When it comes to art and drawing supplies, whether you are a beginner artist or a more seasoned talent, finding the best art and drawing supplies that are still reasonably cheap means you can create more of what you love!
Here are our top picks for the best cheap art and drawing materials easily available on Amazon to get your creative juices flowing (or to gift to an artist in your life) and at a discounted price, too.
Looking for ways to frame your art projects? Check out these posts:
- Tips for Framing Art
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- DIY Custom Framing—No Power Tools Required!
- Kid’s Art Frame DIY
Let’s create with the best cheap art and drawing supplies!
BEST COLORED PENCILS
Prismacolor Colored Pencil Set of 24
Get the best that colored pencils have to offer for around $20!
If you are going to buy colored pencils, Prismacolor has been one of the top names in art supplies (for good reason) for decades due to the soft and extremely blendable properties of its pencils.
The colors are richly saturated and less prone to chipping and cracking, which means you can use them down to a nub when drawing.
While larger Prismacolor pencil sets can come with a bigger price tag, smaller sets like this 24 set still give you lots of options to start—with at a cheaper price tag. And, you can blend your way to just about any color in between (isn’t that the fun part of colored pencils anyway?).
BEST OIL PAINT SET
Castle 24 Count 12ml Oil Paint Set
Vibrant pigments perfect for all skill levels.
This 24 set of oil paints from Castle will have you creating works under budget and in no time.
These artist quality paints are expertly formulated with a balance of oil and intense pigment to deliver a creamy, consistent texture that are perfect for any skill level. If you are really on a budget, consider this value oil paint set!
Throw in a pack of oil paint brushes (these come with a case, a palette knife, and a sponge), some linseed oil to thin your paints as needed, and point yourself toward the nearest canvas to let your inner artist out.
BEST GRAPHITE PENCILS
Castle 26 Piece Drawing and Sketching Pencil Set
Comes with everything you need—even erasers and sharpeners!
For only $20, this pencil set is a one-stop-shop that has over 9K reviews with 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Not only do you get a set of 12 graphite drawing pencils in various degrees of hard to soft leads, but you also get a bonus set of supplies with three sticks, one soft graphite sketching pencil, three charcoal sticks, rubber and kneaded erasers, and sharpeners.
This set is both perfect for beginners as well as those who want to freshen up their sketching supplies. If you only need to replenish your pencil supply, you can go with this cheaper graphite drawing pencil-only pack for even less.
Enjoy fashion sketching? Check out our tips for beginners!
BEST SKETCH PAPER
Strathmore 9″x12″ Sketch Pad
100 quality sheets of sketching possibilities for $15!
When it comes to sketch paper, Strathmore is a top name, but you can still get a whopping 100 sheets of top quality acid-free paper for under $15.
The fine tooth surface is perfect for dry media sketching and drawing and the heavy weight chipboard backing gives you a solid drawing surface.
Micro-perforated pages make drawing removal easy and the size options range from as small as 5.5″ x 8.5″ up to 18″ x 24″.
BEST FIXATIVE SPRAY
Krylon Workable Matte Fixatif Spray
Workable non-yellowing spray that protects dry media drawings.
When working with more fragile mediums like charcoal, pastels, or graphite pencils, it’s a must to protect your hard work with a fixative spray once you are done with your drawing creation.
One can is around $6, so it’s a cheap way to protect your creation. You’ll definitely want a spray like this that is non-yellowing, clear, acid-free and archival safe to store your artwork for years to come.
And if you decide that you just aren’t quite done with that project, choosing a workable spray means that you can go back in and make changes if inspiration strikes with this erase-through coating.
BEST WATERCOLOR PAINT SET
MozArt Premium Japanese Watercolor Paint Set
40 vibrant colors for under $25!
This watercolor paint set has a whopping 40 solid pans of paint, including eight shimmering metallic and six popping neons to make your color choices endless. And, you can easily go from light to dark shades with excellent blending.
Sets like these are also ideal for on-the-go painting, as this travel watercolor set is set in a sturdy metal case to easily transport your painting supplies. Don’t forget your watercolor brushes!
If you are a beginner and starting to gather your watercolor supplies, you may opt for a good watercolor set that already has brushes and other supplies included like this one does.
BEST WATERCOLOR PAPER
Canson Textured Watercolor Paper Pad
31K reviews and under $20!
When it comes to watercolor paper, you want a quality heavyweight paper that can stand up to repeated layers of color washing, and this paper does the job.
With over 31K reviews (and just over 15$), this pad of 30 sheets will allow you to create whenever inspiration strikes.
The paper also has a fold over design to make separating your pages from the pad easier, and while it’s labeled for watercolor, other mediums like graphite, acrylic, charcoal, and pastels are all fair game for this paper type as well.
BEST DRAWING BOARD
Artlicious Sketch Tote Drawing Board
Perfect for on-the-go drawing and sketching!
Getting outside (or out to a museum) is a key part of sketching, so having a drawing board that can go with you and give you a steady surface to draw on is a must.
This 13″ x 17″ drawing board (which also comes in a cheaper and smaller 11″ x 17″ size) has a carry handle, strap and a clip to keep your drawings in place, and is lightweight so it’s easy to take on-the-go.
The size still allows it to fit in most backpacks, and you can clip canvas boards to it for painting as well.
BEST LIGHT BOX
Portable LED Tracing Light Box
Lightweight and comes in four sizes!
There are a million reasons to have a light box around if you are an artist, and having a size that fits your needs (and one that’s lightweight and easy to store) is a big plus.
Whether you are tracing a photo or another drawing or copying a portion of another artwork onto something new, light boxes have a lot of uses.
