier-weight sheets that are great for both wet media and dry media, and are the perfect option for finished artwork.
4. Strathmore Learning Series pads
For the budding artist, our Learning Series pads integrate quality art paper with both printed step-by-step instruction and video-based instruction developed by professional art instructors. This blended learning approach enables artists to follow the directions included for each lesson in the Learning Series pads. It also allows you to see how these talented professional artists create each piece of art in the pad through step-by-step instructions.
Learning Series topics include:
5. Strathmore Artist Trading Cards
The perfect stocking stuffers! Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are 2.5" x 3.5" packs of fine art papers that come in a variety of paper types. What do you do with them? Create artwork on ATCs, then trade your mini work of art with another artist. Choose from Bristol, Canvas, Acrylic, Textured, Watercolor, Illustration Board, Bamboo and Black Board ATCs. We also have mini envelopes and ATC sleeves to go with them.
6. Strathmore 300 Series Bristol pads
For finished artwork, this high quality Bristol weight board comes in two surfaces. Smooth is rated very good for mechanical drawing, marker, airbrush and pen & ink. Vellum is rated very good for graphite pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, sketching stick, mixed media, airbrush and oil pastel.
Bristol papers provide a stiff, strong surface to work on without the need for mounting. Bristol generally describes drawing paper that is pasted together to form multi-ply sheets. We recommend it as a go-to gift for any artist. It's one of our most popular surfaces because of the quality of the sheet, the affordable price, and the many ways it can be used.
7. Metallic Sketch Journals
Our new Metallic Sketch Journals make great gifts for any artist. They contain a fine-tooth sketch paper for dry media artwork and come in hammered copper and brushed silver covers. They are lightweight, affordable and travel well.
8. Strathmore Greeting Cards
We carry a wide selection of paper types in blank greeting card format. They're perfect for artists who sell their cards online, enjoy sharing their artistic talents with others, and like to keep the time-honored tradition of handwritten correspondence alive.
9. Strathmore Writing Pads & Journals
To celebrate thoughtful communication, the timeless art of calligraphy, and the physical act of putting tangible ink to beautiful paper, we offer a full line of high-quality writing products featuring classic Strathmore Writing® paper. The wide range of formats allows artists and writers to share special and meaningful communication with others or keep their own personal chronicles.
Available in Strathmore Writing Pads & Envelopes, Flat & Folded Correspondence Cards, and Hardbound & Softcover Journals. All Strathmore Writing papers perform beautifully with a broad range of ink varieties and writing instruments, including fountain pens.
10. Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media pad
If you're not sure what type of paper is right for the artist in your life, we suggest our 400 Series Mixed Media. This paper combines the characteristics of watercolor paper with the finish of a drawing sheet, creating the ultimate paper for combined mediums. Nearly all types of mediums work beautifully on this paper, making it a versatile sheet for any artist.
In general, the biggest difference between sketch and drawing paper is that Sketch paper is intended for practicing, experimenting, and quick studies, while drawing paper is intended for finished artwork.
Charcoal Sketch on 300 Series Sketch Paper
Graphite on 300 Series Drawing paper - Artwork by Wanda White
Sketch paper is often lighter weight, while drawing paper is conversely a bit heavier in weight. With drawing papers typically being heavier, the artist is able to work on the sheet longer and refine work. The paper can usually stand up to more erasing and more fine detail work.
Sketch paper is typically less expensive, giving you lots of sheets to practice with in your pad. Drawing paper typically will be a bit more expensive than Sketch paper and will usually contain fewer sheets in a pad.
Both sketch and drawing papers are intended for use with dry media such as graphite, charcoal and conte. However, drawing papers typically have a toothier surface, allowing for enhanced variability of tone. Many artists reserve mediums like pastels and colored pencils for drawing paper versus sketch paper since those are typically intended for finished art and the deeper tooth of a drawing paper allows artists to get more depth of color. The toothier surface of a drawing sheet is better for “grabbing” dry media, which allows an artist to create more intense areas of light and dark than what could be achieved on a sketch surface. An artist will also see different results when using various shading techniques such as cross hatching, using a blending stump, or other methods, so it's best to test out different papers and see what your own individual preferences are.
The image on the left below was drawn with graphite on Strathmore 200 Series Sketch paper. The same image was recreated with the same graphite pencil on Strathmore 500 Series Drawing paper. The 200 Series Sketch paper is lighter weight and has a fine tooth surface, while the 500 Series Drawing paper is heavier weight with a medium tooth surface. Darker tones can be achieved on the sheet with the deeper tooth, and a more detailed, crisp drawing can be achieved.
The chart below shows the main differences between sketch and drawing papers.
Strathmore has a range of both Sketch and Drawing papers in many sizes and formats including pads, sheets, art journals, and rolls.
Click here to see all of our Sketch Papers
Click here to see all of our Drawing Papers
Our most popular sketch product is our 100 sheet 400 Series Sketch Pad in the 9”x12” size (item #455-3). It is 60lb (89gsm), and is a high-quality sketch paper with a hard surface, good sheet formation, and the durability to stand up to a lot of use.
Our most popular drawing product is our 24 sheet 400 Series Drawing Pad in the 18”x24” size (item #400-8). The paper is 80lb (130gsm) and comes in a buttery cream color. It’s great with all types of dry media and is an excellent choice for creating finished artwork. It has a tough, durable surface that stands up to repeated erasures and reworking.