Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Art School Actually Did For Me

Right now, a lot of people are dismissing the benefits of an art school or art focused education.  It's easy to dismiss- an art education has many risks, often a delayed reward if any.  However, I do not regret my pursuit of formal art education, only the lack of fairly compensated oppportunites for artists, and I've done my best to make access to art education accessible to others regardless of income.  Over the years, I've have freely shared information I acquired online as well as through art school, I promote other online art educations, especially those who teach comic process at an accessible level, and we've even given away a $1000 art focused education scholarship this July to help one artist pursue their dreams in any capacity possible.  I genuinely love art education, in all it's forms, and encourage everyone to seek what they can- from books, Youtube, blogs, courses, or workshops.

I do not regret my choices in pursuing formal art education, and I'd like to share what this pursuit has actually added to my life, in hopes of presenting a realistic alternative to the naysayers, and provide an alternate opinion.  This said, I will share one salient piece of advice:

Do not go into debt for an art education.  It will never pay for itself.

If you're interested in purusing art education and cannot afford to attend schooling, keep an eye on the blog for a follow up post sharing affordable options to pursue art education.

My Art Education History

Education: Self motivated, self directed art study for almost a decade, at a time when such information was scarce and I lived in an art poor area of the country.

I've regularly written, thumbnailed, and drawn comics since I was thirteen- art school did not make me draw comics.  I am self motivated, but lacked access to information, and needed guidance and critique that self study cannot provide.

Education: Bachelors of Art from a small university in Louisiana- the University of New Orleans.  Digital art, painting, illustration courses at my local university- full ride scholarship, left with no debt and a degree.  Minor in Earth Environmental Science.

I attended a small local university- the University of New Orleans, after hearing the painting professor speak about the new illustration department, which would focus on watercolor.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina destroyed these nascent plans, but I was stuck at this university and had to make the best of it.  I opted to major in Digital Media as our options were limited to Digital Media, Painting (acrylic), Photography, or Sculpture, and UNO's digital media focus was on video effects and editing.

Education: SCAD- wanted that MFA as well as an art school experience that actually catered to illustration and sequential art as legitimate artforms. Partial scholarship- academic.  Rest was paid out of pocket, by the inheritance money my father left after dying of lung cancer.   Graduated with an MFA with no debt.

Continued to pursue art, this time my passion, comics, at an accredited art university- the only one at the time to offer an actual legitimate masters degree in sequential art (comics, storyboards, children's books).  An MFA is 90 credit hours, an MA is 45 credit hours, but an MFA in sequential art is a terminal degree, meaning I am qualified to teach at any level, including undergraduate and graduate.  During my time at SCAD, I completed two student teaching internships and one TAship, teaching comic craft to students ranging from elementary school to undergraduate. 



What Art School Did For Me

  • Structured lessons, objections, and classwork in such a way that I could make measurable progress extremely fast.
  • Gave everyone an even playing field education- we all had a basis of knowledge- vocab, books, ability
  • Opportunities for structured, intelligent, and educated critique based on drawing skills and storytelling
  • Classes in concept design, storybuilding and scriptwriting, storytelling for comics, maquette creation, hand lettering and more-specialized and taught by people who had worked professionally in the field
  • Access to professionals- artists of all types at Comic Art Forum, Editors through Editors Day, professors who had worked in the comic and animation industries
  • COURAGE to pursue portfolio reviews, additional critique, and to defend my choices
  • STRUCTURE although I never lacked for this, having someone with an experienced eye guide my work and studies helped me improve greatly and fast
  • Network of other artists 
  • My first two good job opportunities were because I was a SCAD kid- working at Doodle Studios-doing contract work for Lego, and doing bit and piece work for Viz Media
  • First opportunity to have work in an anthology (SCAD Travel anthology)
  • I learned what comic process worked for the type of comics I wanted to make, and I learned my own limits and how to set schedules trying to pull everything together before finals
  • Professional mores and values
  • Tabling at conventions regularly and professionally because I met Heidi through SCAD, and to be honest, without SCAD leveling the playing field between us, we probably would never have gotten past our initial biases to become real friends
  • The grace to respect the differing experiences and educations of others around me and learn from them
  • Multiple student teaching and TA opportunities, giving me the chance to regularly teach art and comics to a variety of age groups from elementary to undergrad
  • That MFA piece of paper.  Although it hasn't worked for me here in Nashville, I am qualified to teach art at a college level.  I worked damn hard for that paper, and am very proud of my efforts.  
  • Confidence to record and share my journey


I acknowledge this access to education put me in a place of privilege- that's why I share it every chance I can- on this blog, on my YT channel, through workshops and panels that I generally produce free of charge, with materials I've purchased out of pocket. 

