Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Like Candy For The Senses!

A big box of new artist supplies arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of opening the box and gazing upon the exquisite splendor! I live in Nanaimo, BC, Canada and there's no good art supply stores around here. Therefore I have to order online, which I haven't done in a couple of years. The shipping to Canada is quite expensive plus getting the supplies over the border usually adds tax plus you have to pay for the assessment of tax too. I therefore wait until I need many supplies then make a huge order all at one time. That's where I was a week ago, even my drawing pencils were down to nubs, sharpened so many times that I couldn't read the kind they were anymore so I could order that kind again, lol. 

Since I'm expanding my artistic range, adding more pen & ink work, sketching, doodling and the use of more mixed media watercolor tools, I decided I'd flesh out my art supplies in all these directions.

My marker carousel
Firstly, I ordered 100 or so Prismacolor Markers that I intend to use both with watercolors and on their own, making doodles and coloring drawings. I love the way markers of slightly different hues work together to make fantastic backgrounds. So far, I've only had my Copic grays to work with, it's going to be really wonderful to be able to do blue or green or pink backgrounds, using subtle changes in color saturation. When ordering the Prismacolors I picked from open stock so I could avoid having to purchase any of the gray markers as I own Copic Markers in both warm and cool grays from 00 to 08. (I've tested some of the lighter colors, looking for background shades that would work together. I'm LOVING the colors but I must admit, they're not as smooth as my gray copics. Don't get me wrong, I'm in love, if only for the price! They're so much cheaper than Copics, lol. The color range is so wonderful too and the color comes out uniformly, the mash up of one light color with another is a little more streaky than I'm used to but I also tested them on kinda cheap, thin sketch paper, which I never use, lol. I'm sure with a little work these will do well for BOTH coloring in stuff and backgrounds.)
Prismacolor pinks, reds & earth tonesGreen Prismacolors & Copic Markers
120 Faber-Castell A.D.
Watercolor Pencils
The next addition to my virtual shopping cart was a full set of professional watercolor pencils. I chose the 120 count set of Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils for their beautiful range of color, the way they bloom when water is added and their creamyness. I did so much research to make the right choice. There's only one thing I wish were different with them. I wish they were woodless, I love the idea of being able to sharpen the pencils and save the shavings to use in interesting ways, combining them with water. Instead, I have Creatacolor Aqua Monolith Woodless Watercolor Pencils on my "buy next time" list specifically because of the woodless quality of the pencil. (After using them for the last week, I have to say they totally rock! I'm totally in love with how they lay down color and allow you to layer color upon color, making new hues and deepening the saturation. They are soft enough to allow me to get in the nooks & crannies of the cold pressed paper I tend to use but just hard enough to allow the lightest touch to give me the very lightest color of each pencil. I did add water at one point and was stunned by how it immediately liquified, not streaking in the least or leaving non liquified color "residue" like my old Stadtler's did. I totally recommend these wonderful watercolor pencils.)

5 Graphitint pencils
+ sepia & sanguine Prismas
Now we get into the nitty gritty of the order, all the bits & pieces that don't cost much but really add functionality to an artist's palette. I think my favorite thing in this group are the Graphitint pencils and the Prismacolor sepia & sanguine colored pencils. The Graphitint pencils are tinted graphite, which is totally cool! They do erase, not totally, but enough so if you use them lightly until you know your lines are permanent, they'll erase. I'm also obsessed at the moment with sepia colored drawings so I purchased all I could find in that color family, hence the Prismacolor sepia & sanguine pencils. Obsessed, I SAY!! (I have used both the Graphitint and the Prismacolor pencil crayons. Wow is all I can say. The Graphitint are amazing, they function like a graphite pencil but have a slight color to them, I'm in love, seriously... And the Prismacolor pencil crayons are SO creamy they fill in the crevices of cold pressed paper like magic. They're so good I'm tempted to add them to my want list, even though watercolor pencils work as ordinary pencil crayons. The Prismas are so darn creamy they lay down color, they just work differently than anything I've ever used. I see why EVERYONE I've ever talked to who use them will NEVER change!)

Pitt artist pens in sepia
Another foray into sepia toned pens are my new Pitt artist pens with four nib widths. The set of four comes with a fine, small, medium and brush nib. I absolutely LOVE the color of the ink and can't wait to try them out!

Sakura Gelly Rolls &
Pentel RSVP gel pens
Next are my new Gel pens, I got a few Sakura Gelly Rolls (Metallic, Stardust & Original) at Micheals as I waited for the Dick Blick order to arrive. In my order I have 8 Pentel RSVP gel pens. They're a finer point on them than all but one Gelly Roll. The GR's are more like paint flowing out of the ballpoint instead of ink but I sure love all of them. I have a BUNCH more kinds of Gel pens coming in a bunch of individual colors (Pentel Hibrid, Pilot Hi-Tec, Pentel Slicci, Uni-ball Signo, Zebra Sarasa). I can't wait to doodle my way into oblivion, hehehe. (I love all the gel pens, they're scrumptious to use for doodling! I can't wait until the other gel pens arrive from Japan, the tracking number tells me they've been in Vancouver BC for 5 days and have been released from Customs so I have NO idea what's keeping Canada Post from delivering. Snail Mail can seriously suck sometimes.)

Stabilo 88 minis
These Stabilo 88 fine tip markers were really inexpensive as they're minis! It allows me to have a better range of color but not have a full pen of each color. The fine point will be great for writing and outlining doodles etc. I also picked up a full sized light gray 88 marker since that color wasn't offered in the 18 color set. I've been looking and looking for a light gray marker to use to add subtle shadows in drawings and paintings. I had a time finding one, I'm so glad I discovered these Stabilo's.

