Another Weird Palette You Might Like.

Hi friends! Boy oh boy have companies upped their game bringing out strange watercolor palettes?

With the holiday’s rolling around I thought you might enjoy seeing this one and the paint is actually quite good, just like the paint in the fan palettes that were all the rage last year. Either one would make a fun stocking-suffer for a painter or hobbyist.

Today I am reviewing the ARTSY 38 color folding watercolor palette with 3 water brushes. (affiliate links used)

This novelty palette features removable pans that can be rearranged to your liking and comes in a storage wallet with 3 refillable water brushes for under $20. The paint seems identical to the fan palette I reviewed last year, infact they also make an identical palette with the artsy branding on it.

Both palettes have a separate mixing area and a sponge to blot your brush on. As the paints are identical in color and quality I will review them both here (and my review would be the same as the other fan palette I reviewed)

  • Low price
  • clean transparent colors
  • Colors glaze well
  • Included water brushes are good quality
  • Packaged in a reusable clear plastic wallet for storage


  • No lightfast info
  • No replacement pans available

I think this is a great option for travel where lightfastness is not a concern (such as working in a sketchbook) or for practice or crafts. This would be a nice stocking stuffer too. You really can’t beat this quality for the price (under $20) and you have to admit the small fold-up aspect is super cute.

That it for me today! Happy creating!

They’ve Changed! Spectrum Noir Illustrator Markers Review

Hi friends! I had been asked to review Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers a few times since they came out a couple of years ago. I was hesitant because I have noticed with Spectrum Noir products they tend to come out with a product, get feedback from customers and then improve it on the next version. I basically didn’t want to get their test run LOL! Especially since all of the Spectrum Noir markers are a refillable product if I am going to have it for years and years I want the best version. My instincts were right on these markers because they just released an improved version of the marker with higher quality brush nibs. I heard the older version’s nibs were the kind that frayed and wore out easily but I am happy to report that’s no longer the case. Watch the video to learn more about these markers and read the full review below for additional info.

The new spectrum Noir Illustrator markers feature flexible (foam-rubber like) fray resistant nibs and are available open stock and in sets of 6, 12 and 36 currently. They are part of the Spectrum Noir coloring system and match your other SN markers and can be refilled with the SN refill inks making them a totally reusable marker. If you have the older style Illustrator markers (or even the classics) you can use the new replacement nibs in them if they wear out. The nibs will be available soon and ll 216 colors are ink is now available on the Crafter’s Companion website. BTW Blick has the refill ink on the old glass bottle packaging at a lower price if you wanted to stock up!

As with any marker I recommend swatching them on the paper you typically use so you know what color to expect. Crafter’s Companion offers free color charts you can print and color yourself here. *Or if you want the swatch stamps I use you can find them here.


  • Price- $4 individual or $2-$3 each if bought in sets
  • Smooth ink in vibrant colors
  • Sets are arranged in thoughtful color groupings
  • Refillable, reinkers available here.
  • Easy to blend
  • The flexible brush end gives wide to fine strokes and the bullet tip is ultra-fine for tiny details.


  • There may still be old stock out there so be sure you are getting the new version. I asked my contact at Crafter’s Companion how to tell new from old stock and she said this: The Illustrators have a darker font on the pen itself, the new is a grey the old is a beige. Old nibs can be swapped out for the new ones tho so if you have the old version no need to upgrade, just replace the nibs as needed.
  • The color chip at the end is inlaid so it is hard to tell what color is what if the markers are laying on your table. I would want to make a swatch to wrap around the barrel of have them standing in a cup as I worked. It’s a small annoyance and doesn’t affect the performance of the marker but it would keep me from grabbing these over others.

Bottom line…

I like the Spectrum Noir coloring system. I like how you can refill markers and if you were a stamper or a coloring book hobbyist starting from scratch this would be a nice option as you could build your stash as needed and refill your markers when they go dry instead of tossing them. The bullet tip is very small so I see that being the biggest plus to stampers or coloring book artists who want an alcohol marker to make fine lines. If you already have the classic Spectrum Noir markers or the old illustrators I wouldn’t necessarily recommend upgrading them unless you love the look of the new version because the rep I talked to said you can use the new nibs in the old bodies so the only reason to upgrade to the new style would be purely cosmetic. Crafter’s Companion has been around for quite a while and they have invested heavily in coloring tools so I trust they they will be around for a long time to support their materials which is huge. What do you think? Have you used these markers? Let us know what you think in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