This portable LED tracing light box has a working area of 9″ x 12″ (the size of an A4 piece of paper), comes with a USB cord so you can plug it in to either your computer (or a USB adapter plug), and is under $20!
BEST ACRYLIC PAINT SET
Chalkola Acrylic Paint Set with 32 Colors
Comes with all the painting accessories and under $25!
OK, when it comes to acrylic paint sets, you can really run the gamut of price and options.
A cheaper acrylic paint set like this is perfect for projects that lean towards the craft category, but you may want a set more like this for more traditional painting use. Plus, it comes with a palette, palette knife, sponge, and brushes so you are all set to go!
If you want to spend a little more, you can go for this highly-rated set of 60 colors and feel like a real professional. Just add acrylic brushes to your supply list and you’re all set!
BEST OIL PASTELS SET
Pentel Arts Oil Pastels 50 Color Set
Huge range of colors for only $10!
Oil pastels aren’t necessarily a medium that most artists start with, but you are doing your creative self a disservice if you never give them a try.
Pentel is still one of the best names in art supplies, but at around $10 you can get 50 amazing colors that are smooth and rich on paper.
And if 50 sounds like too many to start with, they have several sizes of packs that are smaller (and even cheaper) so they are easier on the wallet as well.
BEST ALL-PURPOSE PAPER
Canson Mixed Media Paper Pad
All-purpose art paper that erases well and blends easily for $10.
This heavyweight textured paper has 14K reviews, is around $10, and includes 60 pages that are great for all sorts of media like sketching, drawing, light washes of ink and watercolor, collage, journaling, and more.
This all-purpose paper has micro perforated pages for easy tear out and comes in a larger or smaller size to easily throw into your backpack (or purse) for on-the-go creations.
BEST DIGITAL DRAWING TABLET
XP-PEN Digital Graphics Tablet
Best small drawing tablet under $50!
Adding this digital drawing tablet to your digital art supplies allows you to take your graphics to the next level with its affordable price and wireless battery-free pen.
You can make digital lines quicker and smoother when using a graphics tablet, and the one-click toggle allows you to switch between Pen and Eraser instantly. This tablet also comes with 20 replacement nibs and has 8192 levels of drawing pressure.
The tablet is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Mac 10.10 or above and Chrome OS 88 and above. If you want a bigger surface, you can spend a little more and get this digital drawing tablet instead!
BEST KNEADED ERASER
Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser
A must-have tool for any artist!
This kneaded eraser is of a gold-standard eraser and a tool that is a bit of a must-have for any artists tool kit. This Faber-Castell eraser is the perfect art supply for correcting and lightening charcoal, pencil, and pastel work—whether you are erasing a mistake or lightening an area to suit your drawing needs.
This product is easily kneadable and absorbent, has a storage case so it doesn’t dry out, comes as a four-pack of erasers, and for just around $5 the price is right too.
BEST CANVAS PACK
Artlicious Pack of 12 Canvas Boards
100% Cotton Art Panels for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor Paint.
When trying to create art on a budget, using cheaper canvas boards instead of stretched canvas can actually “stretch” your budget quite a bit further (which means you get more supplies for the same amount of money).
These canvas board packs are 100% cotton and great for oil, acrylic, tempera, and watercolor mediums. The panels are also acid-free to promote the longevity of all your hard work.
This pack is a 9″ x 12″ size but it also comes in a lot of other size options if you like to work smaller or larger … it’s up to you!
BEST DIGITAL STYLUS PEN
Maylofi Digital Pen for Touch Screen
Create directly on your phone or tablet!
If you are more into the digital art space, having a digital stylus pen can be the game changer that opens a whole new world of possibilities. For under $20, this pen allows you to draw directly on your touchscreen phone or tablet much cheaper than some of its counterparts.
It’s universally compatible with all types of capacitive touch screen and the stylus pen has a built-in battery which provides 12 hours of active use.
You can also use the pen to take notes or other less art-focused uses, and the one-click start allows you to get creating faster with no Bluetooth involved.
BEST PORTABLE EASEL
T-Sign Portable Painting Easel Stand
#1 bestselling easel stand in the USA.
With over 25K reviews (and a cheap price tag of $25), this easel stand is the best bet to keep your projects at eye level whether you are creating a masterpiece or displaying it.
Weighing a little more than 2 pounds, this easel can be set up in seconds and its adjustable height means that even young aspiring artists can use it too.
Creating on the go or outdoors? This stand comes with a travel bag, and the separately adjustable feet with rubber grips mean you can level it in uneven ground conditions and it has a clamp to keep your artwork in place.
Making a gallery wall? Check out these ideas:
- Ombre Gallery Wall
- Easy Black and White Gallery Wall Idea
- Colored Mat Gallery Wall Idea
- How to Style a Corner Gallery Wall
- Giant Family Gallery Wall
Frequently Asked Questions
What art supplies do beginning artists need?
Start with a good all-purpose mixed media paper pad so you can try lots of different mediums and see which is your favorite.
An inexpensive set of drawing pencils and colored pencils are all you need to do just about anything in the world of sketching, or try a set of acrylic paints and brushes on canvas boards (cheaper than stretched canvas) to try your hand at painting.
Links: sketch pad / kneaded eraser / colored pencils / digital stylus / drawing pencil set / fixative spray / mixed media paper pad / pastel set / led light board / drawing board
Links: travel easel / watercolor paint set / acrylic paint set / canvas board pack / brush pack / digital drawing tablet / oil paint sets / watercolor paper
These are some great recommendations. If you’re on a super small budget you can also use unscented aerosol hairspray as a fixative. Another thing to consider might be using hybrid materials that allow you to use them either wet or dry. The two mediums that immediately spring to mind are water soluble graphite sticks and ink or watercolor pencils.