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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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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