House Mouse Halloween Card and Popular Markers are Back! {Ohuhu Brush Marker Review}

Hi friends! Last spring I got a chance to try out the new Ohuhu Brush markers. I posted a review on YouTube as soon as they were released but they sold out in a couple of hours so I decided to wait to post the review to my blog until they came back in stock. Today they are back in stock and available in the original 48 color pack and a new 72 color pack. The 72 color pack has all of the colors from the 48 set and both sets contain a colorless blender (in addition to the 48 or 72 colored markers) so don’t buy them both unless you want doubles. I tried out the new markers and they are just as good as the ones I got in the spring and I will post the full review below but first I have a new card for you!

Watch the video to see how I colored the image and how I tint embellishments to match my coloring!

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

Ohuhu Brush Marker Review

Ohuhu has made a huge splash on the marker scene by coming out with really affordable marker sets over the past couple of years. The ink is smooth, the nibs resilient and the customer service is excellent! So when rumors that they were working on a brush tip version started to surface the art community got really excited. I had the privilege to get a set a couple of months prior to their release and I have been using them a lot. You have probably seen sneak peeks in some of my cardmaking videos, Today I am going to give you the lowdown on these markers!


  • Available in 48 and 72 color packs with an additional colorless blender per pack. The 72 color set contains the original 48 colors plus an additional 24.
  • Brush and chisel tip
  • Nice carrying bag
I took a quick photo of my swatches for both sets, the 72 set contains more grays and pastel shades.


  • Price Under $1 per marker with the 48 color set at .73 per marker ($34.99 set) and the 72 set at .97 per marker ($69.99 set)
  • Nice well rounded color selection
  • Brush tip is juicy and great for blending and laying in lots of ink
  • Reversible brush tip, if it gets worn flip it around to double the nib life.
  • Smooth ink laydown, not patchy
  • Works well with the classic Ohuhu markers
  • I recommend this for coloring and blending for stampers and artists (not brush lettering as the nib is a bit stiff)


  • The color numbering system is not the same as the classic chisel/bullet Ohuhu markers
  • The material the brush tip is made of is the “felty” materials instead of the “foam-spongy” feeling materials and in my experience the felty material frays eventually especially if you let it go dry or press on the nib too hard. *but the brush nib is reversible so you can flip it around if it frays.
  • Nib is not very flexible and I fear damaging it if I tried flexing it. I would not recommend this for brush lettering.
  • Also with these types of tips (not on these Ohuhu markers because I have not had them very long) I have had desalinization where the salts from the ink leech up through the brush tip and make the marker look gross. To remedy that I add alcohol on the tip to dissolve the ink and salt back into the marker. Edited to add I have been using the 48 set for 7 months and have not had that happen.

Bottom Line:
These are a great budget brush tip marker if you get them for $1 a piece or less. The brush nibs are not going to last as well as a Copic but you can pull out the reversible nib and insert it in the other way around for a longer life. The nibs will definitely last as long as the ink in the marker. I have been using them 2 months and have not had any issues but I recommend keeping them capped when not in use and not storing them in hot dry areas (like on a shelf near a heater) because of drying. I have had markers with tips like these stored in my basement work area with no problem but the ones I keep in my office on a bookshelf 4 feet from a baseboard radiator have dried and frayed. I think storing the markers in a plastic Rubbermaid tote would help with this issue too. These markers are a lot of fun and easy to use. The quality isn’t up there with Copic or other foam-rubber-like tip marker but neither is the price and if you are looking for an affordable brush tip marker you can’t beat it!

Is this watercolor or is it ink?

Hi friends! Today I have a review fitting for Inktober. It’s a watercolor that behaves like an ink! Watch the video for the full review of Micador for Artists watercolor disks!

You can find the products I used here. You can scroll down and see all of the products I showcased today as well as others. The website can be a bit clunky so I will link to specific products as I mention them. Micador offers flat rate shipping worldwide but it is a bit pricey to ship if you are outside of Australia. It would worth it if there were a lot of things you wanted to order of if you were splitting an order with a friend.

