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In today’s post I will be reviewing; Marble Art; Full kit.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Marbling 4 Fun/ Marble Art Kit
  • RRP at time of writing: £35

Reason For Buying

I’ve always wanted to try marbling on paper but in the past it looked so complicated and kits were expensive. I saw this kit demonstrated on Create and Craft, but on the makers own site they also had marbling combs, so I bought from them as the pattern I most wanted to create would need a comb.

Contents

  • Marbling paints: White, Yellow, Blue, Red and Black. 50gms of each
  • Alum crystals. 30grms
  • Floater Powder 40 gms
  • 8 Pipettes
  • Instruction sheet
  • A6 box for storage and to marble in.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Fun
  • Simple to do
  • Colours are mixable so you can mix any colours you like from the core kit
  • Neither the paints nor the floater mix smell, I am sensitive to highly fragranced products but neither gave me any issues.
  • Storage box the kit comes in becomes the tray you marble in
  • Bright colours from first prints
  • Later prints become lighter as there is less paint on the floater, you get beautiful faded pastel shades with later prints.

Cons

  • Needs a bit of prep for the area you want to marble in as papers take a good while to dry off
  • Best done in a room with a hard floor in case of spills
  • In a domestic situation, you would probably want to keep cats/dogs/ younger kids out of the room where you do this or where papers are drying, or they might walk on or or lick the gooey papers.

Build Quality

Excellent, does what it says on the tin. I like the fact that the tray that you marble in is also a storage box for the kit, which when you are short of space is helpful. The lids of the paints are easy to remove but also very secure.

Value for Money

Excellent. Its an affordable price for trying a new hobby.

Extras you will need

Its always advisable to keep craft and food items separate, so bear in mind you will also need the following items to get started, on top of the main kit.

  • Dedicated bowl (that will accept near boiling water), to mix the floater powder in.
  • Whisk also for mixing the floater powder.
  • Bottle of deionized water, the best prints are created with soft water, even bottled waters are hard so use deionized water for the best results (see Links)
  • A screw top bottle to store your mixed floater water. Once made up, it will last up to 3 months if stored in the fridge.
  • Air tight pots for your mixed paint, such as the little pots that used to contain 35mm film for cameras. (available from the company if you haven’t got any horded away)
  • Protect your working area with plastic, such as cut open bin liners ;)
  • Some extra pipettes if you want to mix loads of colours.

You will also use LOADS of kitchen paper to clean the tray between prints and a bucket to put the wet waste paper into is essential.

Optional Extras

  • Combs to create patterns in the paint, you can use paper clips etc but the company does sell a small comb.
  • Get the Violet paint! Its not in the main kit but it is beautiful, so if you budget will let you get it.
  • If you don’t want the paint to stain your fingers you can wear protective gloves
Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, because I love the effects.

Summing up

If you have always wanted to marble but been put off by a lot of expensive kit, this is a great place to start. The finished results are superb from bright vivid colours for your first print out to pastels if you take later prints from the same paints on the tray.

Best to do this in a kitchen or on an area with a hard floor in case of spills and keep a plastic bucket next to you for the kitchen paper you use to clean off the tray with. I did this in the studio and cut open bin bags to cover the table for a wide area, had some disposable gloves so I didn’t colour my hands too. I put the marbling box on a tray and put layers of butchers paper for the prints to dry on.

After a marbling session

After a marbling session

Stick your mixed paint pots down! I thought I didn’t need to and when I stood the pipette in it, gravity tipped it over! I used a curl of masking tape and it held the camera pots to the side of the box nicely.

I stuck my pots to the tray with masking tape.

I stuck my pots to the tray with masking tape.

My papers took overnight to dry in an unheated outside studio. The papers will be covered in a layer of floater mix which feel a bit like light hair gel, so it does get messy but its lots of fun. The results were much better than I expected and by storing the floater mix in the fridge it can last up to 3 months after you first mix it. So you get a lot of prints from each batch of floater.

