UPDATED NOVEMBER 26, 12:47 PM (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 in the lead 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.
These deals just in!
Save up to 32% on Crescent pre-cut matsWhen it comes to mat boards for framing, it’s hard to beat the quality of Crescent’s, which come with buffered and pH neutral backing papers as well as an acid-free board. Precisely precut with beveled edges for gallery-ready presentations, these mats are available in dozens of options, with the deal extending to various sizes and colors.Purchase: Crescent Pre-Cut Mats, $2.85-$11.50 on Blick.
Take 20% off Rit Indigo Shibori tie dye kitLooking to pick up a new hobby as you prepare to spend more time indoors? Consider the Japanese art of shibori, which involves twisting and tying cloth before dyeing it with indigo, resulting in unexpected abstract patterns. This kit comes with everything you need for a crafty afternoon—and you’ll get some beautiful decor to spruce up your home bunker.Purchase: Rit Indigo Shibori Tie Dye Kit, $10.38 on Blick.
Save up to 40% on Gamblin Artist’s oil colorsGamblin’s oils are handmade to ensure their high quality. Enjoy excellent deals on this buttery and highly pigmented paint, which you can purchase in a handy introductory set or by the tube.Purchase: Gamblin Artist’s Oil Paints and Sets, $8.25-$175.50 on Blick.
Save 30-40% on Golden heavy body acrylicsYou can also save on good-quality acrylic paints. These from Golden are heavy bodied, packed with pigment to provide excellent coverage, and have a thickness that’s perfect for capturing depth and movement. Choose from different sets or buy by the jar or tube.Purchase: Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylic Paints and Sets, $7.41-$138.66 on Blick.
Get 65% off Blick Studio H-frame easelThere’s no better time to purchase this popular easel, which is now less than $100. Handcrafted of beechwood, it’s a handsome and sturdy option that is easy to assemble, adjust, and transport thanks to its lightweight body, which also folds for storage.Purchase: Blick Studio Light-Duty H-Frame Easel, $93.35 on Blick.
Save 35-71% on Prismacolor premier colored pencilsTreat yourself with these high-quality wax-based pencils, whose rich pigments offer a superior blending, layering, and shading experience. The Black Friday deal extends to individual pencils if you need to replace are old or broken tools.Purchase: Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils and Sets, $1.35-$96.59 on Blick.
Up to 47% off Caran d’Ache water-soluble colored pencilsSeeking a set of fancy watercolor pencils? Don’t hesitate to score these from Caran d’Ache, which are prized for their easy blendability, smooth strokes, and lively colors. First-timers can now pick up a set of 12—originally $34.80—for under $25.Purchase: Caran d’Ache Supracolor Soft Aquarelle Pencils and Sets, $2.80-$221.79 on Blick.
Save up to 45% on Sennelier oil pastelsNow is the time to purchase these top-of-the-line oil pastels from the storied Parisian company, which famously developed its products for Pablo Picasso. Buttery and loaded with pigment, these pastels are simply a dream to use.Purchase: Sennelier Oil Pastel Sets, $11.25-$280.50 on Blick.
Take 49-60% off Princeton Heritage sable brushesWatercolor artists might want to snag this set of springy synthetic brushes, which features tools in useful shapes and sizes. They feel and perform nearly as well as genuine sable at a fraction of the price—and with these big price cuts, are now even cheaper.Purchase: Princeton Heritage Series 4050 Synthetic Sable Brushes and Sets, $4.03-$46.98 on Blick.
Get up to 37% on Blick hog bristle brushesPainters in oil or acrylics might consider this line of hog bristle brushes from Blick. Each is carefully crafted, and their soft and satisfyingly flexible tips offer top performance and longevity. Purchase: Blick Masterstroke Interlocking Bristle Brushes and Sets, $4.40-$62.55 on Blick.
Finetec mica watercolors now up to 40% offAdd some sparkle to your work with these eye-catching paints, which are among the best metallic watercolors you can buy. Made with real mica, they retain their opacity and vibrant color while presenting a natural-looking shimmer.Purchase: Finetec Artist Mica Watercolor Pans and Sets, $4.56-$62.40 on Blick.
Save 36-56% on Fredrix cotton canvasesHere’s one of the best deals on canvases we can find. These well-constructed, high-grade cotton duck canvases are not only properly stretched but also double-primed with gesso. Dozens of sizes are now on sale, perfect for your oil or acrylic needs. Purchase: Fredrix Red Label Cotton Canvas, $4.25-$69.01 on Blick.
And don’t forget. . .
Up to 72% off Prismacolor double-ended markersThis 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. Professional studios should note that a set of 72, with a list price $465.56, is now on sale for just $99.99.Purchase: Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, $3.99-$429.99 on Blick.
Save 26% on Copic waterproof pensThere’s little to fault about these pens from favored brand Copic. They’re consistent, comfortable to hold, and are available in a range of nib sizes as well as a brush tip. 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 pencilsIf 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. A bit harder than wax based pencils, 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 padsThese 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 paintsWe 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 crayonsFun 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 caseAnd 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.
Don’t miss the items on this art and craft supply company’s weekly ad, good from 11/25 to 11/28.
Here are some great deals we’ve already spotted:
Save $48 on Cricut Explore Air 2If the Cricut Explore Air 2 sells out on Amazon, you can try scoring one from Michael’s at the same discounted price. The deal extends to five colors, but some options—like the cheery coral—are available only through pickup from a store (quantity is, of course, dependent on your location).Purchase: Cricut Explore Air 2, $179 on Michael’s.
