UPDATED (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 19, 2020 4:27 PM)
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Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving when many US retailers offer deep discounts on their wares, marks the start of the holiday shopping season. This year, it falls on November 27, but stores are already posting holiday bargains and early Black Friday sales. To help you parse the offerings, we’ll be tracking some of the best deals on art supplies, from watercolor pencils to cameras, to give as gifts or to keep for yourself.
We will be updating this page throughout the week leading up to Black Friday and over Black Friday weekend, so check in with us often. A word of advice: Move fast, as many of these products will sell out quickly. (Prices current at time of publication.)
BLICK ART MATERIALS
It is not clear if Blick—hit hard by the pandemic—will be having a Black Friday sale. But they are posting daily free offers as well as offering holiday discounts on selected paints, drawing tools, and paper. Shop our ongoing picks of sale items, and support this family-owned purveyor of quality artists’ tools and supplies—you’ll get a thank-you letter in return.
Take 18% off General’s drawing pencils
Don’t miss the chance to save on these pencils, an excellent go-to for all your drawing needs. Made with dense, heavy-duty graphite encased in cedar wood, they are reliable and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. This set includes pencils in 10 different grades for smooth or dramatic lines; plus, you even get a good-quality sharpener and an eraser.
Purchase: General’s Kimberly Drawing Pencil Set, Assorted Hardness, Set of 10, $8.35 on Blick.
Up to 72% off Prismacolor double-ended markers
This is the best time to purchase these top-of-the-line markers, which many professional illustrators covet. Featuring reversible tips for coloring with either a round or chisel point, they flow with ease, are loaded with vivid colors, and blend together beautifully.
Purchase: Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, $3.99-$429.99 on Blick.
Save up to 15-237% off Copic waterproof pens
There’s little to fault about these pens from favored brand Copic. They’re consistent, comfortable to hold, and feature a brush tip that is easy to control. But where they stand out in our book is their convenience and sustainability: Each is refillable and comes with a replaceable nib.
Purchase: Copic Multiliner SP Pens and Set, $2.93-$91.51 on Blick.
Up to 50% off Faber-Castell colored pencils
If you’re seeking colored pencils with an oil-based core (versus more traditional wax-based pencils), look no further than these pigment-rich ones from Faber-Castell. Individual pencils and up to 120-piece sets are now on sale, with offers up to half off the list price. Firm nibbed, smooth to lay down, and easy to blend, they are among the best tools for coloring.
Purchase: Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils, $2.23-$325.00 on Blick.
Save 37% off Strathmore mixed-media pads
These papers from Strathmore provide a firmer and more heavyweight surface than many other mixed-media papers, making them ideal for use with watercolor. Gluebound in an easy-flip pad, they don’t require the use of a board. All four sizes are currently discounted.
Purchase: Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pads, $3.33-$22.59 on Blick.
Save 40% on Arches watercolor blocks The gold standard of watercolor blocks, Arches paper is well known for its luxurious and tough all-cotton structure that consistently tolerates heavy washes while enhancing the vibrancy of colors. It’s also notorious for its high price tag. So it’s best to stock up now and enjoy major price reductions on hot, cold, and rough press blocks in all sizes.
Purchase: Arches Watercolor Blocks, $16.62-$92.32 on Blick.
Save up to 40% on Williamsburg oil paints
We definitely advise painters to take advantage of this deal on Williamsburg paints—the crème de la crème of when it comes to oils. Handmade in small batches, these paints have an extremely high pigment load, are satisfyingly creamy, and the colors carry an unmatched luminosity when applied. Go ahead and treat yourself.
Purchase: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Paints and Sets, $9.79-$296.11 on Blick.
Take up to 48% off Caran d’Ache crayons
Fun to use alone and a delight to blend with watercolor, these buttery and bright crayons make a versatile addition to your creative arsenal. Offering the control of a crayon, plus quick clean up with water and soap, they’re also a great gift for kids.
Purchase: Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Artists’ Crayons, $2.25-$317.89 on Blick.
Save up to 34% on Global Art travel case
And to carry all those supplies around, we recommend this discounted canvas case. It can fit dozens of writing implements as well as a sketchpad, and it stays securely shut thanks to a three-side zipper. Choose from three colors and two sizes.
Purchase: Global Art Canvas Coloring Cases, $38.10-$48.55 on Blick.
Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week runs through November 27, with deals on paper, pens, craft supplies, and studio equipment. We’ll be sifting through the offerings all week to find you the best of them. Don’t forget that Amazon Prime members get access to daily deals and free shipping. Get a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime here.
