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In today’s post I will be reviewing; Derwent Inktense pencils.

Derwent: Inktense Pencils. Tin of 24

Derwent: Inktense Pencils. Tin of 24

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Derwent/ Inktense
  • Item number: 0700929 (set of 24)
  • RRP at time of writing: £35.75

Purpose

Quote from Packaging: Derwent Inktense combines the brilliant intensity of pen and ink with the versatility of line and wash. Apply pure, vibrant dry colour then wash the pigment out completely to leave a translucent ink like effect. Once dry the colour is permanent and can be worked over with other media. The possibilities are endless.

Reason For Buying

I went for these set of 24, for the wider range of colours. These pencils appealed to me for the fact they say once dry the colour doesn’t re-activate. I love water-soluble pencils but have struggled when using them, as when I try to overlay colours the earlier layers wash off. I hope to use these for mixed media work as well as quick sketches.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Love the colour range
  • Super smooth application of colour
  • Colour mix beautifully if applied in the same layer.
  • For a glaze of another colour let first layer dry and new layer will keep its own colour and not blend with earlier ones.
  • Able to layer with more colour without disturbing earlier layers
  • The 24 are a great mix of colours which you can blend for even more colour options. A great size for location/classes
  • The round pencil casing is comfortable in the hand for sketching for longer periods.
  • Useful that the lid comes off completely and will sit neatly under the box, while in use. Handy if you don’t have a lot of room.

Cons

The only issue I have with Derwent is the tendency for their lids to come off when you don’t want them too. I took a tin like this out in a sketching bag and when I opened the bag the tin had opened and the pencils were loose in the bottom of the bag.

This was on a different tin but of the same design, by the same company. Now I always err on the side of caution and always use an elastic band around the tin to keep it secure. The lid is easy to remove but it would be nice if it was more secure for travel, as this 24 pencil set is a great size for on the move.

Build Quality

Superb, the colour core is fantastic quality and the wooden casing is top quality and from sustainable forest.

Value for Money

Excellent. Like with anything of top quality not cheap, but the quality is well worth the price tag.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes! I bought the 24 set thinking that would be plenty, but the pencils were so good, like the colour magpie I NEED them all. MIL gave me a donation for my birthday so I’m saving the difference and going for the LOVELY wooden box set of the full range of 72.

Summing up

Derwent: Inktense Pencils. Tin of 24

Derwent: Inktense Pencils. Tin of 24

These pencils are wonderful, the niggles I had about water-soluble pencils are solved by these Inktense ones. I love the versatility that you can use them like regular pencils dry, add water for a vibrant ink/wash effect and work over the colour without disturbing earlier layers. The quality is fantastic, if you are unsure if they are for you, the pencils are available individually so you can get just one to see if you like them.

I highly recommend the set of 24 as the colour range is more versatile than that of the 12s, the pencils are available in the following sizes

Individual pencils, blister packs of 6, tins of 12, 24, 36 and 72. For a special present there is also a wooden box of 72. I have had other wooden boxes and HIGHLY recommend them, not for travel but they are the most beautiful storage and take care of the pencils. Full sets are an investment, its worth a little extra for the wooden box for the security of the case which doesn’t drop open and looks and feels delightful to use.

Can’t wait to see all the things these pencils can do, really enjoying experimenting with them to find out. There are colour charts available on the manufacturer’s website. If you haven’t used water-soluble pencils before there is also a DVD of hints and tips available separately. It’s a great introduction to the media and you will truly get more from the pencils if you watch it.

Try these pencils, even if you can only get just one. They are a joy to use and will take your art in a new direction, maybe even tempt you to sketch outside (if the weather allows). A great partner product to these pencils is a set of waterbrushes. I use the Pental ones. Ideal for use on location and less fuss than carrying lots of kit.

Links

  • Derwent Pencils Manufacturers website, colour charts, product lists, tutorials and so much more. Check it out!
  • Derwent on You Tube Tutorials on a selection of their products and previews of the DVDs
  • Inktense pencils Manfacturers page about the Inktense pencil range, and link to PDF colour chart.

Suppliers

Great places to buy your Inktense pencils

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Royal Langnickel K4 Palette Knife.