Messy but marvellous, does what it says on the tin! Its a lot of fun and the marbling effects are addictive and beautiful.

Links

If you would like to try this kit for yourself, check out the links below. Marble Arts do ship internationally too.

Marbling 4 Fun website

Full Marbling Kit

Deionized water

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

This month I’m going to try this marbling kit.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

As soon as I saw this kit on Create and Craft I just had to get it, I’ve always wanted to try marbling. After some research into the process and chatting to my bookbinding friends who also paper marble I think this will be a wonderful way to try the process in a smaller more achievable scale.

Once I’ve had a play, I’ll let you know how I get on and hope to write a review and maybe some tutorials, we’ll see how I get on. I bought my kit direct from the makers and added some extras; the Violet coloured paint and the comb you see in the next picture.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Feeling tempted? Check out You Tube for Marbling 4 fun tutorials and also well worth watching are the ones for Ebru, which is Turkish marbling. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in this too and I’ll share my links for some really wonderful marbling sites and videos.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Stabilo Point 88 pens.

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Stabilo
  • Item number: 8825-1
  • RRP at time of writing: RRP £30.60 but £16 on Amazon

Reason For Buying

Having decided to give doodling a go, I wanted a set of quality fine nibbed colored pens, these looked a good set of colours to allow

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Excellent fine nib 0.4 mm (see graphic on case)
  • Smooth to draw or write with
  • Good selection of colours, suitable for a range of subjects
  • Case is lightweight but plastic so will last a while if you like your pens lined up by colour
  • These pens are water-soluble so if you want to bleed out the colour for projects you can
  • Pens are also available singly from Art supply stores if you wish to replace colours over time

Cons

  • The only colour ID is on the pen cap and base, not the barrel of the pen. So you’ll want to clip caps to base while in use or risk getting colours in a muddle
  • With my dexterity issues I found the narrow barrels and caps a little awkward to get hold of. Not a problem if you hands work tho ;)
  • Given the high rrp, the case quality is a bit of a let down. It works well but looks like it would rip quite easily, not that sturdy

Build Quality

The pen itself is excellent, the material of the nib gives a smooth writing or drawing surface on different papers/card. The caps fit well, the only quality issue is the case they come in. Not a deal breaker if you are intending to store them in other containers.

Value for Money

TBH I’m not sure I would have paid full rrp, but I got mine from Amazon for around £13 delivered and for that I am very satisfied. They are excellent and if you like to use fine liners in your art, these are excellent quality.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve used these pens on cheap paper as well as good quality cartridge paper, they perform well and give excellent results. The colour range is good and the glide of the nib on the paper is a joy.

Personally, I would have liked a coloured barrel to help ID the colours and due to difficulties with fine motor skills, I struggle with the small caps and fine barrels. The barrels are approximately the same diameter as Bic biros for reference.

Be aware of the water-soluble nature of these pens when choosing a project to use them on. So if you are using them with mixed media and use anything waterbased over the top, bear in mind the colours will reactivate and move. If you want a water colour look from the pens, scribble some colour onto an acrylic block or non porous surface and use a waterbrush to pick up the colour. This does make for a versatile pen that will have many uses. Single pens and smaller sets are available if you want to try them out before investing in a bigger set.

The other use for these pens, they are great for pattern drafting (dressmaking) due to their fine line. Careful of where you store your patterns though due to the water-soluble ink!

These pens have become a favorite for me for doodle art. Do try them out, the colours and ink flow are a joy.

Links

Here are some places where you can find Stablio pens. They are also available in larger sets with a thicker nib known as Stabilo 68. If you want something more compact to take out and about there were also some pocket-size pens in Staples.

Whats your favorite pen for doodling? Would love to see projects you have created with these pens, do leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Faber-Castell; 4 Pitt artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen
  • Item number: 167100
  • RRP at time of writing: £9.49

Contents

The four pen set contains: S, F, M, B which I later found out equates too;

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen. XS not in the set, purchased separately.

