Tag Archives: art supplies

The Year of the Coloring Book: Coloring with Inktense

We’ve declared 2015 the Year of the Coloring Book! Johanna Basford has a new one coming out in February (Enchanted Forest) and that’s what kicked off our excitement, but it just seems like coloring is overall having a moment — there are some incredible new titles that we are having so much fun with.

Today I took home a new one from Peter Pauper Press called Joyful Designs. It’s in their Studio Series and it’s illustrated by Joy Ting. A couple really nice things — the art is printed on one side of each page only, so you can use pens, markers or even watercolors and it doesn’t matter if the color bleeds through to the back. And the pages are micro-perforated, so if you want to you can tear them out (or you can leave them in).

I started a design with Inktense colored pencils by Derwent. I’ve had these pencils for a while but never used them much. I bought them intending to use them on fabric (they’re permanent after being wet and then dried), but that project never got off the ground. So I had them hanging around and decided to try them on this project.

And I love them!

I started by coloring the whole design with the pencils. Then I brushed water over some parts of the design to get a watercolor look. In other areas I brushed water and then colored over the areas again — that gives some really intense color saturation. And I also tried dipping the tips of the pencils in water and adding accents that way. I found that I almost got TOO much color on the page with that technique, so I used it sparingly. Here are two pictures — one with the first layer of color, and the second after I added water and additional ink.

The colors got so intense that it’s sort of like a 1970’s look — very groovy.

Joyful Designs page colored with Inktense pencils

Joyful Designs page colored with Inktense pencils

Joyful Designs page colored with Inktense pencils, with water and additional ink

Joyful Designs page colored with Inktense pencils, with water and additional ink

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New sign in our art department

Susan F made a sweet new sign to hang over our art supplies. A “visual upgrade,” as my brother Nick would say!

In the mood to shop for art supplies but can’t make it to the store? Here’s the link.

New art supplies sign at Pufferbellies

American-made toys at Pufferbellies — Eye Can Art kits

This post is part of our series on American-made toys available at Pufferbellies. For more, see our posts on the Yomega Brain yoyoCrayon RocksNana Banana coloring books and the Zipfy mini luge.

If you’re searching for high-quality art kits that emphasize process as much as product, Eye Can Art kits are really where it’s at. We currently have two fine-art majors on staff here at Pufferbellies, and both of them love these kits. The kits teach children (and adults!) real art techniques via easy-to-follow instructions that leave a lot of room for creative expression.

At Pufferbellies, we carry the Book in a Box, Collage Printmaking, Pastel Stencil, Sumi E-Ink and Layered Wax Drawing kits.

Tip: We love to recommend these kits for grandparents who have little ones coming for a visit — kids and grownups can learn and work together, and everyone ends up with beautiful artwork to commemorate the occasion.

Eye Can Art kits at Pufferbellies, with a sample from the Layered Wax Drawing kit

American-made toys at Pufferbellies — Crayon Rocks

This post is part of our series on American-made toys available at Pufferbellies. For more, see our posts on Nana Banana coloring books and the Zipfy mini luge.

For this post, I’m breaking out a classic Pufferbellies video, circa 2009. It has our old counter! And Erin S. in pigtails! So nostalgic. Anyway, on to the Crayon Rocks. We LOVE Crayon Rocks. They’re made in the USA out of soy wax, and they’re shaped like rocks for a reason — to strengthen tripod grip muscles, and help prepare children’s fingers and hands for writing with a pencil. They’re used often by occupational therapists to help develop fine motor skills, plus they’re just plain beautiful — the shape allows little ones to draw in wide, bold strokes and to create artwork rich in color. What a stellar stocking stuffer for preschoolers!

Here’s the video!