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Last updated: February 28, 2021
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Don’t go crazy making a list of the material you or your child need to develop some artistic skills. By looking to buy the articles one by one in different places, the price can get out of hand and it could be more stressful. These items are all in one solution in the form of the art sets. Also, the best art sets are provided in a chest or case that can be taken anywhere without any difficulty. With such kit, you can start drawing outdoors, in a bar, on a terrace, or at the bus stop. With a briefcase, you always have the instruments at hand for it.
With a complete set, you will not have to look for a thousand items to express your art or find out what you like most. In this article, we review different types of art sets that are ideal for beginners, intermediate users, and professionals. To help you choose the best, we selected the products considering the type of set needed, the items included, and the material quality.
"With this complete set, you’ll have all you need to get started painting: all paints are high quality, brightly colored, and easy to use.Beech hardwood French easel with rubber feet.Comes with plenty of items."
More features: German beech hardwood French easel with rubber feet that holds canvas up to 34 inches; comes with various brushes, painting pad, stretched canvas panels, wood, plastic paint palettes, and plastic knife sets
Would you like to learn how to paint easily with the right toolkit? Then, this complete painting kit is all you need to get started. All paints provided are high quality, brightly colored, and easy to use.
When starting your artistry journey, you should begin with an easel. This is because it is easy to use and will save you the pain. And a French easel is all you need. It can be used both outdoors and indoors. It’s also suitable for acrylics, oils, and watercolors.
It’s an ideal product for gifts. It has a perfect packaging for artists that are just starting out and for professionals. The product is no doubt one of the best quality art sets around.
What we liked: This painting kit includes everything that is needed to get oneself immersed in the world of art. Best of all, you can try some of the paints before finally committing yourself to the full set.
What could be better: As a few users pointed out, the French easel is a bit complicated to set up for beginners. Also, the paintbrushes could be well-made. They are stiff and fall apart easily.
This 185-piece easel art set from Sunnyglade is a great set that includes almost all types of drawing materials and coloring for every age. It’s great for kids who like to doodle and for those who want to take painting as a hobby.
The art set has a built-in, double-sided pop-up easel. This makes it an easy option for children to color, paint, or create anywhere.
This drawing and painting set is made from ecologically-friendly materials. Each wax pastel and pencil in the art box is non-toxic. Sunnyglade Wood Painting and Drawing Set includes everything you need to inspire artistic greatness. It’s a complete art set with all the necessary tools for a beginner artist to a veteran. This set is one of the best tools to show someone’s awesome drawing talent and help them make their masterpieces while sharpening their artistic talents.
What we liked: The box includes colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor pastels, brushes, pencil sharpeners, and more all neatly organized in a wooden box with a drawer.
What could be better: The colored pencils are not very bright or pigmented. They’re off a little bit lower quality.
The US Art Supply set includes a total of 24 colored pencils, oil pastels, and watercolor cakes each. The manufacturer promises you high-quality pigmented colors and a large selection of color shades for its oil-based crayons.
The pens are primarily designed for you as a beginning artist and art student. They are pre-pointed. Accordingly, you can draw and set very precise lines with these pens. The oil-based pastels ensure a longer sharpness and there are also wax-based crayons. So your art will remain clear for a long time.
With this art set, you receive a color spectrum, which ranges from bright red colors to deep violet colors. Accordingly, these colored pencils, crayons, and watercolor offer you an extensive repertoire of painting options. For optimal protection, you will receive the items in a practical bag. Good for starters, the US Art Supply model is one of the best art sets for toddlers.
What we liked: The set offers very good coloring, sketching and drawing, and very good mixing qualities with the other colors. You can have an optimal shading of picture scenes and figures. It’s one of the best cheap art sets for kids.
What could be better: The crayons may get scattered about in the drawer and get jammed when you receive the set.
The extra-large art set from Norberg and Linden includes pencils with graphite and charcoal leads. They are ideal for sketching. The set also features a blending stump, kneaded eraser, and a drawing pad with drawing pads. The pencils have grips and are nonslip.
The art set comes with a nylon carry case with a durable zipper. The pencils have precision lead tips that are pre-sharpened. You can use the kit for blending, coloring, drawing, and sketching.
You have a dozen different high-quality pencils. There are three charcoal sticks. Also, there is a very soft specialist pencil that is made of graphite lead and is ultra-soft. You have two sharpeners, three charcoal pencils which are hard, medium, and soft.
What we liked: It’s ideal for amateurs and beginners. You can use the set for blending, coloring, drawing, and sketching.
What could be better: The sketchpad cannot fit into the case provided.