People assume learning through the resources made available online counts as 'self-taught'- it does not.  This is self motivated, self directed informal art education, and I champion it because it's a fine way to learn the ropes without breaking the bank, but to insinuate that you taught yourself without outside assistance diminishes the work of those who freely shared their knowledge and experience with you.

If you can't go to art school and need to pursue art informally for awhile, that's ok.  If you can afford to go to art school, or pursue a formal education in the arts, that's also fantastic.  Your journey is up to you- the only thing that makes you less is when you diminish the journey for others to lift yourself up.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Mailbag: October and November 2017

From now on, questions sent to the blog will be answered in Mailbag on a monthly basis!  This allows me to share information that might be interesting or helpful to many 

Question: 

Hi, I'm trying to find a decent watercolor paper to use Penny Black brush 
stroke stamps with. I been using Canson and Strathmore 140. I use the Holtz 
stamp positioner so I can apply multiple colors over any spot  of the stamp 
and not 'loose' my place. But these have too big of a tooth. Is that how 
it's said? I need something a bit smoother and I was sold Ranger Distress 
watercolor paper. I was wondering what your opinion is of this watercolor 
paper and if there is a suitable paper available that's not quite as 
expensive as I have to do a lot of experimenting to find a combination of 
colors that sings to me. Nothing comes quick or easy for me. I don't know 
about others, but pulling inspiration into reality is a difficult process. 
But I love it. Thanks Cheryl Cunningham, Seattle WA.

Regards,
Cheryl Cunningham

Answer: 

Hi Cheryl!

I think you're looking for a hot press watercolor paper- this would have a smooth finish with no tooth at all.  I can recommend Fluid EZ Block watercolor paper in hot press as an affordable hot press paper.   Union Square and Fabriano Studio Hotpress are also good choices.

Hot press watercolor paper will still take watercolor without too much buckling, won't require any additional stretching or support if you're just doing light washes, but it may blend different from cold press watercolor papers.  


Question:

Hi Becca, I have stumbled upon your website and enjoyed reading some of 
your posts! I tried the Copic Ciao (brush tip end) marker and loved it but 
can not use it due to the odor. Would you say that the Pitt Big Brush is 
the most similar in a water based marker. I loved the flexibility and 
sponginess of the Copic Ciao. It just felt so wet or something, maybe more 
like an actual painting brush than a hard marker tip (I would classify 
myself as a crafter rather than an artist so I apologise if my words are 
not right). Anyways I loved the way those markers felt and wondered if you 
knew the closest alternative in an odorless waterbased marker. Thank you so 
much for your help, Erika

Regards,
Erika 

Answer: 

Hi Erika!

I love the Super Brush used in the Copic Ciao and Copic Sketch too!  Those are foam rubber brushes- that's why it's so juicy and springy.  Pitt Big Brush pens use compressed felt or fiber for their brushes, and use India Ink, so unlike most waterbased markers, once Pitt Pen ink is dry, it's permanent.  Pitt Pens can still be blended while wet and on the right paper- Pitt Pen on Yupo is a lot of fun!

If you're looking for a waterbased marker with that same spring, Zig Art and Graphic Twin markers with the old nibs are perfect for that- their foam rubber nibs have lots of spring!  You can check out my review for those markers here.  I also really like Tombow ABT markers (not quite as springy, but easier to find) and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers (these feature individual nylon bristle brushes, so they're even more like painting!)

Question:

My sister is allergic to the alcohol fumes, but she would like to use 
markers more like permanent BIC markers.  Do you have any suggestions?

Regards,
Christina

Answer:  

Hi Christina!

If your sister is allergic to alcohol marker fumes, Bic Mark Its are probably not the solution you guys are looking for.  What properties is she interested in?  Is she looking for waterfastness?  Permanence?  Blendability?  Lightfastness?  Luminance? Brilliance?

Waterproof:
POSCA markers
Liquitex or Molotow Acrylic Markers

Pitt Brush Pens and Pitt Big Brush Brush Pens

These are blend while wet but are permanent when fully dry.

