Saturday, July 10, 2010

(Super) Supply Saturday 1.4

Since I’ve missed a couple of weeks of doing Supply Saturday due to being gone, I decided to make up a little for those missed ones by doing a Super Supply Saturday today! Lots of goodies to be reviewed today so let’s get at it…

Fabriano Artistico 140# Hot Press Watercolor Paper – I told y’all back when I was making my quilted fabric covered journal that I was going to review this heavenly paper so here it is! I would never have found this luscious paper  had it not been for my utter love of Teesha Moore and her journaling process and this is the paper that she uses and loves, so I tried it. I have to agree with Teesha, this paper really is fabulous!! It has a feel that I can only describe as being the silk of papers, smooth to the touch and just fabulous to work on. I’ve used every type of medium on it and it takes a real beating and it stands up wonderfully. It’s substantial and thick but no so thick that you can’t work with it, takes water media without pilling like other papers can do, doesn’t tear when used in bookbinding, is uniform and smooth which makes working on it heavenly. I guess my main downfall would be the cost factor (we all know I’m the cheapest of cheap)…this paper is very expensive, comparatively speaking. I seldom spend big bucks on art supplies (mainly cause I don’t have big bucks but still…) but this is one supply that I will spend money on, it’s worth it to me to have a great base to do my art journaling on. If you’re a cheapo like me, check out the great sales that Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artarama runs and grab some that way…that’s what I did and it has been well worth it. So my rating for Fabriano Artistico is a rating of 9 out of 10 (cost being the ONLY downfall of this great paper for me.)

Reynolds Freezer Paper – I know that you’re  probably looking at those three words and wondering “What in the hell is she thinking?” when I list freezer paper as an art supply but seriously, this is one of my all time favorite art supplies. I love that a household supply that is so readily available (in the US, at least) can be used for such an awesome amount of things in the studio. I love to make t-shirts and other stenciled fabric items and nothing beats Reynolds Freezer Paper for making leak proof, iron-on stencils. If you don’t have access to a silk screen machine (is it a machine?), this is the most awesome way to go! (For more info on how-to, check out my tutorial on using it to create your own stencils HERE.) No studio should be without a roll so I give Reynolds Freezer Paper a 9 out of 10 (only because of how time consuming cutting the stencils can be.)

Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Watercolor CrayonsThis is another of those wonderful art supplies that, in my opinion, no art journalist or mixed media artist’s studio should be without. I’d bet that the very first art supply we all used when we were little was crayons but these babies definitely ain’t your kindergarten crayons. I love the fact that they can be used as wet or dry media, they are soft enough to blend and smudge easily with your fingertips, they have such vibrant colors and they can be easily used as a water medium. When I art journal, there are times I need a good smudgy bit of color here and there and my Neocolor II’s are always my choice supply to grab (and my cheapo Portfolio Water-soluble Pastels, too)…if you haven’t used them, try ‘em. I guarantee you’ll be hooked. I love to trace around images with a similar color to the image, then smudge it with my fingertips to give that image depth and character. If I don’t like it, I can grab a wet paintbrush and it becomes a watercolor that I can paint into the background. How can you not love that? Yep, one awesome supply for any artist. I give Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons a 9 out of 10 with price, once again, being my one reservation…but sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and these babies are well worth the money, in my opinion.

Koi Fillable Watercolor Brushes – As much as I love the idea of having a portable source of water to use with my watercolors (or my Neocolor II’s), these brushes that are touted by so many as being great, aren’t great to me. First, the price is exorbitant for their quality. The best price I’ve found them for is $6.00 each but I paid $7.50 for mine 6+ months ago and I’m thankful I only bought the one. The flow of water from the Koi brush is inconsistent, no matter how you try to be consistent with your pressure…meaning you get floods of water one time and you’re dry brushing the next with the same amount of pressure. The idea is ingenious, I will give Koi that much, it’s the follow through in production that fails the test for me. I give the Koi Fillable Watercolor Brushes a 3 out of 10. (If you’re looking for something more affordable that does the trick, try the Aqua-Flo Watercolor Brushes ,-that’s clickable, btw; they come in a set of 3 for less than $4.00 and their flow is great!)

Well, there you have it…a Super Supply Saturday! Lots of supplies reviewed and maybe it’s given you some insight into some supplies you have wondered about. Please, leave your suggestions for supplies to review in the coming weeks…I promise I’m going to be more consistent with my Supply Saturday posts from now on.

Peace & Love,
Barb

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up Barb! Will have to watch for sales and check out the paper you recommended. Agree with you on the neopastels and just recently got the oil pastels. Won't waste my $$ on the brushes as I have to agree....very pricey!

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  2. I have never used freezer paper for anything, even freezing stuff, but I have heard it is great for journaling. Will have to go get some and mess with it for stencils. I have the KOI Waterbrush, but have never tried to use it as I have other cheap ones. Must get it out and try it. Thanx for letting us in on your fav's of supplies. Fabriano paper search begins now.

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  3. I've just been all excited about finding a big pack of multi-colored sharpies for $3!

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  4. Wonderful reviews. I have used the waterbrush myself but I do not use it for large projects because frankly it doesn't hold enough water for me, but for small projects I don't mind it at all. I have yet to use the Neocolor crayons but I have heard many great things about them and will probably purchase them soon. Thanks for the review again - It's nice to hear how things work before you purchase them!

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  5. I agree with everything you've said here except for your review of the koi brushes. The koi brushes are meant to have water flow both as you brush and if you squeeze. The flow is not meant to be heavy but fairly light.

    I use mine for sketching or loading up with color and using like a pen...

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  6. Thanks for the reviews. I love and often use Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons. Couldn't agree with your review more.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

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