Reason For Buying

Originally I bought these some years ago for ink sketching, but I haven’t got round to using them much for that yet. Instead I’ve used them for doodling.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable in the hand
  • Lightweight
  • Very black ink
  • Good on cartridge paper
  • Excellent range of nib sizes
  • Pens are available individually to replace them as needed.

Cons

  • Some issues with a few sizes, see Build Quality

Build Quality

The caps fit well, the pen is comfortable in the hand but I have found the nibs are a bit scratchy in the XS and S size. The M tip has had a tendency to not cover on the first stroke, so I wasn’t pleased with that for doodling. That may not be an issue for sketching where I may want a softer line. Depends on what you are wanting to use these for.

Value for Money

Good, F/C products are well made and well worth the investment. I’m not going to write off these pens, as the niggles I have may reduce with use. The nibs may well wear in and work better. I am comparing them to very old pens of a similar kind.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve enjoyed using these pens but they haven’t performed as well as some of the others that I’ve had in the past. I also have their Artline drawing system pens which I found worked slightly better, that said as I mentioned earlier I am comparing them to very old pens and perhaps the old ones were like this when new.  A fantastic quality of ink, so well worth trying. No problems with the brush tip and the fact the ink is a true black black and doesn’t reactivate with water makes them very useful for sketching and doodling especially if you want to add paint or other ink over the top.

The more hit n miss effect on the thicker nibs might work better for sketching it was just I wanted a reliable thick line for the doodling style I was working on at the time of writing this review. I’ll add a note at the end of the review when I’ve tried them for sketching to report on how well they work for that.

Links

Here’s where you can find these pens online.

  • Set of 4 Faber-Castel pens on Amazon UK also available as a set of 6 which include the XS and a chisel tip
  • Artline Drawing System pens on Amazon UK This set contains 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 which are my perfect sizes for sketching and doodling.
  • Edding 1800 Profipen another favorite and worth comparing with these pens. Smaller choice of nibs at 0.1,0.3, 0.5 but these would be most used for sketching and doodling.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a doodle inspired by the one by Flora Chang in Jenny Doh’s Craft a Doodle book.

Folk art doodle inspired by Flora Chang's design in Craft-a doodle book

Folk art doodle inspired by Flora Chang’s design in Craft-a doodle book

I saw the picture in the book and loved it so copied the main elements and then tweaked some a little. Then I read the details about the doodle in the book only to discover that the concept was that the left side should be a mirror of the right. Mine isn’t I started off copying and they got into it and just filled the page. Really like this style, I’ll be doing more like this.

Next there was the dilemma of to colour or not to colour? I loved the page as it was but I was also very tempted to colour it. I ignored the page for the rest of the day but by the evening I was still itching to add colour to it, so I got out the water colours and waterbrush and went for it. I wasn’t trying to keep to the lines too exactly as I’m starting to like the more random look of colour that goes outside the lines. As if the printing wasn’t lined up. Given the whimsical nature of the page, I thought it went with the theme.

Items used

Thought you might like a list of what I used. As much as I like looking at people’s art, I often wonder what they used to create it.

  • Pens: Faber-Castell Pitt Pens
  • Paint: Winsor and Newton watercolours.

Feels good to have art back in my life. I missed it so much last year. Must be patient and not over do it so I can keep the use of my hands this year.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Inspired by Flora Chang’s doodle in Craft-a-doodle book I drew this for Valentines Day. Turns out I really like this folk arty style, who knew hehe. Just goes to show, it’s always worth exploring new areas with your art and creativity, you never know where it will lead you.

Valentine's Doodle

Valentine’s Doodle

This was created using

  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens
  • Faber-Castell PolyChromos pencils.
  • Daler Rowney Basic sketchbook

Some interesting points came up during these doodle experiments, apart from try what you have in your stash before buying new stuff. I had in my stash some Polychromos pencils that a dear friend gave me some years back when they were all the rage for using with a solvent for coloring in. Nice as they were, at the time I didn’t enjoy the overly waxy finish and glossy result they gave when you layered colours. However, I tried them again with the Daler Rowney sketchbook, which has a little more tooth than cartridge paper and this time enjoyed their almost crayon like result.

