Smart Art DIY Subscription: Working With Pastels Review + Coupon
Smart Art is a fine arts subscription service that sends a curated box of supplies for a new project theme and featured artist every month. I enjoy doing art projects in my free time, so I’m excited for this subscription!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. Check out the review processes post to learn more about how we review boxes!)
About Smart Art
The Subscription Box: Smart Art
The Cost: $49.95 per month with free shipping (save with longer commitments!)
The Products: Art supplies are provided to create a unique project
Ships to: U.S. only
Good to know: It’s a different project in a different media every month, using different techniques!
Smart Art January 2019 Review
This month’s project was using pastels and metallic colors. I think the last time I’ve used pastels was in elementary school, and even those were oil pastels, so I’m a bit rusty!
This is a booklet that Smart Art sends every month. It includes information about the featured project and artist, a list of descriptions of the included supplies, and project steps and illustrations. Subscribers can upload a picture of their finished projects to Smart Art’s Facebook page for a chance to win a free box, which is really cool!
Page 2! This month’s art feature section introduces the history behind Edgar Degas, an impressionist artist known for his ballet dancers art. Below, there are project pointers to keep in mind while completing, such as blending pastel colors together.
This month featured metallic colors and soft pastels, so there was a detailed account of the production of pastes and their use. Right below is a detailed list of the project tools, which include pencils, pastels, an eraser sharpener duo, and black paper.
The last page includes some basic steps to follow to complete the month’s project.
Here are the products included for this month:
Derwent Metallic Colored Pencils Pack of 6 – Retail Value $13.40 (Yellow 86, Red 87, Pink 88, Purple 89, Blue 90, Green 91)
Royal Langnickel Small Tin Pastel Pencil Set – Retail Value $7.07
Derwent Pencil Sharpener with Eraser, Dual 2 in 1 – Retail Value $7.59
Fabriano Black Black Pad 8”x8” – Retail Value $7.22
Please note that the values listed here are listed prices. Most of the supplies can be found for less at most online discount art supply stores.
Here is the test paper. On the top, there are the metallic color pencils.
They are medium hardness, a bit crumbly, and don’t blend very smoothly. (Note: I’m very new to metallics; I was always taught to never use the metallic colors included in a color pencil kit, instead to use other colors to replicate how light bounces off a shiny surface.)
In the middle are the five pastel pencils in orange, pink, blue, purple, and green, as well as the graphite pencil they included. These pencils are soft, a bit crumbly, and have a hard consistency that slightly hinders their ability to blend.
Below are the soft pastels in stick form, in green, red, blue, yellow, black, and white. (I used a bit of light to make the black show). These blend well. The top circle blend was with my finger, and the second was with a scrap of paper, which I use to blend charcoal. (You can use a q-tip as well, or a piece of tissue.) The tin of the pastels is very padded to keep the pastels from crumbling into each other. There’s a layer of foam on top of the products, as well as a 2 layer foam to keep the soft pastels safe.
For this month’s project, I wanted to learn more about blending the pastels. They definitely popped out a lot more on black paper. I first started with drawing colored blobs using soft pastels, then shaded darker portions of the clouds. I then used a soft white pastel to accentuate the tops of the clouds, then using a metallic pencil to make the colors pop more.
Here is my final project! I wasn’t as proud of this one, but I’m happy to experience more in the pastel art world. 😊
The Verdict: I really enjoy the variety of topics and material themes Smart Art provides throughout the curation experience. I’m happy to try new and revisit old materials for art projects, and I was able to do so thanks to the pastels they provided!
The retail value was low this month, even including the experience you get while creating your project. There is a prolonged benefit of the curation since we can keep the items to reuse and create more projects. I estimated a value of $35.28 for a $50 box. I hope next month we get a few more products to increase the value!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the March box. You must sign up by the last day of the month to get the following month’s curation!
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What did you think of Smart Art’s latest project?