Art Haul Week and Sketchbox #4 - September

Well, the supplies keep growing...

My September SketchBox came in on the first day of the month and that's never happened before, it's usually a week or more later! So, pretty pleased that they may have figured out how to speed this up.

In any case, this is a SketchBox that is almost immediately going to be more positive for me since it's loaded with water media. In particular, water soluble graphite along with some additional goodies to support.

So this month we have 4 Derwent Graphitone pencils in 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B. We also have a Uni Kuru Toga mechanical pencil, Sakura Koi #8 waterbrush, Aqua Monolith Graphite Pencil in 4B, a Tombow Mono Rectangle Eraser, and a Faber-Castell double hole sharpener.

A nice little package, though I found it a bit weird that they didn't include some sort of paper that you try the products out on. For me, not a big deal, I have a lot of watercolour paper around, but not everyone. Regular paper isn't usually a good option when applying water...

So, I did want to test out the Derwent pencils a bit and check out the differences in the hardness. So, here's the before:

Now with some water application:

To be honest, the difference gets pretty subtle. I found these pencils didn't spread as readily as the regular Derwent water soluble pencils did, but that has some upside as well. In any case, I did a really quick and cartoonish mountain sketch with these to give them a bit more of a go:

Not too bad to work with. The Sakura brush is one that I already have and so I already know it's a good one. The nice thing about graphite is that it doesn't stain the brush head like paint does.

In terms of the art haul portion of the week, I was a bit spendy...

First, I wanted to give water mixable oils a go. I do have normal (student grade) oils, but I am curious to see if the water mixable option is good because it doesn't need the solvents that normal oils do. I'll keep you posted on them as I plan to start using them this weekend.

Of course, these are water mixable, so I didn't want to use normal non-synthetic oil brushes with them as they don't release water as readily. So that meant picking up some basic brushes to compliment and these aren't really all that expensive (I paid $4.95 each). Again, I'll keep you posted on how well they do.

In case you're wondering, I picked up:
  • #6 Round
  • #4 Round
  • #2 Round
  • 1" Stroke
  • #6 Bright
A fairly arbitrary collection on my part, but not all of my existing oil brushes are natural hair.

As an interesting anecdote, at the store I bought them, I mentioned that I was experimenting with water mixable oils and she suggested that if I liked them, I should really consider the Holbein version as they're generally more like regular oil paints in feel. I heard that, but the W&N kit was a good price with a nice colour mix to try them out.

Finally, I wanted to add a bit to my pastels. While I haven't been wearing my pencils out or anything, I figured I needed a bit more to give them a real go and, to be honest, I wanted to try proper paper... So, I picked up a package of assorted Pastelmat sheets in 9.5" x 12" size that I'll probably cut into smaller sheets for practice. I know it's expensive, but why practice on poor quality? 

I also picked up an assortment, 18 to be exact, of Jack Richeson Square Pastels. The colours included are:
  • 171 Gray (white)
  • 072 Yellow
  • 085 Yellow (orange)
  • 083 Yellow
  • 142 Red
  • 062 Red (leans violet)
  • 114 Red
  • 221 Red (pink)
  • 042 Blue
  • 043 Blue
  • 050 Blue
  • 082 Green
  • 031 Green
  • 161 Earth
  • 158 Gray
  • 155 Earth
  • 168 Gray
  • 174 Gray
Dick Blick lists the set with colour names, but these aren't always readily lined up to the numbers. In any case, also stay tuned for updates.

So, that's the haul. Happy long weekend for me! :)