Using Polychromos pencils almost feels like colouring with Galaxy chocolate. They are super smooth and silky but they do have a high wax content so unless you have them super sharp they can look like wax crayon. Although I find this difficult for sketch work, for doodling and more folk arty projects they are great. Amazon had a set of 36 in their sales at Christmas so now I’d fallen in love with them I treated myself to a set to increase my colour options. If you haven’t tried them before, I’d highly recommend you get a two or three of the individual pencils and try them on your favorite drawing surfaces and see if you enjoy them before purchasing bigger sets. It took me a while but now I appreciate their texture. Just depends on you style and skill level I guess. They do need more work to blend than other pencils, which I struggled with, thanks to poor dexterity so for me they don’t win over my Inktense for sketching and more realistic style of art.

Moral of the tale, if you have art materials that you don’t think you like, try them for a different style of art or on different surfaces. Some things just have a learning curve and it’s getting to know how to charm your materials to get the best from them. Check out Pintrest and the like to see how others use them and then look for tutorials. It could be down to learning the right techniques.

Have fun experimenting, and your sketch book is a great place to try out new materials and new ideas.

Links

To find the supplies used in this doodle, check out my Art Supplies page.

Review of Inktense Pencils

There will be a review of the Polychromos pencils coming soon to this blog :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Do you Doodle? Or wish you did? In today’s post I will be reviewing; Craft-a-Doodle by Jenny Doh. If the winter blues are getting you down, or your life stresses you out, you need this book.

Craft-a-Doodle by Jenny Doh

Craft-a-Doodle by Jenny Doh

  • Title: Craft-a-Doodle
  • Author: Jenny Doh
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts
  • ISBN: 978-1-4547-0422-5
  • RRP: £12.99 at time of writting

My Reason for Buying

Growing up I used to doodle quite a lot, but gave it up for no particular reason. Lately Doodling has become the latest craze and since I used to love it so much, I wanted to see what other artists doodle.

I tell you this as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose ;)

Contents

This book brings together a number of artists and has tutorials/doodle prompts for each of them. The artists included in the book are;

  • Cori Dantini
  • Gemma Correll
  • Carla Sonheim
  • Flora Chang
  • Corinne Dean
  • Dawn Devries Sokol
  • Jessie Oleson Moore
  • Dinara Mirtalipova
  • Julie ArmbrusterStephanie Kubo
  • Cynthia Shaffer
  • Aimee Ray
  • Teressa McFayden
  • Hanna Anderson
  • Mafalda Laezza
  • Pamela Keravuori
  • Jennifer Taylor
  • Teesa Moore

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Good clear font used throughout the book
  • Most of the text is NOT on patterned or textured background, some is in red ink but not too much and some is on coloured panels but the background isn’t mottled so that helps.
  • Lots of different style brought together in one publication
  • At the back of the book is a paragraph about each artist included in the main book
  • Links to artists websites/blogs are in the back of the book
  • Details of materials used by each artist are included with the tutorials

Cons

Haven’t got any

Value for Money

Excellent, covers a lot of different styles in one book

Would I buy it Again?

Totally

Summing up

You know when you were a kid and saw someone drawing something cool, if you were lucky they would teach you how to do it, then you went off and made it your own.. This book is like that. I like that there are different styles in the book, I didn’t love them all but found lots that I did. I like that there are lists of websites in the book so if you fall in love with a style you can visit the artists site and find out more.

You don’t need much to doodle, if you have a sheet of printer paper and a biro you can doodle. Just bring an open mind and your favorite brew and this book will inspire you to get back to doodling and all the fun and relaxation that it brings. You can get pretty with it with coloured pens and pencils or paints of your choice if you like, but whatever you do, its a lot of fun and will bring a smile to your face. Who doesn’t need that from time to time?

Go get this book, its excellent, you need it. ;)

Links

Craft-a-Doodle on Amazon

Jenny Doh; Blog

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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