Cricut Maker now just $300Offering a greater cutting force than the Cricut Explore Air 2 and therefore capable of cutting even more materials, the Cricut Maker is perfect for high-volume crafters. Now’s the time to invest in this pricey machine and save $50 that can go towards supplies.Purchase: Cricut Maker, $299 on Michael’s.
Take 70% off all strung beadsJewelry makers of all skill levels will want to take advantage of this deal. Glass beads, wooden beads, shell beads, you name it—more than 1,700 kinds of strung beads are now heavily discounted.Purchase: Strung beads, various prices on Michael’s.
Save $50 on Singer heavy-duty sewing machine IN STORE ONLYIf you weren’t able to purchase a sewing machine during the mad rush for mask-making supplies earlier this year, we recommend springing for this top-rated workhorse. Powerful enough to stitch thicker fabrics like denim and canvas, it also offers increased speed and 110 stitch applications. Unfortunately, this deal is available only in store, so you’ll have to check your local Michael’s for availability.Purchase: Singer Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine, $179.99 on Michael’s.
Take $30 off W R Memory Keepers ShotboxIf you’ve been busy documenting your pandemic baking, foraged mushrooms, or other evidence of newfound hobbies, consider picking up this mini portable photo studio that you can use with your smartphone. Now just under $100, the airy cube features integrated dimmable lights, backdrops, and other accessories to meet the hobbyist photographer’s needs.Purchase: We R Memory Keepers Shotbox Photo Studio Kit, $99.99 on Michael’s.
Two-for-one Strathmore paper and drawing padsMichael’s is also offering a great deal on Strathmore products. Dozens of sketch pads, watercolor pads, and mixed media pads—many from the popular 300 and 400 Series—are essentially half priced: If you buy one, you get another for free.Purchase: Strathmore Paper and Drawing Pads, various prices on Michael’s.
B&H PHOTO VIDEOFor cameras, computers, and peripheral devices, look no further than B&H, which is already listing Black Friday deals, including holiday deals and specials plus daily flash deals.
These just in from their holiday specials!
Save up to $90 on Rode NT-1 microphone bundlesIf you need to upgrade your sound recording equipment, consider getting one of these bundles to fulfill all your audio needs and wants while spending less. In addition to Rode’s high-grade condenser microphone—an impressively quiet mic—you can also score accessories such as a shockmount, a studio-grade pop shield, and headphones.Purchase: Rode NT1-A recording kits, $399.99-$577.96 on B&H.
Save $30 on Google home miniIf you’ve spent the last few months refreshing or upgrading your home, you might be interested in taking steps to turn it into a smart home. Now only $19, this donut-sized, voice-controlled assistant from Google can connect to your gadgets to play music, turn on your TV, play news, and answer all kinds of questions.Purchase: Google Home Mini, Charcoal, $19.00 on B&H.
Save $30 on Fujifilm Instax mini cameraNow’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, $99.00 on B&H.
Take $50 off Fujifilm Instax square film cameraLike Instagram but IRL, the photographs you get from this Fujifilm Instax are square—unlike the classic Instax mini cameras, which print credit card-sized photos. Originally $129.95, it’s a delightful gift for essentially anyone, regardless of their photography skills.Purchase: Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Film Camera, $79.95 on B&H.
And from earlier in the week . . .
$100 off Olympus Tough point-and-shoot cameraIf 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 ProPerhaps 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.
PAPER SOURCEThis 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.
FULLYThis 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.
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 just spotted on some of our favorite products:
Save $48 on Cricut Explore Air 2Cricuts don’t often go on sale, so if you’re been thinking about getting one of these versatile cutting machines, now’s the time. The crafting opportunities are virtually endless with this beast, which can be used with a blade to effortlessly slice through all kinds of materials or fitted with pens to write or draw complex designs.Purchase: Cricut Explore Air 2, Blue, $179 on Amazon.
Get 64% off Mumcraft multipurpose sewing clipsSubstitute prickly sewing pins with these translucent clips, which are made of a durable plastic to hold several layers of fabric without damaging the material. You get 100 for less than $8—and they come prepackaged in a useful tin box—so you’ll have plenty to use for many projects, whether sewing or otherwise.Purchase: MumCraft Multipurpose Sewing Clips with Tin Box Package, Pack of 100, $7.64 on Amazon.
Save up to 46% on Winsor & Newton oil colorsDon’t miss this opportunity to stock up on these paint tubes, especially if you’re seeking some good-quality student-grade oils. They’re easy to mix and offer a satisfying creamy texture, and with discounts on selected colors (including French Ultramarine and Cadmium Red Medium), you can customize your own starter set without breaking the bank.Purchase: Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colour Paint, 200ml tube, $11.60 on Amazon.
Take 5-29% off Winsor & Newton watercolor paintsIf you’re a watercolorist looking to score deals on higher-end paint, consider this line from Winsor & Newton. Geared more towards professionals, this paint is highly pigmented, mixes beautifully, and dries with a vibrant finish. Selected colors of the 5mm tubes, including useful hues like Paynes Gray, are now on sale.Purchase: Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Paint, 5ml tube, various prices on Amazon.
Canson Artist Series Sketchpad now just $12.90Save nearly $5 on this hardbound sketchbook, which is one of the best in our opinion. Filled with 65-pound, French-made paper that carries a fine texture, it’s able to handle wet and dry media with little bleedthrough. The lie-flat design is the cherry on top.Purchase: Canson Artist Series Sketch Book Paper Pad, 8.5 x 11 inches, $12.90 on Amazon.
Also consider, while the deals last . . .
Save 32% on Sakura pensNow’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.CRAFT SUPPLIES
Take $11.39 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, $28.60 on Amazon.KIDS
Save 20% on Lego robot-building toolboxOffering 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.
Stay tuned for more recommendations as the week progresses.