When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- The best art supplies can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a lot to get good materials.
- We’ve rounded up the best essential and beginner art supplies you can buy online.
- Our list includes pencils, pastels, watercolors, paint sets, sketchbooks, canvases, and more.
As someone who’s been drawing since I could hold a pencil, I’ve gone through my fair share of graphite pencils, sketchbooks, and paint sets. I’ve tried dozens of different brands over the years, and some are still my favorites.
Whether you’ve been painting for years, are going to art school soon, or just want to drawing for the first time, you need quality art supplies. And while professional artists can use expensive supplies to create their masterpieces, you don’t necessarily have to shell out for the fanciest pastels or canvases.
In fact, there are plenty. more affordable options that may serve you just as well, if you know how to use them to your advantage. To help you, we’ve put together a handy guide to many of the basic art supplies you need in your studio.
Learn more about how Insider Reviews reviews and researches hobby-related products.
Here are the best art supplies you can buy:
The best sketchbook: Strathmore Sketchbooks, $12.76 from Amazon
Strathmore makes excellent sketchbooks with all kinds of papers including drawing, watercolour, pastel, charcoal etc.
The best graphite pencils: Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Set, $12.82 from Amazon
Staedtler comes with all the graphite pencils you need to draw like a pro.
Best Charcoal: Cretacolor Charcoal Drawing Set, $29.41 from Blick
The Cretacolor Charcoal Drawing Kit contains all the types of charcoal you need to create beautiful works.
The best colored pencils: Prismacolor Premium Art Set, $46.99 from Amazon
The Prismacolor quality art set includes 48 color-rich colored pencils.
Best erasers: Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum and plastic erasers, $2.48 from Blick
Premier will erase any mistakes you make.
The best pastels: Sennelier, $45.17 from Amazon
Sennelier makes the best oil and soft pastels, but Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor and Prismacolor are good alternatives.
The best watercolors: Winsor & Newton, $36.88 from Amazon
Winsor & Newton make wonderful watercolor paints and sets, while Derwent make excellent watercolor pencils.
The best acrylic paints: Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint 12 Tube Set, $23.79 from Amazon
Winsor & Newton 2190517 Galeria Acrylic Paint Set of 10 Tubes is a great starter kit for painting.
The best oil paintings: Winsor & Newton, $19.99 from Blick, Gamblin, $88.50 from Blick, and Williamsburg Handmade, $10.28 from Blick
Oil paintings represent very different prices to suit all budgets.
The best brushes: Da Vinci, $12.95 from Blick
Da Vinci makes excellent brushes for watercolour, acrylic and oil painting.
Best Canvas: Fredrix, $120.57 from Blick
Fredrix makes good canvases, and it’s almost always cheaper to stretch your own canvas than to buy pre-made ones.