REVIEW: WatercolorSnacks Subscription Box from ArtSnacks

ArtSnacks Art Supplies Box Review Featured Image

ArtSnacks recently relaunched their quarterly subscription called WatercolorSnacks. This is a separate plan from the ArtSnacks Monthly subscription.

You can pay by the quarter or by the year.

WatercolorSnacks – What Do You Get Each Quarter?

WatercolorSnacks Subscription Box from ArtSnacks Unboxing 

WatercolorSnacks Unboxing Video

Art Supplies

A box of 4-5 full size watercolor-focused, worth at least $100+ USD total retail value, (based on *MSRP) including:

  • a mix of individual products and sets,
  • often limited, first-look or exclusive editions,
  • Tips and Techniques Guide.
  • Menu describing the products included in the box

*MSRP Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Membership Perks

  • Two or three instructional, interactive livestream session led by the Dread Pirate Bri (Brianna Boyd, artist and illustrator).
  • 24/7 access to Mix, an exclusive online community.
  • Participation in the #ArtSnacksChallenge.
  • Shop Discounts at ArtSnacks.

The Interactive livestream sessions cover the basics of color theory, brush work, and techniques to help you master watercolor. MIX is a private ArtSnacks online community where you can share the artwork you’ve created with your WatercolorSnacks products.

What Was In The Spring 2022 WatercolorSnacks Box?

Van Gogh Watercolor Pocket box from WatercolorSnacks Box
  • Van Gogh Watercolor Pocket Box -$42.95 retail
    • Limited Edition
    • ArtSnacks Exclusive, curated by Brianna Boyd
    • 12 pans
    • Travel Brush

Colors included (Lightfastness key:  *** is highest, ** is one step below):

  • Azo Yellow Light – PY154/PW6, Semi-opaque, ***
  • Pyrrole Orange – P073, Transparent, ***
  • Madder Lake Light – PR264/PR254, Transparent, ***
  • Hooker Green Deep – PG7/PY154, Transparent, ***
  • Quinacridone Purple Red – PV55, Transparent, ***
  • Turquoise Blue – PB15/PG7, Transparent, ***
  • Rose – PR122, Semi-transparent, **
  • Sap Green – PY129/PG7, Transparent, ***
  • Permanent Red Deep – PR149, Transparent, ***
  • Permanent Yellowish Green – PY154/PG7, Transparent, ***
  • Permanent Blue Violet – PV23, Transparent, **
  • Phthalo Green – PG7, Transparent, ***

Van Gogh watercolors are above student grade, but not professional grade paints. I’ve used them in the past and been impressed with their quality. The colors activate easily and are bright. There isn’t much color shift — the colors look much the same dry as they do wet.

 

The palette is a lightweight but sturdy box. Each half-pan fits into a well and there’s lots of spaces between pans. That helps keep wet paint from sloshing over into other pans. It’s a very nice feature and I wish more palette boxes were that way.

This is a standard Van Gogh palette.  I’ve had other Van Gogh sets with different colors but the same palette and I love them.

The colors included with this one were chosen specifically for the WatercolorSnack Spring 2022 edition, and you cannot get this color set elsewhere. You can get each color separately though.

There is a small two-piece watercolor brush that snaps into the lid. Honestly, I’ve used the brush that came with my other sets, and it is good for simple quick sketches but not beyond that.  It’s still very handy because it fits so neatly in the lid so you always have it.

This exclusive set was curated with Spring, plants and foliage in mind.

Strathmore Sketchbook from WatercolorSnacks Box

Strathmore 400 Series Softcover Watercolor Art Journal – $25.55 retail

  • 48 pages Cold Press Watercolor Paper
  • 8 x 5.5. inch (20.3 x 14 cm)
  • 140 lb (300 g/m2)
  • Smyth-sewn Binding.
  • Acid-free, Intermediate-grade paper

This watercolor sketchbook has cold-press paper with an even weave.  The cover is a soft, faux leatherette. The sketchbook needs a little coaxing — opening and gently folding backwards to loosen the binding a little — but will lie flat.

Two Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Markers $6.50 retail each

These are double-ended watercolor markers that are odorless and self-cleaning. One end holds a rigid bullet-shaped nib, and the other end is flexible brush nib.  The brush nib has a fine point that allows for thin, narrow lines but also wide sweeps with the side.

While everyone gets two of these markers with the Spring box, the colors are handed out at random. I received Dark Phthalo Green and Orange Glaze. A nice combo to go with my Van Gogh set.

I’ve used these watercolor markers in the past, and they are fantastic. Although you don’t get the same flow as you do with pans or tubes, the colors are intense and the markers are so easy to carry for on-the-go painting.

Sakura Microperm Pen – $2.92

This pen is waterproof, permanent, and can write on almost anything. I used it to write the pigment information on the side of my Van Gogh watercolor pans.

The nib is an 03 size — nice for thin, but bold lines.

I played around with the Faber-Castell markers and the Sakura Microperm pen to give you an idea of what you can do with them.

There were Three Brushes included in the Spring 2022 box (four if you include the travel brush that came in the Van Gogh Set).

