paints and brushes, and some cut resistant gloves

 

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This is a great starter set for anyone beginning painting. The colours are rich and vibrant,  and they’re very creamy which makes them easy to blend. I wouldn’t use them in work I sell as I’ve no information on longevity or fugitive properties,but for trial paintings or anyone beginning art they are excellent value.

The set includes what I call hot and cold examples of each colour, which means that with colour mixing you can create an infinite number of new colours. White is used to create pastels, but darker colours and shadows are best mixed from primaries. Shadows aren’t grey but blues, purples and reds, even yellows and using those colours will give you work more zing. Keep the black for when you want a true solid black; mixed with other colours it has the effect of “flattening” colour, so for instance if you want a dark green you could use Phthalo Green and Burnt Sienna – it doesn’t show well on my quick study but its a kind of deep ivy colour, or I’d use a dark blue such as Prussian. That blue mixed with a deep red makes a fabulous deep purple. Colour mixing is fascinating – I once spent a three hour watercolour class mixing yellow with blue step by step in tiny increments, to create green through to the blue shade and then back in reverse to get yellow again.

I used these on some paper ( watercolour) as the rest of my art supplies are tucked away in my ourdoor studio and it was raining….They’d work well on canvas though – with oils you can paint on so many different surfaces, I’ve used paper of all kinds, cardboard, wood and of course canvas. I’ve given examples of each shade both neat and mixed along the top with white, and a couple of pure colur mixes to show how easy it is to create more colours. Don’t go mad on that though, more than two mixes starts to get muddy, three sometimes works, if its two yellows and one blue for example, but more often people add a touch of red or something and end up with a muddy insipid type of brown rather than the lovely green they wanted!

Its well worth getting to know your colours and how they react with each other, as different brands vary. For instance Cadmium Red here is what I would think of as deep scarlet, usually cad red is more orange in the brands I use, Winsor and Newton, Daler Rowney, Liquitex etc. Those paints are far more expensive and its good to have a cheaper set such as this one for practice paintings when just one tube of W&N paint can be between £5 and £20…

This is a great set for beginners, for those wanting some inexpensive yet vibrant colours, ( some are padded so much that the colour is very bland and pale), for anyone new to oils who wants to get the feel of them, and for a great gift for birthdays and xmas. I really like these and found them very good to use.

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Stars: Five.

pa1 pa2 pa3 pa4 pa5

 

 

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These brushes are long handled. Its personal preference whether you prefer long or short and of course for travel short is better but for the studio I prefer long handles. They just seem to balance better. There’s a good variety of brushes here, from fan, angled and square tips to the versatile round shape. the case containing them is excellent, being sturdily constructed and easy to open.

 

I like that the tips of the rounds ones come easily to a point making them excellent for sharp lines and definition. That’s very important. The angled and square ends gave a good sharp outline, and all the brushes picked up the paint well. As with anything you get what you pay for, and these aren’t going to be as good as pure sable brushes that can cost as much as this set ( or more!) for just one brush, but for most artists these are excellent value and produce very decent quality results. I  keep my very few sables for watercolour use, never for oils or acrylics because they can be hard on brushes, especially if like me you tend to work large and use texture. These are perfect for any medium, being accurate enough for watercolour and hard wearing for oils and acrylics. The way I paint is hard on brushes.

The case is excellent, comes in a choice of colours and is made from a tough canvas type fabric. It zips closed and has elastic and fabric inserts to keep each brush separate. Always, Always ensure your brushes are dry before closing the case to avoid mould. Nor nice next time you open the case to get a whiff of that and its not going to be good for the brushes either. There’s some useful brush care info included with the set. Look after your brushes and they will last well. I wipe excess paint off mine ( I’m a messy painter, there’s always too much paint on them) with a cloth – old towels and t-shirts work well, or kitchen roll, clean in a good quality brush cleaner – I use a low odour one by Bob ross I’ve had for ages but B&Q do a good one too. I keep some in a small lidded plastic tub and reuse until its really murky. The paint sinks to the base so you can tip off the top, get rid of the gunk and reuse a few times…Then i beat them dry using a home made device, its a grid from a microwave grill with legs and it’s inside a plastic tube the it fits. By swooshing brushes back and forth a few times they’ll be almost dry and ready to put away though I’d leave them out for a while or leave case open to ensure properly dry. Its a handy way to clean brushes between use too when one has colour on and you want to use it for a different colour. Saves green skies when you’ve yellow on your brush and dip into the blue….

The oils test I did was with one of the square end brushes, and there’s a quick experiment I did with some watercolours aginst a round sable brush and a good quality square end brush I had  with some brushes from a different set by this seller. The brushes are identical to this set except for handle length. You can see there’s very little difference. ( To be fair my brushes have also been heavily used and the sable is showing signs of wear at the tip). I’d be happy to use these brushes for my artworks.

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Stars: Five.

pb1 pb2 pb3 pb4 pa4 wc1

 

 

 

 

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I have eye issues and so though I love sharp knives I have to be very careful – and that’s not really my nature.

These would give peace of mind too if you’ve kids that want to help prep food, or other relatives who’re a bit shaky with the hands or have eye issues. You could use them in the garden too and they’ll be ace for sharpening the chainsaw when its too easy to slice fingers if you don’t wear gloves. What makes them so great IMO is that they are really flexible, so many are stiff and unwieldy that they don’t get used so become pointless. It doesn’t matter how good they are, how much you spend if they sit un a cupboard unused.

These will get used and are perfect against sharp knives and scissors. I tried cutting them with scissors, the fabric just resisted them and slid between blades. They’re machine washable too so easy to keep clean. I have then in size Large, and they’re little loose on me, usually I have a Medium but have found that often they’re too tight and I’d rather have large than tight. These will still be functional for me though and allow Him Indoors to use them too.

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Stars: Five.

gl1 gl2 gl3 gl4 gl5 gl6

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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