2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

I want to create a special post that sorta sums up my year for 2017. You know that although I had been blogging since 2016, I only got my own website in 2017. Boy have I been blessed with this outlet to share my creativity and inspire others to do something creative every day.  There are several things that I am going to discuss, to include my subscription to Sketchbox, My first Mandala Collection, Christmas Gifts I created and my favorite creations of the year. So grab your cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and lets get started!

SketchBox

For those of you that don’t know, Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for artists to try out different mediums. I have really been excited by everything that I have been able to create using the products I have received through these boxes. Some of my favorite products include a watercolor sketchbook, a full sepia Copic fineliner set, and last but not least watercolor pencils, this is only to name a few. If you would like to go back and review my unboxing posts you can visit them by clicking on the links below.

May  

June

JulyJuly Grab box  

August

September

October

 November

December

Mandala Collection I

For me, this was a huge accomplishment.  I wanted to start a collection of the mandala that was similar and yet different at the same time. For this collection, I chose to draw my mandala on gradient paper with black fineliners and a white gel pen. I was so happy how each one came out so different than the ones before.  Prints of these will be available in my shop once I get it all online. Stay tuned for this special collection. Each one of these mandalas are so special to me. I wrote a different post for each one, which you can visit below:

Mandala #1

Mandala #2

Mandala #3

Mandala #4

Mandala #5

Personalized Gifts

One of my favorite things to do is create something beautiful and personal for my friends, family, and co-workers. I truly enjoy the look on their face when they realize it is not only an original, but there are no others like it in the world. I want to share these few gifts with you.

Personalized Parties

Every birthday that happens in my house is a reason to celebrate. With the birthdays spread throughout the year, we are able to party all year long! Starting in February with my two from my previous marriage celebrating, then moving to my youngest two in June, oldest two in July and 3rd oldest in November. Mix that in with all the holidays and we rarely don’t have a reason to bust out some exciting party decorations. But also, because we have so many celebrations, It’s important that we get creative with them all, most of the decorations were homemade. Check out the following posts about my under the sea themed party for my youngest two.

Under the Sea

Octopus Guard

Sea Sponges

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

Furniture Painting

The absolute highlight of my year was creating a beautiful work of art for my mother. She brought this table to me and gave me no restrictions other than she wanted a Charity Original painted on top. Painted?! I’ve never painted anything detailed like the creations I have made.  Check out how this table progressed by clicking on the links below:

Scallopped Table #1

Scallopped Table #2

There are several other projects that I completed this year for Christmas Gifts to include a 12×12 personalized mandala painting on canvas, a monogrammed lazy susan and a phoenix staff for my best guy friend. All of these projects were special in their own ways and were hard to keep a secret for as long as I could since I love to share my progress pictures with the special people that received these gifts.

My Favorites of the Year

 

Final Thoughts

I do want to send out a special thank you for all of you that have supported me this year. I couldn’t have done this without you cheering me on. Special thanks to my fiance’ who has stuck by my side while I have spent the long hours trying to make something out of nothing. I love each and every one of you and I can only hope that in 2018, we will see a lot more growth from CraftyArtistKC. Help me make this year a good one by sharing my site with your friends family and social media accounts. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Let me know in the comments below, what was your favorite project or post from this year!

November 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So here we are on November’s Box.

So here we are in October.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is all about watercolor. Well, let’s take a look below!

Dr. Ph Martins Hydrus Liquid Watercolor – $8.90

Handbook Watercolor Journal – $14.49

Princeton Velvetouch Mini Filbert – $8.95

SketchBox Signature Waterbrush – Fine – $5.50

Daniel Smith Custom Dot Card – $3.00

Faber-Castell Ecoo Pigment .6mm – $2.99

Total Retail: $43.83

Dr. Ph Martins Hydrus Liquid Watercolor – $8.90

Brilliant, lisghtfast, non-toxic, archival and AP approved liquid watercolor in a 1oz dropper bottle. The dropper bottle allows for repeatedly mixing exact color shades by mixing the same number of drops.

Handbook Watercolor Journal – $14.49

We LOVE the unique size and portability of this item. Bound in a beautiful linen book cloth cover, these journals offer a practical option for travel painting. Each book includes 30 sheets (60 pages) of a soft white, 200 gsm acid-free paper with a cold press finish that is the same on each side of the sheet.

Princeton Velvetouch Mini Filbert – $8.95

Velvetouch is comprised of a multiple-filament, luxury synthetic blend for excellent color-holding capacity, precision tapering and resilient spring. The blend of synthetic is unique to each individual shape to ensure maximum performance.

SketchBox Signature Waterbrush – Fine – $5.50

Another addition to our growing line of water brushes, this version has a fine tip for detail work and precise lines. Use it to pick up color from our custom dot card.

Daniel Smith Custom Dot Card – $3.00

We partnered with Daniel Smith to bring you our own selection of their superior quality watercolors. This custom palette allows you to test a curated range of their colors for your new watercolor piece.

Faber-Castell Ecoo Pigment .6mm – $2.99

This fineliner is from one of our favorite brands. Since the ink is waterproof, its perfect for adding detail or line work to your new watercolor work.

All in all, this box introduces me to a lot of products I haven’t used before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box. I love being able to bring these unboxings to you from me.

October 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

So here we are in October.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received more than $40 worth of product. This month is InkTober. Well, let’s take a look below!

