View Full Version : Art Supply Addicts Using New Stuff!

03-11-2012, 11:45 PM
This thread is an adjunct to the Art Supply Addicts Anonymous 2012 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1014622) thread or the current year after 2012. It's located in Oil Pastels Talk since that's where it first started - the Enabling Thread for Art Supply Addiction.

Now this thread is the Great Excuse Thread - when we use our new supplies, we learn more about them, make everyone else in the group drool and get tempted, and of course use up some of them so we need to get more. Right?

So this thread is to post your latest sketches, paintings, color charts, product photos, experiments, failed experiments and product reviews of new art supplies. It doesn't matter if you bought them, got them as hand me downs or found them in the back of your closet without remembering when you got them - this is about Trying New Supplies.

That can be as major as trying encaustics or oil pastels for the very first time with the medium or as subtle as getting a new watercolor pigment or a different brand of a familiar pigment. If you already had a different brand or version of what you just got, comparisons are very useful for the rest of us Art Supply Addicts. Your favorite version might not be mine and vice versa - something you hate could be perfect for someone more heavy handed or with a lighter touch.

Enjoy and share your experience! The more different viewpoints we get on popular products, the easier it is to decide which ones to add to the ever growing collection.

I've got some new pastels and some Derwent ArtBars coming starting this week, they're not here yet but they will start arriving soon. Friends have new ArtBars, new pen nibs, new paint... oh yeah, paint, I have all these awesome review supply paints that I haven't done paintings with yet, so maybe I'll get on them pretty soon now that the thread exists. Plus I bought the Atelier Interactive Acrylics when North Light Shop had them on sale and haven't even charted the set yet... plenty for me to post about the next time I use something new.

If someone else posted about a product, you should post about it too even if you agree with that other post. Show your example. It makes a difference - it lets readers know the first opinion wasn't a bad batch or a fluke good batch. If something tends to give lots of people conniptions we might want to steer clear at least of big quantities, if something's so awesome it improves the art of everyone who tries it, yay and cool!

So... what's in your packages? Show me how it works!

03-12-2012, 12:20 AM

Or even supplies you used to have and then replaced and got again. Over Christmas, a dear friend surprised me with a Full Range set of Derwent Inktense! I used to have one but it's back in Arkansas and I haven't seen it since last July when I packed it. So now I've got all the colors again. Love it. There's my color chart.

My daughter sent me a box of my supplies and it included my beloved 24 color Sakura Koi watercolor set - with its wonderful water brush, used to wash out the Inktense colors. Also a pack of four Sepia Pigma Micron pens in three sizes and brush tip that I'd hardly gotten to use. So those three things are all charted on the back inside cover of my Stillman & Birn "Delta" journal.

I love my S&B journals. "Delta" has rugged 180lb cold press watercolor paper, cream color, and it does not cockle. I can soak those pages. I can use markers on them. I can do anything to them and at least at the 6" x 8" size, they stand up to it and never bleed through. I love being able to paint on both sides and do anything I want in it. That is a true multi media journal.

I also have an S&B "Beta" journal which has the same lovely paper in white, but I'm filling up the Delta before I start really stuffing it with assorted color studies, materials experiments, small paintings and drawings, cat sketches from life. Everything always gets cat sketches from life.

Derwent Inktense are a joy. One of the things I love most about them is that they are beautiful colored pencils used dry. Here's a couple of pages from within the same S&B Delta Journal that I did today.

Dry color mixing experiments with the colors in the little 12 color set of Inktense that I bought right before my friend gave me the big set - this is my portable set. I was trying to explain to a student in email some tricks for mixing color in colored pencils and doing skin tones.


I love the Delta paper. When I do tonal layers on it with less pressure, it's so easy to shade to exactly the level I want and have beautiful even little cream specks showing through the color. Those layers make it a lot easier to draw with dry colored pencils.

Inktense are very soft colored pencils when dry. They're like Prismacolors in texture. Smudgy, easily blended, smooth and will cover completely if you press hard. So the watersoluble Inktense that turn into very intense watersoluble ink are good in both modes. Inktense do not rewet if you've soaked them thoroughly, but because they're that soft, a little goes a long way. If you don't really soak it, heavy layers don't get sealed in and any unwetted Inktense will still run.

So there's my rundown on Derwent Inktense and S&B Delta journals. Enjoy! Post your latest cool new stuff and what you do with it!

03-12-2012, 08:30 AM
Thanks Robert. It's nice to see the color charts. I consider making these charts as a fun and informative way to actually see your new art supplies.
Might post something when I have time - babysitting and can't be late.