Here are discounts we’ve already spotted on some of our favorite products:
Get 45% off Canson mixed-media spiral pad
Perfect for practice or experiments, this student-grade paper is finely textured and can handle both dry and wet media. It’s spiral bound for convenience, and the pages are perforated for easy removal. Save $5.50 when you purchase this legal-size pad, an ideal format for still lifes and landscapes.
Purchase: Canson XL Series Mix Book (11 by 14 inches), $12.97 on Amazon.
28% off Strathmore watercolor pad
This handy art pad features 90 lb cold press paper that is surprisingly resilient. You can use it with watercolor, heavy inks, acrylics, and other wet media, and the sheets resist pilling and buckling. Save $2.50 when you purchase the smaller pad, which measures 5 1/2 inches by 8 inches—perfect for slipping into a small tote or using as a travel journal.
Purchase: Strathmore 400 Series Visual Journal, $6.50 on Amazon.
Save 32% on Sakura pens
Now’s the time to stock up on these classic and widely beloved technical pens from Sakura, which are loaded with archival-quality, pigment-based ink. The Black Friday deal extends to an eight-pack of assorted pens to suit all needs—you not only get six different sized nibs from 0.2mm to 0.5mm but also one brush tip and one rounder, marker-like tip.
Purchase: Sakura Pigma Micron Pen Set, 8-Pack Assorted Points, $15.70 on Amazon.
Take $9.81 off W R Memory Keepers paper punch One of the best hole punchers designed specifically for crafting, this powerful, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing punch can work its way through materials from leather to chipboard. With five hole punch sizes to choose from, it’s a worthy replacement for that old puncher lying around your studio.
Purchase: We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Multi-Punch, Aqua, $30.18 on Amazon.
TOOLS FOR THE STUDIO
Save $31% on Liquitex palette knives set
You’ll always have the right tool for the job with this assortment of six palette knives, which come on a convenient ring holder. Designed with solid handles and stainless steel blades, they offer durability but also just the right amount of flex to move with your natural gestures while ensuring you remain in complete control.
Purchase: Liquitex Professional Freestyle Traditional Knives 6-Piece Ring Set, $15.50 on Amazon.
Save 20% on Lego robot-building toolbox
Offering hours of engagement for young creatives, Lego’s coding kit is one of the best learning toys on the market. Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, it combines the traditional building of Legos with motors and programming so users can bring all kinds of bots and gadgets to life. Use of a tablet is required to access the step-by-step instructions for coding models so they move, make sounds, and much more.
Purchase: Lego Boost Creative Toolbox, $127.99 on Amazon.
B&H PHOTO VIDEO
For cameras, computers, and peripheral devices, look no further than B&H, which is already listing handpicked Cyber Week deals, including discounts on Apple iPad Pro and Instax and Olympus cameras.
Save $40 on Fujifilm Instax mini camera
Now’s the best time to score a deal on an instant film camera. The best-selling Instax mini is 30% off if you purchase the device in red. User-friendly and capable of capturing scenes in different light settings, it prints credit-sized photographs that are color-accurate once developed.
Purchase: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Camera, Red, $89.99 on B&H.
$100 off Olympus Tough point-and-shoot camera
If you’re an adventurous type in need of a rugged camera, look no further than this model from Olympus. Weather-sealed, break-resistant, and waterproof, it also offers basic custom controls so you can capture moments in all kinds of lighting environments.
Purchase: Olympus Tough TG-6 Digital Camera, Red, $349.00 on B&H.
Save $350 on Apple iPad Pro
Perhaps one of the best Black Friday deals, Apple’s third-generation tablet is now 30% less expensive. Paired with the Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro becomes one of the best tablets for digital artworks, boasting virtually no parallax, a massive resolution, and lots of compatible software for painting, designing, and drawing.
Purchase: Apple iPad Pro 12.9, 64GB on B&H.
This week, the stationary and gift store Paper Source is offering Cyber deals on selected inventory, including holiday cards. But you can also make your own cards using envelopes and inserts (we recommend A-7 or A-9) from their Paper Bar sale.
This company, which specializes in sustainably manufactured ergonomic furniture, is offering 15% off its entire inventory through the end of the month. Though Fully markets its wares as office furniture, many items in its catalog are equally useful in the studio. Save on top-rated products like the Capisco chair (easily turned into a drafting stool by adding a foot ring), the Jarvis standing desk, and the Jaswig children’s desk, perfect as a first work table.
Stay tuned for more recommendations as the week progresses.