SketchBOX August 2023

This box arrived while I was on holiday. Though I’d watched unboxings on YouTube and taken note of the strengths and weaknesses of the products, I was a bit stumped as to what to do with them. It wasn’t until I got home and was unpacking that inspirations struck. Putting my unused bathers away, I noticed I still have the goggles and snorkel from a trip I did to Rarotonga in the early 90s. The goggles have that human-designed-but-organic-shape that make for great still life subjects.

They’re actually aqua and black, but easily converted to the yellow-green and grey of the markers.

The PanPastel was an interesting addition. The set would have been sufficient – even generous – without it. I have a black one already, which I bought to use at life drawing sessions but didn’t like. They feel… volatile? I’ve become really wary of art supplies that produce dust since I developed asthma. I can see why artists might be excited by them, though. The pigment is really rich and the blending sponge creates a lovely soft effect.

The rest of the supplies were fun and mostly familiar. I haven’t used Olo markers before. They worked well and similar to the Copic. The eraser is nice. I have another (olive) colour to add to my growing collection of Copic fine liners – what’s not to love about that?

Since I subscribed the themes have included reactive and non-reactive water-based paints, water and alcohol markers, liquid graphite and PanPastel. What’s coming up, I wonder? They’ve done oil pastels, gouache, colour pencils, charcoal, ink and hand-lettering in the past. Maybe they’ll do water-based oil paints. Or print-making. Or scratchboard. Or something I’ve never heard of before.