Supplies, Tools and Tech for Artists & Crafters

Welcome to my art supplies & tech for artists page!

Here I’ve compiled my personal list of the very finest art supplies, computers and other technology, books, online resources, and more – the best and most useful artist tools of all kinds for both traditional and digital art. 

💡 Please note: This article may include affiliate links. When you buy through those links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Table of Contents

This page will include lots of my own favorite products, the ones I absolutely love and use every day in my work.

It will also include other art tools, books and resources I have tried and thoroughly tested and found to be really great and really useful, as well as many recommendations from friends, colleagues and guest artists whom I’ve interviewed on my site’s (Art Side of Life) podcasts.

…and a lot more!

As you may already know, the Art Side of Life Blog also has many, many buyer’s guides, with a wider range of reviews and suggestions for specific types of art tools, and wherever it makes sense I will include links to those articles. But here, on this Resources Page, you will find the best of the best – my personally curated and approved list of the greatest artist tools and resources available today. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for that special artist in your life, you might also want to check out my new buyer’s guide – Best Gifts for Artists!

Best Tech for Artists – Laptops, Tablets, Printers, Scanners​

This section answers the following questions:

Best Laptops for Artists

Best MacBook for Artists
2021 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD

Colors: Space Gray | Silver


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Affordable MacBook
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch with M1 Chip

Best value MacBook for digital art

13.3 Inch Retina Display :: Apple M1 Chip with 8 core CPU, 8 Core GPU :: 8GB High Speed RAM :: 256GB SSD :: WiFi 6 :: 2 Thunderbolt Connectors



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Lean and Powerful
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 15" Touch-Screen

CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 5 3580U or AMD Ryzen™ 7 3780U

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): Radeon Vega 9 or RX Vega 11


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Affordable
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go - 12.4" Touchscreen

CPU: 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor 1035G1

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): Intel UHD Graphics


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Standalone Tablets for Artists

Best iPads for Artists

My Pick
NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


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Affordable Pick
NEW Apple iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)

10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide color

64GB | 256GB



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My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with Latest iPad Pro, Air and Mini


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Best Windows Drawing Tablets for Artists

Professional Pick
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2

Best Professional Standalone Drawing Tablet

13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: The Professional Artist Choice :: Top-Tier Performance and Quality


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Best Microsoft Standalone Tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

12.3" Touch-Screen

Intel Core i5; 8GB RAM Memory - 256GB SSD


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For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Plug-in Drawing Tablets for Artists

With Screen
Wacom Cintiq Pro 24

Creative Pen Display – 4K Graphic Drawing Monitor with 8192 Pen Pressure and 99% Adobe RGB


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My Pick
HUION Kamvas Pro 24 4K

NEWEST MODEL: UHD Graphics Drawing Tablet, Full-Laminated Screen Anti-Glare Glass 140% sRGB - Battery-Free Stylus 8192 Pen Pressure and KD100 Wireless Express Key, 23.8 Inch


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Best Pen Display Tablet
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen

13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and Animation Students and Beginners


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Without Screen
Wacom Intuos Pro

Screen size: Large

Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Large, New Model

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Graphics Pen Tablet
Huion Inspiroy H1161 Graphics Drawing Tablet

Screen size: Large

8192 Pen Pressure with Battery-Free Stylus 10 Shortcut Keys,Compatible with Chromebook, Android, Windows and Mac


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Printers and Scanners for Artists

High Quality
Epson Artisan 1430 Wireless Color Printer

Printer Type: Inkjet Color Printer

Maximum Paper Size: 9 x 13 Inches

Resolution: 2400 x 4800 DPI



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My Pick
Canon Pixma Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer

Airprint and Mobile Device Printing | Ambient Light Correction | 8-ink dye based ChromaLife100+ system | Borderless prints up to 13x19 inches

Model in the UK / Germany - Pro-100S

If it's out of stock, get Pro-200 instead


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My Pick - Best Image Quality
Epson Perfection V850 Flatbed Color Scanner

Very High Resolution :: Incredible Color Accuracy and Depth :: Great Black & White and Grayscale Scanning Maximum Resolution 4800 x 6400 DPI


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Best Large Format Art Scanner
Epson Expression 12000XL-GA Flatbed Scanner

Large Format Flatbed Scanner (>12” x 17”, A3+) :: Excellent Resolution :: Great Color Accuracy and Depth :: Superb Range of Light :: Perfect for Large Artwork


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Software and Apps for Artists

There are lots and lots of software programs out there, for beginners or seasoned veterans, for every kind of art process, and at every price level from free to ridiculous, but here is a very short list of the apps I know and love.

