9 Inspirational Magazines for Artists

An artist sketches at her kitchen table while looking at magazines

Hero Images / Getty Images

Magazines are a great way to refresh your enthusiasm for your art. With each new issue you get tips and advice, find out about new products and events in the art world. Magazines can also serve as valuable sources of inspiration and can enrich artists' professional lives.

There is a lot of variation in magazine styles, so if you're giving one as a gift you'll want to choose one that suits the recipient's style. Someone who is into contemporary art, especially if they've been to art school, might prefer something that covers more academic styles of art and artists. Likewise, a hobbyist who is developing basic skills and trying out different mediums might enjoy one of the broader hobbyist magazines. Check out some of the best art magazines in different styles and genres in this list.

of 09

American Artist - Drawing

Cover of "American Artist - Drawing"

This is one for artists who are really into drawing and appreciate a range of art styles, including contemporary art and extended techniques. It's also perfect if you enjoy a focus on traditional technique, including sight size and figure drawing. 

A specialty version of the "American Artist" monthly, "American Artist - Drawing" is a quarterly magazine. This magazine is full of high-quality illustrations and introduces many wonderful artists you might not otherwise get to know. It truly is a first-class publication.

of 09

The Pastel Journal

"The Pastel Journal" is a really nice bi-monthly magazine that is tightly focused on its market of pastel art. It includes tutorials and technical tips, including genre-specific tutorials on landscapes, still life and floral subjects, portraiture and figurative art, and animals and wildlife.

It is filled with artist spotlights and product reviews. You will also be delighted with generalized art topics like creativity, composition, and business and market issues.

One of the nice things about such a specifically targeted magazine is that even the advertising is almost like content. It's ideal for the keen reader who wants to know all about the latest products.

of 09

International Artist Magazine

Cover art and spread from "International Artist" magazine
International Artist Publications

"International Artist" is a beautiful magazine that would suit a wide range of artists, from beginners to advanced hobbyists and professional artists. It's ideal for anyone with an interest in realism and more traditional genres such as portraiture, figurative art, landscape, and still life.

Tutorials cover fundamental techniques as well as a focus on how to handle specific subjects, with guest artists sharing their expertise. Various painting mediums dominate the magazine, but drawing is also covered. Many of the concepts explored in the tutorials easily translate to different mediums.

The magazine's website gives you a sneak peek into current and back issues. Browse through it to see if their style suits your interests.

of 09

The Artist's Magazine

Cover art for "The Artist's Magazine"
North Light

"The Artist's Magazine" is a nice monthly magazine with broad appeal. The magazine covers the full gamut of genre painting, with tutorials on portraiture, landscape, and still life in various mediums. It also includes artist features, competition news, and product reviews. 

It's the perfect subscription for artists of all levels and media. If you're just beginning, it offers great insight into the wider art world without being overwhelming.

of 09

Modern Painter

This is a glossy UK Fine Art magazine, with articles about art styles, current artists, theory, criticism, exhibitions, and so on. It is published quarterly and focuses on British art but also has special issues on other art centers.

"Modern Painter" has changed a bit over the years. Anymore, it's less about painting and more about the various current trends in installation and art theory. Artists and students with a keen interest in cutting-edge contemporary art—especially those wishing to keep in touch with the European art scene—will enjoy this magazine.

Due to the confronting nature of some contemporary art, parental guidance is recommended.

of 09

Sketch Magazine

Published by Blue Line Pro Comics "Sketch Magazine" focuses on comic book artists. If you're interested in developing your art in this style, this is the magazine for you.

Unlike other forms of drawing, comic illustrators need to keep up on storytelling, writing, and lettering as well as drawing technique. This is also a highly trendy field and it's going to be very important that you keep up to date on the latest happenings.

As far as we can tell, this is the best periodical available for serious comic book artists.

of 09

Imagine FX

"Imagine FX" is a superb British digital art magazine. With a focus on concept and game art, there's a lot of good quality content here for anyone interested in drawing fantasy, figures, environments, as well as learning to use digital art tools.

Fantasy and game artists can draw and the drawing tutorials regularly featured in this magazine highlight this fact. Tutorials cover elements like storyboarding, creature design, perspective drawing with space vehicles and robots, and Photoshop and Corel Paint techniques.

It's a beautifully produced, lush, glossy magazine packed full of images. This is highly recommended for anyone interested in fantasy and game art and digital art. 

of 09

Cloth, Paper, Scissors

Cover art from "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" magazine
Interweave / H South

Admittedly, this magazine is more about crafting, mixed media, and collage than drawing, but it's great. Any artist can appreciate the use of text, sheet music, vintage images, and small objects and many of us incorporate this type of work in our art.

This is a perfect magazine for collage, assembly, stitching, gluing, miniatures, vintage things—essentially all things mixed media. You might also find it inspiring if you don't do these things but are looking for ways to break out of the two-dimensional page and try something different. 

of 09

Leisure Painter

Cover art from "Leisure Painter" magazine
H South / The Artists' Publishing Co Ltd

"Leisure Painter" may just be one of the best art tutorial magazines in publication, particularly for beginners. You'll find some drawing instruction in almost every issue, as well as watercolor and other painting mediums. Mediums like pastel, colored pencil and ink are regularly featured.

The emphasis is on basic technique and realist art, the kind of thing that most beginners are keen to tackle—landscapes, buildings in perspective, flowers and still life, portraiture, and so on. Drawing and painting textures, mixing colors, and working outdoors are all covered.

The shows, competitions, and advertisements have a British focus, of course, but the magazine is so content-rich that you probably won't mind. A subscription is definitely worth every penny.