Winsor & Newton Drawing Ink – $5.39

Princeton Mini Detailer – Liner Size I – $10.35

COPIC Multiliner Sepia Set – $15.96

Zebra – Double Ended Brush Pen – $4.95

Tombow – Fudenosuke Brush Pen Set – $6.98

Total Retail: $43.63

Winsor & Newton Drawing Ink – $5.39

Simply put, we love this ink. This super high quality India ink is an illustrator’s best friend. It’s easily mixable with water to create shades from the lightest grey to the darkest black.

Princeton Mini Detailer – Liner Size I – $10.35

A precise brush perfect for ink illustrations. Its wooden handle is finished in a comfortable silicone, allowing a firm grip and ultimate control. It contains Princeton’s finest synthetic sable, the same used in their flagship 4050 series. This assures a perfect point and crisp edges.

COPIC Multiliner Sepia Set – $15.96

Copic is known the world over for having some of the highest quality illustration products. This set is no exception. Use these sepia tones to add depth to your new ink illustrations. This set contains 4 sepia Multiliner pens: 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.3mm and 0.5mm.

Zebra – Double Ended Brush Pen – $4.95

This brush pen is perfect for elaborate illustrations that demand the versatility of fine detail and bold strokes. It has both a medium as well as a fine tip. We partnered with Zebra to give you the first look at this item.

Tombow – Fudenosuke Brush Pen Set – $6.98

This set contains one soft and one hard tip Fudenosuke Brush Pen. Featuring flexible brush tip for different lettering and drawing techniques. Create extra-fine, fine or medium strokes by a change in brush pressure. We included this set so you could compare them to the Zebra item in this month’s box.

All in all, this box introduces me to a lot of products I haven’t used before but they are definitely products that I am eager to use. If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

September 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

Moving on to September.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received less than $40 worth of product. This month is all about water-soluble graphite. Well, let’s take a look below!

Derwent Graphitone Set – $15.90

Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil – $7.36

Sakura Koi Large Round Water Brush – 9ml. – $4.25

Aqua Monolith Graphite Pencil – 4B – $2.40

Tombow Mono Rectangle Eraser – $4.49

Castell 9000 Double Hole Sharpener – $5.25

Total Retail – $39.65

Derwent Graphitone Set – $15.90

These solid graphite woodless pencils are water-soluble allowing for blending and unique watercolor style effects! Each can be used upright as a classic pencil or on its side for extended coverage. The set contains one each of four degrees: 8B, 4B, 2B, and HB.

Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil – $7.36

As you use a regular mechanical pencil, the lead wears down on one side, forming a slanted wedge-shaped tip. Each time you put the lead on the page you end up using a different lead surface (pointy, flat, wide, thin) depending on how you hold the pencil. This can cause dramatic and unsightly variations in line thickness as you draw and sketch. This unique pencil has a special mechanism that rotates the lead with each click to make sure that you always have a pointed tip.

Sakura Koi Large Round Water Brush – 9ml – $4.25

We also included a water brush from Sakura. This water brush has a large 9ml tank and a large round nylon brush head. Filli t with water and use it to blend your new graphite piece. Its great for plein air work and fits in any pencil case with ease, Its large brush head allows for broad strokes or precise blending with a simple change in pressure.

Aqua Monolith Graphite Pencil – 4B – $2.40

This graphite pencil has the same thick 4B grade lead with thin lacquer coating as a Cretacolor Monolith Graphite pencil but in a water-soluble form. It can be used wet or dry, on the point for details, or on the edge for shading large areas.

Tombow Mono Rectangle Eraser – $4.49

This Pen Style eraser features a retractable holder and a rectangular shape. Ideal for precise and broad erasing due to the shape of its tip. Use the corners for highlights and the full tip for broader areas.

Castell 9000 Double Hole Sharpener – $5.25

This double-hole sharpener fits easily in any pencil case. It can be used to sharpen standard graphite pencils with an angle of 21 degrees and larger pencils with an angle of 24 degrees for extra fine strokes. This sharpener has a removable waste container for quick, clean sharpening.

All in all, this box will get me more into my pencil sketches which I have strayed from recently.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

August 2017 Premium Sketchbox

So I am going to be doing some catch up on these Sketchbox Unboxings. The main reason that I have fallen behind is that we recently bought a house and we had a month of searching, a month of packing and a month of moving in and unpacking. Now I am trying my best to catch up on all these boxes. So August through October will be late and November’s will be this month.

So let’s begin with August.  Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price.

In every box, you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

So, what do you get in this months box? Sometimes you get more than $40 and other times you may get just under. In this months box, we received less than $40 worth of product. This month is all about unique paint pens so I’m not mad. Well, let’s take a look below!

2x Montana Acrylic Ink 25ml bottles – $9.50/ea

2x  .7mm Montana Acrylic Empty Markers – $4.25/ea

2mm Montana Acrylic Empty Marker – $4.25

Derwent Graphik Line Painter – $2.89/ea

Strathmore Artist Tiles – Black – $2.79/ea

Total Retail: $37.43

Montana Acrylic Ink 25ml bottles – $9.50

What’s more unique than mixing your own custom colors? This month we included two 25ml bottles of super high-quality fluid acrylic from Montana. Mix these two colors together to create your own unique acrylic markers. These acrylics can be used with brushes (like the one in the March box) and work well on many surfaces like paper, canvas, metal or wood.

.7mm Montana Acrylic Empty marker – $4.25

Use your new fluid acrylic bottles to fill up these empty markers in whatever color ratio you’d like! Use one for solid blue, one for solid yellow or opt for a unique color mix. These .7mm tips allow for unique precision and are great for detail work, line work, mandalas, or zentangles.