Non Waterproof:

Brilliant, blendable color (dye based):

Dr PH Martin's Liquid watercolors
Ecoline Liquid Watercolors
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
Fountain pen inks like Diamine Flowers or Music sets (you can also order samples from Goulet and Anderson pens) in waterbrushes

Spectrum Aqua Watercolor Markers
Ecoline Watercolor Markers

Waterbased Markers: 
Zig Brushables
Zig Art and Graphic Twin
Tombow ABT
Zig Clean Color Real Brush

Up and Up Waterbased Markers with a Tombow ABT blender 
Crayola Supertip Waterbased Markers

Pigment Based: 
Winsor and Newton Watercolor Markers

Here's a whole playlist of waterbased and watercolor marker tutorials!

All of the links used in this post link to reviews, tutorials, or field tests that demonstrate these products.  I hope this was helpful for your sister- please write back and share the results!

This concludes the October/November Mailbag!  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me using the contact form in the left hand sidebar! Future questions will be answered in Mailbag features.  Google comments don't work reliably using Google +, so if I don't respond to comments, it's because I'm not seeing them.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Guest Post: Mharz and The Angel With Black Wings

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the years of doing art is that it’s an endless experimentation. It’s fascinating how each artists have their own sets of principles, and methods of doing things. Today, I am happy to share my very own comic making process in this nice little blog post!


First off, a bit about me. Hello my name is Mharz and I’ve been doing webcomics since 2014. Prior to that, I was working in animation industry since 2012. I never went to art school and all the knowledge I have in art is based from my experience working in the industry and self-learning. I currently have three webcomics: The Angel with Black Wings, about the friendship between a human boy and a guardian angel; CHAMPS, about an MMA’s conquest in the octagon and in love; and The Robonoid Fan about different kinds of adults. In addition to that, I’m also currently doing pencils and inks for Donathin Frye’s I, Necromancer. I know… I have many stuffs to do.


I also do occasional drawing tips based on my experience in animation. Anyway, enough about the intros and let’s get this process started. I kinda have like a wide variety of methods but for the sake of simplicity, I’m just gonna discuss my comic making process for The Angel with Black Wings.


For starters, I’m gonna divide my process into three phases. This is something I have adopted in animation production: Pre-production, Production, and Post-production.

Pre-production


This is the phase where I outline, plot and thumbnail the story. I usually do it every 5 chapters so I won’t burn out. This is the most gruelling phase for me and really requires me to use too much mental power.


I am very old-fashioned when it comes to writing and I really prefer to write in paper because (1) I get tired easily if I sit in the computer for too long and I can write on paper while I’m lying down, (2) I can bring them anywhere in case I unexpectedly thought of something, I can write it without the need of gadgets and internet.
I like to keep notebooks for writing. WP_20171104_002.jpg


Here’s one of the pages of the notebook scanned. I deeply apologize for my ugly handwriting. XD


written story sample.jpg

As you can see, I prefer writing in prose than in script format. In this stage, I’m not thinking of the panelling and layout just yet and my priority is to just the story flow. I’m not that smart to think of so many things at once. So I continue this process until I finished five chapters before proceeding to the next stage which is thumbnails/storyboard.


Now this is the stage where I start to think of the story as a bunch of comic page. My thumbnails are really just a bunch of very rough sketches. I also do this in paper as well.
thumbnails.jpg


I have worse sketches than this, trust me. I usually sketch very fast on this stage so that the momentum and my brain won’t slow down. Bear in mind that this layout is not set in stone. If I thought of something better in the production phase, I’d definitely roll with that but it’s nice to have a clear visual reference. Once all five chapters has been fully thumbnailed, it’s finally time to move onto the next phase.

Production


This is the phase where I really draw the actual page. It’s finally time to go digital because I prefer drawing in digital. Before I start of the actual page, I do the backgrounds first. I’d be the first one to admit to you that I don’t have much patience in drawing backgrounds especially buildings so to make up for it, I’m gonna use my good ‘ol buddy, Sketchup.


For those who don’t know, Sketchup is a 3D software. It’s definitely not the best software around but I chose it since it’s fairly easy to use (at least I think so) and also the myriad of 3D models they have in 3D Warehouse. (I usually just use the most generic looking 3D models)


3dsketchup.jpg


This particular model was made from putting some buildings I made in addition to pre-made models I’ve downloaded from 3D warehouse. Another reason why I prefer using sketchup is they have this setting where the models look like they’re 2D lineart as seen on the image and I’m heavily utilizing it. This way, I don’t really have to spend extra time lining them. (Of course, I can make it work since my setting is modern day.)


Anyway, let’s just save the more elaborate explanation and usage of sketchup in a future post. We still have a lot to discuss.


