Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – August 2017
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!
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).
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 ENJOYART to get $5 off your subscription!
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!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Next, I layered the colors on and started smudging.
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!
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