Royal Langnickel; K4 Paletter Knife

Royal Langnickel; K4 palette Knife

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Royal Langnickel/ Artists Palette Knife
  • Item number; #LK-4P
  • RRP at time of writing: £4.50

Reason For Buying

I have been very happy with the plastic set of palette knives I’ve been using so thought it was time I upgraded to the metal version, now I’m using them so much more.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight in the hand
  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Flexible blade
  • Easy to clean blade
  • Perfect shape for applying and blending paint and mediums.

Cons

  • Not a deal breaker, just a niggle, but the lettering on the handle comes off. This is only a niggle if you were wanting to replace the knife in the future and couldn’t remember it was a K4 or the brand. The text is also slightly embossed into the wood, so hopefully that will survive the life of the blade.

Build Quality

Great.  The handle is super smooth and very comfortable in use. The blade is quite flexible and not scratchy like some metal knives I’ve had in the past.

Value for Money

Great. a reasonable price for a great little knife.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes. In fact I already have bought a spare as its become a favorite tool and I’d hate to be without it.

Summing up

Love the versatility of the shape of this knife. If you have a pot of paint/medium its great to dig out material that hides under the edges of the pot. I love the option of a broad or narrow areas on the blade too. The flexibility of the blade makes all kinds of marks possible.

I highly recommend you try one.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Daler Rowney Texture Paste.

Daler Rowney; Texture Paste

Daler Rowney; Texture Paste

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Daler Rowney/ Cryla
  • Item number: 128250017
  • RRP at time of writing: £7.50 from SAA

Purpose

‘Quote from Daler Rowney Packaging’

  • Builds heavy layers of texture in fine art and craft work
  • Directions: Apply with a knife, stick or stout brush to any grease free rigid surface. Including wood stone unglazed ceramic, MDF and cardboard or shape with modelling tools. On flexible surfaces eg stretched canvas, use up to 1/1 with Daler Rowney Impasto gel matt medium.
  • Drying times vary according to conditions. Fill any cracks in very thick applications with more texture paste or Daler Rowney Impasto Matt medium. Sand, carve  and over paint with acrylic colours as required.
  • Suitable for acrylic painting.

Reason For Buying

I had ideas for dimensional projects using modeling paste-but that dries slightly soft. When I saw this demonstrated on Creat and Craft, I pounced on it, as this does the kinds of things I wanted to do. It also looked like it dried much harder.

Pros/Cons

  • Can be used alone for a white finish
  • Builds textures and dimension. Great for faux stone like finishes
  • Mixes with colours for a coloured ground
  • Dries overnight
  • From the jar it is white, so ideal to paint over
  • Stamp into it while it’s still damp for debossed effects
  • Easy to clean tools in water, clean immediately so the paste doesn’t dry on your tools
  • No smell, other dimensional products have had harsh ammonia smell, but there is no smell with this product YEY!!!!
  • Use with stencils and over textured paper for effects

Cons

Haven’t got any, its done all I asked of it and more

Build Quality

Excellent, It really holds shapes you press into it or create with it and mixed with colour or over painted performs superbly.

Value for Money

Just the beginning, a few samples made after only an afternoon with texture paste!

Just the beginning, a few samples made after only an afternoon with texture paste!

Texture paste is excellent value for money, it is such a versatile exciting product. These are samples from just two afternoons playing with texture paste for the first time. Tutorials are planned  ;)

Would I buy it Again?

Totally! LOVE love this product, every time I use it I find a new technique.

Summing up

Lovely stone like texture, created with texture paste

Lovely stone like texture, created with texture paste

Very versatile product. Alters how paint behaves when mixed with colour. Great for adding textures and dimension to your creative projects. If you haven’t tried it yet but like dimensional effects and textures, get some, its fantastic. Because of the weight the product adds to the surface, it is best to use it on a firm support. I’ve used it mainly on Mount board, but have got away with using it on something lighter; 300 gsm, but I’m still going to mount that onto mount board for better support.

I adore textures and look forward to experimenting with a variety of tools with this paste to see if I can recreate my favorite textures in paint. If you have masks and embossing folders experiment with cardstock and paste combinations. I have now been able to use my collection of brass stencils that I haven’t had the dexterity to use before.

Really enjoying this product, its exciting and so much fun. Hope you get some soon and will share how you use this excellent product. I’ll experiment and see if painting over it will give me a good enough black, otherwise I’ll beg D.R  to make a black version of the product, as this is going to be FANTASTIC with those interference/shimmering colours they make.

