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I love Blick.

I've been waiting all month to order my giant full-range set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. For the third time in my life I will have the biggest set of Prismacolors that I've ever had, with all the colors. This is a personal big deal. It may only be understandable to other Prismacolor addicts. But something about knowing that I will soon be holding every color they make, plus have two extra Indigo Blue, is just making my heart soar. For weeks now I've been using my old set and daring to do even large pieces, knowing I would order this giant set and NOT have to worry about running out for a while.

Plus, I will at last have the colors Arlene Steinberg recommended in Masterful Color, four or five of which were invented after I bought my vintage 120 color set but before I had money again for Prismacolor replacements. I didn't know those colors were there, so I didn't order them to supplement my vintage set, till I finally got fed up and decided to preserve my discontinued colors by getting the 132 color superset. The largest range of colored pencils available except for an odd Japanese brand that a DeviantART friend got a set of 500 from.

I hung onto the full sheet of Arches 300lb hot press watercolor paper, which I've now seen and handled in person with John Houle's amazing art on it. I love that stuff. I have 300lb cold press in a block, but wanted the hot press where I can get into insane detail on it. I put in a spare white Col-Erase pencil because I keep sketching on black or dark colors and writing on the backs of ACEOs that are on black or dark colors.

I lucked and got a good coupon. I called Blick yesterday and asked if I would get free shipping if I added $20 more to my order so that it'd still be over $200 when the coupon discount was subtracted. She checked, and yep, I would get free shipping. So I added in some things I dropped when I put in the other giant set that I've been drooling at since it first came out -- the 72 color Derwent Inktense set.

I found out when I had it in my hands that my Pelikan Gouache pans set no longer includes the silver and gold pans. I missed the silver, really missed the good pan silver. The gold was a dark bronzy color that I never used, but the silver was so great for detailing things. So I put in a tube of silver Maimeri gouache and a tube of white because white gouache is more opaque than the Chinese White tube in the Pelikan set. I had other metallics in too, light and dark gold. I dropped the gold ones when I decided to get a pad of Fredrix canvas -- actual gessoed canvas in stiffened sheets, not canva-paper, which some friends on eBay complained about getting paintings on canva-paper especially if they were oils.

Now I know the big Inktense set is going to pay for itself in ACEOs because it's bold, it's vivid, the Inktense paintings sell real well and I even bought a couple of extra Outliners to use with it and other watercolor pencils last time. So I put that big set in and dropped some of my metallic gouache colors. I put in a half-size Bienfang Notesketch because I am researching a dinosaur novel and it occurred to me that I could actually use a Cretaceous Field Journal for it -- not just sketch the critters to have dino-drawings, but actually jot in all the dino-facts that I'll need for the book with the pictures so that I can remember what they are and where they fit into the world of Albertasaurus sarcophagus. $3.98 worth of pretension -- or convenience, because my dino-sources range from online pages to that ponderous tome, The Dinosauria, which is fact-packed and printed in teeny tiny type with much of the scientific jargon and a good glossary and index.

Unfortunately, you have to already know what you're looking for in order to find anything in it. So the dino-journal is going to be a LOT of use once I get going on that Three Day Novel and I don't have time to fish through hundreds of pages to find something on the Maastrichtian whatever it was (the formation Albertasaurus was found in and also a time designation). It's things like that where my bothering to do the cool little field journal will actually help. Also it helps that I can read my own handwriting.

So today I was on tenterhooks waiting for 4:00 to roll around to place my order, had my $221 in cool things in the basket, and finally the clock ticked over so I started placing the order. I got halfway through and stared -- there was a sale item in there, and it had slid under $200, so I was paying $15.95 shipping.

I backed up, went back to the cart and put the deep gold in again, which I'd dropped to make room for the canvas pad, and it came out with free shipping at the final level. So once again when I do all my math and calculate exactly what I'm ready to spend at Blick, I get the happy little surprise of one more small thing added to the cart in order to make the order, without actually spending any more than I'd planned to. Blick rules.

And I'm in colored pencil euphoria sometime next week when the packages come, between more Prismacolors than I've ever had at one time, and more Inktense than I could imagine just a few months ago. The new colors in the big Inktense set are exciting, there is even a Chinese Ink colored pencil that I have to try by puddling and painting with a brush to see how well it compares to real sumi-e ink. There are probably still more undiscovered colors in the Prismacolor set that Arlene Steinberg didn't mention in her book. And there'll be cool heavy Arches paper with the consistency of cardboard and a sweet smooth soft surface to draw and paint on as soon as it all arrives, though the silver and light gold gouache will be delayed by being on back order.

Hehehe. I will probably also get blisters sharpening all of them and empty the electric sharpener a couple dozen times by the time I get through the giant set. I've been through this twice -- Prismacolor is the only artist grade brand that doesn't factory-sharpen large sets of colored pencils. Dedicated Prismacolor fans wind up with blisters. But no other brand has exactly their translucence, texture, layering and color range -- though they all do play well with others when you spread out multiple sets to work on the same piece.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
mmm, art supplies... your excitement is contagious :)
Jun. 4th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm glad! I love posting about them, that's part of the fun. If that encourages readers to play with their art supplies, so much the better! Then there's the fun of reviewing them after they come. I'll probably post a color chart or two, especially of the Inktense since 48 of its colors are new ones that I've never tried.

As of right now, the order hasn't shipped, but the silver and light gold Maimeri Gouache tubes have arrived and are listed as "in stock and reserved." I'd be surprised if they put it all in one package though, since it'll need one of those big flat ones for the sheet of Arches paper.

I have the Order Status page open on its browser tab and refresh it every now and then to see if they shipped it yet and get the tracking number. Once I know when they're going to arrive, it'll be even easier to start planning what to do in the meantime.

Of course what I should be doing in the meantime is introducing my serial killer and showing his first kill in a scene that'll get put in ahead of the one I started "Horror" with. I need to work on my book and get ahead!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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