What do you do when you open your front door and spy a box, carry it inside, open it up (while batting away your 4 year old), and find a LOAD of some of the coolest art supplies you’ve laid eyes upon?
You throw a family art party!
Kate from Stubby Pencil Studio was so generous in her box of goodies she sent us to play with. When she told me to browse through her awesome site and pick whatever looked interesting, I nearly fainted. That’s like winning the art materials lottery – so I mentioned a few things that looked particularly awesome and asked her to just send what she felt was a good sampling of her product.
I’m in love with her.
Fen and Beckett and I poked and prodded, scribbled and brushed for a little while, but then I thought of a much better way to really get to know these products.
Want to spruce up your home?
Download the 5 most popular DIY home projects with step-by-step guides!
I spread out a whole bunch of kraft paper all over the table, and set out tantalizing piles of drawing paper, watercolor paper, brushes, and all the materials we were sent.
I suppose I should tell you that Stubby Pencil focuses on eco-friendly products for kids – and not just art supplies. There are all sorts of great gift ideas over there. Have you started thinking holiday gifts yet? I have.
Anyway, back to the art supplies. Most of the brands I hadn’t tried before, so I couldn’t wait to see how they fared compared to the brands I’m used to using.
See those watercolor paints? LOVE them. They come with a small tube of white to tint the colors, and the colors are incredibly vibrant.
We played around with tape resist (blue tape), drawing over dried watercolor with graphite pencils. The drawing pencils were lovely, with a nice range of grades (hard to soft to get light and dark lines). If you have an older kid showing an interest in drawing, they will love these.
Two of our favorite things were highlighters – yes they’re pencils! – and the big, fat markers that you can stand up in the tray. Again, great colors, and how can you not like mess-free highlighters?
And look at these colored pencils! They aren’t waxy like so many awful colored pencils. Fen has been drawing with them for days, and they have these cool holes in the sides which make them strangely fun to hold.
In the jar are water-soluble colored pencils. Beckett thought they were magic. If you haven’t tried pencils like these before, you can draw dry with them and then add water, or lay down some water and draw into the wet the pencils.
Here’s a handy little chart I made with some of the materials we tried. In all, I’m so impressed with what Stubby Pencil offers, and I’m a total fan of eco-products. P.S. the little rock crayons are the cutest things ever, and come in their own little drawstring pouch. Definite kid-magnet. And not waxy!
Top to bottom: Duo felt tip markers, Eco highlighters, Exact Fine drawing pencils, amazing watercolors, pebble crayons, Prang soy crayons, jumbo markers, push up watercolor crayons (LOVED these), Aqualine watercolor pencils
I was surprised that both the kids seemed to be really taken with the pre-printed cards. We also used up an entire pack of watercolor paper cards (see the fish above). Both come with sets of envelopes as well, which make for cute handmade cards.
Any questions? Let me know if you’re burning to know something about these art supplies.
Here’s the thing that struck me the most when we were trying everything out: we were all totally blissed out. Christian and I get as excited as the kids do when faced with a bunch of new art supplies, and it felt fantastic to be all sitting around the table, chatting and playing.
We all got to let our brains shift into whatever place they go when you are engrossed in an activity, and we were all there together. This is definitely going to be a weekly activity for us now.
By the way, here’s Christian’s drawing of an ant carrying a leaf: