I buy most of my art supplies online, EXCEPT when I need to go manhandle a bunch of art supplies in person. (I have a Blick store near me, oh yes I do).
While it can be truly fun to go peruse art supplies in person, there are distinct benefits to buying art supplies online. Whether you know exactly what you need, are working from an art supplies list, aren’t in proximity to a good physical art supply store, or you get overwhelmed by all the choices, online art supply stores are many times the best and only choice.
We are here to discuss the best online art supply stores, so let’s have at it.
My Favorite Online Art Supply Store
I do buy some art supplies on Amazon, since it is oh-so-very convenient and fast like the wind, but mostly I buy from Blick. What astounds me about Blick is that their prices on art supplies are almost always less than Amazon, and in some cases the difference is huge.
Buying Art Supplies Online
One thing to keep in mind when you buy art supplies online is shipping costs. Many times you will be trading the amount you would pay on tax in person with the cost of shipping. An easy way to get rid of the shipping cost is to wait to order until you need to buy enough art supplies that you get free shipping.
Honestly, it’s so easy to get to that threshold. We all know that good art supplies cost money, and I happily pay for the good stuff, knowing what a difference it will make in my creations. Any artist would agree with me.
With that said, here are the very best online art supply stores:
Blick (formerly Dick Blick) carries all of the art supplies you will need. You can buy the Blick brand of art supplies, or several others, and they do an amazing job of carrying the top brands for artists who geek out on using the very best art supplies. They also have an impressive amount of supplies for student and beginner artists, and kid artists. Shop at Blick
Utrecht is owned by Blick. The art supplies and the prices are pretty much the same as Blick. I guess it comes down to whether you enjoy buying art supplies more from a place called Blick or a place called Utrecht. Shop at Utrecht
Mister Art carries all the art supplies you would expect, and their prices are on par with Blick’s. However, shopping their online shop is a little stressful and hard to navigate. It’s majorly visually cluttered and confusing, with words, colors, numbers everywhere. I feel like I’m critiquing a design piece, and in a sense I am – I want to dig in and make over their site! Shop at Mister Art
They do offer a yearly membership for $25, where you get lower prices on supplies. This might be worth looking into if you order a lot of art supplies online.
Jerry’s is very similar to Blick, Utrecht, and Mister Art. They sell most of the same art supplies, but, like Mister Art, I find their site hard to navigate, cluttered, and slow-loading. Shop at Jerry’s
Cheap Joe’s has most of the same art supplies as the others, and at the same prices. Initially I find the site easier on the eyes, but it is a bit clunky to navigate and search for the art supplies you are looking for. Shop at Cheap Joe’s
Amazon obviously has a huge selection of art supplies. The problem with Amazon is that they sell everything. It’s hard to know which art supplies are actually worth buying, since so many of the reviews are fake or bought. The good art supplies get buried in many cases, and like I mentioned, their prices for art supplies are usually higher than the online art supply stores!
I think a good time to buy art supplies from Amazon is when you just need one or two things quickly, and you don’t want to navigate the art supply store sites.
This one is surprising, but I have heard of lots of people buying art supplies on Ebay. In fact, I did a little researching and found some Prismacolor colored pencils for nearly half off what they were on Blick or Amazon, and some great deals on markers and art pens. Shop on Ebay
With Ebay, as with Amazon, there are a lot of junk brands to weed through, so make sure you know which brand you want before venturing in there! Tip: enter your search term, then click on the brands you want to include on the left side.
Etsy is awesome for online art supplies, but they are a different breed than the other art supply resources here. Where Etsy shines is with handmade art supplies and tools. (p.s. have you seen my handmade watercolor post?)
My Takeaway on Online Art Supply Stores
In general, I think online art supply stores could be designed better. When you are offering soooo many art supplies and different brands of those art supplies, make your site cleaner, simpler, easier to navigate. Make the search bar giant and center. Take away the sliders – they are stressful! Curb the use of exclamation points after every price, all the different fonts and colors.
Now that I have ranted, I will say that being able to shop online for art supplies has changed everything:
- Everyone has access to ALL the art supplies, not just whatever the local art store (if you were lucky enough to live near one) chooses to sell.
- We get to read reviews of art supplies! From actual, real-life people who are using them! Yay!
- We have access to lesson plans and art project ideas right on the art supply sites that link us right to the exact art supplies to buy.
- We reap the benefits of online art supply stores competing with each other for the lowest prices.
Now tell me: where do you usually buy art supplies?
Take a peek at these posts, too!
New in the Shop!
Download this mega-bundle of 16 color charts and wheels (plus 3 bonus vintage color wheels).
Use acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, crayons, markers, pens, oil pastels, or any other art supply to swatch, mix, test, and track all of your colors!