Kingart Original Gold 9800 Series Golden Taklon Brush – $11.99 retail

The top photo: This is a 3/8 inch dagger brush, which means the edge is flat, but cut at an angle. Angled brushes are great for many techniques and for producing sharp, clean edges.

Royal & Langnickel Zen Series 83 Watercolor Brush – $3.49 retail

The middle photo: This is a size 4 brush has a blend of synthetic and natural hair. It is distinctive for its metal handle. It has a beveled edge at the tip, which comes in handy for the technique shown in this quarter’s Technique Sheet.

Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Synthetic Sable Brush – $12.99 retail

The bottom photo: This is a size 0 round synthetic designed to mimic sable hair, and has an ergonomic handle. It isn’t labeled as a rigger (script) brush, but is long enough to be one. You’re able to get fine lines with it for those long whiskers or riggings on a boat.

In this example, I played around with all three brushes to give you an idea of what you can do with them. I also used the scoring technique.

WatercolorSnacks Limited Edition Washi Tape From ArtSnacks

ArtSnacks Washi Tape – $2.99 retail

  • Limited Edition
  • ArtSnacks Exclusive

This washi tape has the WatercolorSnacks logo. It’s pretty and can be used for mixed media effects. You can also use it to tape down your watercolor paper while painting, but that seems kind of a waste of the pretty washi design!

WatercolorSnacks Menu

Technique and Menu Sheet

Each box comes with illustrated instructions for a simple watercolor technique. On the back is a detailed list of the items included in the box.

The technique for the Spring 2022 box was scoring, which can be done with any watercolor brush.  However, the beveled edge of the metal Zen Series brush is especially good for the purpose.  That’s one of the features of these boxes — the items are chosen to be ones that work well together.

Fun Items

Each box has a couple of fun items. I got a WatercolorSnacks sticker and a piece of Strawberry LaffyTaffy candy — price not listed. I’d show a photo, but I forgot to take one before I ate it. Yummy!

That’s $115. 88 USD worth of product, according to MSRP.

Why Might I Want a WaterColorSnacks Subscription?

This is highly subjective, of course, but these are some of the reasons I can think of. While you aren’t going to get the absolute cheapest price for each individual item, with this kind of subscription it isn’t just about the products.

A subscription like this is a way to build up your art supply stash, learn new techniques, try products you didn’t know about, and investigate brand quality.

It allows you to build a library of the art technique instructions that come in the box, as well as enjoying art videos, knowing you’ll have all the exact art supplies that the teacher is using.

If you enjoy social media, you can join the ArtSnacks MIX group, where everyone is using the same tools, and discussing the same techniques. You won’t get spammers because it is part of a paid subscription.

For many, it’s about the enjoyment of getting a package full of surprises each quarter, and having new toys to play with.

Using All The WatercolorSnacks Tools Together

To finish off, I used all of the supplies for this painting.

I drew the scene with the Microperm pen in the Strathmore journal. The Faber-Castell watercolor markers were used to paint the fence, and add some darker areas to the grass. I used all the brushes and the Van Gogh paints for the rest of the painting.

I even ate the Laffy Taffy while doing it, so that counts doesn’t it?

I used the Washi tape to create a border, though I removed it to see how well it came off. I can’t help trying to test things, lol. I also used some masking fluid that wasn’t in the box just to see how the Strathmore Journal handled it. Both masking fluid and washi tape peeled off with ease, but I did notice a slight difference in how the paint handled in those areas afterwards.

Special Offer for Doodlewash Readers: You can sign up using the code: WATERCOLOR10 and receive 10% off any ArtSnacks or WatercolorSnacks Subscription.

ArtSnacks is an official World Watercolor Month 2022 Sponsor. 

Links of Interest

Disclaimer

I received the Spring 2022 WatercolorSnacks box from ArtSnacks for the purposes of this review. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
14 Comments
  1. Laura Hale 2 months ago

    Thank you Sandra for a very detailed review. Getting to see your beautiful, cheerul art was an added bonus!

  2. AnnMarie 2 months ago

    I don’t see the cost??

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 2 months ago

      Currently, the box is $89 USD per quarter or $336 if you subscribe for a year. That’s not counting the 10% off if you use the code above.

  3. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Excellent review, Sandra! How fun to open a box full of such wonderful and fun supplies!!!

  4. Alex 2 months ago

    No snacks ? 😉

  5. Zoie McIntyre 2 months ago

    Awesome review as always Sandra – thank you so much! I absolutely love the richness of the Van Gogh paints and I have the Fabercastell Markers on my Wishlist ;).

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 2 months ago

      Thank you, Zoie! I was thrilled with the products that were in my box!

  6. Brenda Sommerville 2 months ago

    Sandra, you do such a good job on your reviews. I love this product, just not in the budget for me at this time 🙁 but soon 🙂

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 2 months ago

      Thank you Brenda! I hope you’re able to indulge soon!

      • Brenda Sommerville 2 months ago

        Me too this looks amazing

        • Author
          Sandra Strait 2 months ago

          By the way, you can buy individual items from the site, including some of the items that came in the boxes.

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