  • Watercolor disks: Available in 12, 24 and 36 color sets from $18-$54
  • And 6 color seasonal sets for $9
  • These watercolors are not like other watercolors, they remind me more of Inktense by Derwent however they are more transparent than the inktense blocks. They are more similar to the inktense pencils. It is hard to list pros and cons as what is a pro to one person might be a disadvantage to another. I’ll list the attributes and you can decide for yourself:)

Pros & Cons:

  • *Extremely vibrant, saturates and transparent (with the exception of white, pearl, grey and light pink)
  • *Staining, layers and glazes very well. It does not lift well.
  • *Sets are compact and nest into one another with the lid being the mixing area. I recommend having an additional mixing palette.
  • *Since colors are very concentrated and transparent the pan color does not reflect the paint color so swatching is essential. I recommend making a pie-chart swatch and adhering it in the middle of each disk.
  • *These lightweight plastic palettes can slide around your workspace so I recommend working on a non-slip mat or tacking them down with poster putty so you don’t have to chase your paint around.

If you are looking for an ink-like super transparent paint in pan form I recommend these! Keep in mind there are duplications between sets so go for the 36 set if you want the best variety and no duplication.

The Rains watercolor paper was really nice, it reminded me very much of the Bee 140# CP cotton watercolor paper. It is available in several size packs, pads and sheets.

I also loved the Roymac Revolution synthetic watercolor brushes which performed more like a squirrel than a sable brush to me. Very absorbent and a dream to paint with.

These products may be most attractive to Australian consumers as they are shipped domestically and traditionally do not have access to the bounty of affordable supplies we have in America so I really encourage you to check them out if you are in AU, otherwise if you love any of these products they do ship worldwide, it’s just a bit pricey as with anything. Thanks to Micador for sending these products for review and thank you for watching! Happy crafting!

Don’t Buy Copics Until You See these Markers (Art-n-Fly Brush Marker Review)

Hi friends! Everyone is looking for an alcohol brush marker that is the same quality os Copics, refillable and with replaceable nibs. Often you can find a cheaper one but you can’t refill them or the tips fray. Today I am going to share a marker that is affordable (around $2 each in sets) refillable (refills are $4.99 for 25 cc of ink) and has replaceable nibs should you damage your marker or wear it out. Sounds pretty great huh? What are these markers you ask? Art-n-Fly and I will go over them in depth in today’s marker review video!

The full selection of Art-n-Fly markers, replacement nibs and refill inks can be purchased on the Art-n-Fly website. Sets can be purchased on Amazon as well ranging in 6 count to 48 count packs. *Affiliate links used

Art-n-fly markers are currently available in 90 colors and they are planning to expand to 200 colors in the next year or two. All of the colors available can be obtained by buying the multipacks where they run about $2 each. You can also purchase individual colors for $4.99 each (the same price as a refill) by contacting customer service.

*note the 24 colors in the 24 pack are duplicated in the 48 pack. Other than that there are 3 colors duplicated if you were to purchase all of the packs as told in their FAQ section:

Q: Do any sets have duplicate colors?

A: Yes, the pastels do have overlap with two sets. The 107BR and 29YR are in both skin tones and pastels (the 107BR is a different shade in the two) and 77PB is also in the 48 marker set. We are working to make that no longer the case!
(end quote)


  • High quality flexible Japanese brush style nib (very similar to Copic)
  • Price: Around $2 in sets
  • Refills available for all colors at $4.99 each
  • Individually colors available by contacting customer service
  • Vivid smooth ink
  • Blends well
  • Replacement nibs available
  • Great customer service
  • Few duplication in color (except for the 24 set is in the 48 set) so you could try a 6 pack of colors to see if you liked them and add packs as your budget allows.
  • Comfortable to hold (rounded octagon shape) and attractive to display.

Potential Cons:

  • As with any alcohol marker, the color chip at the end is not a perfect match for the ink color so swatching is a good idea (this is the case for all alcohol markers tho)
  • Currently the range is only 90 colors and they plan to expand to 200 (which seems like a lot to me but Copic has around 350) *Keep in mind that these marker will blend with Copic or any other brand of alcohol marker you already have.

Bottom line: I like the price of these and the fact that they are refillable and a lifetime marker. With so many disposable markers out now for budget-conscious consumer, it is refreshing to see a company come out with a low price point and a sustainable product. I also like the look of these markers and having the longer color chip make it easy to tell the color no matter how it is laid on the table. I think these are a great alternative to copic markers. You can see all of then Art-n-Fly markers here. I want to thank Art-n-Fly for sending me these products to review as well as thank the viewers who made me aware of this company and requested the review. Happy crafting!