The 142-piece wooden art from Art 101 is a high-quality product that is made for advanced artists and beginners alike. The set includes crayons, watercolor cakes, sketch pencils, oil pastels, and colored pencils.
The pencils have pigmented colors and, by just varying the pressure, you can increase the opacity and brightness. This lets you have different effects of shading. The product is a perfect kit for drawing as it comes with virtually everything you need. It features 24 oil pastels as well as 60 color crayons that are very colorful.
And if you would like to begin painting, you can start honing your skills by using the included paintbrushes and watercolors which come in 24 cakes.
The art supplies are packed in a premium and convenient carrying case made of wood. This lets you keep and store the artistic tools in an organized way. Asides from the color mediums, you have a wide range of tools such as the mixing palettes, an eraser, a sharpener, two sketch pencils, two paintbrushes, one sharpener, one color chart, and a deluxe wooden case that has a drawer.
What we liked: You have different painting and coloring mediums and these are arranged in a drawer in the premium wooden case for the good organization of the supplies.
What could be better: According to a few users, the crayon tips came broken, probably during shipping.
Although this is a coloring set with 124 bold colors, the highlight of the Crayola is its case. Made to be beautiful, durable, and inspirational, the carrying case is suitable for on the go use.
The pack includes coloring pages, short-colored pencils, crayons, and washable markers. The art set includes 140 pieces in a portable and durable case that makes creating art possible anywhere. There are 15 drawing paper sheets, trays that can be snapped fit to keep things organized.
The art set is mainly made for kids and teens from age four and above. The art set includes colored pencils, crayons, markers as well as drawing papers.
What we liked: The art set includes a storage case which gives you a painting experience while on the go. With 142 items, your child has everything needed to start painting.
What could be better: A set of oil pastels could make it more complete. Some did not come with paper pads.
This painting chest from Royal & Langnickel comes with 80 pieces of multimedia items. The set includes watercolor paints, oil paints, and acrylic paints. You also have cakes and graphite pencils that are suitable for sketching.
It comes with a very functional wooden chest for storing the art set. Asides from the painting items, you also have brushes, a white eraser, a palette, a palette knife, a pencil sharpener, and bottled linseed oil.
The RSET-ART8000 is the ideal gift for students, artists, and hobbyists who are interested in painting or art in general. It includes everything all aspiring and intermediate artists need. The wooden chest has drawers and includes artistic essentials such as paints, brushes, pencils, and other tools needed for starting.
What we liked: We like the multilevel wooden chest. Designed with drawers, it keeps your tools organized and in view. It’s indeed a treasure chest for starting artists.
What could be better: The wooden chest could be sturdier.
Things to Consider
In the art sets, we will find everything from painting and drawing items, pencil boxes to tools that could be used as fine art material such as paint or drawing crayons. These drawing kits are the best option if what you want is a wide variety of possibilities in terms of the design of your drawings and projects. They are your solution if you are looking for a professional drawing and painting set. And in this section, we will give you a guide to choosing your next art set.
Things to consider before you buy an art set
If you want to buy new art sets – whether for children or artistically gifted adults – you should pay attention to the following purchase criteria:
Types of art sets
Two-dimensional arts involve sketching and painting. Regarding this, when it comes to purchasing art sets, you have a choice between a drawing set, a painting set, and a multimedia set which includes items for painting and drawing. It all depends on your needs.
Drawing sets: Drawing sets are perfect for new or aspiring artists who want to start with drawing or want to specialize in sketching. If you want a set for monochrome drawing, you’ll find products that include charcoals, graphite pencils, among other essential items. There are also colored pencils and pastels, crayons, and watercolor pencils for artists who want their drawings in colored forms. If you want a complete set for sketching or colored drawings, you can choose the Norberg & Linden XL Drawing Set.
Painting sets: These are sets for painters. In the kit, you’ll find paints such as acrylic paints, oil paints, and watercolors. They also come with palettes you can use to mix the colors and a set of brushes to apply the colors and express your art. Some can also come with a knife set and a painting pad. Our best painting art set is the MEEDEN 145 Pcs Painting Set.
Multimedia sets: Like the US Art Supply 162 Piece Deluxe Box Art, multimedia sets are a blend of the drawing and painting kits. They exceed 100 pieces and include different types of pencils, paints, and essential items for painting and drawing.
Set size and portability
The size of the set to choose from depends on whether you want a very portable set or a use-at-home one. If you need it for school or add going to take the set with you for on-the-go painting or sketching, then you can’t afford to carry an easel everywhere you go.
