Tag Archives: art supplies

My water color story + Supply Review of Watercolor Confections by Prima

July is World Watercolor Month! Learn more about how that came about and the great cause it supports over at Doodlewash. In celebration of World Watercolor Month and my return to blogging, I’m going to do a bunch of watercolor related reviews and posts throughout July.

For the longest time I was intimidated by watercolor paints. Watercolor painting did not come naturally to me and, unlike acrylics, if you mess up you can’t just paint over your oops. It only gets worse if you try. Because of that I mainly painted in acrylics and when I started focusing on illustration I gravitated to ink. When I decided I wanted more color options in my illustrations I added Copic Markers and then Derwent’s Inktense pencils. Both are amazing, but pricey. I needed something for washes that wouldn’t leave me feeling reluctant about wasting product. So I finally ended up buying a really inexpensive school grade set of watercolors. I tried tubes to start, but cheap tubes were just not working for me, so I moved on to pans.

My cheapy watercolors were great to mess around with – watercolor blobs – and I actually used them for the work I did for my solo exhibit a couple years ago. I even used those same watercolors, with ink and Copics, to illustrate a children’s book. I’ll tell you more about the book in a future post. They served me very well, especially considering the price.


A few months ago I saw an art supply review on You Tube for Prima’s Watercolor Confections. I’m not going to lie here, what really attracted me to them was the packaging. Many of the affordable watercolor pan sets I see come in white plastic packaging and they usually have a poorly designed sticker on them. The Watercolor Confections come in a plain black tin, no branding at all, and it manages to still offer mixing / palette space while maintaining that minimalist look. It’s a form and function win.


There are three sets available: The Classics, Decadent Pies, and Tropicals. I was gifted The Classics shortly after watching that review. The 12 pans come individually wrapped and you just pop them back into their slots after unwrapping them. They do slide around a bit if you have them in your bag. It’s not a big deal, but it would be cool if Prima made the pans a bit more snug in the tin. Of course you could just put some double sided tape down and fix it yourself. Did I do that? Nope. Not yet.

On to the real meat of the review, are the actual paints any good? I like them. The color variety of The Classics works for me. They’re pigmented well, but maintain that sweet water color transparency. Some colors are definitely more intense than others. I haven’t had them long enough to tell you how they rank in permanence. I will use them for illustration projects that will mostly end up digitized, so that isn’t the biggest concern for me. Overall I’m a fan of the product and I’d love to get my hands on the Tropicals and Decadent Pies sets. The sets are around $18 – $27, depending on where you purchase them. I know you can find them on Amazon, that way you can compare prices.

Working on some #watercolorblobs. I really like this #primawatercolor set.

A post shared by Drea Nicole Grajek (@illusdreted) on


I haven’t tried any other Prima products, but I noticed that they also sell watercolor pencils, water brushes, and watercolor panels. Have you tried any of their products? I’d love to know if they might be worth looking in to.



Nezumi’s cartooning essentials & extras

Nezumi’s cartooning essentials:

Nezumi's cartooning essentials - Reconstructing Wonderland

My cartoons for the Mariana’s Variety Guam Edition are published in black and white. This makes my essential supply list pretty simple. I sketch with a basic Steadtler HB pencil. I add the grippies because they’re a lot more comfortable when you’re drawing for a while. I use two different erasers. While I’m sketching I use the Pentel Clic Eraser 2 and to erase the sketch after I finish inking I use the Pentel Black eraser. Sakura Microns are great for inking. I really want to get one of their brush pens. I use an assortment of Sharpies when I’m making really bold lines and coloring in large spaces. Sometimes I use my black Copic for large fields too. My white Gelly Roll is the icing on my cartoon cake and occasionally an inky oops corrector.

Nezumi’s cartooning extras:

Nezumi's cartooning extras - Reconstructin Wonderland

When I first started cartooning I inked with dip pens and brushes. This was how I had grown used to illustrating so I thought it would be okay with my cartooning. I quickly learned that it was not convenient or time efficient. I don’t always get to cartoon at my drafting table and I don’t want to have to pull out ink bottles, pen holders and nibs at my day job. I mean they’re cool, but not that cool. I do miss the sound of nibs on paper though.

Sometimes after I’ve sent in my cartoon, I color them for fun. Copics and Inktense pencils are awesome for doing that. I need to work on an adult satire based coloring book. Would that be a hit? What are your favorite creative supplies?

My current favorite art supply – 02

Tachikawa, Pen, Illustration, Art Supplies, Jet Pens


I own two different Tachikawa pen holders, but this is the one that I use regularly. Before the Tachikawas I had the standard Speedball penholders, which are fine too except I noticed that my nibs get stuck in Speedball holders more often. Besides the comfy grip, what makes this particular pen holder special is the double rubber rings in the tip. This accommodates both types of nibs, alleviating the need for two types of holders, as well as allowing you to insert and remove nibs with ease.

What is your current “can’t create with out it” art supply?

Not Available on Guam: Art Supplies

art supplies, dick blick, price of living in paradise

My mother had to go to Arizona, earlier this week, for her job. She asked me if I needed any art supplies while she is there. I really only need the Copic ink refill, for my E00 marker. I use it for everything. But I thought it would make for a good blog post to point out one of the prices of living in paradise.

Both local art supply stores sell ink. They sell sumi ink and india ink and sometimes whole set of color ink pots. They do not sell pen holders or nibs though. I asked a sales clerk once what they expect me to use the ink with. She looked so confused, like “Lady, there are ball point, gel, and felt tip pens in the same aisle.” Oh well. Maybe I need to start making bamboo pens. We have lots of that.

One of the stores sells Prismacolor products. I like the color pencils, but for markers, I want Copics. And I really want to try out Derwent’s Inktense line.

I haven’t seen too many varieties of X-Acto handles and blades. I have a pretty decent handle already, but the up there seems like it will be a lot more comfortable when I’m spending hours at a cutting mat. The modified #11 blades have a thicker base which makes them stronger when you’re cutting a lot of curves. They claim that they are less likely to break.

If you live on Guam and have seen any of these products locally, please let me know. Or if there are some art supplies that you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments. If you live somewhere else, do you have a hard time finding certain art supplies locally?

If people like this Not Available on Guam thing I will probably do more. Let me know. Thanks.

Special note for my mom: Saina ma’åse! Have a safe trip!!