2mm Montana Acrylic Empty Marker

To add some variety in your line width, we added a thicker tipped empty pen. Use this to color larger areas or to add depth to your line work.

Derwent Graphik Line Painter – $2.89

These paint markers feature a Japanese nib and are filled with an acrylic/watercolor like opaque paint that becomes permanent when dry. The pigmented paint is water-based and solvent-free and dilutes with water. It can be used with a brush to create unique effects.

Strathmore Artist Tiles – Black – $2.79

Finally, we included some black artist tiles to really provide some contrast for your new pieces!

All in all, everything in this box is something that I will use in the future.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

 

 

All About Paper!

There are so many different types of paper out there. How are we to know what is the best type of paper to buy for the project we want to do. Well, I am here to give a little insight into the different types of paper. Although there is not enough time in the day to go through every type of paper, I will go through some features of paper that you should be looking for, according to which project you want to complete.

FIBERS

What you may not realize is that paper is not just made from trees. A sheet of paper is basically mingled fibers from various resources to include, but not limited to cotton, linen, jute, hemp, rice straw, cellulose, and bamboo. Of all the things paper can be made from, cotton and cellulose are the main types that are available. Cotton paper is considered high quality and can withstand multiple erasings.  If the paper is made of 100% cotton, it can last 100 years or more. There are papers of less cotton percentage that will not last as long and can become fuzzy if manipulated heavily. Cellulose paper is paper made from wood pulp. This type of paper has an acidic compound that destroys or breaks down the paper over time. This type of paper does not usually last long and is biodegradable. There are additives that can extend the life, but these types of paper are usually the least quality.

WEIGHT

One thing to remember is that usually thicker paper can handle the wetter medium. Traditional papers are measured by weight using pounds or grams per square meter (GSM). Inconsistencies of the measurements using pounds have led to using the GSM more often.  When the paper is measured using gsm, the weight of the paper will not change when the size of the paper.  changes.

SIZE

Sizing makes the paper more water-resistant and keeps inks and watercolors bright. Sizing also affects the paper’s archival quality.  There are two ways to size paper, Internal and External. Internal sizing is done while the paper is still in liquid pulp form, while external sizing is applied to the surface after the sheet has dried. These sizing methods can be combined or done independently depending on the needs of the paper being made.

FINISHES

Rough paper is designed by not pressing the paper as it is drying. This paper is good for transparent watercolors or pastels.

Cold Press paper, which is the most popular, is a handmade paper created by repressing a wet sheet.  Machines can also make cold press paper by passing it between rollers. Cold press papers soak up the water quickly and have some texture to it which means it dries pretty quickly.

Hot Press paper is created by running a freshly formed sheet through heated rollers. This creates a very smooth surface that gives you more time to play and manipulate the color on the paper.

Drawing paper has different characteristics that depend solely on the type of media being used. This can include ink, pencils, crayon, charcoal, and markers.

FORMAT

Single sheets may require tape or weights to keep the edges down depending on which media is being used.

Sketchbooks are a great way to take your art on the go. Although this format is typically used for dry medias, there has been a rise in mixed medias being used as well. It all depends on what you want to keep in your travel case.

Blocks are stacks of paper that are glued together on two or more sides are adhered to a backing board. While only one sheet can be used at a time, this format keeps the paper stretched out.

Rolls are usually in economical sizes and can take a more rectangle shape depending on the needs of the piece.

COMMON TYPES

Copy Paper is best used for handwriting and printing. It has a medium weight and has a very smooth texture. I use copy paper for my sketching. It is thin enough that when I’m ready for a final draft or inking, the light from my light box will shine through perfectly.

Cardstock is a mixture between paper and cardboard. It is best used for card-making, paper crafts or other free standing projects. I have noticed that with cardstock, wet medium tends to bleed or feather out further from the original line drawn.

Construction paper is best used for kids crafts. It is lightweight and has a rough texture. It is perfect for a quick project like a paper chain or bulletin board, where the individual creations are not saved long term.

Tissue Paper is very thin, almost translucent and can be used to make a stained glass effect. Tissue paper is used is so many crafts as well as gift bags. The possibilities are pretty ingenious if you take the time to research projects it involves.

Art Papers are usually very high quality with special attention to archival techniques.  These papers are usually more expensive than any other type of paper and are for final drafts, photographs, and cover a wide variety of mediums.


Final Note: As I said in the beginning, creating a post that went over every type of paper would be too exhaustive. There are literally hundreds of paper types I didn’t mention but I hope to add different types of paper to my art review supplies in the future.  If you have a specific request for a type of paper, let me know in the comments below. I look forward to creating with you!

July 2017 Premium Sketchbox

Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price. This is my second month getting it. If you don’t want to read this post, you can watch the video below of the un-boxing here.

In every box you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

Ok, let’s get started on everything you get in the box and I will have pictures to give you a good look at each product. First off, let’s take a look at everything you get.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 10 set – $18.00

Custom Alumicolor Pocket Scale – $6.75

First Look – Derwent Precision .7mm Pencil – $9.99

2x Derwent Procolour Pencils – $2.89/ea

Sakura Microperm .45 mm – $2.79

Total Retail: $43.31

Staedtler Triplus fineliner 10 set – $18.00

“These fineliners offer a super fine 0.3mm porous point. which are protected from damage by a metal-clad tip which make them perfect for using with your new alumicolor pocket scale!” – Product Description Card

First off, Staedtler is like my go-to brand when I look for pens to create art with. Last year for my birthday, my now fiance’, purchased a set of 36 colors. Immediate I fell in love with all the colors and use these pens for anytime I want to add color. I also love to use them when coloring fine details because the time is the perfect size for that. In my opinion, you can never have too many of these pens and I am always excited when I see them in my hands.