03-12-2012, 10:30 AM
Oooooh, fun! I'm definitely subscribing to this thread. For those who are interested, there is another AMASS (Art Materials Acquisition Syndrome Society) thread here in the Art Journals forum (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=930276). Just about any medium you ever considered using in a sketchbook, or to make one, or the sketchbooks themselves, are in there. Looking forward to the AMASS experiences here. :)

Robert, I think the Koi sets are really good bargains. It's decent paint quality for the price (way, way better than Cotmans, IMO), and then those great little kits can be refilled with better paint when empty.

I like doing those color swatches and notes right in the back of the sketchbook I'm working in; then I have the swatches and mixes with me for reference, without disturbing the flow of the sketches and art, which I do from the front of the book. When the two meet, the book is done. :)


03-12-2012, 11:45 AM
What a great idea. I have 2 new sketchbooks and I have things I've bought (also an addict) that I haven't actually used yet. So I will make a concerted effort to do a sketch using some of these mediums that I have piling up around me.....

03-12-2012, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the cool new thread, Robert!!!

I really like the koi watercolor kits. . . I have the small one as a friend gave it to me a few years ago and it was my first watercolor set! I still use it often.

my newest FIND. . . the tank nib which has a resorvoir!!


03-12-2012, 10:08 PM
ok. . . this goes with the prior post about the nibs. Sorry, I was gonna add it but it took too long and couldn't edit anymore! These were each separately done as quick sketches using ONE SINGLE DIP of that nib. And there was more ink left. So if you like to use dip pens but don't like to keep dipping often, give these a try!!! They write very fine and are a little flexible, but not a lot like some dip pens.

This one was done with Lexington Gray Ink

This one was done with Polar Black ink

Also, for anyone who likes to use WHITE pens for highlights and things like that on their paintings and drawings, I will share this little sample I did of my white pens using on black paper. The pens work well over watercolor.


03-12-2012, 11:28 PM
Great idea for a thread Robert.
I purchased the 24 color Koi set with a 50% off coupon with the intention of putting in my own paint pans but the Koi paints were much nicer than I anticipated so I plan on using them up first. I also r
eally like the feel of the plastic. I think that's what ultimately sold me on it.

03-13-2012, 09:28 PM
Oh so much fun. Great idea Robert. I just ordered an Icarus Board and will share my thoughts on it when it arrives. I am super excited, something I have wanted forever and decided to treat myself. :clap: :clap:

03-15-2012, 10:56 AM

This is a cross post from All Media WDE. I have TWO new sketchbooks and want to use them --- the paper is awesome - very heavyweight so great for watercolor. It's "Handmade Watercolor Book" and I got it at Jerry's Artarama, I think.
Also, I just purchased pens, which I haven't really used yet so will be adding them to this -- I used walnut ink (new media for me as well) and black ink (not sure I like the effect).... The woman is done in watercolor but I hope to get more daring as I continue.... :crossfingers:

03-17-2012, 06:42 PM
Wow, so many cool mediums profiled. I love that walnut ink - it's so beautiful. Rainy, those tank nibs sound more interesting every time. Cat lady, yep, I felt the same way about the Koi sets. Almost used up my 12 color one but gave it away so now I'll need to get a new pocket size one. Still working on using up my 24 color one. They are so convenient and the paint is so strong and easily mixed, so vibrant and powerful.

Today I used my new Masters Pastels - 48 watersoluble hard pastels for $10.99 on sale, ludicrously cheap good range of hard pastels for any beginner.

Pears Page Underpainting
6" x 8"
Derwent Inktense on Stillman & Birn Delta journal (cream 180lb rough watercolor paper)

Pears Page
6" x 8"
Derwent Inktense underpainting
Masters Pastels (watersoluble)
Stillman & Birn "Delta" journal 180lb cream rough watercolor paper.
From memory and imagination.

They're very firm. Like most hard pastels they fill the tooth fast and would need softer pastels over them to keep going, but they go on well even on completely non sanded paper.

Jamie, I'm going to have to check out the cool thread in the Art Journals forum too! Awesome!

03-28-2012, 04:21 PM
This thread is cool, but getting lost on "page 3"... Can it become a sticky?

03-28-2012, 06:37 PM
Also, for anyone who likes to use WHITE pens for highlights and things like that on their paintings and drawings, I will share this little sample I did of my white pens using on black paper. The pens work well over watercolor.


Rainy, may I ask where you purchased the Signo Gell pen?

