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Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – August 2017

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Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

Smart Art is a fine arts subscription service that sends a new project every month and all the supplies needed to complete it. My husband and I are both artists, and we have been having a blast with our Smart Art subscription!

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

The Subscription Box: Smart Art

The Cost: $49.99 per month with free shipping. Save with 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions.

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to save 20% off your first box

The Products: A fine arts project, complete with instructions and supplies

Ships to: U.S. only

Good to know: It’s a different project in a different media every month, using different techniques!

Check out all of our Smart Art reviews and the Craft Subscription Box Directory!

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Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

This month’s project was to create a portrait using soft pastels! This is the booklet that Smart Art sends every month. It includes art history related to the project, a list of the included supplies, project pointers, and instructions.

Subscribers can upload a picture of their finished project to Smart Art’s Facebook page for a chance to win a free box! That’s really cool! On the other hand, our projects usually take forever, so we always seem to miss the boat on this contest.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

This is the inside of the booklet. On the left are the art history and project pointers, and on the right there’s some info on soft pastels plus the supply list.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

The instructions are printed on the back of the booklet. They are pretty clear and easy to follow, but they still allow for as much creativity as you like.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

Here are the supplies that were included for this month’s project.

Sennelier Full Sticks Soft Pastels 6 pack – Value $29.95

Koh-I-Noor Black Drawing Pad 8.5″ x 5.5″ – Value $6.05

Factis General’s Black Magic Soft Eraser – Value $0.69

Art Alternatives Stump & Tortillons Set 10 pieces – Value $4.58

Crescent No. 300 Cold Press Illustration Board 8″ x 10″ 3 pieces – Value $10? (Please note this is a different brand, I could not find Crescent for sale online in this size.)

Please note that most of the values listed here are list prices. Almost all of them can be found for less at most online discount art supply stores.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

My husband is way better at drawing than I am, but he was unavailable to work on this project this month, so I gave it a stab! My first step was to sketch out the basic shapes. I decided to just do the example they gave this month since I am completely inexperienced with soft pastels!

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

My second step was to lay in the overall color scheme with the pastels. Pastels are messy! I actually think this is the best the project ever looks, haha.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

Next, I layered the colors on and started smudging.

Smart Art August 2017 Fine Art DIY Subscription Box

My next step was to use the stumps, eraser, and my fingers to completely blend the colors. I wound up doing some extra layering during this step to get the shading to look better.

This is my completed portrait! It looks nothing like the example, but it’s not too bad. I am just really inexperienced with this media. I couldn’t figure out really how to get such vivid shades to mellow out and look like the natural skin, hair, and eye colors in the example.

Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! I am not wild about my finished portrait, but it was fun to learn a bit about pastels. It seems like a fun medium to work with more in the future. The materials were all top-notch, too! The value of this month’s contents more or less breaks even with the cost of the box. That’s actually really good for a fine arts subscription box, so I’m happy! We love Smart Art!

What do you think of Smart Art?

Written by Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez

Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn’t become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

2 Comments

  1. Nice to see you doing reviews again Anna! I like your work, it looks kind of wild which is neat.

    • Thanks Jackie! Very cool compliment, and I’m glad to be back.

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