From crayons, to paint pens, to watercolors, to beads, to stitching, the sky’s the limit on what you can find to kick-start a new artist’s appetite. However, with the vast amounts of different art sets available today, choosing the perfect one for you (or for a gift) can be overwhelming. Consider these factors when shopping for an art kit.

  • Expertise Level: Are you just now picking up art as a hobby, or have you been creating for a while now? Different art sets cater to different skill levels, so getting one that is too basic or too advanced for you will render it useless. If you’re a beginner, look for an art set that offers tools in a specific medium, like watercolors or pastels, so you can get a feel for what you’re interested in before diving deeper. But if you’re more advanced, you can look for a kit with mixed media to expand your skills. 
  • Medium: The medium you choose can affect the type of art you make. Watercolor paints are versatile and don’t require too much skill, so you can paint landscapes, portraits, or abstracts. Oil paints, on the other hand, take quite a bit of practice, but they’re slow-drying and allow artists to make changes more easily. Consider what you want out of the medium—ease of use, more vibrant colors, etc.—before making a purchase. 
  • Safety: Looking for an art set for a little one? Art is a great way for them to use their imaginations, but it can be exhausting to keep a hawk-eye on them so they don’t accidentally eat anything. Look for an art set labeled “non-toxic” so you can feel at ease letting the kids have a worry-free afternoon of art fun. 

Our Picks for the Best Art Sets on Amazon

Top Pick Overall: iBayam Wooden Art Set Crafts Drawing Painting Kit 

This case comes with tools for different media and paper booklets to try them out on. It’s easy to transport for on-the-go inspiration.

Runner Up: U.S. Art Supply Drawing & Sketching Art Set

This has over 50 tools to work with and comes with a zippered carrying bag.
U.S. Art Supply

Great for Kids: Crayola Inspiration Art Case Coloring Set

Great for Kids

With 64 crayons, 20 colored pencils, 40 washable markers, and 15 large pieces of paper, this is a terrific starter kit.

Premium Pick: MEEDEN Deluxe Artist Painting Set

Premium Pick

Use acrylic, watercolor, and oil paints along with the included paintbrushes, drawing pad, and canvases to create your next masterpiece.

Interesting Things is a shopping-advice and product-review site brought to you by the publishers of Popular Science and Field & Stream magazines. We’re here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.