Last month one of my friends sent me a link to a monthly subscription service for art supplies. There are a few of these things around but I decided to try two of them to see what they were like. I thought it would be fun to get some mystery surprise art supplies each month, and it would also introduce me to supplies I might not otherwise buy or use. One of those was Scrawlrbox and the January 2018 box arrived today.
All the Scrawlrboxes include a sticker (the blue squiggle) and a snack; the snack I got was a Swizzels New Refreshers in lemon flavour. Since I’d just got home from uni and was hungry I gutsed it straight away (it was really strong and sour).
The box also contains a small card with a list of all the items included in the box, along with a picture and description for each. This card has a prompt on the back to inspire you to create. This month’s is ‘Mythical Creatures’. There’s also a sample illustration by someone who used the materials in that month’s box. The illustration I got was a lovely mystical horse in black, white and gold, by an artist called Queer Mortale in France.
So, what art supplies did I get? First was a Derwent Graphic pencil in HB. I don’t mind Derwent pencils and I do use a lot of HB pencils, so this one will get used eventually, but I already have a box of HB pencils I bought at the newsagent.
Next was a Sakura Pigma Micron Drawing Pen with a 05 point. I have a packet of these pens and use them a lot for my illustrations, so again, this will get used, but I was hoping I’d get more things I didn’t already have.
Third was a Zig Brush H2O, a waterbrush. While I already had some waterbrushes, all the ones I had were the standard small round brush tips. This one is wider (about 5mm), more like a flat brush, which is pretty cool; it will be useful for colouring larger areas like skies when I’m sketching on location, rather than having to scribble more with the small round tip brush, and it’ll help me make some nice textured effects.
Last but not least was a little box of Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolours. I had the full set of 36 regular colours and quite liked them; they were a little more opaque than normal watercolours, and probably aimed more at crafters than fine art painters, but they were still fun to play with. This Starry Colours set contains six variations of metallic gold, from red golds and rich yellow golds to pale gold and white gold. These are big pans, with each being about two or three times the size of a typical full pan, so those who love using metallic colours in their calligraphy or illustration will get a lot of mileage out of this set. Given my love of painting dragons, fairies and other fantasy creatures, these will come in handy.
Here are my swatches of all of these products.
Though they weren’t listed on the item card, my box also contained a piece of watercolour paper (I’m not sure what brand but it seems to be a cold press texture in 190gsm) and a thicker piece of black card, which will be good for showing up metallic colours.
Overall, I’m not sure I’d get another Scrawlrbox. On the one hand, everything I got in this one is stuff I either use regularly already or know will be fun and/or useful to add to my collection. On the other hand, between the cost of the box itself and the postage from the UK, I ended up paying $37 AUD for this box of supplies, and to be honest, the content just isn’t worth $37; if I went into a local art shop or ordered from my regular UK art supply store, I could probably get everything for around $30. If you live within the UK and therefore get free postage, this would probably be good value for money, but not if you live elsewhere. Still, it was fun to open the box and see what new goodies I’d received, and I’m looking forward to the other subscription art supply box I ordered.