If you fancy yourself a budding artist, then H.Blyth & Co have just the package- or subscription box- for you. Their Art & Parcel concept brings together the most exciting innovations in art supplies available on the market in one bundle. It aims to entice, surprise and introduce artists to a new range of creative materials. The box promises a selection of high grade products, each one trailed and tested, and a minimum saving of 40% on the retail price of the items included. But don’t be intimidated by the premise, as anyone- regardless of their artistic talent- can experiment and find catharsis in the creative process.
The Art & Parcel box is plainly packaged with all items carefully wrapped in white tissue and sealed with a sticker. There are no embellishments or interior branding: the box contains only the products with a bookmark-sized notice tucked inside. Each item is described on the notice with its retail price and an overview of its purpose with directions of use. There’s no theme identified to unify the products, but upon further inspection, it became apparent that these items were linked by watercolour.
Art & Parcel November 2015 Unboxed :
- Derwent Waterbrush
- Fabriano Watercolour Pad
- Faber Castell Gelato
- Magic Watercolour Sponge Eraser
- Frisk Mashing Fineliner
- Pot of Brusho
- Bookmark Notice
The contents of the box offer a variety of tools that can be used in a myriad of contexts alone and in combination with each other. It’s a relief for amateur artists like me, where the expense and endless range of art supplies available can be overwhelming and discouraging. The items included in the Art & Parcel box can be used by any hobbyist for scrapbooking, card making or doodling.
Despite this, the potential for discovery is electrifying- especially for someone who describes themselves as ‘crafty’ and needs a nudge to experiment with different materials. The Derwent Waterbrush is a leak-proof, refillable painting brush that eliminates the need for a water pot, which makes watercolour a less messy and more portable option. To complement this, there is a Febriano watercolour pad, giving you no excuse to start painting- it’s a convenient A5 size, making it easy to carry around for when inspiration hits.
To further enhance any dabbling in watercolours, there is a Magic Watercolour Sponge Eraser, which is indistinguishable to the magic erasers used in domestic stain removal- it works well, erasing any blunder on the page with ease and eliminating the need to cover up any mistakes with the strategic placement of another stroke. The Faber Castell Gerlato stick is especially fun, adding vibrant pigment to the page. It can be used either dry or, when dampened, will create a watercolour wash effect. It’s compact and easy to use, resembling a tube of lipstick.
For a nice flourish to your work, the Frisk Masking Fineliner is excellent (and really fun to use). Handled like a pen, it’s applied directly to a work for a masking effect- it’s used to protect areas of the canvas before applying a wash of paint. It allows select details to remain untouched when covered in this mashing liquid, which is easily applied with a fine lined tip.
Finally, the Brusho can be used to create a highly expressive and contemporary effect. Sprinkle it over a wet surface and, like magic, it produces an explosion of colour- it’s a bit difficult to guarantee what the final result will be, but is incredible easy to use and highly addictive- again, this is something that is highly transferrable to any paper crafts.
All of the items included in the Art & Parcel box were beginner-friendly and provided a really engaging afternoon of product testing. The variety of products worked cohesively together, providing a starter set of materials to experiment with. The only feature that was missing was actual watercolour paints, as I was galvanised and ready to create my first masterpiece as soon as I read through each product description.
This box represents incredible value- not only with 40% off the retail price of each item, but it’s a highly affordable £12.50 a month (including delivery) subscription and can be purchased as a one-off box.
Anyone with a spark of creativity will enjoy receiving a potluck of useful items to bolster their art supplies. This concept encouraged me to start thinking about how I could incorporate these supplies into my crafting, and would make a great gift for children, teenagers and adults alike.