Short version: Joy in a Jar! :) :) :)

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Daler Rowney Gesso

Daler Rowney: Gesso; White

Daler Rowney: Gesso; White

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Daler Rowney/ Cryla
  • Item number: 128250006
  • RRP at time of writing:

Reason For Buying

I wanted to strengthen pages of a sketchbook so I could use it with acrylic paint. Also to cover over grey board/mount board and paper mache boxes for dimensional projects.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Opaque
  • Great Coverage
  • Can add acrylic paint for a coloured base
  • Great for collage

Cons

Not got any really. Just be aware that gesso in general does add a tooth or key to the surface. Which can make your paint and tools drag a bit over the surface. I save an old brush or use a sponge to apply gesso, to avoid wearing out my favorite brushes.

Build Quality

Excellent, great fitting lid to the pot. You can squeze small amounts out using the nozzle in the lid or unscrew the lid if you want to use a palette knife.

Value for Money

Great. I’ve had mine ages and it’s still fine.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes. I love this gesso. It covers well and didn’t dry out in the pot, despite over a year of neglect. Worth the price for a quality product.

Summing up

Great for applying a less absorbent base for acrylic paint, I’ve used it on journal pages to give the paper more weight. On paper mache boxes to cover the board. Add acrylic paint to white gesso for a coloured base. A very versatile product, I’ll show some techniques using it in the coming weeks. If you haven’t yet, do try some gesso, it’s very useful and can be a fun way to experiment with more surfaces to paint onto.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Mica Flakes by Creative Expressions.

Cosmic Shimmer; Vintage Mica Flakes

Cosmic Shimmer; Vintage Mica Flakes

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Creative Expressions: Cosmic Shimmer
  • Item number: Tarnished Bronze; 055260 904440. Precious Gold; 055260 904457. Luna Silver 055260 904433.
  • RRP at time of writing: £3.65 each. I bought mine as a set of three on Create & Craft.

Reason For Buying

Impulse! I am not a fan of glitter because it gets everywhere and I have a lot of static so this makes it worse. THIS on the other hand has much larger flakes. I saw these Mica Flakes demo’ed on Create and Craft by Sue Wilson and they seemed much heavier than glitter and gave a dazzling result. I want to use them with a series of different mediums and experiment, I could see a lot of possibilities with these. I also liked that they were more vintage colours rather than bright or candy colours which isn’t my style.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • 50 ml pot. Large enough to experiment with but not too big to store
  • Good fitting screw top lid
  • The flakes vary in size which adds a nice dimension to projects too.
  • Nice stable pot, with a wide top for pouring the flakes back into. Although I’ll put mine into a bigger box, makes it easier to use and less to clear up ;)
  • Lovely vintage colours, I can see more potential for my uses for these than with bright or candy colours that glitter often comes in. The gold is a nice soft old gold kind of colour, the silver is more like soft pearl and the bronze is a warm version of autumn leaves. Tricky to photograph, but they are totally lush!
Cosmic Shimmer; Vintage Mica flakes. Precious Gold, Luna Silver, Tarnished Bronze.

Cosmic Shimmer; Vintage Mica flakes. Precious Gold, Luna Silver, Tarnished Bronze.

Cons

None, just a little outside my comfort zone ;)

Build Quality

Nice, I like the variation on flake size and the vintage colours. The pots have a nice wide opening making it easy to pour any unused flakes back in. The jars have well-fitting lids that hold well but aren’t difficult to open.

Value for Money

Fair. You get lots in the little pots, and a small amount goes a long way.

Would I buy it Again?

Ask me in a few months. I’m not a big one for glittery things, so I need some time to get used to the concept and how I’ll incorporate them into my style.

Summing up

This was a leap of faith for me, I wanted to add a more textural dimension to my projects and experiment with more colours.

When I’ve had more time to play and experiment, expect to see more projects and tutorials using this product. I can see a lot of potential for this and look forward to finding out what more I can do with it.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Daler Rowney Shimmering Colours set. Shimmering colours are Daler Rowney’s interference colour acrylic paints.

Daler Rowney; Simmering Colours. INterferenc colour acrylic paint

Daler Rowney; Simmering Colours. Interference colour acrylic paint

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Daler Rowney: Cryla
  • Item number: 128 900 125
  • RRP at time of writing: Individual Colours £6.95 for 75 ml tube. Shimmering colour set

Reason For Buying

I have interference colours from another brand, but they aren’t easy to source, the Daler Rowney ones however are much more widely available. I have enjoyed using interference colours so much, I was interested in trying more colours.

