This month's ArtSnacks box arrived in its regular timely manner but I continually faced delays in unboxing the contents. First I forgot to check the mail on the actual day the box arrived. Then, when I checked the tracking and saw that the package had been delivered, I only had time to retrieve it from the mailbox. Other responsibilities kept me from opening it for a further two days. Maybe it's because I had to wait so long or maybe just because the items were so good, when I finally got to open this thing, I was ecstatic with what I found.
|Another candy I could hardly wait to eat!|
|These items made me shriek in excitement. I scared my dogs!|
Of course the first thing I was so excited to see was the Copic Wide marker; I love my regular Copics and have been eyeing the Wide set for a little while now. But the other items in this box were exciting for various other reasons, too. Here's the list of what I got [specific attributes in brackets]:
- Lyra Water-Soluble Graphite Crayon [2B]
- Krink K-80 Permanent Paint Stick [Blue]
- .Too Copic Wide Marker [Y15 (Cadmium Yellow)]
- Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori Metallic Brush Pen [Silver]
- Extras: Sour Patch candy (no ArtSnacks-themed item this time...)
|Ready to start experimenting!|
|The beautiful view from my window was my inspiration.|
|First step: bold color from the Copic Wide marker.|
I started my ArtSnacks Challenge with the Copic Wide marker and played around to see what kinds of marks I could get out of the giant, but narrow, chisel tip. I must admit I was a little disappointed at the limited range. I tried to create organic, leaf-like shapes but found the marker more useable when I simply drenched large areas in color. While it wasn't very versatile in terms of my artistic process, I believe people also use these markers for Western-style calligraphy, so it might be better suited for that. Also, my marker seemed a bit dry--I had to go over areas several times to get good coverage--but perhaps that's due to going through the shipping process; the marker was certainly brand new (sealed with a sticker). Maybe if I turn the beast tip-side down for a while, the color laydown will improve.
|Well-capped paint stick.|
I thought to continue my Challenge with the K-80 paint stick but realized the remaining ArtSnacks probably wouldn't do well on top of it. I still took the above photo to show the interesting cap system; one big, typical cap and one small, fitted cap. Very protective! I didn't use enough paint to show it, but the stick also has a twist-end at the bottom to push more up (once exposed, the material will not retract).
I decided to leave the paint stick for last and move onto the graphite crayon. I was a little familiar with it already because I actually bought several of these when I visited Seattle earlier this year. I was very tickled to receive another one with my ArtSnacks. This item not only covers large areas well, its pencil-like tip allows for relatively fine lines, too. I didn't realize at the time, but this graphite crayon is also water-soluble. My sister noticed it when I showed her these items at November's Kikai meeting. She tried it out with a water brush and ended up creating a lovely piece. (Something else to note: if these graphite crayons interest you, make sure to buy one of the specially-made, oversized sharpeners to maintain the useful tip shape!)
After creating my branches with graphite, I embellished them with the metallic brush pen. I also added organic lines over the Copic marker to create a more leafy image. I was very satisfied with the pen's performance. The coverage was excellent, the even flow of ink being reasonably opaque and beautifully reflective. The brush tip also provided a nice range of line widths. The only complaint I have is that the ink flows so readily that whenever I take the cap off, I inevitably mark on the inside. Then, when I place the cap on the opposite end of the pen for safe-keeping while I work, the ink on the cap gets smudged all over the end of the pen. Not the worst thing ever, just a minor annoyance; I otherwise love this pen.
|Finished off with the super fun paint stick.|
Finally, it was time to come back to the paint stick. It feels difficult to describe how much fun I had using it. The coverage was less forgiving than I hoped (there's basically one line width and one shade) but the way it felt to draw with this thing was marvelous. It's very much like coloring with a child's wax crayon but...better. Like riding a swing compared to riding a roller coaster, same basic thrill, the latter enhanced to satisfy a more experienced customer. In less metaphoric terms, the paint laid down very smoothly, producing a texture uncannily like a wax crayon but without the resistance one typically finds when pulling such a crayon across the page (especially those super cheapo crayons!). I was also able to cover a surprisingly large area considering how little stick I used. I am very interested in procuring more of these paint sticks because I think they'd produce an even better result if used exclusively with each other, particularly for an impressionist-style piece.
|The finished piece outdoors with its model. T'was a beautiful day!|
And there we have the November ArtSnacks box and the piece I created with it! Even though my Challenge is already done, the items I got this month were so fun and different that I still feel like creating with them (in fact I already have, at the Kikai meeting I mentioned earlier). Did you get the November ArtSnacks box and, if so, what did you think of the contents? Did you do a Challenge piece? Did you get different colors or styles than me? If you didn't get these ArtSnacks, is there anything further you'd like to know about them?