Neocolor II set of 10
At the last minute I threw in these Neocolor II water soluble crayons because I'd heard such great things about them and I knew that I wouldn't be able to get them for like at least a year if they weren't in THIS order. It was kinda a no brainer... get them now or wait more then a year to try a fantastically talked about product. Hmmm, I think I'll get them! ;o) I can't wait to play with them and see what they can do, I can't imagine a crayon being water soluble so it'll be totally a new experience!

21 Pearlescent pan colors
Lastly, the cheapest thing I purchased will probably be a really fun and playful new addition to my watercolor paintings. It's a set of Pearlescent pan watercolors (21 colors) from Japan. They were only like $2 or $3, wow, I know! On my list to purchase some day are Twinkling H2O's which are pots of translucent and shimmering watercolor paints. The pigments are infused with mica so they twinkle subtly after they dry. They are highly touted and much praised by artists I admire (Tracy Fletcher King, Dion Dior) Right now I can't afford them, so this set will suffice until I get to a birthday or Christmas!!

turquoise & sepia
FW acrylic artist ink
I thought, since I was photographing everything in my studio, I should click a photo of my studio space as well (since it's now all organized and perfect! Oh, and I almost forgot to show you my new ink colors. for the fountain pen with a rollerball nib that I DON't own yet. On my ever growing "to buy" list is one or two Noodler's Rollerball ink pen with a piston filler for using bottled ink. Can you predict one of the two colors of ink I purchased?? Yep, Sepia, you guessed right, lol. The other color is turquoise, one of my other faves. I love bluey-green colors, sepias and bright pinks like magenta and fuchsia. I wouldn't be happy if these colors weren't in my life. Our home is based on shades of turquoise and I just love the softness of the family room. It makes me happy just to be in the room. (These inks are fantastic, they can be thinned with water, which is just what I did this morning. I made a 1/2, 1/4 & 1/8 strength. I can't wait to do a sepia drawing using the ink for background and the earlier shown Pitt pens for the composition! Now all I have to do is pick my subject, maybe I'll do Hettienne's doll challenge in Inspiration Avenue in sepia!)
It's not a huge space but it's perfect for me.
If you would like to purchase any of the supplies I've mentioned above please use the sidebar to click through to Dick Blick. They have the best prices or they'll match any advertised price from other suppliers. They also have great shipping prices. I'm a Dick Blick affiliate so if you purchase anything from their website after clicking through from my site you'll help keep me in hazelnut coffee, and you KNOW I'm an addict. I'd appreciate your click throughs. Thanks!

I'll soon be putting up a new Blogging 101 post (part 2). But before that I'll be bringing you some of my artwork, a project I was involved in about a month ago but couldn't talk about it until now. So, come on back in a day or so to read all about the project I participated in!

Until then, have a great week my bloggy friends. Remember if you want to participate in my first Artist Play Room the optional challenge went up Saturday morning, go here to read the challenge and enter your submission and go here to read the rules for participating!

Later, my friends!
I'm out,

P.S. I'd love it if all my readers would follow in the Follower Tool ------>
(in my sidebar). I'm happy to follow back, just leave a comment with your blog link and the request! I do love finding great new blogs to read.

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  1. That's a nice workspace you have. I don't ever remember having a workplace that neat!

  2. Oooon nice. I just did a big order from Blick's too and have been thinking of becomin an affiliate. I love their supplies and they deliver fast. Yes your space is very neat. You outta see mine, tee hee. Nice post.

  3. oh! just like christmas,, wow,

  4. Oh my gosh... so exciting! It is just like Christmas!! You are going to have so much fun with all those goodies!! :)

  5. MY, what a haul you've made, Girlfriend!!! I can't wait to see the beautiful work that these pens, pencils and even crayons will deliver through your blessed hands. I'm happy for you, and for the art world!!

    :) Much love,
    Ya Sistah,

  6. Such a wealth of goodies you have. It's interesting. I just came from another's blog who spoke of their tools too. She uses just six colors of paint, six pencils, a few brushes, and paper to make her amazingly good art. I guess I am somewhere in the middle of the two of you. More than her, far less than you use.
    I do have the luminescent paints like yours and I vouch for how much fun they can be to add a bit of sparkle to a painting.

  7. Wow Jenn...what a wonderful bundle...I can't wait to see what you do with them.

    Hugs xx

  8. I love Dick Blick! What a haul!! Whoohoo!! Have fun. :):)

  9. Man- that's like Christmas all over again! WooHoo!
    I SO wish I could draw, lol. Your workspace is lovely- but too clean, haha.

    Congrats on the loot, I know you will make freat and creative use of it all.

  10. Woo hoo! It's like Christmas and birthday and all the holidays all wrapped up in one big bow!! I like Dick Blick too. I have on my list to order more Dr. Ph. Martin's watercolors.

    I look forward to seeing all the deliciousness you create with this haul! Warmly, Tracy

  11. Jen,
    I'm loving all of your art supplies. Gosh, now I want to go shopping as I'm like you - whatever I don't get now, I'm sure in a year, it won't be an option. Hmmm.....I might sneak out later for a bit!! :)

    Now, I'm off to do my post for your art co-op!! :)


  12. An art supply box is just about my favourite thing in the whole world... I love the A D watercolour pencils, and even though I have some inktense, I find that I still go back to the AD's, and I bought some of those crayons just recently and they are insanely pigmented... you will love them, and I have that same ink, so it seems we have had similar mind sets on the supply front lately... have to say the customs thing sounds awful... we are pretty lucky here in Australia that things arrive really quickly, and have to say you should maybe get some twinks sooner rather than later... I have spent the morning cruising looking to expand my collection... they are sooo much fun...xx


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