CUSTOM Alumicolor Pocket scale – $6.75

“We partnered with Alumicolor to bring you this custom Sketchbox edition pocket scale! Alumicolor rulers are more than just functional pieces — they’re durable and beautifully designed professional tools. The scale itself is anodized into the ruler’s surface rather than being printed or etched, so that it never wears off.” – Product description card

This is a product that I haven’t ever used before, but I have an idea about what I want to do with it. Because it is so durable and comes with its own case, I thought this would be the perfect tool to add to my on-the-go art supplies that I like to keep with me in my purse. I pull out these supplies when I complete my Lunchtime Challenges and when I have a few minutes to create.  This is the perfect addition to that collection because of its size and the measurements at a glance.

Derwent Precision .7mm – $9.99

“We partnered with Derwent to give you the exclusive first look at their new mechanical pencil. The Precision Mechanical Pencil features a premium metal barrel and a high quality comfortable hold. This pencil is designed for detailed line drawing or technical work” – Product description card

I am always on the lookout for a good mechanical pencil.  I doodle a lot and typically I just use anything I can get my hands on, but that usually consists of a pencil that I need to sharpen, with the eraser worn down. This is going to be great for me because it is a very nice pencil. Holding in my hand, it has weight to it that tells me that the product is well built.  The weight is balanced and isn’t heavy on either side. I decided that I was going to tape the extra erasers to the extra lead that came with the pencil so that I always have them together.

Derwent Procolour Pencils – $2.89/ea

“The brand new Procolour range of colored pencils feature a strong pencil core with a smooth formulation and highly pigmented color laydown. These pencils offer increased blendability while maintaining a very strong core.” – Product description card

Being in America, the first thing I noticed is the spelling of color. I know that these color pencils are made in Britain so being spelled colour makes sense. That is just my ocd about spelling that comes out. Moving on, for these pencils to not come in a package, the tips were still fairly sharp, which makes me feel like they are fairly durable. I used them on some bright white cardstock so that I could see the colors and how they came out on paper and I’m pretty impressed with how the color on paper is extremely similar to the color on the pencil is what actually comes out on paper. As far as blending is concerned, these two colors aren’t the best and I wouldn’t typically blend them. So I wasn’t very impressed with the blending of these pencils.

Sakura Microperm .45 mm – $2.79

“Permanent micro-point ink pens that draw ultra fine lines. They will write on most surfaces, are quick drying and waterproof.” – Product description card

Sakura is a well known brand in the art world, especially if you know of zentangle practices. The various tips are so useful when trying to design different details. I tried writing with this on card stock and it didn’t skip wrote beautifully, however it did bleed. If I were to leave the tip in any place for any amount of time, it will create a circle that is bigger than the line.  I also wrote on the skin with this pen and it wrote perfectly. It didn’t smear or bleed out, the lines were really perfect.

All in all, I feel like this box was very much so worth the price of the premium subscription. Everything in this box is something that I will use in the future.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbook, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

Write Dudes Pen Reviews

This one is going to be short, but not so sweet. I am only introducing you to the first set because I was very disappointed in this pen. It is the Write Dudes Ultra Fine pen that I purchased from Hollar.com for $3, which makes each of these pens about $0.60 each. First off, the red pen was busted right off the bat in the packaging. When I tried to clean it up, it got everywhere. Honestly, it took almost 3 days to get the red off my hands.

Beyond the fact that the pen was broken, because I understand that it does happen, They wouldn’t even write. I had to scribble several times to get the ones to write that I did, and even once they started writing they were not smooth at all. I was pretty upset at the quality of these pens. I will not be purchasing these again.

These next pens are the same brand, Write Dudes. These are ballpoint pens. Don’t let the colors confuse you, it’s all black ink. As far as ballpoint pens go, these are as comparable as any other. I used them all last week at work and notice two distinct things. The first being that you must scribble the pen for each use. The second being that once the pen is writing, it skips.

This is another pen that I won’t buy again. The brand itself has 2 strikes against it with these two pen types.

Please let me know if you find a pen of this brand that actually works.

Fruit Scented Glitter Gel Pen Review

I know what you’re thinking, fruit scented?  Yes, these pens do have a smell to them, but surprisingly, the smell isn’t strong at all. I actually couldn’t smell it until I held the pen up to my nose. My previous experience with scented pens is very negative. I have a sensitive nose and I just feel like I don’t need my pens to be scented.

With all that being said, Let me introduce you to Fruit Scented Glitter Gel Pens that I purchased from Hollar.com for $3. That means that each of these pens were $0.50. Now they only came in a six-pack, but honestly, you wouldn’t want too many smells happening in the same package. They came in a very nice plastic case that is comparable to Staedtler’s cases. This is nice because I think I would want to keep these seperate from my other gel pens.

So now lets get down to business. How well do these pens write. First off, I was so surprised at just how vivid the colors are and how smoothly these pens wrote. They really don’t smear either like typical gel pens, but there is some smudging possible so be careful when you are using these pens to draw something of any significant size.

Check out how each color just pops off the page. Each color was true to what you would expect, which I find can be a rare thing. With my other gel pens, I’ve learned not to trust the caps on them, and I always test them on another page.

