Although I already saw in a video earlier this year (when I was deciding whether to subscribe to ArtSnacks in the first place) that the October box is Halloween themed, I had long forgotten by this time. I was therefore very pleasantly surprised to see all the black and orange!
|That candy smelled so good I could hardly wait to eat it!|
|Decent item count here!|
Here's the full list of items from my October ArtSnacks box:
- Lyra Colorstripe Colored Pencil
- Cretacolor Black Chalk Pencil
- Pentalic Woodless
- Pro Art India Ink
- Protégé Short Handle White Nylon Brush
|I really enjoyed using the colored pencil.|
Like I said above, my ArtSnacks were so inspiring that I felt like creating a complete drawing right away. I decided to use these items in the order listed on the menu so I started with the colored pencil. I must say, after using it, I think it's a shame these are no longer in production. The color laydown was so smooth and rich--making excellent gradients and covering the paper quite thoroughly and quickly when desired--it's the first time I've really considered buying a different brand of colored pencils. The yellow color I received inspired me to draw the moon, stars, and eyes you see above.
|Note how quickly the pencil tip was worn down.|
The next item I tried was the black chalk pencil. It was certainly interesting. Rather like charcoal but more...crumbly? It's difficult for me to describe the difference but I can say the tip wore down very quickly and it produced lots of dust. To create a larger drawing with this pencil would require much sharpening and might even use up the whole thing. On the flip side, I got satisfyingly dark marks from the pencil in relatively little time. I smudged the chalk with a paper towel to take care of the stray dust and chalk flakes which also gave the drawing a more refined look (compare the smudged body to the unsmudged head in the photo above).
|Various shades accomplished with the woodless pencil.|
Here I get a bit confused because the ArtSnacks menu describes this item as a woodless charcoal pencil available in "3 different grades: soft, medium and hard", but what I received is clearly a 4B graphite pencil. I'm not sure if it's just a typo on the menu or if I actually received the wrong item. It's not a big enough deal to complain or inquire about, just a curiosity. The item I did receive is something I've already used before and which I still have in my repertoire. I haven't looked into whether I already have this exact hardness (I probably do since I tend to have even numbers, i.e. 2B, 4B, 6B, etc.) but it's still a good one to have since you can get both fairly light and fairly dark marks from it. I recommend this pencil for drawings that will be all or mostly graphite since being woodless makes covering large areas much faster.
|Some of the ink is still wet and reflective in this photo.|
The last two items were clearly meant to go together: brush and ink. Perhaps I've never used real india ink before or maybe this type is just different, but I was surprised at the thick, plastic texture once dry. I felt it was more like using acrylic paint than ink. I don't recommend using the ink to fill in large areas, especially when diluted. The ink dried so quickly that everything I filled looked splotchy and unflatteringly showed brush strokes. These traits seemed to be even worse when I dipped the brush in water after ink (diluting on the brush, essentially) before laying it on the paper. I also was a bit disappointed in the dropper that comes with the ink because it didn't create a very wide range of droplets on the page. No matter how I coaxed, they all came out around the same size and not nearly as small as I hoped or expected. Next time I'll be using this ink for linework. The disappointments I experienced while creating this piece showed me that I'll probably be much happier if I use it to create lines with a nib instead of filling large areas with a brush.
After all that with the ink, I only have a little to say about the brush. It behaved very well. I'm really happy that I received a round (my favorite brush shape) and I'm fairly sure I didn't yet have a short handle round brush in this size (9, I think; the size mark is not clearly differentiated from the number 6 but this is much larger than other 6's I have). I'll definitely go to this brush again in future.
So what do you think of the Halloween ArtSnacks? Did you get a box, too? If so, did you get different colors or sizes than I did? What did you create for your ArtSnacks Challenge?