After I picked the proper camera angle for the background, I exported it as a PNG image and now it’s time to move onto the pencils (but I really just refer to it as rough sketches).


I’m using Medibang Paint Pro for pencils and inks, by the way. I just love how tight their stabilizers are and it’s really compatible with my hand strokes. The paper size I use is A4 at 300 dpi since it’s a pretty common size in our country and it’s also directly proportional to my intended print size which is A5.


With my thumbnails as the guide, I do these in order, sketch the panel border, paste the backgrounds, draw the character constructions.
ruffs.jpg


I usually add the background first so that I can figure out the perspective and the footing of the characters. I do the construction in red lines out of habit really. If you look back from the thumbnails you’ll notice that I made some last minute changes at the layout of the last panel. I realized that one panel where Ray is looking from behind is pretty redundant so I took it down and shifted the bottom panel to be wide.


Now I can add details or what we normally call in our studio, tiedown.
tiedown.jpg


I use blue lines for this one so I won’t confuse it with grays/black once I start to ink. These steps are very essential to me since I tend to flop at drawing without doing these steps. Once I finished the tiedown I can finally do inks/clean-up.


I almost forgot to mention what brushes I used for the sketches. Anyway, I only use Medibang’s default pencil and pen brush. No fancy mumbo jumbo there.
brushes.jpg
Now using the same pen brush, I ink the lovely characters.


cleanup.jpg


I’m gonna clean the backgrounds and remove the lines that should be obscured in a bit but first I’d like to point out something first: When I do the inks I make sure that the lines are aliased. For those who aren’t familiar of the term, aliasing is the sharpness of the lines. Example:


anti-aliasing.jpg


Aliased lines are more sharp and crisp albeit jagged when zoomed-in. The reason I picked aliased lines when inking is because it’s easier and cleaner to flat than anti-aliased lines and since I’m drawing at 300 dpi, the jaggedness won’t be that obvious. Although I wouldn’t recommend it for lower resolution drawings.


After all the inking. Medibang’s job is now complete and I’m gonna jump onto a different software: Good ‘ol Photoshop. I actually just use an old CS2 because I can’t afford the monthly ones.


I added the legit panel borders and cleaned up the unnecessary lines and viola! Time for do the tones!
clean.jpg


When adding the tones, I select the areas I want to fill with the magic wand tool. Here’s my settings:
magic wand.png


I expand the selection so the grays will go slightly underneath the lines and won’t have those strange white gaps. To do this go to Select > Modify > Expand like shown in the image:
expand.png


After some doohickey, the grays and blacks are now added. I separated the grays and black in different layers. I just use gradients on the backgrounds. I only add shading if I need to emphasize on the lighting so most of the time I only have flat and gradients on the pages. I also added some noise filter so the tones have texture and not plain looking.

tones.jpg


This is the end of the production stage.

Post-production


In animation, this is the phase where you add fancy effects. In my comic making process, in addition to adding effects when necessary, this is where I do the texts as well as the final edits. I added the text first before adding the speech bubbles. If you can afford it, get an editor. Sadly I’m a poor sap who can’t afford to pay people so I have to do everything on my own.


ch11pg07-08.png


And it’s done! I usually export it for print size before shrinking it down for web uploads. I usually do Production and Post-production in a per page basis. With this method I can finish 1-2 pages per day. The 3D backgrounds helped considerably in my production time. This is the method that worked for me but like I said at first, every artists have their own set of principles that worked for them so be sure to constantly experiment to find what’s suitable for you!


If you have any questions, or want to stay updated if I posted new artworks or drawing tips, you can follow me in these parts of the internet:






Website, comics and drawing tips: http://mharz.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NOCAZfest Announcement


It's that time of year again!  I'm tabling at NOCAZfest in New Orleans, Louisiana November 18th and 19th!  NOCAZfest is a two day indie comic show held at the New Orleans Public Library on 219 Loyola Avenue.  There's tons of great artists, comic creators, zine makers, and more, and admission is free!  Family friendly tables will be marked by balloon, so if you're shopping with little ones, head for those tables.

I'm flying in from Nashville, and I'll have copies of my Inktober 2017 zine, Lilliputian Living.  I'll have free copies of Cicada Summer- Pickin n Peelin for kids and to trade, as well as stickers, mini prints, wooden charms, and more!  For those of you who missed me at Mechacon, this is a great opportunity to get caught up!


