I have signed up for Art Snacks, a monthly subscription where you get some random art supplies. And it is extra fun to make an illustration using all those tools you just got. Though sometimes it is an eraser, which doesn’t contribute too much, as important as it is.

So the last box I got had:

Copic Multiliner 3.0: I am not such a big fan of disposable technical pens usually, but when I use them, I like these. It is waterproof. I brought my own pencil to this shindig and inked on top of that for the general aspects before erasing. It dries pretty quickly. I erased pretty lightly on a pretty solid paper, so I don’t know how fast it holds. That’s what I typically don’t like about Microns – they come up a bit when you erase. Well, when I erase.

Aqua Pen Graphix: This has a brush on one side and “fine” tip on the other. This is NOT waterproof. So I used it to line some spot blacks on the creature and then used the water brush pen (that I got in the previous box) to let it bleed and create some softer grays. This is really fun to do! The fine tip is just a thick bullet. The brush is a large foam point. 

Higgins Chisel Marker: Sort of like a highlighter crossed with a Sharpie. But it is refillable with Higgins ink. I think Higgins is making a come-back. There were a few years when I first got back into drawing when their ink was just horrible and thin. But now it is usually thick and black. This pen does not disappoint. I will likely keep this around for filling large spot blacks. In this one, I used it for the black background hills. Higgins is waterproof, so I could paint right over it when it dried. It lays thick, so I did have to wait for it to dry. But that didn’t take too long. And when it started coming out thinner, I just put the cap back on and gave it a little shake. The tip is very soft. I am curious how it will wear over time.

Tombow Firefly Yellow Colored Pencil: I have a set of grays in this. They are nice to draw with but so pale! As far as the design of a tool, I find these very pleasing.

Kingart Brush Pen Watercolors: I got four colors: two purple and two blue. They are a bit awkward to use. I would have to use them a lot more to figure out how to lay it the way I want. For the foreground and sky, I laid the watercolor and then used the water brush pen on top. For the creature, I laid the water, then used the watercolor. It looks pretty similar but it is easier to get really saturated when you lay the watercolor first. When you lay the water first, it wants to soak up into the brush, which the directions specifically says to avoid.

I started reading a bit of Jorge Louis Borges’s The Book of Imaginary Beings (Penguin, 2006) and was a bit inspired, I think. I love Borges’s fiction. I have a few of his collections and they are back on my to-read pile again.