Category Archives: Art Supply Testing/Reviews

Inktense Blocks Review

Okay, so I got a few new art supplies and thought I’d post a bit of a review here.  First up is Derwent Inktense Blocks.  OMG…LOVE THEM.  Love them so much.  They are hard little sticks of color that when wet, become inky and permanent.  You can dip the end in water and draw and color/paint with them, which is fun and what I did here:

As you can see, the colors of these things is INTENSE.  Love it.  I also love to use them as pan watercolors, brushing down their sticks with a wet brush.  I love pan watercolors for their convenience, and these are even better because rather than tiny half-pans or even full pans that I have to dab and scrub, I just stroke down the length of these.  Um, this is sounding dirty.  Sorry.  But anyway…the color lifts from the blocks super easily and it’s so vibrant it’s ridiculous.  And unlike watercolors, it dries permanent so your work stays put and you can do more work over it.  Here’s my quickie sketch done that way in my Strathmore 140 lb watercolor journal:

I got the fuschia on my hands, so I sprayed the facing page wet and then wiped the color off my hands onto the page and massaged it in.  This is the result, to show you the intensity of this color saturation:

I also got some Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels and did a painting, but my camera turned it BLUE so I’ll have to try and get some shots outside or something to get the coloring right.  They lay down like lipstick, so glidey-nice, and they’re also very vibrant.  I don’t like that I can’t work over them, though, and that I have to blend away all the little remnants of pastel after I color.

I also got a Tradio Fountain Pen and I love the way it slides over smooth paper.  I got some Golden gesso, both black and white, and it’s so smooth the fountain pen works great on it, so I took this picture of my signature written with the pen over the gesso:

I love Golden’s gesso.  It’s so velvety smooth I can’t keep my hands off it.  I’ll never go back to Liquitex.

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Sanctuary Painting


This is the watercolor sketch on its own. The colors are actually pinker but my camera doesn’t do pink.

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Sanctuary


This is a quick watercolor sketch I did with the super cheap no-name watercolors in my Strathmore Watercolor Journal 8×5, next to the paints themselves so you know which ones I’m talking about!

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Niji Pearlescent Watercolor test


This is a test of my new Niji Pearlescent watercolors, about $4 anywhere. The colors turned out more brilliant than it looks, but they are soft, and there is a bit more pearlescence in real life. I like the way they layer.

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Super cheap watercolors test


I got these super cheap watercolors and did this test of colors. It’s dry-brush over Strathmore Watercolor Journal 140 lb. They’re hard to hydrate but brilliant in color. I’d say they’re guache. They dry to a chalky consistency. These are the little round paint sets you probably see at your art store counter for $4. I got these for the nice palette they came with and paid just under $4.

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Testing my homemade stamps

I carved some relief letter stamps out of craft foam from the Dollar Store (soooooeasy) and tested them out on this page using glossy enamel craft paint on a book page.

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Mexican Hatdance

Mexican Hatdance

This is Sharpie on drawing paper

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