Figma Archetype Next Figure

This review is primarily about authentic Figma Archetype Next branded models…but I will also talk a bit about the extremely widespread bootleg versions that are readily found on sites like Ebay and Amazon. The real, Figma-branded drawing models in the Archetype Next line are quite excellent. Available in either the “He” or “She” varieties, they come in either gray, peach, or bright orange. These figures are manufactured by a company in Japan called Max Factory and typically carry a number (01, 02, 03, or 04) designating how recent the release/version…

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Itoya Original Art Profolio

These art portfolios are listed at retailers by quite a few name variations, so I actually had some difficulty figuring out a correct title. Itoya is always the brand, but they may be called some variation of “The Original” or “Original Profolio” with other modifiers like presentation book, portfolio, and art book. Regardless of the exact name on the listing, this review is about Itoya-branded, top-loading art books with 24 pages, clear sleeves, black inserts, and spine inserts (model IA-12-9). I originally found these when browsing art supplies at a…

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Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m an amateur portrait artist. My primary medium is colored pencils, which I use a heavy blending style with thickly-layered color to try to achieve an almost paint-like effect. To avoid that “sketchy” pencil, I need a pencil with a relatively soft wax core. A softer core typically means easier layering, which in turn means it’s more likely to get this smooth blend in the final result. Although I haven’t tried every colored pencil brand, I have sampled a few; I’ve…

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Lamicall Flexible Arm Gooseneck Phone Mount

As I’ve mentioned in a few other reviews, my primary hobby is drawing colored pencil portraits. For years, I shared still images looped together as .gif files to show drawing progressions. Eventually, I decided to get with the times and created a YouTube channel to share these progressions through video instead. Figuring out how to capture artwork video has been a learning process; at the start, I purchased a fairly basic smartphone tripod which I reviewed previously. It worked well, but wasn’t designed for any sort of overhead view. My…

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Colored Pencil Extenders

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m actually an amateur portrait artist. One of the best inexpensive purchases I’ve made in that art world has been these pencil extenders. The product itself is fairly simple; they are hard plastic tubes topped with metal caps. You can insert a pencil of any length, tighten the metal cap, and the tube holds the pencil in place. Even with a tiny little pencil stub, you can still grip it within the plastic/metal tube and maintain a more comfortable pencil-holding position.…

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Fugetek Smartphone Tripod

I’m an artist by hobby and, during all the recent coronavirus home quarantine time, I decided to create a YouTube channel to share some artwork progression videos. I have no professional equipment or videography expertise, so I needed a tripod I could use with my smartphone. After a bit of research, I came across Fugetek’s various tripod offerings. I went with the 51 inch version, which was a good choice to capture an overhead view of paper on a desk. This tripod is very sturdy and well made; seems like…

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