Gamblin 1980 Oil Paints

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m an amateur portrait artist. In the past, I mostly used colored pencils. But recently, I’ve started trying to learn oil painting. I’ve done just over 20 paintings now, and have used four different brands of student grade paint. Paint brands typically have different tiers, but most offer at least one higher level artist grade and a lower level called student grade. Because I’m an amateur, I use exclusively student grade paints. I’m still trying to learn the ins and outs…

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Adjustable Proportional Divider and Art Caliper

I just recently learned of these proportional dividers from a video by “The Paint Coach” Chris Fornataro. All this time, I’ve been using a ruler and multiplying the measurement in my head to help with portrait proportions. Yet this incredible solution had been sitting here the entire time! Well, regrets aside, I’m glad I finally got to use one of these things. As of this review, I’ve used it for three paintings and it’s helped a ton. My video review is much more useful in this case, because you can…

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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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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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