03-29-2012, 08:48 AM
This thread is cool, but getting lost on "page 3"... Can it become a sticky?
CandAlArt, the method I use (here and with Art Supplies Addicts Anonymous) is to copy the URL (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1043582) and create a new shortcut on my Desktop. (Right-click on the Desktop, select "New", left-click on "Shortcut," and paste the URL into the location box. Then click "Next" to give the shortcut a better name than "New"! :D )

Double-clicking on the shortcut brings me to the first page of the thread; effectively a Do-It-Myself (DIM?? :evil:) sticky.

HTH -- at least until this thread gets "sticky-fied",


joe galioto
03-29-2012, 01:03 PM
hope this post is ok here

i bought a mental paint box online
it's 12x16, Grumbacher plate
grey hammered finish with leather handle
5 big compartments inside with place for palette or canvas boards
anyway, i tried to do a web search on this and found non others like it.
it's in great condition but i think it might be old
does anyone have one or any information about this Grumbacher's box

03-29-2012, 02:11 PM
Joe. is it like this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Metal-Artists-Box-with-20-Tubes-of-Oil-Paints-/140728984889?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c419e539)? cool find

joe galioto
03-31-2012, 12:36 PM
yeah bonnie,
it's almost the same
mine has 2 latches instead of one in the center
and the grumbacher metal name plate
inside has the same compartments. paid $35 in very good condition empty
any idea how old it is, i'm thinking maybe the 1950s or 60s?

04-01-2012, 03:18 PM
these are all from the WDE the last few weeks. I got a set of Bienfang brush pens at Christmas and finally opened the package a few weeks ago! :o

they are pens that are loaded with watercolor. the tips are actually nylon brushes. the paint is squeezed through the pen and out through the bristles. you rarely need to squeeze once the paint is flowing, but initially after opening it takes a bit of work to coax the paint out.

i've been playing with different styles just to see what they can and can't do, and i've been enjoying the process a lot!

first attempt... a little clunky looking... hadn't used ink or watercolor of any kind for quite a while. this is more or less straight brush pens with a little bit of water brushed on.


second attempt... only used the black pen for this one, so needed a lot of water to get all the shades of grey. the black is very black... so a light touch is needed.


third attempt... this was an exercise in simplifying a complicated image. a little more illustrative.


latest attempt... little more traditional ink and watercolor. its difficult to get too detailed with the brush pens alone, i think they work better with the inking. had my blue pen spring a leak on this one... beware!


hope this gives you an idea what you can do with them! :)

Paris Girl
04-02-2012, 12:55 AM
Mike, I really love the parrot. It almost looks like it's done in graphite. And your truck looks fine too. :) Great thread btw.

04-02-2012, 01:44 AM
yeah bonnie,
it's almost the same
mine has 2 latches instead of one in the center
and the grumbacher metal name plate
inside has the same compartments. paid $35 in very good condition empty
any idea how old it is, i'm thinking maybe the 1950s or 60s?

No idea how old it is, but only $35?! You lucky dog! I've only seen those on FeeBay or Etsy and they always go for more than $35. Especially on eBay. I've seen high bidding wars over those things.

04-02-2012, 01:45 AM
Mike, love the drawings.

04-28-2012, 08:21 AM
Just discovered this thread while trawling to see if anyone else had started using Derwent Artbars yet. I haven't had much time to use mine since I got them, but I did write up a review on them here (http://rebeccajfleming.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/art-supply-review-derwent-artbars/), including this picture of a vase I copied from a photo found in Google:
I know there are a lot of problems with this piece (not least the ragged/fuzzy edges, which probably could have been smoothed/sharpened with one of those rubber colour shaper thingies, which I don't have), but I really liked how the Artbars blended. I used quite a few layers on this and for a first attempt at using any sort of pastel/crayon medium since childhood, I think it turned out okay. I've not used any other watersoluble pastels or crayons so I can't say how they compare, but I'd imagine that one advantage other brands would have over Derwent Artbars would be lightfastness; quite a few of these come in at 5 or under on the scale. Still, even if you don't use them to do finished work (or if you're just careful to only use the lightfast colours), these are great fun to play with in a sketching journal.

@Mike: I really love that parrot drawing. Those soft feathers look like I could reach out and pat him :D

05-15-2012, 05:52 PM
May I third the kudos for the parrot drawing?


And I read your post carefully...the parrot is done in black Bienfang brush pen only. Super!

Rebecca, that is a great vase with the ARtbars! I do love the effects you got, it looks like it is real glass. I may have to get a set of these, now that I've seen your pic!