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Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – November 2016

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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!

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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).

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The Subscription Box: Smart Art

The Cost: $49.99 per month with free shipping

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!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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This month’s project was to create a mixed media painting! 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. 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 mixed media art plus the supply list. Although, I think they accidentally left the heading on the right page from last month. Thankfully, there was no encaustic wax painting this month – that was a difficult project!

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.

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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.

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

Decoart Media Fluid Acrylics (x4) – Value $11.97

Decoart Media Texture Sand Paste – Value $3.99 (on sale for $2.99)

Pebeo Cerne Relief Paint – Value $6.30 (on sale for $5.36)

Black Canvas Panel 8×10″ (x2) – Total Value $15.30

Da Vinci Hobby Brush Round 2 – Value $11.99 (on sale for $7.95)

Daler-Rowney 101 Mixed Media Pad 7″ x 10″ – Value $8.45

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.

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So, to begin with, I sketched the outline of my tree using the red fluid paint and the brush provided.

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My second step was to make a zig-zag pattern in the background using the red and white fluid paints directly from the bottle. The fluid paints were very fluid, so at this point I already kind of felt out of control of the project! Some colors were more fluid than others, too, which made it challenging. I used my brush to sort of connect the colors a bit.

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I then made dots with all four colors, again directly from the bottle, on the hill. I used the brush to make a sweeping pattern through the paint dots. My eight-year-old loved the way it looked at this point. I maybe should have left it like this, haha.

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After allowing it to dry, I used the sand paste to fill in the tree trunk and to add some texture to the leafy area of the tree. I let it dry and then added another layer for more texture. The sand is what makes this painting mixed media, after all. Then I let it dry again.

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I mixed the blue and yellow paints to create a dark green for the top of the tree. I also added in some pink and streaks of blue to try and make it look more realistic. The green by itself would have looked like a big green paint blob.

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This is my completed tree painting! After I let the tree dry, I used the gold paint tube to make gold dots and circles all over the background. I also used a dry brush technique to put a thin layer of gold over the entire tree. Voila! Complete! This is not the best painting I have ever done, but I think it turned out okay. It’s so surrealistic, and I absolutely love the colors. That tree, though. I kind of want to put some googly eyes on the trunk and turn him into a tree monster.

Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! This month’s project was really fun, and I’m generally happy with my painting. I’m probably too self-critical. The value of everything this month totals $58 (based on list prices), which is actually on the high side for Smart Art. The project selection, the instruction, and the material sourcing adds a lot of additional value for me. We love Smart Art!

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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.

Posted in Craft Subscription Boxes, Smart Art Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: smart art | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. And except for there being 6 roots you could have made it a hand. That would look good with a tree monster

    • 😂😂😂

  2. It came out so well!

    • Thank you Nicole! You’re too kind.

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