15 Piece Art Paint Brush Set by Everlasting Star

#Sponsored  #15-pcArtPaintBrushSetEverlastingStar

One of the many benefits of being an artist is that you are asked to review art supplies. After painting for many years in a variety of mediums, you quickly learn what to look for in good art supplies. 

Recently I received a 15 piece art paint brush set by Everlasting Star. These synthetic bristle brushes can be used for Oils, Acrylics and Watercolor and come with a really cool pop-up stand carrying case that zips up to prevent brushes from sliding out. 

The set includes a nice variety of Angle, Flat , Filbert and Round brushes that all have a very long handle (almost 12 inches) and are well labeled so you can see the numbers even when they are in the case.

  • Angle Brush - Sizes 12, 10, 5, 2
  • Fan Brush - Size 0
  • Flat Brush - Sizes 11, 6
  • Filbert Brush - Sizes 9, 4
  • Round Brush - Sizes 8, 7, 3, 1, 1/0
  • Rigger Brush Size 3/0

The brushes are coated with something to make them hold their shape. However as soon as you start using it, they have a nice bounce. 

Since I paint a lot of pet portraits in oil, I decided to use them on a painting I am currently working on. The large brushes quickly loaded up with paint and the round brushes worked great in areas where I needed to work on details. Cleaning them was easy too and the brushes I used retained their shapes. 

The brushes come in a very nice carrying case that has a loop. I liked this feature because the brushes can be hung on an easel when doing plein air painting. In the studio, you can also hang the brushes or prop them up on a flat surface by turning one side half way down and attaching it to the velcro on the back. 

I am a longtime Amazon Prime customer who writes reviews in my free time. I was happy to be given an opportunity to test and review this item at a discounted rate  in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. If my review helped you, please up-vote/like it so I can continue to provide helpful information for your purchases. If you have any questions or comments, please comment and I'll be happy to help!

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Valspar Colors 2016

The Valspar Corporation is an American international manufacturer of paint and coatings based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. With nearly 10,000 employees in 25 countries and a company history that spans over two centuries long, it is the sixth largest paint and coating corporation in the world.

I recently came across their ad for their new 2016 colors which included these stunning coloring pages. 

I love these soft pastel tones that Valspar has introduced this year. They have a very calming effect, don't you think?

Isn't it amazing how warm the color grey can look?

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Tissue Paper Craft Projects

Tissue Paper has many uses besides being decorative fillers for gift bags. I purchased the Aspicio Tissue paper because I wanted to review them to show how versatile these papers can be. First this company makes large 19 2/3" x 29 1/2" heavy thick tissue paper that is very colorful and comes in 25 vibrant colors. All together there are 100 sheets which is a lot of tissue paper. The quality and size of these papers is really good and the sheets are ideal for craft projects.

I thought it would be fun to show the different things you can create with tissue paper. From the very basic multi color flower to...

colorful Pom Poms

  • #aspicioproducts

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Coloring books for Adults - the New Stress Reliever

If you ask any artist they will tell you that once they get involved in their chosen activity they loose track of time. It is as if time stands still, all senses are dedicated to the act of creation. Hubby sometimes comes home and ask why I am not answering his calls. Well, it's because when I paint I am in the "Zone" and as far as I am concerned the house could burn down without me noticing. In a way it is like achieving Nirvana, a heightened state of relaxation and happiness.

No wonder that coloring books for adults have become such a huge trend. Even researchers at Johns Hopkins University suggest coloring as an alternative to meditation. 

Now couple this with super pretty black and white coloring books that seem to be popping up just about everywhere and it's no wonder this has become a craze. But let's look at it a bit more and see exactly what is happening.

Benefits of Coloring Books

Stress Relieve

According to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, when you participate in stress-free activities like coloring, the amygdala (fear center of the brain) is relaxed. The amygdala is what sets you into high alarm when you hear a crashing sound or a crying baby. As you get more and more involved in coloring that area of the brain relaxes and reduces your stress levels. 

Helps with Concentration

Remember as a kid you were taught to color within the lines. I am imagining myself cramping my fingers around a pencil, tongue sticking out and really, really concentrating on stating within the designated borders. These rules are passe now, but lesson learned is that it does force the brain to concentrate on one task. 

Spurs Creativity and Individualism

Since a coloring books lets you to choose colors and allows you to add your own twist to the page,coloring is a great way to spur your creativity. There is no right or wrong way and coloring outside the lines is part of the creative process. 

Improves Motor Skills

Coloring activates both hemispheres of the brain, the activity of both looking at the designs, choosing colors and the movement of the hand, improve fine motor skills and vision. Gloria Martinez Ayala points out that "The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors, which incorporates areas of the cerebral cortex in vision and fine motor skills. 

Could Prevent the Onset of Dementia

Keeping the brain active by doing activities like crossword puzzles, brain games and coloring is therapeutic for the brain and can help delay the onset of dementia. 

Being an artist I have a lot of art supplies, but for coloring books I love using water color pencils. These are coloring pencils that when you dip them in water will release pigment, which can then be manipulated all over the page by varying color intensity. You can even mix colors, for even more fun. I used Color Magic Water Color Pencils, which I received for review purposes and like to introduce to you. The set comes in a metal box and has 36 colors plus a watercolor brush. I found that dipping the pencils in water directly released the color fast. The shades are strong and there is a nice selection of colors. 

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Franz Xavier Winterhalter

 Young Girl Princess Charlotte

Ludwig Graf Von Langenstein

Study of a Girl In Profile

Madame Rimsky Korsakov

Katarzyna Branicka Countess Potocka 1854

The Maharajah Duleep Singh 1854

Winterhalter was a German artist who painted a great number of French,British and Russian royal portraits during the 1840's and 1850's. He chose an oval 3/4 length format for many of his portraits. Here are more of his paintings....

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Fabric Trim DIY Project Ideas

There used to be a time when I had lots of time on my hand and when I would browse through fabric stores looking for decorative fabrics to sew curtains or cushions. A total suckr for fabric trim, I never could resist a beautiful trim or tassel. Needless to say over the years, some where used and some are still in sitting in a box waiting to see daylight. If you have a fondness for trim, you can probably relate an therefore you might enjoy today's DIY project. 

I think people who collect trim are of the romantic sort, we love color and delight in dressing up our homes in pretty things. That probably means that you must also like candles and therefore might have some tea light as well. I might be assuming a lot here, but let's say it's just a hunch I have. So why not dress up these tea light containers by using some of that pretty trim you have?!

The prettier the trim the fancier the tea light will look and all you really need is remnants. The beauty of this project is that no sewing skills are needed. All you need is enough trim to go around the glass, some textile glue and scissors. Try using two different trims for an  interesting look. Cut to size and glue the pieces onto the glass.Hold the overlapping ends for a few minutes until the glue sets and then enjoy your new tea lights.

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Sunflower Gift Box Pattern

If you like creating gift boxes, you are in for a treat today. I found this pretty sunflower gift box pattern on Craftsy . The box was designed by Lisa's House of Crafts and is available as a free PDF download as a digital pattern on Craftsy. All you need it to make this gift box is some heavy paper, like card stock and a scoring tool. The finished size measures 2.5 x 2.5 x1.5 inches.

Depending on the paper you use, you can color the design with watercolor, colored pencils, markers and even glitter pens.

The box is the perfect size for candy or a small gift. The sides open up, so you don't have to fiddle with the sunflower on the top. 

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