However, these colors were exactly what you would expect and that is something I am grateful for. I know I always mention the color yellow, but I feel like reviewing the yellow colors can really make or break a gel pen set. Some yellows are too bright or too dull and you won’t get the effect you are looking for.  But this one is just great.

So I decided, as I usually do, to draw something for you, using just these glitter pens. The only thing I noticed is that I had great results with thicker lines. The thin lines just didn’t do it justice, but the glitter really pops with the better lines. I tried to show you the drawing at an angle so that you ca see just how the light catches it.

Let me know what you think below and what your experience with scented gel pens were!

 

Dayton Color Roller Pen Review

 

I received several pens that you will see updates on over the next few days. I purchased this pens from Hollar.com for $3. It was very easy for me to choose to purchase these pens because they were very inexpensive. For $0.50 each, I couldn’t turn it away.  I am always on the search for pens and these just spoke to me.

The first thing I noticed about these pens is very cheap packaging. What you see here on the front is all the information they give you. This package came with 6 pens of various colors in 0.5mm tips.

The next thing that I noticed, was that these pens were filled with a lot of fluid. My first thought was, these pens are going to bleed all over the place.  So, I took a deep breath and put my pen to the paper.

Wait, what? No bleeding? The ink was actually distributing in the perfect amount. This immediately made me happy.  The ink was smooth, very smooth. Not only did the ink NOT bleed, but it didn’t smear either. It dried rather quickly and when I rubbed my finger across it, as artists sometimes do, it did not move. I was very surprised.

The colors were very vibrant as well. Even the yellow, which I decided to write with several times was just beautiful! Look at this picture to the left. The pens wrote right away, no pre-scribbling required, which I really adored. There is no greater frustration than a pen that doesn’t write when you press it against paper.

The ink didn’t skip at all either. The writing experience was just really pleasant. They were nice to hold in my hand as they didn’t have a weird shape or anything.  But the true test was how would they hold up when drawing with them. Especially since that is the main reason I have for them.

Tell me, What do you think? I like these pens.

Sharpie Art Pen Review

I had the opportunity to pick the art pens up at WalMart yesterday for $20 and just had to do a review for it. This make each pen around $1.67 ea.

First off, I have always just stayed away from Sharpie because it doesnt have archival ink and it bleeds and I could go on and on. Sharpie brand itself is great if you doodle on shoes or canvas or anything really. Its a great tool for use on almost any media. However, for archival art, its not where I would turn.

So let’s start out with the case. The case alone reminds me a lot of the way staedtler cases have been designed from the start. It is one of the things that I have always loved about the Staedtler brand.

Lets move on to the colors. In this particular set of 12, I felt as though the colors were very similar. However, the colors were very vibrant, to include yellow, which is always the color I judge the most. However, as you can tell below, the yellow shoes up just as vibrant as all the others.

And now, I decided to test, how the colors bleed and blend when used with each other. I tested light colors on dark colors as well as dark colors on light colors. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the colors. The integrity of each color never swayed.

In conclusion, these pens are a very good pen for the Sharpie name. They open the door for other possibilities. However, the price is worst than the other pens of this quality. The reason, simply is because the other pens are known for having archival ink, as well as coming in a variety of nibs.

Tell me what you think about these pens if you have had the chance to use these.

 

You do not need expensive art supplies to be an artist!

You do not need the most expensive art supplies to create something truly unique. I started out with just a pencil, and a value mechanical pencil at that. *whispers in the crowd* I know, I know, don’t judge me, but I actually produced a full-page doodle that sparked something inside me, a flame that I haven’t quenched.

As I have continued, I have found things that work for me. It doesn’t matter if it is a pen, pencil or journal, find what works for you. I have seen some amazing art done with everyday and inexpensive supplies. I am going to share with you my first art piece. Keep in mind that it is in pencil so it may be a little difficult to actually see.

Do you see the date on this? 04/04/16. Yes, this makes me a baby artist. I finally started my blog in July of that same year. So, I am also a baby blogger. When I say, lets learn together, I mean it. I hope to learn from my followers as much as I teach, if that is possible.

So, get creative and don’t stop.

Felteez Pen Review

Today, I decided to review these felt tip pens by Art 101. I purchased these at Five Below for $4. I do not have any experience with Art 101, so I thought it would be nice to give it a go.

The colors are nice, lines are just like you’d think that a felt tip pen would be. The main thing I noticed is that the ink is darker where you pick up and put down the pen.

As I was completing my art piece, I noticed that these pens bleed through traditional cardstock. The more layers you create, the more they bleed. They also soak the paper and tend to make it rough with every layer. This is something I hadn’t experienced that yet with pens and definitely not with cardstock.

As you can tell with the piece above, I did not do anything elaborate because I wanted to know how well they performed on the simple tasks before I tried anything else. I have to be honest with you guys, I felt like these pens were not for any special job. If you want to just doodle for fun or write color coded notes, these pens will do just fine for that.

Pros: Colors are vibrant. Cost is manageable. Lines are tight.

Cons: Non-archival ink. Ink bleeds through and weakens paper. Not designed for high quality artwork.

Like always, please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for reviews in the future.

Metallic Marker Review

Again, I visited Five Below. I was so impressed with the fine tip markers from there, that I decided to look for more. These metallic markers were $5 for 10 markers. I decided to take these for a spin and see what I could discover.

Whew! Look at these colors sparkle. There were two gold and two silver in the package and that’s why there are only 8 colors mentioned. I also took into consideration the tip size for this marker is pretty small.

