Unless you’ve been sleeping under a palette, you’re probably aware that complex coloring—for relaxation, recreation, and reflection—has become incredibly popular among amateur artists of all ages. No longer confined to studios, artists can now be found everywhere—on the subway, in the carpool line at school, at the kitchen table, in the break room at work. Indeed, now that experimental art no longer belongs exclusively in grubby toddler paws, or well-trained professional fingers, there are hundreds of new tools available for artists at all levels—coloring books that facilitate meditative journeys, fine-line markers, watercolors whose radiant hues are matched only by those found in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or L. Frank Baum’s Oz.
Whether you’re searching for implements to inspire and encourage the young/young-at-heart hobbyist in your life, or are hoping to augment your own creative journey (because there’s nothing like cracking open a new tin of colored pencils!), we’re here to help. We’ve handpicked some of our favorite items available online—which will soon be featured at our dedicated Art Shops within select Barnes & Noble stores!
Seriously Fine Felt Tip Markers – Set of 36
Boasting a triangle-shaped barrel and an ultra fine .7 mm tip, these brilliant markers are long-lasting, ultra-bright, and ideal for complex adult illustration. When finding your bliss becomes serious, reach for these beautiful markers.
Watercolor Set in Tin Box – 44 pieces
Featuring 24 watercolor cakes, 10 watercolor tubes, three brushes, and four pencils, plus a palette, sharpener, and eraser, this beautifully packaged watercolor set has everything you need but the beret. It’s an incredible gift for the aspiring Van Gogh you probably already know.
Brush and Fine Point Markers – Set of 36
Offering less mess and more precision than their wet paint counterparts, these double-sided markers will quickly become go-to tools for any coloring enthusiast. Use the fine tip for details and the brush to mimic whimsical watercolor strokes. The water-based color is vibrant and cleans up easily—perfect for the artist on the go!
Pencil & Pastel Wooden Art Case – 54 pieces
This huge set contains everything you need to sketch, shade, sharpen, and repeat! Snap this serious case open and you’ll find a multitiered assortment of charcoal, colored pencils, and pastels to keep your favorite artist busy for hours. And since the hard case doubles as a lap desk, sketching is possible whenever and wherever inspiration strikes!
Manga Pitt Artist Pens – Set of 6
If manga illustration is right up your alley, these smudgeproof, vibrant colors will make each brush stroke a joy—and allow you to create durable art your great-great grandchildren will treasure. If your hobby has quickly become your passion, an investment in high-quality pens is essential. Pick up this set, and do what you love!
Let’s Tangle! The Art of Zentangle
There’s so much to love about this book. First, Zentangle, an art form that simultaneously inspires and unwinds us, is explained in a helpful step-by-step format, increasing accessibility and decreasing intimidation. Second, the gorgeous hardcover volume lies flat for irritation-free illustration, and, finally, there are multiple artistic contributions from experts in the form. Convinced yet? Start Zentangling today!
Colored Gel Pens – Set of 40
Imagine a hue or dream up a style—chances are this collection contains it. With 40 different shades, in metallic, neon, pastel, and glitter, there’s something here for every artist. The ink is smooth and durable, and perfect for crafts, coloring, and invitations, making it an ideal set for gifting or the perfect addition to your hobby drawer.
Acrylic Art Set with Canvas and Easel – 24 pieces
Turn a blank canvas into your very own masterpiece (or empower someone you love to do the same) for less than $30. Acrylic paints, pencils, brushes, and more accompany a sturdy easel—you supply the imagination!
Mini Wood Artist Model
If you’re beginning to study the human form, you can now put a feather in your beret—you’re an artist! This model is a perfectly proportional human, and fully articulated—and the miniature size makes it totally portable. Whether you’re on the train, at the library, or at home, just place the form in your chosen pose and get to work.
Graphite Pencil Sketch Set
Smooth sketching—with a hint of irrepressible sheen—is possible once again! This set of 10 pencils contains graphite in varying degrees of hardness, to accommodate line work as well as shading, and a sharpener and eraser are included just to make sketching life a little easier.