Arteza Colored Pencil Review & Unrelated Marker Sale:)

Hi friends! I posted this review to YouTube a week ago but hadn’t had a chance to blog it and I had grand plans to make cards with the colored samples from the video but that did not happen either. I even went down to my studio a couple of times to work on those cards but got distracted by reorganizing some things. I was actually a lot of fun because since my big konmari declutter last year I have not had to clean and rearrange much and I kinda missed that! Today we are going to take a look at the Arteza Expert Colored Pencil Set of 72.  I was curious about these pencils because they were new and almost everything I have tried from Arteza has beat my expectations. These pencils were no exception. Here is a hand colored swatch on the colors in this set. I blended the colors with Gamsol and the paper is from my Canson XL mixed media journal.


The colors in the set are very bright and they easily dissolved with solvent. They soft and smooth to color with requiring little pressure and I had no issues with breaking when I sharpened them. Fort a full review and to see them in action on toned and white paper watch the video.

Video Review:


I contacted Arteza about the lightfastness ratings on their products and got good news:
+++ = at least 100 years;
++= at least 25-100 years;
+= at least 10-25 years

Most of the pencils were +++ and up so it seems like we have a lightfast product, I think colors with white added are less lightfast because the pigments get spread out more (as is the case with watercolor) so that might be why the white only had a 1 star rating.


  • Low price
  • Thick creamy lead
  • Layers well
  • Vibrant color
  • Leads did not bread when sharpening or when used with heavy pressure
  • Color index is pretty accurate on barrel
  • Blends well
  • Works well with solvent
  • Packaged snugly in removable plastic trays in a high quality reusable tin for storage


  • Only available in sets
  • Not many pale opaque shades (this totally is a “me” thing because I almost always work on toned or dark paper.)

Bottom line: I like these pencils a lot. the perform well, are bright and lightfast. I prefer some more opaque light shades but I can use these with other pencils I have so it’s not a big deal. These Arteza set of 72 pencils are currently around $25 and so are the Prismacolor set of 72. Personally because I like to work on toned paper I prefer Prismacolor but they tend to break more easily. If you are only working on white paper I’d recommend the Arteza but they are very similar in quality so the choice is yours. I suspect that the Arteza pencil leads might be glued to the barrel the whole way down and that is why there was not any breakage because they feel as soft as prismacolor, it is a big plus! Both pencils will work well together so you can enjoy the vivid, bright transparent hues of Arteza with the softer, opaque, pastel tones of Prismacolor. I am grateful that these companies are bringing high quality pencils to a budget minded consumer. I have not tried the Arteza 72 watercolor pencils that are wood cased but their woodless set of 24 are amazing if you are looking for watercolor pencils. If you are interested in a review of their set of 72 watercolor pencils let me know in the comments and I will see what I can do:)

And speaking of deals…

When I reviewed these Studio 71 markers a few months ago they sold out overnight and were out of stock for months. They are a great deal at regular price but Consumer Crafts has the packs on sale this week, the 6 packs are $6, 12 packs are $10, 24 packs are $20 and the much coveted 48 pack that was sold out for months is on sale for $36. Their open stock markers are not on sale but they are $1.97 everyday (although they go on sale for $1 sometimes) and I love that they have all the colors available individually. These colors match the Blick Illustrator, #coloring, Artist Loft and new Premiere by Nicole dual brush markers (review coming soon) and all of the color numbers are listed on the website when you order so you can check that you are not buying duplicates if you own any of those other brands. These markers are also loads cheaper than the above mentioned brands and feature a brush and chisel tips.


The brush tips on the Studio 71 markers are fiber/felty and not foam like Copic so they are not as flexible and they may fray if you are rough with them. They would not be great for brush lettering because the amount you would want to be able to flex the nib would wear it out quickly but if you want a nice brush tip marker for coloring these will do the trick! I have the set of 48 and I was able to make these blends for the markers in the box, I think it is a great deal and for 75 cents per marker in this set you can’t beat it. I wrote the numbers on the swatch next to each shell so you can have the recipes and remember the numbers are the same for Artist Loft, Premerie by Nicole (the new ones), Blick Illustrator, #coloring as well as the Studio 71 brand so you can use these blends with any of those brands.