Best Art Supplies for Artists – Paints, Brushes, Pencils, Pens, Markers, Paper

This section answers the following questions:

Best Pencils for Artists

Best Drawing and Sketching Pencils

Palomino Blackwing 3 Pencils Set

Legendary Blackwings in a basic set - wonderful to use!



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Tombow MONO Drawing Pencil Set

Assorted Degrees, 12-Pack. Professional Quality Graphite Pencil Set with Eraser and Sharpener


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Best Mechanical Pencils for Artists

Best Colored Pencils for Artists

Best Erasers for Artists

My Pick for Vinyl Eraser
Tombow MONO Zero Pen-Style Eraser

My favorite vinyl eraser - Clean, effective and incredibly controllable, for doing the most demanding and precise work easily - almost ridiculously useful!

Refill Round Tip + Square Tip + 4 Refills (Black Barrel)


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Prismacolor Magic Rub Eraser

Wonderful, versatile and cheap; 12 per pack



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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Pens for Artists

Best Fountain Pens for Artists

My Favorite
Faber-Castell E-motion EF Fountain Pen - Pure Silver

A truly premium and compelling pen that is luxurious and perfectly finished and feels just amazing in your hand. My favorite fountain pen!

High-quality stainless steel nib in width M (medium)

Equipped with a cartridge/converter system


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Affordable
Kaweco Al Sport Raw M Fountain Pen

Medium Nib Fountain Pen

Pleasant, soft feeling. A really special fountain pen, with an amazing look and a perfect design for writing and drawing. Not expensive, but just lovely in every way.


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rOtring ArtPen Fountain Pen

ArtPen, Sketch, Extra-Fine Nib for Lettering Drawing and Writing


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Best Fineliners for Artists

Copic Multiliner Pigment Liners

Copic Markers 9-Piece Multiliner Inking Pen Set B-2, Black


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Staedtler Pigment Liner Fineliner Pen Set

Staedtler Pigment Liner black fineliner pens, full professional 12 pieces artist drawing technical drafting sets


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Affordable
Sakura Pigma Micron Pigment Liners Pen Set (Black Ink)

Best Budget Calligraphy Pen Sets

Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Set of 8


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Best Brush Pens for Artists

Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Color Markers for Artists

Copic Marker 72-Piece Sketch Set

A wide selection of colors for full expressive possibilities, perfect for the working commercial artist or serious fine artist 


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Best Acrylic Paint Markers
uni Posca 29 Color Medium Tip Acrylic Paint Pen Set

Full range Bundle Set , Mitsubishi Poster Colour ALL COLOR Marking Pen Medium Point ( PC-5M ) 29 Colours ( 22 Standard & 7 Natural )


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Ink for Artists

Kuretake ZIG Sumi Ink

ZIG Cartoonist Opaque Sumi Ink, BLACK, for dip pen, brush, art, illustration, smooth flowing ink, Smudge proof with alcoholbased markers, professional artists and amateur hobbyists


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Deleter White Ink

Excellent quality and highly useful - and not just for deleting!