There were a few cons, but hear me out. First off, they do smear if you touch it immediately, however, if you wait 3-5 seconds, it doesn’t. You can see this by the gold represented above.  Another con is the fact that the caps didn’t fit on the end of the pen. So, while drawing, I  held the cap in one hand while I drew with the other. This is, unfortunately, not the way I want to draw.

So, this is my finished product. One of the pros of these markers was the fact that these markers layered. You can draw one color on top of the other and it doesn’t mix, it just colors over the other like it never existed. Although i wish the colors were more vivid, they cover well.

What I tried to capture in the second picture, is how the light reflects off the colors. Another of the pros of this marker is just how nice they shimmer. Its a beautiful attention getter and would look fantastic as embellishments.

Something to mention is that on the box it reads, gor best results, store markers horizontally. So, unique pen storage solutions may be necessary. I think for now, I will just store them in their original packaging.

As always, if you have any comments, questions, suggestions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below.

Finepoint Marker Review

As you can tell by the price tag, these came from the store Five Below. If you are not familiar with this store, it is a store where, as the name suggests, everything is $5 or less. These fine tip markers were $5. Because i am always looking for a good deal, I decided to try these out and see how they measured up to the more expensive brands I currently own.

The first thing that I noticed, was that out of the 20 markers, only 1 didn’t work right off the bat. With a little scribbling, it started working. The lines did not skip and the colors are very vivid.

The markers themselves are packaged nicely. I like how there was individual slots for each one and how it seemed care was taken in that aspect. The pen caps do come off one end and stick to the other.  I didn’t have a problem with the caps falling off and they did snap in nicely.

The feel of the barrel of the pen though is not smooth. It has a shape like a #2 pencil, but in plastic. It feels like a really cheap pen, however, I felt as though it was a higher quality writing experience. With a 0.4mm felt tip, I enjoyed the thin lines each pen created. The ink did not smear either when touched immediately after applying it to the paper.

I decided to take these pens on an adventure to test them out. If you have followed  me for a while, you are probably aware that I rarely draw in color. I like the crisp black lines of all thicknesses and have learned to shade and do other techniques that makes it quite enjoyable. But below, you can see that I used every color even the black, represented as the center dot.

In conclusion, I feel like these pens are well worth the $5 that I spent on them. The colors are bright and true to the color of the pen barrel. I did not take a picture because it was pointless, but these pens do not bleed either.  The only cons I see is that I wouldn’t use these pens for coloring, they are better suited for line drawing or writing.

As always, please leave your comments, questions and concerns in the comments below. If you would like to suggest a review, please let me know!

Yoobi Gel Pen Review

I do not have a lot of experience with gel pens as I find that they tend to smear and skip often. While walking around Target today, I came across these Yoobi Gel Pens for about $15 for a 24pk. This puts each pen around $0.63 each. As far as gel pens go, these came with several options, color, glitter and metallic.

I tried each pen out. I took off the cap and just started writing. As you can tell on a few of them, they all started writing well before I finished the Y on Yoobi. I really enjoyed writing with them but I would say that my most favorite were the metallic ones. Not only did they write the smoothest but the color was very vibrant. However, Metallic ones were the ones that smeared the most. Even after the others were dry, they seemed to be still wet in certain areas.

I would like to say that the one thing that caught my eye was the meaning behind the brand. Every year teachers, who don’t get paid a lot as it is, use their money for supplies for their classroom. Yoobi gives supplies to schools so that the teachers don’t have to use as much of their money to supplement the needs of their students. I believe this is a wonderful cause and definitely worth noting. You can see the video on the target link above.

Final Thoughts:

I think that these are vibrant and the thick tip allows for you to cover more area. I will definitely be using these. There is minimal bleed through and I can’t wait to try it out on a coloring book. This review was done on everyday printer paper. I would recommend this gel pen to adult coloring enthusiasts.

Prismacolor Premier Marker Review

 

Prismacolor Premier Assorted Markers can be found on Amazon here, for about $13, which is approximately $1.87 per pen. This makes the most expensive pen compared to Sakura Micron, Art-n-Fly, and Staedtler Pigment Liners.  I have always thought of Prismacolor as the elite of the elite art supply, which is probably why this is my first and only art supply with that brand name. But I knew that I just had to review it. First off, this does have Archival ink, which is water proof and fade proof. I would expect nothing less from Prismacolor.

As you can see here, there are seven different tips that came in this set to include Chisel, Brush, .08, .05, .03, .01, and .005. This is a complete set and even offers one up, meaning the chisel tip, than the Sakura Microns in exchange for the .02 tip. One of the first things that I noticed when I opened this package is that these pens were a lot thinner than the others I have reviewed. They are also longer as I have pictured below next to the Sakura Pigma Micron.

The second thing I noticed was that these pens, just like those comparable to it, have the sizes of the tips printed on the caps as well as the side of the pen. I love that both are noted instead of having one or the other. However, a con right off the bat was the fact that it actually was difficult removing the cap from the pen. I am not sure if this will get better with time, or if it is the fact that the caps get thinner at the tip, which makes it hard to grasp with the clip running the same size the length of the cap. Of course, this is just my initial observations of the pen.

As you will notice, there is a B for Brush Tip and a C for Chisel Tip, in with these other sizes. And the size seems to be actually engraved into the tips. The only other pen I have reviewed that had this feature seemed to be the Staedtler Pigment Liners. To me, this says higher quality.

Writing with each of the tips was interesting. The chisel tip I decided to write with the smallest point of the tip and then underline with the wider point to show the variety of ways that it can be used. I am a fan of the Chisel Tip and I would like to have it in the set over the .02 that are in other sets.

