Art Supplies

January SketchBox

     For Christmas this year, I received the best present an artist could get – a subscription SketchBox!  (Thank you awesome best friend!)  For those of you that are not familiar with what SketchBox is, it is a monthly service where you receive a box of random new art supplies.  What is in the box each month is a total surprise and generally it centers around some sort of theme.  It’s like having a little Christmas surprise every month! (Click here for more info about the company.)
     Each box is the same size with the SketchBox logo on the side and has the artwork of an artist.  January’s box has a cute robot on it by Scott West (@west.by.scott for those with Instagram).  The inside contains a postcard with the featured artist of the month.  On the front is their beautiful artwork and the back has a bio and contact information.  This month Julie Edwards is the featured artist and one of her beautiful illustrations is pictured.
 
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     So now that I’ve talked about how SketchBox works with artists and promotes their creativity, let us get to what came inside January’s box!  I’m going to try to post about the boxes towards the end of the month, partially because I want to show you what I’ve created with the box, but I also try not to ruin the surprise for anyone else who has subscribed and hasn’t seen their box yet.   January’s box was centered around watercolor color.  Here’s what I got!
  • Derwent Inktense Blocks 12pk
  • Sakura Koi Waterbrush Round #2 Small
  • Langton Prestige Watercolor Artist Trading Cards 2.5″x3.5″ 6pk
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     As a small side note, the first set of Inktense blocks that I had received did not handle the journey to my house very well; it was bit dented and mangled.  SketchBox however has wonderful customer service.  I emailed them and within a few days I was sent a new set in much better condition.
     So what did I think?  Watercolor isn’t typically my medium of choice, though I have really been getting into using watercolor pencils lately.  The Inktense blocks are really neat in that you can use them in many different ways.  You can use the sticks dry to draw on the surface and then go over with the wet brush later.  They handle very similar to how a hard pastel stick does and I think would be better suited for painting on larger works using them that way.  A brush can also be wetted and dipped on the block like a pan set of watercolors.  Those are the two methods that I tried out but I’ve also heard of wetting the stick to draw or wetting the surface and then drawing.  I’m sure there’s tons of ways to use them!  The colors are so vibrant (the artwork below really doesn’t do it justice).   Just for fun I looked up the price on Amazon – the list price is $31.99 for the set of 12 (but it is on sale for $11.99 right now).
     The Koi Waterbrush is something that I’ve been wanting to try out.  I actually was about to purchase one right after Christmas, but I’m so glad that I held off until after my box came!  After trying it out, I like it.  It takes some getting used to, but I like that I don’t have to be redipping in water every five seconds.  I think the size brush that I received it more suited for smaller areas.  It didn’t handle the larger areas of paper as well but that is to be expected.  List price on Amazon $7.49 ($6.18 currently). 
      So lastly, the Langton Prestige Watercolour Artist Trading Cards.  They are supposedly 100% cotton and one of the best watercolor papers available.  I must say that I’m not versed enough in papers to really determine that, but I wasn’t disappointed with the one card that I made the value chart on (right side; please ignore my runs of color that resulted from getting impatient and moving it while not at all dry).  Though I can’t 
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speak to quality at this time, I was very intrigued at the idea of artist trading cards.  I guess they are kind of like business cards that artists trade with other artists.  You do art on one side and put your contact information and the date on the back.   There are even special events that artists can go to worldwide to trade.  I will definitely be looking into this further!  As far as prices go, I had a hard time finding a specific price for this brand.  They are based out of the UK.  I can estimate based on other brands I did find for watercolor trading cards that they would probably be around $3 to $6 for the six pack.

January’s SketchBox Art

     With the supplies in my box this past month, I created this beautiful abstract piece of art (7.5″x10″).  I experimented with different textures and color blends.  The vibrant colors of this piece are really starting to grow on me.  
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