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).
About Smart Art Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: Smart Art
The Cost: $49.95 per month with free shipping. Save with 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: $5 off your first subscription
The Products: A fine arts project, complete with instructions and supplies
Good to Know: You'll get a different project in a different media every month, so you can experiment with different techniques!
Ships to: US
Smart Art September 2018 Art Nouveau Painting Kit Review
This month's project was creating an art nouveau 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.
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 watercolor pans, 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:
Prang 8-Oval Pan Watercolor Set - Retail Value $6.99
Jack Richeson Semi-Moist Metallic Oval Watercolor Pans - 2 pcs - Copper, Blue - Retail Value $3.95 each (Found here for $3.15)
Da Vinci Nova Synthetic Brush Round 2 - Retail Value $7.24
Stabilo Point 88 Black Pen - Retail Value $1.00
Strathmore Watercolor Ready Cut Sheets 500 Series 8x10 - Retail Value $11.59 (Found here for $7.19)
Please note that 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 and I go back and forth on who gets to do the Smart Art project every month, and this month it was his turn. Even though the metallic watercolor pans look super cool, I get frustrated with watercolors, but he loves them. His first step was to sketch the basic design with pencil.
His next step was to start coloring in the background colors. He used the brush provided and the pan of eight colors for this step.
His next step was to start working colors into the center of the design with the same materials. He really enjoyed working with this paper. It is specific to watercoloring, so it helps prevent running and bleeding. At this point, he let the paper dry.
Next, he started adding layers of colors. He also added accents with the metallic watercolors. I love the copper and blue metallics in this color scheme!
This is his completed painting! I love it! It turned out fantastic! His last steps were to add highlights with the white pastel pencil and then go over all the fine details with the black stability pen. He especially enjoyed using the white pencil and was surprised at how effectively it added highlights over watercolor.
The Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! My husband loves watercolor painting, so this was a slam dunk for him. I thought it turned out wonderful! He is really proud of it, too. The value this month was a little low at $36.67 in a $50.00 box. That's low even for a fine arts subscription box, which tend to run low anyway. I definitely feel like the curation and instruction adds to the overall value of the box, but it is subjective, so you would have to decide for yourself if it is worth it to you.
To Wrap Up:
Sign up on or before the last day of the month to get the current box that will be released on the 1st of the following month! All orders processed after the last day of the month will ship the following month. For example, a purchase made on January 31st will be shipped February 1st. A purchase made on February 1st will be shipped March 1st.
Coupon – Use code COLORJOY to save $5 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $49.95, but I estimate it contained $36.67 in retail value.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Smart Art?