Tried & Tested: June

I spend a lot of time (and a fair bit of money!) testing out new art materials each month, so I thought I'd start reviewing and sharing some of my best finds right here on my blog.  

Here are my top finds for June: 

Flying Tiger Coloured Pencils

24 Shades of YEY! 

At £4 for 24 these pencils are incredible value and surprisingly decent quality.  In fact, when I used them at a workshop a few weeks back at least three people asked where I got them! Cheap pencils tend to be scratchy and produce a rather anaemic effect: but - without too much pressure - these produced a really impressive depth of colour.  

So, can you tell which of these sketches (of the same Vivienne Westwood AW17 look) I created using the £4 Tigers - and which one using my posho Prisma pencils? 

The one on the right? Correct! And I think I prefer it out of the two.   And just to prove my point about how good these pencils are, here are a couple more faces: 

Flying Tiger Watercolours

Chic on the cheap? 

I wanted to incorporate some painting into one of my workshops but needed to find something affordable to use: so I picked up this £4 Watercolour set to roadtest ahead of the event.  (Well no-one wants to host a party and serve up the watercolour equivalent of Lambrini, do they?!)  Whilst the depth of colour they produced isn’t great and they’ve got a slightly grainy and chalky texture, they definitely do the job if you just to have a bit of a creative play around. 

Just so you can see, here's how they compare and contrast with my Windsor & Newtons (on the left): 

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Caran D'Ache Chunky Watercolour Pencils

The bigger the better? 

These chunky watercolour pencils turned out to be one of my best accidental, 'went in for something else' buys ever.  I have a tendency to work in mono and use a lot of thick black lines in my illustrations, so it was great to challenge myself to produce something using just a single colour: to play with all the different textures and effects I could create with just one of these pencils.  

They create a much denser finish than lots of other watercolour pencils I've tried, which can often be quite chalky and pale.  At £2.50 each they're not cheap, but they'll definitely last longer than my Tombows and - as illustrated - you only need a couple to create some vivid new work!