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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Paints for Artists

Best Watercolors for Artists

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor 12 Tube Set

Best Affordable Watercolors in Tubes Overall / Best Watercolor Set for Students



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Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor 24 Pan Set

My Favorite Watercolor Paints in Pans

Lightweight Metal Sketchers Box Set : 24 Half Pans (24 Colors Set)


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Sennelier L'Aquarelle Watercolor Paint 48 Half Pan Set

Best Premium Watercolor Paints in Pans

French Watercolor Paint, Metal Set of 48 Half Pans


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Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Studio Set, 45 Half Pans

Best Value Watercolor Paints in Pans Overall / Best Watercolor Set for Students



Buy Now on Amazon

Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Acrylics for Artists

My Pick
Golden Heavy Body Professional 6 Color Introductory Set

Best Professional Grade Heavy Body Acrylic Paint

The basic acrylic painting experience and an affordable introduction to Golden quality



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Liquitex BASICS 36 Tube Acrylic Paint Set

Best Student Grade Heavy Body Acrylic Paint



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My Pick
Dr. Ph. Martin's Spectralite Private Collection Liquid Acrylics

Best Liquid Acrylic Paint

Set of 12, 1.0 oz bottles with droppers and mixing palette


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Mont Marte Signature Acrylic Color Paint Set 12x16.9 Oz

Best Value Liquid Acrylic Paint

Semi-Matte Finish, 12 Colors, Suitable for Canvas, Wood, Fabric, Leather, Cardboard, Paper, MDF and Crafts


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My Pick
Holbein Acryla Gouache 12 Color Lesson Set

Acrylic Gouache

Splendid paints with superior colors, finish and usability, and a real delight to use!



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My Pick
Turner Gouache Acrylic 24 Color Paint Set

Acrylic Gouache

Surprisingly consistent and high quality colors, wet and dry, and quite long lasting and durable - best value!



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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Oil Paints for Artists

My Favorite
Gamblin Artist Oil Colors Introductory Set

My Favorite Oil Paint for Painting on Canvas



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Jack Richeson Artist Oil Colors

Best Affordable Oil Paint for Painting on Canvas

37ml Artist Oil Colors, Set of 12


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Budget Option
Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint Starter Set

Best Budget Oil Paint for Painting on Canvas

Set of 10x 37ml Paint Tubes


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Paint Brushes for Artists

Best Brushes for Acrylics and Oils

My Pick
Escoda Clasico Series Chungking Hog Bristle 6 Brush Set Flats & Rounds

Best Natural Fiber Paint Brushes for Oil Paints and Painting

Chungking Hog Bristle Flats & Rounds, Size (Flat) 2, 8, 14 (Round) 2, 6, 12


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Brushes for Watercolors

My Pick
Winsor and Newton Series 7 Four Brush Watercolor Set

My Personal Choice for Best Watercolor Brush Set

100% Kolinsky Sable Hair Brushes for Watercolor Gouache Ink and More - Professional 4 pc Round Watercolor Brush Set Sizes 0 - 1 - 2 - 3


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Da Vinci Deluxe Natural and Synthetic Watercolor Paint Brush Set with Wooden Storage Box

Best Premium Watercolor Brush Set Overall

Natural Hair and Synthetic Brushes with Wooden Storage Box and Brush Soap, Multiple Sizes, 5 Brushes (Series 36, 991, 5530, 5550)


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Rhapsody Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Five Brush Deluxe Gift Set

Best Value Premium Watercolor Brush Set

Deluxe Gift Set of 5 Aquarelle Artist Brushes - Assorted Paint Brush Sizes


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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Paper for Artists

Best 140 lb Paper for Watercolors

L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage Hot Press Watercolor Paper 140 Lb

Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

9x12 12 Sheets | Made from 100% Cotton


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L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage Cold Press Watercolor Paper 140 Lb

Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

9x12 12 Sheets | Made from 100% Cotton


Buy Now on Amazon
L’Aquarelle Canson Heritage Rough Watercolor Paper 140 Lb

Rough Paper for Watercolors

9x12 12 Sheets | Made from 100% Cotton


Buy Now on Amazon

Best 300 lb Paper for Watercolors

Saunders Waterford 300 Lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper 11x15"

Cold Pressed Paper for Watercolors

300 lb / 640GSM, 11" x 15", 4 Sheets


Buy Now on Amazon
Saunders Waterford 300 Pound Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper 11x15"

