Recently, I asked what you would like to see more on the blog, and one thing that jumped out was more posts on supplies! So with the holidays (and Black Friday!) right ‘round the corner, I thought I’d put together a holiday gift guide for lettering artists. Whether you’re just starting out or have been at this for a while, I got you covered!
(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and purchase something, I make a small commission — but you still pay the same amount!)
Of course, one holiday gift guide won’t cover everyone, so I made three.
- The Beginner’s Lettering Kit, for those of you looking to start or to induct your friends into the wonderful
- The Advanced Lettering Kit, for lettering artists who have been at it for a while and want to upgrade their gear
- The Paint Lover’s Lettering Kit, for those who love to work with real brushes and paints
Hopefully these holiday gift guides help you pick gifts for your friends and yourself! Of course, you could be like me — I just sent curated a holiday gift guide for myself and sent it to my boyfriend with a note saying, “These are things I think are nice. In case you were wondering what to get for me.”
(Yes, I’m shameless like that! I always say better an expected gift you love and will use than a surprise gift that will only collect dust.)
So without further ado, let’s get to the different holiday gift guides so you can curate your own!
The Beginner’s Lettering Kit
- Artline Stix! They are the cheaper cousin of Tombow Dual Brush Pens, and their tips stay firm for longer. If you can’t find them near you, Emma over at Black Chalk Collective is selling them online now.
- Tombow Fudenosuke pens — both hard tip and soft tip — are must-haves for budding lettering artists. They are the best for writing small! You’ll probably prefer one over the other at first. They’re a good barometer for what firmness you’d like in your pens.
- Rhodia dot pads. I adore Rhodia paper. It’s crazy smooth so your brush pens don’t fray as quickly. Alternatively, you can get a ream or five of #32 paper.
- Brushes! Duh, right? We’re doing brush lettering! The Pentel Aquash Water Brushes are perfect for mess-free lettering.
- Watercolor palette. Obviously, if you need a medium for your brushes to work with! I use a palette from Jovi, which is pretty similar to the Artist’s Loft palette.
- Lastly, a phone tripod! If you (or your friend) is a social media person, a mini phone tripod is essential to film lettering videos.
The Advanced Lettering Kit
- 96-piece Tombow Dual Brush Pens set. I’ve about 20 of these, but seeing people with the full set on Instagram makes me green with envy! I adore the colour range available with these brush pens.
- Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolours. This is many levels up from the Artist Loft palette, and it is absolutely gorgeous. You can use it for both brush and pointed pen calligraphy.
- 300gsm watercolour paper. As I started adding illustration and washes to my lettering, I found that the thin Rhodia paper doesn’t hold up very well. Instead, I use the Canson Aquarelle pads for illustrated lettering designs. The paper is heavy and fairly smooth.
- SliderWriter. If you’re like me and have problems writing in a straight line, a SliderWriter would be the perfect gift. Here’s how it works: you clip your paper on the clipboard, then turn on the laser and slide it to the position you need. The laser will provide a line for you to write on — a line you don’t have to erase. Bye pencil lines!
- Diva Ring Light. I admit, this one is pretty steep. But if you work crazy hours with only evenings to film, and you’re getting serious about lettering — especially as a business — you may want to get one to improve your lighting for photos and videos. There are alternatives, of course, but the Diva Ring Light is popular for a reason.
The Paint Lover’s Lettering Kit
- Finetec Mica Artist Watercolours. This is a big favourite for metallic colours! They have a metallics palette, as well as a dedicated golds palette.
- Prima Marketing Metallic Accents watercolours. I recently found out about these and while their colour tones aren’t as natural as the Finetec, they do look very pigmented!
- Prima Marketing Confections Pastel Dreams watercolours. Another recent discovery is this pastel palette. As someone who mixes her own pastels a lot, it would be a dream to save on my white paint with this palette!
- Gouache. For lettering on dark surfaces, gouache is the way to go. I adore my tubes from Daler-Rowney. I think of it as solid watercolours. It is nowhere as chunky as acrylic paint, but still dries solid. They also carry metallic colours!
- Masking fluid. Not strictly paint, but something that all people who love paint should try at least once — or five times! I love experimenting with masking fluid to create new designs. Just remember to use an old brush and wash it out quickly!
- Liquid Watercolours. I use Ecoline and I adore them. The colours are really vibrant and you can also use them as ‘ink’ for your water brushes.
- Paint brushes. Most of us start with a small-sized synthetic round paintbrush at most. Maybe three. But having different sizes and types — maybe a flat brush? — will allow you to create different styles! Plus it helps to have variety if you’re going to be painting illustrations as well.
Did this holiday gift guide post help you form your shopping list?
Let me know in the comments below if I missed anything vital!