The brush tip was way better than the Micron one in my opinion simply because there seemed to be more control in the tip of the marker. I still need a lot of practice using brush markers, but now that I have a few to play around with, I will have to work on that. The ink was really smooth though and I had no skips or angles which it skipped.

Each of the other tips .08 through .005, were equal to the Staedtler Pigment Liner tips. The longer metal guard seems to help easy my mind on the amount of pressure I am applying. It does seem to be a reoccurring theme that the smaller the tip requires the easier the pressure applied. Regardless of the pressure, the ink flowed extremely smooth and it was very comfortable to write with.

The bleed through actually surprised me. It seems to have the worse bleed through the thicker the tip, but then the smaller the tip, you can barely even see it coming through the paper. As a disclaimer, I am using the everyday printer paper for each of these reviews to level the playing field.

Final Thoughts:

After reviewing this product, I was both sad and happy. First off, I was happy that I finally took the time to compare this product to the others. It is my believe that the art supply doesn’t make the artist. This pen is a high quality pen that does live up to its name. The bleed through doesn’t bother me too bad as I only draw one-sided anyways. So keep this in mind when you are figuring out what paper you are using. I would recommend this product to artists out there.

If you have any tests you would like to see or if you would like for me to perform a specific test, please let me know in the comments below.

Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen Review

Here we have the Staedtler Pigment Liner Pens, which you can buy on Amazon here, for about $11 for the set. This equates out to approximately $1.83 per pen. Comparing the price to the Sakura Micron and the Art-n-Fly, the Staedtlers are more expensive by about $0.20 a pen. Please keep in mind that the testing of this product was done on everyday printer paper, which is thin. I will say that this pen doesn’t claim archival ink, instead, it claims indelible ink, which is sorta the same thing. The definition says “that cannot be removed, washed away, or erased.” The ink is waterproof as well. I’m just not sure about fade proof.

The first thing I noticed about this pen set is that they come in a very sturdy case that doubles as a pen stand. I don’t use the stand and honestly, I prefer putting all my pens together. The feel of the pen is more cushioned than that of the Sakura or the Art-n-fly, as there seems to be almost a rubber coating of the pen. This makes using this pen for long-term easier.

On top of having the size printed on the caps, it is also printed on the pen themselves, which I love. You will also notice the “18H cap-off” printed on the pen. This means that the pen can be left for 18 hours without the cap and without drying out. I don’t think that I have ever left a cap off my pen that long, but its nice to know that you can, especially when you have toddlers running around that love to try to grab my pens sneakily and run off.

I wrote with each of the sizes that came in the box and I will have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the supportive metal tips. They seemed a little more sturdy than both the Sakura Micron and the Art-n-Fly tips. The entire feel of the pen seemed more comfortable in my hand than the other two.  I did run my finger over the ink immediately after drawing a line and there was no smearing.

Another thing that I was very impressed with was the fact that there was even less bleed through than the Sakura Micron pens. Keep in mind that I am using everyday printer paper with this review. I wanted to make sure to give each pen review equal coverage.

Final Thoughts:

Although these pens seem to be more expensive than both the Sakura Micron Pens ($1.50) and the Art-n-Fly Pens ($1.67), I find the quality worth the extra coins. I have been a long time user of the Steadtler products because the quality has always been unmatched. Using these pens for the first time made me want to switch from the Steadtler fineliners I have been using to these pigment liners. The overall look, feel, and quality of the ink seemed to surpass my expectations. I would definitely recommend this pen to any artist for multiple projects.

If you have any tests you would like to see or if you would like for me to perform a specific test, please let me know in the comments below.

Art-N-Fly Fine Line Pen Review

This set of pens by Art-n-Fly can be found on Amazon here, for about $10. These are approximately $1.67 each. This makes them just a little more expensive than the Sakura Pigma Micron pens. I haven’t heard much about this company, but they advertise that they specialize in high quality drawing and painting supplies. Something to keep in mind is that I am doing this test on everyday printer paper.

The very first thing that I noticed was that there are no ways to tell which pen is which size except for on the cap of each one. So if you mix up the caps, it will be more difficult to actually find which pen the cap belongs to. I may take my label maker and create labels on the sides of these pens so that I have another hint as to the tip size. To me, this is a flaw. If the sizes were on the pen ends and not the caps, I would find it more useful, however, I would still want the size written on the side of each pen.

While writing with these, I noticed that they were very similar to the Sakura Micron Pens in that the tips became less sturdy the smaller they went. I wrote with each pen to show you the size of the tips. This is a first time use for all these pens but the ink seemed to flow smoothly from the tips.

I did notice that it didn’t seem to matter how light or hard the pressure on the tip was, the ink stayed the same size. This is something that I greatly admire and appreciate from a pen.

This pen set also has Archival ink, which is both waterproof and fade proof. This is a must have for any artist wanting to keep the integrity of their art in tact. However, the only way I knew this was on the set packaging which you can see in the first picture. I did run my finger across the ink immediately after writing and found that there were no smears.

Another thing I noticed was that there are only 6 sizes available which is less variety than the Sakura Micron Pens. However, it does seem by reading other customer reviews that people compare these pens equally with Sakura Micron Pens.

I did notice that each pen seemed to bleed through a little more than the Sakura Micron Pens as you can see on the picture above. Bleed through never concerns me when dealing with my art because I typically use a thicker paper as well as only use one side of the paper.

