Wait, what? January 2021 box? But LW, it’s MARCH! Well, yes, I have a tiny delay 😀 There are 2 reasons for that. First of all, a lot was happening in my life throughout January, February and half of March so I was a bit too busy and a bit too stressed to focus on the blog. Another thing is – I got some suggestions to first create the art with the supplies and just then write about them so I already have my thoughts and opinions I can add to the post and that’s what I’ll try to do from now on. But since I couldn’t focus on more time-consuming art recently – the blog posts had to wait too. But, for the time being – I’m back, so let’s get to the point of the post!
- Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle Set of 10
- All-Stabilo Water-Soluble Blue Colored Pencil
- Princeton Sable Synthetic Blend Brush
- Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Boards 8″ x 10″
- A keychain
I paid for the pack 35$ (around 145 PLN) plus 15$ for shipping (~62,5 PLN) and 40 PLN (around 10$) for customs fees. Altogether it was 60$/245,5 PLN. Let’s see what’s the actual cost of the items inside the package.
- Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle Set of 10 – MSRP: $23.85 / 101,40 PLN. Available on SzałArt for 66,10 PLN.
- All-Stabilo Water-Soluble Blue Colored Pencil – MSRP: $1.75 / 7,44 PLN. Available on SklepikPapierniczy for 7,90 PLN
- Princeton Sable Synthetic Blend Brush – MSRP: $14.05 / 59,72 PLN. Not available in Poland. I won’t compare it to other brands’ brushes because I’m not sure what grade of quality it is (it does seem a really high quality though).
- Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Boards 8″ x 10″ – MSRP: $19.45 / 82,86 PLN. Again – not available in Poland and I can’t find anything similar to these boards either. We do have art boards with canvas glued to them, but not the cardboard ones like these.
- A keychain – I found a similar one by Derwent here on crearte. The cost is $3,76 / 15,99 PLN
The estimated price of all the supplies is a total of $59.10 / 251,42 PLN + the keychain ($62.86 / 267,41 PLN). The real price (what I would have paid if I bought the supplies myself) is $56,05 / 238,57 PLN (I calculated the estimated prices of the product that aren’t available in Poland). As I mentioned before I pay 60$/245,5 PLN per pack, so this time I actually overpaid a bit, but then, someone did figure out tools and media I can use together and put them in the pack, so I can live with overpaying a bit. Another thing though is that I suspect the brush and the boards would have been cheaper if they were available in Poland… but, I don’t think they are.
Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle Set of 10
Designed and made in Switzerland, the Neocolor II are some of the finest water-soluble wax pastels on the market. Add luminous color and watercolor effects to your artwork with this assortment of 10 Neocolor II Water-soluble Artists’ Pastels from Caran d’Ache. They have a velvety texture, ultra-high pigment concentration, superior covering power, luminous colors, and excellent light resistance. To activate the watercolor effect of these crayons, simply go over your drawing with a wet brush. You can also create a palette by laying color down on to a surface and picking up the color with a wet brush. These artist quality pastels on work various surfaces including paper, cardboard, and glass.
- LW note: The crayons are very soft and waxy and go down on both paper and the Strathmore Mixed Media Boards really easily. They also get dissolved in water very easily and the colours come out beautiful and vibrant. After they dry then can be “awaken” again with water. The fun part of this medium is the amount of techniques and ways you can use the crayons, for example you can put a thin layer of colour and add water to it to utilize the watercolour quality or put a thick, almost opaque layer and add water to even it out. You can put swatches of the colours on a palette and use them as you’d use solid watercolours, as the above tip suggests and you can even use additional tools like sponges to make cool gradients (a tip from Caran d’Ache website). Personally, even though I think the Neolocor II crayons are fun, I struggled with them – they aren’t very precise (because they’re thick and hard to sharpen) and with added water they dry very fast so I had a problem with achieving even layers of colour. There definitely is a learning curve to these crayons and I suspect they can be very fun and rewarding but I don’t think they’d be my favourite medium. I do recommend giving them a try though because they actually are fun and they might work much better for you! Oh and byt the way, the colours in the box are: 010 Yellow, 030 Orange, 070 Scarlet, 090 Purple, 120 Violet, 160 Cobalt Blue, 210 Emerald Green, 059 Brown, 009 Black, 001 White (for my picture I only used Black, Purple, Blue, Brown, Orange and White).
