Life Update/Art Supply Haul

I graduated!

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It was a wonderful ceremony, perfect weather, followed by a well-attended party, a joyride in a convertible, and a mellow fireside evening with friends. As nice as graduation day had been, I felt a little burned out. So I indulged in a little post-graduation self-medication with art supplies from Dick Blick and a little something off eBay. I’ll be doing reviews of some of these products fairly soon, as one of my summer goals is to blog more frequently and to increase the quality of my posts. So, without further ado, let the haul review begin!

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Have you ever seen anything more attractive (besides Ben Affleck in Argo)? I tried to get a mix of things I needed (like new gesso after my seemingly infinite debacles with off-brand products) and new-to-me things (like Prismacolor Nupastels and brush-tip markers).

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Canson Mi-Tientes Pastel Paper. 9×12. 24 sheets in 6 colors (white, goldenrod, beige, a warm grey, and slate blue/grey). 98lb. Surprisingly, it holds up well to watercolor; it buckles some, but there’s virtually no bleed-through or pilling. My pack came damaged, but Dick Blick’s customer service is AMAZING. I would have been happy with an exchange, but instead, I get to keep the damaged one (I’ll just have to cut off the bent edge) and I get new one free of charge! Thanks, Blick!

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Prismacolor Premier Brush-tip Art Markers. I’ve only ever tried a chisel-tip black Prismacolor marker, so these were a bit of a gamble. I chose muted colors because I thought they’d be more versatile, but they’re a lot paler in person than they show up online. And the brush tip is slow and draggy– almost like a marker that’s running low on ink. The colors do overlay well. I’m not 100% sure I like them and almost regret buying so many. But we’ll see.

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I have wanted a water brush for almost a year and I now cannot look back on life without one. It is beyond convenient for travel watercolor sketching (which I’m still faithfully pursuing), and as long as I don’t work large areas, the reservoir holds plenty of water. The one I bought is a Sakura Koi #8 Round, which is their largest size. The only disadvantage to a larger brush size is that it takes more water from the reservoir to clean it.

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I needed a new clay cutter because I can’t find mine and I see a future need for one. This one is nylon instead of steel because I’m sick of split wire clay cutters. Fully anticipating this not cutting as well because the nylon cord is quite thick…

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This is the coolest pen! It’s a Pentel Outline marker in Black/Silver fill. When you write with it, the ink is a very vibrant metallic silver, but as the ink dries, the lines are outlined by thin black rims. This photo doesn’t really do the marker justice, but:

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Derwent Graphitint pencils in Juniper, Meadow, Dark Indigo, and Port. These are tinted watersoluble graphite pencils. They graphite lends them a dull, grungy color when dry, but when wet, they become vibrant like watercolor. These are really swell; I’ll be buying more colors!

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Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Pencils in Dark Brown, French Grey 20%, Sienna Brown, and Blush Pink. These are the last four pencils I needed to complete my set of all available 36. I can’t say enough about Prismacolor products (except the markers; I’m really kinda bummed about those) and these pencils are no exception. The colors are vibrant and intense and they match the rest of the colors in the Prismacolor line. I wish they’d make more colors because I can’t get enough!

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Stabilo “All” pencils in red and yellow. If you’re a mixed media artist, an art journaller, a collage artist, fellow pencil enthusiast, you need some of these in your arsenal. They seriously write on EVERYTHING and they’re watersoluble which is an added bonus. I already have them in black and white. They’re also available in blue, green, orange and brown. YOU MUST GET THESE.

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More Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils for my stash in Sky Blue Light, Lemon Yellow, Pale Sage, Espresso, Non-photo Blue, Ultramarine and Parrot Green.

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This is a Derwent Onyx graphite pencil in Dark. It’s supposed to be super dark graphite, but it’s not much darker than this Prismacolor Turquoise Drawing Pencil in 9B and not half as soft. Meh.

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Liquitex Gesso (4 oz). Very opaque– I don’t need much to cover my surfaces so definitely a good bargain. It’s also very velvety, like a craft paint. I think I might like the super heavy version better if it’s grittier; I miss that texture. I will never be completely satisfied on the gesso front, but at least this stuff doesn’t reactivate when wet!

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This is probably one of the best deals I’ve ever seen on Dick Blick’s site: A Fabriano Studio 9×12, 140lb cold press tape-bound watercolor pad with a free 8×10, 140lb hot press tape-bound watercolor pad. I have never tried hot press paper before and was excited to get this AWESOME combo (and with a 25% discount on my whole order, I spent nine dollars for 4 pads of paper!) Very excited to play around with these.

Not pictured is a package of kraft paper, because it’s just cheapo brown paper that I’m going to make a few sketchbooks out of and who wants to see that anyway?

And these may be the absolute coolest prettiest nicest things I’ve ever bought. Prismacolor Nupastels in a 24 count.

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SO VELVETY. SO INTENSE. AND THEY ARE WATERSOLUBLE. Supposedly, they’re “hard” pastels, but there’s nothing hard about them. They blend easily and it takes very little pressure to leave a heavily-pigmented streak across the page. These were a bit of an impulse buy and are an affirmation that I should trust my impulses (and buy a bigger set).

Whew! That was a long one. Thanks for sticking around. I’ll be back with reviews quick as a bunny.

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10 thoughts on “Life Update/Art Supply Haul

      1. I had seen some amazingly sharp reflections painted with watercolor by Georg Shook on hot press, so it has possibilities (a little outside my current experiences though) and I want to try it out a few more times to get a feel for it.

  1. Don’t be hummed out about the markers. The lighter colors always feel drier due to the ratio of alcohol in them. Getting light shades was wise because you can blend the with cheap Sharpies or Bic Markits, to do this color the dark area of an object with a sharpie then takethe lighter shade of prismacolor marker and color over the dark ink and over to the light area. You will get some rich blends this way. The nupastels are really quite a bit harder than soft pastels, I sketch and color with the nupastels and layer soft pastels (schminke is my rave) on top, it is crazy how soft somepastels are. Congrats on graduating and enjoy your new supplies!

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