On Sunday, I have a hands on inking workshop-
Lets Get Inky is a combination panel and workshop that will present attendees with a variety of inking materials and present an opportunity to play.  This is a free workshop that is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend and learn a little about traditional inking.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Guest Review: Feather on Minso and Yokoyaya

Two Japanese Dollar Stores: Minso and Yokoyaya


Hello!  I’m Feather and this is my first review here!  I’m just a weird little fledgling comic artist, creator of Prompt Execution and Perfection, a Mary Sue story.  I am not the most well versed in art in terms of all the different mediums but I do enjoy trying them.  With that out of the way, let’s get into things.


Just a little about this post, if you love Japanese Dollar Stores, then this is the post for you.  I’m going to drop two store rundowns, one I found in Hong Kong and then revisited again in my local area, and the other one is pretty much a Daiso store with another name.


NOTE! I am just focusing on the stationary sections of the stores, these are general stores with other cool items and things to explore. Another thing is I am not a professional, so I do recommend everyone to give everything a fair go due to probably knowing more about the materials than I do.  I just like to have an excuse to buy stationery and art supplies.


Yokoyaya





Yokoyaya is the store which I mentioned being the Daiso store with another name.  Daiso is another Japanese Dollar Store, with products usually in the $2 CAD (I live in Canada) range.  Everything I see in the aisles of Yokoyaya, I have seen at the Daiso.  Even the packaging had Daiso’s branding on it.  It also seems to have shorter shelving than my local Daiso, meaning you had to slightly crouch to look at things.  At least the flags telling you what the items in the area are really did help.  It is also slight smaller than Daiso as well, with Daiso being on two floors and Yokoyaya being only one floor but slightly wider.







Since I really didn’t need anything from this shop, I went and grabbed three things actually.  Well, the last one is just a bag of candy because I enjoy some hard soda flavoured candies but two actual things from the Stationery section.








First thing I picked up were these postcards, made of pretty sturdy cardstock.  I needed a bunch of them for Christmas cards so this was my main pick up.  I will be testing all the pens from my other purchase on this paper.  I also realized taking pictures of bright white paper on my white desk was stupid so I put a bit of grey newsprint underneath to show off the sheets. They are four inches wide and a bit bigger than five and a half inches long.  Like… 5.75 inches? There are 55 of them and I think they are a really good deal at two dollars a pack.


The packaging for stickers is beyond necessary

Yokoyaya Happy, seriously

The second thing I bought happened to be this really overly packaged bundle of sticky notes.  It has a good spread of different sticky notes I would totally use everyday like the ‘Don’t forget’ and ‘To Do list’, except for the weird Happy Sticky note.  Like I have no idea why I would ever need a Happy Sticky note and it still boggles me why they pick Happy as their final word choice.  I didn’t open up this one and try it because I have tried this product in another general amount and all I can say is it sticks, you can write on it, that’s all.  Stick time is decent, just don’t play with it too much.  Also I’m gifting it to a friend who doesn’t have a Daiso, Yokoyaya, or a Minso near them.  Tragic.


Would I recommend either product?  I do recommend the postcards, they are really nice and has a good snap to them.  The Sticky notes book set?  I prefer normal ones but if you really want to go all out on decorating, go for it.


Since it took me around 45 minutes to get to the Yokoyaya, instead of the 10 minutes it would take me to go to the closer Daiso near me, I would not go back to Yokoyaya again unless I’m in the area to begin with.


Wrap up Thoughts:
Pros:
  • Price - Everything is around $2, which is great.
  • If you don’t have a Daiso in your area, you might have a Yokoyaya.
  • Better signs than Daiso to tell you where things are.
  • Not as crowded as a Daiso.



Cons:
  • (Personal) Location, I’m near a Daiso, I don’t need to go to a Yokoyaya.
  • Smaller space, less selection.
  • The lower shelving might be hard for some people’s backs.
  • (Personal) I also somehow hurt myself on the metal spinners trying to get into the shop for some reason.  Don’t be like Feather, enter shops carefully.






Silly Yokoyaya, that isn’t from Daiso…

Minso









First note about their stationary section is they have a lot more sets to sell than their loose items.  They are a $2.99 CAD store, which is literally three dollars okay we don’t even have the penny anymore!  It ranges up of course, seeing up to eight dollars and I think some items around the store are even more.  I noticed they have a bunch of oil pastels and coloured pencils.  I didn’t pick up any of those because they are not mediums I’m familiar with or use frequently.





