***This giveaway has ended - scroll down to see who won!***
Faber-Castell, a company whose name I've long associated with quality art products, has developed a product collection called Design Memory Craft. Mix and Match Color Gelatos, Stamper's Big Brush Pens, Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils, PITT Pastel Pencils, and Metallic PITT Artist Pens provide a fine selection from which to choose. The variety of color palettes and mediums make it very easy to try one's hand at new techniques.
MIX & MATCH Color Gelatos are just plain fun to use... they come in mess-free tubes from which creamy color swivels up, similar to a lip balm stick. The opaque product glides easily across the paper leaving a trail of glorious color, and is odor-free, acid-free, and non-toxic. Most of the Gelato sets include a paintbrush with a triangular handle that prevents it from rolling off a work surface - love that! - as well as a floral clear stamp.
The MIX & MATCH Mixed Media Sampler contains a metallic Gelato, along with a Stamper's Big Brush Pen, Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencil, PITT Pastel Pencil, and Metallic PITT Artist Pen, all in a coordinated color palette.
Color Gelatos are packaged in a variety of color combinations, including black and white, silver and gold metallic, colored metallics, neutrals, blue/green, and red/yellow, which is the collection I received. The colors can be blended with your fingers - it washes right off - or transformed into a watercolor painting by stroking the colored paper with the dampened brush.
The product information suggests coloring the clear stamp with a Gelato for traditional stamping, or coloring paper with a Gelato first, and then using the stamp to remove some of the color. I have to say I didn't have a lot of success with either of these methods (although adding water may have done the trick), but instead enjoyed using the color sticks to create card backgrounds.
I created the striped effect on this card with a pink Gelato, coloring over that first layer of color with a coral metallic Gelato on matte finish photo paper. I love that the paper's slick surface resulted in crackles, giving a weathered look.. In this case, the surface needed to be sprayed with a fixative to preserve it, but when using Gelatos on regular, textured, or flocked paper, the color stays firmly put unless water is applied.
I've been an avid doodler since way back... well, actually more of a scratcher. In school I would fill the margins of notebooks with little V-like scribbles. I still do it to this day while on the phone or at a meeting, so to test out each of these pencils, I set to work making backgrounds for cards using variations of my johnny-one-note scribble skill.
Squint for a moment at this paper on which I used a PITT Pastel Pencil and then smudged the lines to soften the look:
Don't the squiggles give the effect of wood grain? Maybe a tiny bit? Humor me. Wood grain is very popular in the stamping world at the moment and I enjoy being in style.
For this bookmark I used the purple Metallic PITT Artist Pen (India ink) on photo paper. The ink has such a nice shine in real life and the color doesn't budge once it dries.
I found that the Metallic PITT Artist Pen also did a wonderful job of inking the clear stamp, which I stamped on orange vellum to create this card. The pink and orange background was done with an Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencil and a PITT Pastel Pencil on white cardstock.
And then just because I'm first and foremost a quiller, I felt compelled to try my hand at recreating the flourishes on the clear stamp... a quillable design if ever I saw one! The background was more squiggles, this time on pale yellow cardstock with the Aquarelle Watercolor Pencil to which I applied a bit of water via the paintbrush to blur the lines.
The Design Memory Craft site has lots of information and also a blog where you'll find many more ideas for using all of these tools.
Faber-Castell sent me the supply sets pictured above for review purposes, and is offering two All Things Paper readers (U.S. or Canadian residents only; so sorry, all of you international folks) the chance to win the very same sets (color selection may vary). Leave a comment to enter. If you would like additional chances to win, just spread the word about the giveaway via your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, and/or any stamping/scrapbooking forums you might belong to, and tell me if you've done so in your comment. The giveaway ends at the end of this Friday, April 29, and winners will be selected at random and announced the next day on this post. Good luck!
And the winners are: Congratulations to Deb Plapp and Aurora! They were chosen by the random.org number generator. Faber-Castell's contest organizer will see that you each receive your art supplies - I hope you'll enjoy using them! Thanks everyone, for all of the lovely comments and for spreading the word about the giveaway.