16 January 2018

ArtSnacks - January 2018

2018 marks my fourth year as a subscriber to the monthly ArtSnacks box, though my actual anniversary will be in March.  Now that I think about it, March is also the birthday of ArtSnacks itself!  That means I'm exactly one year behind, ha ha.  Well, I'm still as happy as ever with my monthly delivery of surprise supplies; the novelty never wears off because there's always something new to discover!  Here's what I received in my January box, the first box of 2018!

Pencil shavings canister.

I was really excited to see everything in my box this month.  This year is starting off great!  Drawing materials are my favorite thing because they're so accessible; you don't need anything more than a piece of paper to start using them.  This month's supplies are neat because you can use them straight up dry or you can dilute the pigment with water for unique effects.  Here's the full list of supplies:
  • Uni-Posca PCF-350 Brush Tip Paint Marker [red]
  • Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens [cool grey, bright blue]
  • Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen
  • Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil
Now let's go over the contents in detail and check this stuff out!

Uni-Posca PCF-350 Brush Tip Paint Marker

This is one of the most unique paint markers I've received to date.  Not only does it have a brush tip (most tend to have chisel or bullet tips) it uses a clicker mechanism to deliver the paint, similar to a mechanical pencil.  I'm happy I got red!  The color is really vibrant and lays down thick and easy.  The brush is soft and bristly so you can get a wide variety of marks out of it.  Since the paint is water-based, I tried some water techniques but it didn't really do much.  The paint dries SUPER fast, too fast to play with it on the page.  Because of that, I really recommend keeping the cap on whenever the marker isn't in use so that the tip won't harden.

Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens

I got a very light cool grey and a bright blue color.  The pens don't have color names or even numbers printed on them, so I don't know what colors I got officially (^^;  The grey is SO light that it's barely perceptible on the page.  Hopefully that means there is a range of greys available instead of just this one.  In any case, I'm ALWAYS excited to try new watercolor supplies, especially markers and pens, a relatively new concept to me.  These pens come with a fine tip and a brush tip, although both tips are quite firm, so you can't get all that much more variation in line weight from the brush end.  Perhaps with use over time it will loosen up.  Since these are watercolor pens, it almost goes without saying that water techniques worked wonderfully.  I didn't try blending the two colors since the grey is so light it would just get lost, but I have a feeling that blending with other color pens would be super fun and satisfying.

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen

Japanese black ink brush pens are my FAVORITE thing to get in my ArtSnacks boxes.  Ever since they were first introduced, I find I am never disappointed in them and I therefore never get tired of trying new ones out.  This particular pen has a really nice, unique, silky texture to the body.  Just holding it is pleasant.  It doesn't disappoint when writing and drawing, either.  The tip is small but extremely flexible so you can produce a wide range of strokes with interesting variations in texture.  Just press harder, move faster, tap at an angle--all kinds of marks are possible.  It's just as good for writing a letter as it is for inking a picture.

Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed using the SumoGrip pencil.  After all, once you've tried so many mechanical pencils, it gets really hard to design anything that stands out.  But Sakura did it here!  First of all, this is one of the fattest mechanical pencils I've ever used.  It's fat, but it's still quite light and the grip is soft, velvety, and shaped like a triangle, so its girth doesn't cause me any problems.  In fact, this may be the most comfortable mechanical pencil I own.  To top it all off, it has a twist-up eraser.  The twist feature makes it easy to customize how you want to erase (if you make it longer, you can erase using the edge and get a thinner line) and it comes with plenty of eraser so you don't have to worry about buying replacements for a good while.  I twisted it out to its fullest and measured to find it is at least one solid inch of rubber, and that was after I used it a couple times!

ArtSnacks Challenges!

I'm feeling really good about my year in art for 2018.  I've got lots of well-made plans and goals and my intent is to take everything slow so I don't burn out or get overwhelmed.  My ArtSnacks subscription is going to continue this year so you can look forward to my monthly reviews from here on out!