All-Stabilo Water-Soluble Blue Colored Pencil
Utilize this water-soluble colored pencil to create some interesting blue-toned sketches. The pencil can be used with your Caran D’Ache wax pastels or on its own. The water-soluble pencil will mark densely and legibly on any surface including acetate, paper, glass, metal, photo and film.
- LW note: I really like the pencil a lot but I don’t see any difference between it and the other Stabilo watercolor pencils I own… but I haven’t used them in a while so maybe there is a big difference 🙂 The All Colored Pencil is very soft and was a pleasure to use but it also dried way too fast for me so I ended up using it mostly as a regular pencil. I needed a thick opaque layer of the colour on a big area (sky) and I quickly discovered that the lead (?) uses up VERY quickly (and also it was broken in many places so I had to keep resharpening it) and when I finished the picture only half or less of the pencil was left. The Neocolor II crayons were much better in this regard, they barely seem to be used (except the one that broke when it fell down! :D) so they will last you much longer than the Stabilo pencils.
Princeton Sable Synthetic Blend Brush
This brush is ideal for those who love the pointing, color holding, spring and smooth application of natural sable, but also demand the durability and value associated with synthetic brushes. The high proportion of sable hair gives the brushes considerably more ability to make larger washes in one stroke than normal synthetic brushes, and the hairs are tapered to a fine point, giving the brushes control for detailed work. The blend of sable hair and synthetic fiber also offers excellent snap, spring and enhanced water and color carrying capacity.
- LW note: I love this brush, it’s amazing and it really surprised me with its quality. Unfortunately, for the picture I made with the tools from this month’s pack I didn’t use it too much – I ended up using mostly Robert Simmons Sapphire Sable-Synthetic Blend Brush from November 2021 pack snd some other, cheaper brushes in similar shape I’ve already owned. But this brush is really great and I’ll definitely use it in the future.
Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Boards 8″ x 10″
The 500 Series is Strathmore’s highest quality series of papers and boards. These boards provide a premium 100% cotton mixed media surface that offers true wet media performance with a drawing finish. The boards are constructed of internally-sized, vellum-finish sheets mounted to both sides of a high quality white board. They are archival, lignin- and acid-free. Ideal for commercial illustration, high-end journals, traditional fine art painting and drawing.
- LW note: As I said before, these boards normally aren’t available in Poland (I think?) but they’re awesome. They’re like very thick (1,5-2 mm) sheets of paper so I’d personally call them cardboard but they’re also very good quality and I love them. They’re very white and smooth. I already plan to use the rest of the boards in my future projects 🙂
No Sticker? This month instead of a sticker we are giving you Arty, your artistic side-kick! This manikin keychain will happily follow you everywhere.
- LW note: I have very mixed feelings about this keychain. I mean it’s a fun, cute keychain but if you’d like to use it as an actual art manikin – don’t 😀 It can only serve as a keychain, or some other artistic projects, maybe a skeleton for some figurine? But don’t model a regular human off it 🤣
Prompt #1: Mountains
Prompt #2: Broken
Prompt #3: Moon
Prompt #4: Bear
Time for my finished art done with the supplies from the pack! I chose prompt #3: Moon (blog post with the process coming soon!). It took me way longer than I wanted it to but the effect is nice, I think 🙂
Have you tried any media from this pack? Or any other watercolor pencils or crayons? Do you like them? Do you have a favourite technique? Please do let me know, I can’t be the only one who struggles with them! 😱