Hot Pressed Paper for Watercolors

300 lb / 640GSM, 11" x 15", 4 Sheets


Buy Now on Amazon
Saunders Waterford 300 Pound Rough Watercolor Paper 11x15"

Rough Paper for Watercolors

300 lb / 640GSM, 11" x 15", 4 Sheets


Buy Now on Amazon

Best Paper for Acrylics

My Pick
Canson Artist Series Montval Acrylic Pad

Sized Heavyweight No-Buckle Paper, Fold Over, 185 Pound, 12 x 16 Inch, 10 Sheets


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My Pick
Canson Figueras Oil & Acrylic Canvas-Like Paper Block

290gsm Paper Block Including 10 Sheets, Size:50x65cm~20x26 inches, Canvas-Like Texture


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Arteza Acrylic Painting Pad

11 x 14 Inches, 16 Sheets Each, Heavy 246-lb Art Paper, Art Supplies for Acrylic Painting, Oil Painting, & Drawing, Pack of 2


Buy Now on Amazon

Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Sketchbooks for Artists

Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Best Books for Artists

This section answers the following questions:

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Make sure to also check out my artist’s guides:

Art Books by Art Side of Life Podcast Guests

Best Art History Books

The Story of Art

EH Gombrich :: Phaidon Press :: 16th Edition :: 1995 :: 688 Pages


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The Visual Arts: A History

Hugh Honour & John Fleming :: Laurence King Publishing :: 7th Edition :: 2013 :: 996 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon
Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History

Helen Gardner & Fred Kleiner :: Cengage Learning :: 16th Edition :: 2019 :: 1264 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon
Art, Second Edition: A Visual History

Robert Cumming :: DK Publishing :: 2nd Edition :: 2020 :: 416 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon
The Louvre: All the Paintings

Vincent Pomarède :: Black Dog & Leventhal :: 1st Edition :: 2011 :: 784 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings

Thomas Campbell & Kathryn Calley Galitz :: Skira Rizzoli Electa :: 1st Edition :: 2016 :: 544 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon
The Hermitage: 250 Masterworks

Mikhail Piotrovsky :: Skira Rizzoli Electa :: 1st Edition :: 2014 :: 288 Pages


Buy Now on Amazon

Best Books to Learn Drawing

Best Books to Learn Color & Light

Best Books to Learn Animation

Best Books to Learn Character Design

Best Books to Learn Anatomy

Make sure to also check out: Human and Animal Anatomy for Artists

Best Books to Learn Cartoon & Comic Design

Best Books on Artistic Technique

Best Self Development Books for Artists

Best Online Resources for Artists – Courses, Platforms, Subscriptions

Art Side of Life – Best online resource for artists overall – ok, maybe I’m a little biased, but I do love my site, and it is definitely becoming one of the most complete and useful websites online today for professional and fine artists, art students and beginners, crafters and lots of other creative types!

Be sure to check out these great Art Side tools, articles, podcasts and buyer’s guides:

Best Online Art Classes and Art Schools

As you may already know, I am both a working commercial artist and an art teacher, and I think I do a pretty good job of teaching not only art techniques, processes and theory but also how to manage an art business. At my site, Art Side of Life, I have partnered with a couple of really great online learning platforms:

This way I can not only offer my courses right on my own site, but through their institutions as well, and hopefully reach and help as many people as possible. Here’s a list of some of the most popular and highly rated courses that I teach:

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Improve your art skills and learn how to make money as an artist

Learn from my easy-to-follow online classes such as Making Money as an Artist, Color & Light, Color Palettes, Perspective & Composition, Instagram for Artists, and more!

Click Here To Learn More

Best Tools to Increase Your Productivity

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Specifically curated- and produced music designed to improve your focus on the work in front of you

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Featured
Don't like reading? Try audiobooks!

If you like listening more than reading, Audible is for you! 

Get your 1 FREE Audiobook and FREE access to Audible Originals library for 30-days with this special offer!

GET AUDIBLE FOR FREE NOW

Best Tools to Promote Physical and Mental Fitness

Best Platforms to Sell Your Art

Best Tools for Your Art Business