Please don’t feel obliged to buy anything I recommend, as always use what you have first. I just wanted to make sure you knew about the sale if you were disappointed they the sold out after the review I did last summer. That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A cheap Copic Alternative? Studio 71 Dual Tip Brush Marker Review!

Hi friends! When viewers ask me to review a product I try to make it happen. That’s how I happened to find out about the new line of brush tip alcohol pens by Studio 71 from Darice.


I had seen these markers advertised from Consumer Crafts a couple of days before the request came in and I didn’t look twice at them but when I found out they had a brush tip and a chisel tip for a crazy low price I was intrigued! The set of 48 colors I am reviewing today sells for $49.97 currently and the clear blender is $1.47 and USA orders over $49 ship free so that makes the per marker price in the set $1.04. That’s pretty cheap. What to see the quality? Then watch today’s video review! *Even if you don’t need markers I have some blending tips and tricks that will work with any brand of alcohol pens:)


In all honesty, the ink that comes in most alcohol pens are about the same quality and all alcohol markers that I have tried work well with other brands. The ink on the paper will practically be the same (in my opinion) no matter what brand you choose. With that said this review will compare the blendability, value and comfort and use of the Studio 71 set of 48 Alcohol pens from Darice. Here is my swatch of the colors in the kit on Neenah Classic Crest paper. Regardless of what brand of markers you have you should swatch them out on the paper you most often use so you can get predictable results in your coloring.



  • Price: $1.04-$1.08 per marker depending on the size set you buy, open stock is $1.47 *this is the least expensive I have EVER seen a quality dual tip brush alcohol marker.
  • Color selection in the 48 pack is superb, I feel like there is just enough shades of each color family that I can blend what I would need in most cases.
  • Marker Nibs: The brush tips make coloring and blending fast and easy and the chisel tip is useful for forcing blends if I am making a big jump in color of if I want to highlight, or lift out, a darker color.
  • Non-roll triangular barrel, comfortable to hold
  • Easy to Remove caps (Also easy to replace caps without worry of damaging the marker tip)
  • Product packaging can be used as a storage case allowing you to store the markers flat or upright. (I recommend storing flat)


  • Not refillable (at this time)
  • As with most art markers there are some duplicates between sets so if you are buying multiple packs check the colors. Spectrum Noir is the only brand I know that has no duplicates between sets/packs. *Note: The Spectrum Noir Core Essentials set from Hobby Lobby WILL have duplicates but not the packs from online retailers like Consumer Crafts or Hallmark Scrapbook. (I just got that info this morning.)

Here are the blending examples from the video. I noted what colors I used next to each shell. I hope you find it useful! You can look up the colors from the swatch above if you are trying to get these blends with other brands of markers as well, like I said, the ink in any alcohol pen is pretty much the same. The quality of the nibs and the price is where the brands differ.


Summary: I found the Studio 71 markers to perform as well as any of my other brush tip alcohol pens. The nib flexibility was between a Copic and a Winsor & Newton Brush Marker (The Copic being a slight bit more flexible but that may be because I have been using it longer.) These markers blended very well and the color selection in the 48 pack contained all of the essential colors needed to produce all the shades I’d need for 95% of my projects. (of course it is easier to blend the more colors you have but this set has a great selection.)

Bottom Line, You can’t go wrong with the quality of these markers for the price. I looked at converting my Spectrum Noir alcohol pens to brush pens but the brush nibs are about $2 each and you can get a whole studio 71 marker for around $1. It comes down to what your needs are, if you want hundreds of refillable markers than this is not for you but if you want great results with a smaller selection of quality pens on the cheap give Studio 71 a try!


I hope you enjoyed the tips and tricks in todays videos. Remember the best supplies to use are the ones you already have but I always enjoy finding out what’s new on the market! Thank you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!