Pros/Cons

Pros

Super smooth although the packaging lists them as being heavy bodied they are more fluid than Cryla, had I know this, I’d have bought them AGES ago.

Easy to mix with other acrylic paint for interesting results

Subtle ‘mother of pearl’ like effect when used over light colours or on white card

On dark card the interference colour REALLY pops.

Translucent so you can see some of the earlier layers through it.

No granulation from the mica

Cons

I haven’t got any. There is some smell, but nothing too fierce (and I’m REALLY sensitive to smells). If you have used Daler Rowney Cryla, they smell similar to that.

Build Quality

Fantastic. Really impressive colour flip on dark surfaces, no granular particles visible. As I mentioned before the packaging lists this as heavy bodied acrylic paint, but it is more fluid than Cryla. The texture is more like that of room temperature butter, super smooth and velvety.

Value for Money

Good. Not the cheapes-but well worth it for the quality and versatility of the product.

Would I buy it Again?

YES! I bought a couple of individual tubes to try (careful not to pick the ones that were in the pack) and loved them so much I immediately bought this Shimmering Colours set. I wanted something more fluid than they Cryla paint and these were just that.

Summing up

Interference Colours; So many possibilites

Interference Colours; So many possibilites

Buy them, they are better than chocolate! Simple as that :) If you see the colours on the card and went WOW, then this paint is for you. If you are still on the fence (why?) but check out friday’s video tutorial where I’ll show you all the colours on camera. If you are unsure buy a single colour to see if it works for you. My advice would be to buy a colour that isn’t in the set though, as once you try one, you are bound to love them and want them all.

You will see a selection of videos using these paints in the next few weeks.

Links

Quote: Daler Rowney Site: EFFECTS

Shimmering Colours (Interference Mediums) Available in six colours: Shimmering Gold, Copper, Violet, Red, Blue and Green. Used straight from the tube and applied to a black surface they produce a magical shimmering, metallic, transparent lustre. The most dramatic effects are on black, where colour shows with electric intensity. – Gold  Code 128 075 709 – Violet  Code 128 075 710 – Blue  Code 128 075 711 – Copper  Code 128 075 712 – Red  Code 128 075 713 – Green  Code 128 075 714

Shimmering Colours Set  Gives a shimmering pearlescent metallic lustre when mixed with pure acrylic colour. – Code 128 900 125

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, as part of the Adventures in Acrylics workshop, I will be reviewing; Royal Langnickel Palette Knives for Painting set.

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Royal Langnickel
  • Item number: LP71
  • RRP at time of writing: £9.18

Reason For Buying

I had already bought a Royal Langnickel K4 painting knife and loved it, this set included the K4  and also P10 and P2. So by getting these I can try these out and see what they will do for me. Looks like I got a bargain, I paid £3.75 for mine, but when I checked he manufacturers site they are listed at £9.18.

Pros/Cons

  • Nice and light in the hand
  • Flexible not at all scratchy
  • Beautifully made wooden handles

Cons

Haven’t really got any.

Build Quality

One of the knives in my set had some surface marking on it, but at this price point, you can’t complain, I’m happy to try these out for experiment and if the marking becomes an issue I’ll re-buy this individual knife. The handles are very comfortable and although light are solid. The blades are flexible and not at all rough as some more expensive knives I’ve had, have been.

Value for Money

Excellent, these are good-looking knives and great quality for the price point. Well worth trying a set.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally

Summing up

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Royal Langnickel Knife set #LP71

Palette knives are great for colour mixing without gunking up your brushes. The knives in this set are superb for applying paint to your chosen surface and great for larger areas too. Palette knives come in a huge variety of shapes and kits like these are fantastic for trying different shapes and seeing which ones you like. The knives give an amazing array of options for applying the paint and creating texture. It took me a long time to try knives, but now I have I love them, I’m using these more than I do my brushes :)

This is an affordable set, I highly recommend you try them. If you have been wanting to try knives for a while, this is an excellent place to start. There are different kinds for different purposes, and when you start out its tough to know which to choose, these sets are an ideal place to start.

Links

The links below will take you to the manufacturers site, from here you can find more information about the product and locate a store near you.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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