There was a good selection of notebooks to pick from, which I picked one up as well as a tester.  Funny enough, it was the most expensive thing in comparison out of everything else I bought.  They had a lot of assorted options, I didn’t have time to check them all which is a shame.








Here is the pen area, it was just one side of the shelves and one tiny display.  They were buy three for three dollars, pretty much a dollar each which was a great deal.  I grabbed a bunch here.


NOTE!  Here was a mistake I did, I just grabbed and didn’t check.  A few of my pens had a plastic seal over them to keep them fresh, and I didn’t check all of them, meaning I accidently grabbed either their testers which were unmarked or someone already opened them to test out.  It was some bad luck but remember to check your pens always!


So what was my actual Minso haul?  Well first I want to note I have been to this store before when I was visiting family in Hong Kong, so I already had some Minso brush pens, and I bought doubles for testing and for a friend.




I bought the Hong Kong set awhile ago, HK Pens at Work


The bottom two were my duplicates, which you will see tested later.  And here is that postcard paper doing it’s work, showing it can handle the mediums quite well.  It was really nice to use these brush markers, having a nice brush tip and a bullet nib I can use to write notes with.




The three there are the ones I picked up from this store, with their smaller colour selection.  Definitely something I have to mark them down for, their lack of colour choices limits what you can do greatly. The writing flow is smooth with no hiccups, and the tips can take pressure and abuse well due to my heavy hand when I write.  I will always buy these again when I use up my current ones.





These were some alcohol based markers, I am not very well versed in this category either.  I tried them out and they didn’t smell as heavy as other brand of alcohol based markers so I give that a plus since the smell is what puts me away from them in the first place.  I say they are slightly streaky from when I tested them, but it could be me putting uneven pressure on it.
Lol Branding



Fun little thing, I found a Minso brand Fine Tec and then I remembered I had something similar so behold my Dong-A pen which is the exact freaking pen.  Just the branding was different and some of the labels.  They wrote the same way, and had the same colour.  But the fun fact is they cost me differently. It was a sad discovery.


Death Marker
I cry


This acrylic paint marker was one of the ones I think I grabbed the tester of, the nib was already saturated with the liquid, and had a chip in it.  It was one of those shake and press to get it to work type of pens and I’m never good with those markers so I will definitely never use this much and probably never buy anything of that same vein.  I didn’t like the flow of it and I found it really spotty.  It kinda also just went everywhere when I tried to do the nib pressing thing.








The blue marker of the two watercolour pens was another of the already opened and used ones.  The metallic marker was fresh though, and I love how bright it is and how metal it looks.  Flows nicely, both of them actually, but I am not sure what I would use them for other than maybe an accent on some line art.  Nib press with control, because my heavy hand just makes it puddle everywhere.  But the puddle was smaller than the previous pen.




Test all the markers, That’s metal


Here is the compiled look of all the supplies, tested on that postcard paper.  Cool note is the alcohol based marker didn’t bleed through to the other side, just barely started to.  Might be good for all those people who use a lot of alcohol based markers.








Here is that book I talked about.  I didn’t own a lot of sketchbooks with rings on the short end, so I picked it up.  Had really nice cream tone paper, but it was kinda thin.  Probably good for landscape sketching. Had a somewhat hard cover, basic enough to keep the book a book.






Of course I tested my more frequently used mediums on it, and that alcohol based marker a try as well.  Well the paper is super thin so I don’t think I will be using the backside of it if I do drop a few strokes of colour on it.  


I definitely recommend the water based brush pens, and specifically the metallic watercolour pen with the shake and press nib.  The Fine Tec is decent but I had a few Fine Tecs before and sometimes they jam up really badly due to ink drying and I have to get a new one.  Everything else is things I don’t frequently use, so I can’t give a strong recommendation to them.


Wrap up Thoughts:
Pros:

  • Price - Everything is around $3, a little bit more expensive than Daiso but you can still get the deals
  • Good quality for what they are selling
  • Good place to find some brush pens for cheap, even could be a cheaper alternative to the same thing


Cons:

  • Limited colour selection, and general limited selection when comparing locations
  • Be careful of people who uncapped the pens already, or accidentally picking up a tester since they are unmarked
  • (Personal) Got assaulted by their perfume section right at the front of the store when walking in.  Had to exit to breathe and cough.


Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you found some supplies you would like to try or look around for these two stores!  Thanks to Becca for being an amazing person.  Have a great day everyone and keep looking for those dollar stores!


You can find me at:


I go by FeatheryJustice on almost all my social media.