If you want a portable item, choose models with smart briefcases.
Still, if you are going to use it at home, the size you choose will depend on the space in your room. If you have enough space, you have all the freedom in the world to choose models with easels, with multiple items, but not necessarily bigger cases.
We’ve seen various comments from users about getting cheap wooden cases that broke after a few days or lead pencils whose tips break easily. Choosing a model with quality materials can come at an extra budget than the rest. However, these types of sets are guaranteed to last longer and will be there as your kids grow and learn. Models with cases and easels made of beechwood usually are of high quality.
The price of an art set depends on its type. A multimedia set with more than 100 pieces of items is expected to be more expensive than ordinary sketching sets. Also, when they include a carrying case and/or an easel, the price could go as high as $150 to $300. Sometimes more. However, we have found very inexpensive under $50 sets such as the US Art Supply 162 Piece Deluxe Box Art.
What is included in an art set?
What is included in an art set depends on the type, as discussed above. A multimedia set such as the Royal & Langnickel Multi-Media Painting Chest will include items such as watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints; cakes; pencils; crayons; sharpener, brushes, erasers, palette knives, and palettes. Meanwhile, a sketching set may include a series of pencils, sketching pads, sharpeners, erasers, may include crayons, among other essentials. The most important for painting sets are oil, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor paints, including brushes, palettes, palette knives, among others.
Types of paint
Painting on canvas remains one of the cornerstones of visual art. It highlights the talent and know-how of the artist. However, the painting technique is the profession that the painter must master first to be able to express himself. In general, it depends in part on the type of paint he is used to using. While a lot of painting techniques can be found, there are also many types of paint for painting on canvas which you can find in a good art set. You can find some or all of these in an art set.
Oil paint: Oil paint can be found in tubes or cans, and it is usually painted with brushes or spatulas on the canvas. Oil painting is very convenient for canvas painting. Its drying time is usually long, which allows for easier tasks in case of error. It is easy to make touch-ups or modifications. However, oil paints are difficult to clean.
Acrylic paint: Acrylic paints are dyes based on plastic dispersions. Often they can be diluted with water and they dry quickly. Acrylic paint is also widely used for painting on canvas. There are also acrylic paints based on organic solvents. These paints have the advantage of easy cleaning. Also, it is easy to work with by using a brush, knife, or spray.
Gouache paint: Gouache painting is a technique that uses colored pigments or binder pastes that are mixed with water. It requires a lot of precision and speed. Gouache paint provides a watercolor effect when diluted with water. Also, it gives rapid drying.
Watercolor paint: There is also watercolor paint which is used to focus on transparency. This technique has ease of leaching and it can be used easily. Watercolor paints are the best for kids or toddlers who want to start painting early.
When it comes to pencils, you have a choice between sketching pencils for monochrome drawing. These are available in different B or HB ratings and have varying thicknesses. There are also colored models too.
The colored pencils are those used in the arts and not with children. They are more pigmented and their color is more lightfast. As a result, works of art created with colored pencils do not fade as quickly. Also, the lead is usually softer so that it glides smoothly over the paper. However, they are also more sensitive, so they break more easily.
Color pencils are divided into two different categories: the oil-based and the wax-based ones.
Asides from the essential items, the more the accessories, the more complete the set is. Remember that the reason you’re choosing an art set is so you can have everything you need for your two-dimensional artworks all in a box. So, always confirm that the list of items has complete accessories. Some useful accessories include papers, canvases, palettes, knives, brushes, color wheel, pads, sharpeners, erasers, among others, depending on the type of set.
An art set suitable for children should have a colorful case that attracts and inspires them to work. At this point, paint sets may not be for them. But a good set to start with should have colorful crayons and pencils, just like the Crayola Inspiration Coloring Set offers.
If you’re a beginner, you’re still probably undecided about which type of art you want to go for, i.e. drawing or painting. So, it’s best to choose a multimedia set such as the MEEDEN 145 Pcs Painting Set. With this type of set, you can have varying practices with different tools, and will help you decide which you should focus on or whether to go diversified by continuing to draw and paint.
The art sets come in different types – for sketching, painting, or both. If you’ve decided what you want, you can make a final decision with our verdict below.
Our Editor’s Choice is the MEEDEN 145 Pcs Painting Set. This complete multimedia painting kit is all you need to get started. All paints provided are high quality, brightly colored, and easy to use. It is our overall best art set.
Our Best Value model is the Sunnyglade 185 Pieces Easel Art Set. This 185-piece model is a great set that includes almost all types of drawing materials and coloring for every age.