09 November 2014

New Art - November ArtSnacks Challenge (ArtSnacks - November)

Welcome to another New Art post! Last week I decided to skip my regular post because I was on vacation and hadn't created any new art worth sharing. This week, though, I'm back and ready to go! The art I'm featuring is my November ArtSnacks Challenge, a piece made only with the supplies that came in this month's box. I also figured I may as well combine this New Art post with my ArtSnacks unboxing since they're so closely related and actually happened all in the same session.  This promises to be a robust write-up!

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.

First peek!
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).


Metallic ink.

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?