Comparing 2 paints of vastly different price points…

Hi friends, I just saw Arteza has come out with an artist-grade acrylic and I wondered how it compared to the student grade (AKA premium) paint I have been using for a while. My general opinion of Arteza products is that you get a bit more than you pay for and seeing these new expert acrylic paints with a higher price tag piqued my interest. Are the worth double or triple the price of the premium paints I have been enjoying all along? I will compare the premium tubes and pouches to the expert paints in today’s video!

FYI: Arteza products come in 3 levels: Classic-children’s grade, Premium-Student grade and Expert-Artist/professional grade. I have used many of their premium and expert products and they all live up to the claims.


Affiliate links to the products I mention. If shopping at Arteza website you can use the coupon code PROMO10 FOR 10% off. I also linked to Amazon because sometimes the price can vary between sites.

Characteristics of the premium acrylics:
*Semi-gloss sheen
*Bright colors
*High tinting strength.
*Colors mix well
*Large range of colors to choose from
*Some colors are semi-transparent due to pigments used and gloss-addition of mediums and perhaps extenders.
*soft body consistency
Price is between .03 and .07 cents per ml

Characteristics of the expert range
*Matte to Satin finish (Browns and black are a bit shinier)
*Heavy body consistency
*Great tinting strength
*colors mix cleanly
*Available in 12 colors (good mixing range)
*Costs .15 cents per ml

Differences: I noticed that the expert paint went further in a stroke and have more solid uniform coverage where some colors in the premium range could be streaky and need another coat. The matte finish of the Expert paint is a difference as well but I think is more about personal preference than a quality issue. I also noticed that even though they kept the names and color numbers consistent they did use different pigments in 4 of the expert colors but the crimson was the only one that looked different swatched out.

Bottom line:
This 12 color set would last a while and you could learn to paint and mix colors without hindrance however the premium paint is still really good at half to a third of the price. If you are someone who preferred to have a lot of colors to play with go for the premium, you can’t beat it. I think learning to mix colors might be easier with the limited palette of the Expert 12 color set tho. I like the big pouches myself because I tend to mix colors if I am painting and when I am working on crafts or furniture I like to have a large amount because I go through it. Choose what is right for you, it’s all good:) I’ll say the best value per ml is the premium tubes if the smaller tubes are useful to you.

One thing I forgot to mention is light fastness and both the premium and expert ranges had great light fast ratings so you shouldn’t worry too much about fading in either product. Which would you pick? Til next time happy crafting!

Black Watercolor Paper?!? & 43% off Birthday Sale!

Howdy friends! Today I turn 43 so instead of dwelling on the creep towards my middle 40s (I say I’m still in my early 40’s, hubby say’s I’m in my mid-40s) I decided to celebrate by giving everyone 43% off the regular price of any of my classes in my Teachable School. Just use the coupon code HB43 at checkout. This coupon will work on payment plans as well so if you have been waiting for a sale now is the chance. The sale/coupon code is good through Sunday 7/14/19.

Today we are going to do something different, we are going to paint watercolor on black paper! What? Yes that’s right! I had some requests to paint a hummingbird after my failed attempt a couple of weeks ago so I decided to paint that bird again on black watercolor paper. I didn’t have high hopes for the paper. After all I like my watercolors transparent and that wouldn’t show up on black but then I realized that my metallic watercolors would look great on black and it would be nice to have a paper designed for that. I was able to request a free sample of the Stonehenge Aqua Black on their website (sadly that offer doesn’t seem to be available anymore) and that is what I will use in today’s demo.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Save 43% on Any Class!

If you click any of the photos above it will take you to the class with the discount applied. If for some reason you don’t see the sale price use coupon code HB43 at checkout. I only run this sale one a year so if you have been thinking about taking a class now is a great time. Here are some reasons why!

  • You have lifetime access! You can enroll now with the savings and enjoy the classes when you have the time.
  • Go at your own pace! My online classes are broken down into smaller lessons so you can work to your goal as you have the time. There is also a pause button and you can repeat a lesson as much as you like until you prefect the technique!
  • You can ask me questions as you go and upload your artwork for direct feedback from me.
  • The cost is much less than an in person class (these classes would cost $180 to take from me in person in a group class) and you can take it on your schedule.

Remember the coupon code HB43 is only good through Sunday July 14th, 2019 in my Teachable School so now is the time to snag that class you had your eye on! Thanks for stopping by and painting with me today! Are you going to try painting on black paper? It’s a lot of fun and I hope you do! Til next time happy crafting!

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