Final Thoughts:

The wonderful thing about these pens are that they are so similar to the Sakura Micron Pens that I can’t give it a bad review, nor would I with the tests I performed. I would love to see them come out with more tips, but they at least have the basics.  I would definitely recommend this pen to any artist for multiple projects.

If you have any tests you would like to see or if you would like for me to perform a specific test, please let me know in the comments below.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen Review

First off, let me say that this pen brand is well known in the art community and is widely accepted as a good beginner pen, but at the same time, it is a pen that stays with you throughout your career. You can get this 8 pen set on Amazon for roughly $12, which makes them approximately $1.50 each.

There are a few things that I look for in apen brand is whether or not it is made with Archival ink. The reason that I look for this is because, over time, ink will wear down and fade or even turn a brownish color.  However, archival ink will stand the test of time being both waterproof and fade proof. I would like to also note that each individual pen in this set has their own pros and cons. Something to keep in mind is that I am using just regular printer paper which is fairly thin just to measure the bleed through.

Pigma Brush Pen – This pen is really weird and hard to control your line, especially if you are not used to brush pens. However, it seemed to have a sturdy tip and wrote beautifully without skipping.

Pigma Graphic 1 – This pen is one that I typically use for my main lines. The tip is very sturdy at all angles and writes without skipping. With my other set of these pens, I realized that this Graphic pen seemed to dry up quicker than the others.

Pigma Micron 005-08 – These pens have varying thickness of lines. If you look above, You can see how each one gets smaller than the one before. One thing to note is that the smaller the tip, the more gently you need to write with them. I was a little afraid to press with any “normal” pressure on the three finest tips, but I can see where they come in very handy with detail in my art.

I ran my finger across the ink of each pen immediately after I drew a line and noticed that there was no smearing, even with the brush tip. As far as bleeding through to the back of the paper. I did notice that the places where I started and stopped seemed to bleed through more than the lines. However, over all, the bleed through was minimal if at all. The picture below shows the bleed through. Keep in mind that this is everyday printer paper.

Final Thoughts:

The simple fact that these pens have such a wide variety of tips is amazing to me. You can truly complete any task with these. They write smooth and the pen is easy to handle and comfortable in my hand. I would definitely recommend this pen to any artist for multiple projects.

If you have any tests you would like to see or if you would like for me to perform a specific test, please let me know in the comments below.

New Supplies Review

I am excited to show you some new tools that I have purchased to make my drawings better. Drawing things by hand is amazing and I love that the images I create are not digitized. However, creating Mandalas are way easier if you have a template helper.

First off, the ruler at the top. It has many circles on the inside as well as small holes to make circles. I find this very difficult to make circles with because the center doesn’t stay put. So I usually use this as just a ruler or a template for the smaller circles to the left in the picture above. I am pretty sure I must be using this wrong, but if you use a spiral sketchbook, like the one pictured, You will find that the ends catch on those spirals and move your center point. So this ruler is probably better for an individual sheet rather than a notebook. This ruler was a gift so I’m unsure of the price.

Secondly, You’ll find the two green templates. One for circles and one for squares. I have yet to use these, but I see them in a lot of videos I watch on YouTube so I know they are great tools for me to utilize in the future. They were $6 USD for the circle template and $8 USD for the square one at Hobby Lobby. The material they are made out of is pretty sturdy and I think it is well worth the money, especially because it offers such a wide arrangement of options.

Last, but definitely not least, my 360 protractor. This one I found for $5 USD at Hobby Lobby.  If you are creating Mandalas, I would highly recommend this, specific 360 protractor. Let me tell you why. The white outer rim stays put, while the center clear area spins. It works like a charm. It also offers some circle templates on the inside. I’ve used this on my latest creating and immediately fell in love with it. The numbers on the outer rim are easily read so that I can make sure all my angles are correct.  This is a staple in my drawings and I will always run to find one like this.

I love new tools to make my art even better and I love to share my experiences with you. If you know of any tools you’d like me to review, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to research it.

Using the right tools

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the common tools I use for my drawings. These tools include a pencil, ruler, eraser, compass, protractor and some pens and markers of your choice.

First and foremost, I choose the right paper for what I’m trying to create. The different paper is a variety from regular printer paper to heavy quality sketch paper. Then I choose the size of the art piece. These usually range from 3.5″×3.5″ zentangle art to as large as 11×17 at the moment. Eventually, I would like to create wall art and even move to a canvas. But for now, I’m going to stuck with the basics.

Secondly, I decide the structure. Should I cover the entire page, run with a theme or just create a mandala in the center? The possibilities are endless. Use your strengths and creativity to go wild.

Choose whether you will leave your art freestyle or structure it with rulers and projectors. I typically use a compass and a 360 projector to create the circles I need for the piece. The projector is very useful when doing mandalas. It allows me to create the exact grid lines I need for every different piece. I then use the ruler to keep my lines tight. You have your own story and direction for your art, so don’t let me define it. These are just the tools I suggest if you would like structure in your art and don’t have a good freehand.

Next, I decide on a writing tool. Either I do the whole thing in pencil or I just do a grid in pencil and define that grid creatively with pen or marker. And lastly, don’t be afraid to add color. I am terrified to add color, I’ll admit it. The problem is that I know that it holds me back sometimes. But after a few adult coloring books and mixing color pallets and I have decided I want to add MORE color. BEWARE!

I would love to know what tools and tricks you use to define your art. Please share in the comments. If you would like me to review a specific thing, please give me as many details about where I can get it and I will do my best. Thank you for reading my very first blog post. Here’s to much more! ❤