Vegan Cuts Beauty Box

VeganCutsMarchBox

Hello, Beauties! I’m very excited to show you the illustration I created in collaboration with Vegan Cuts. For those of you who don’t know this company, let me explain what kind of product they offer. Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box service that delivers 4-7 vegan and cruelty-free products to your door. They feature mostly natural and organic products which are a mix of full, travel and sample sizes. The cool thing is that unlike other U.S. subscription services, Vegan Cuts ships worldwide (including Italy, Yay!) so even if you are not based in the U.S. you can still subscribe for their beautiful box! If you are interested in trying their service, you can find more info on their website.

They sent me their March Beauty Box to try and share with you, so I wanted to show you some pictures of the products that I found in the box.

VeganCosmetics VeganCuts

I hope you enjoyed this post, thank you so much for reading. If you love this brand and/or enjoy subscription boxes like I do, please leave a comment.

xoxo,

Melissa

 

Hahnemühle Traditional Art Papers

cartaMilan Fashion Week has just finished and of course, as usual, I couldn’t resist to the temptation of illustrating some of my favorite runway looks. As you guys know I’m always  keen on trying and experimenting with new art supplies, so this time I painted my illustrations on  Hahnemuehle watercolor papers.  If you are not familiar with this brand, it is one of the leading European paper producers. This company has a very long history as they have been on the market since 1584. The papers I am going to review in this post are all mould-made, natural white, acid free and extremely resistant to ageing.

Moschi

Moschino@

This Moschino inspired illustration was painted on Cézanne 300 gr, 100% cotton rag, hot pressed paper.

marchesa

 marchesasketch

Marchesa@@

This illustration inspired by Marchesa was realised on William Turner 300 gr, 100% cotton, matt paper.

temperleylondon

Temperley

TemperleyLondon@@

This Temperley London inspired illustration was painted on Hahnemühle 300 gsm, matt paper.

Here are a few things I noticed about these products…

The papers didn’t buckle when wet, thanks to their resistant surface and to the fact that the pads are glued and gauzed for this specific purpose. They have excellent absorbency so you have to work pretty quickly because the paint dries out fast. I accidentally dropped some color on the papers but I was able to scrubb it off without ruining the surface. These characteristics make them some of the best quality papers I have ever worked with.

and here is my personal opinion…

Of all three watercolor papers, Cézanne hot pressed is the one that impressed me the most.This paper has a very smooth surface which allows excellent colour flow and  makes colors look more brilliant. I really liked the way watercolor performed on it and the even washes I was able to achieve thanks to its smooth surface. Compared to Turner and  Hahnemühle matt, I found this paper easier to work with. I think it’s perfect for the type of illustrations I create and would definitely purchase more.

If you are interested you can find more info about Hahnemühle Traditional Art Papers on their website.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Melissa

e.l.f. cosmetics

 

makeup

I’m very excited to finally share with you the details of my recent collaboration with e.l.f. Cosmetics UK. They sent me a box containing some of their beautiful makeup to try out and to inspire me to create an illustration. E.l.f. was kind enough to send me two sets, one for me and one for my followers, so keep reading if you want to know how to win their gorgeous products.

maleup1

makeup2

The eyeshadows, blush and lipstick are part of their mineral line of products that are parabens and chemicals free. The colors are respectively natural, caffeinated, bliss and rosy which I thought would be perfect for a fresh/natural type of look.

elf3I thought it would be fun to show you my illustration at its early stages so here is what the pencil sketch looked like…
elf43 imageAs for the coloring part I used watercolor, my favorite medium, it just seemed the perfect choice for creating a non defined, romantic/dreamy effect. Here I was playing a bit with colors, trying to recreate on paper the same hues of e.l.f.’s blush and eyeshadows…

6elf

3elf

elf6

1elf

Here is a short clip of me painting her lips…

8elf

10elf

… and this is the final result! What do you think of this look? I love it because it’s so light and natural and it’s something that can be worn everyday.

elf-0001small

If you want to win a set of e.l.f.’s make up all you have to do is find a title for the look I created with my illustration and simply write it down in the comments. I will choose my favorite title and the winner will receive a set of one mascara, one nail polish, one blush, two eyeshadows and one lipstick.

Competition ends January 24th 2015.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Melissa

 

Strathmore Artist Papers

photo

One of the most important tools an artist need in order to create wonderful artwork is good quality paper. Choosing good paper is essential not only for experienced artists but also for beginners . This may be a difficult task as there are many different companies producing all sort of paper and you may have to try different ones before finding the one that works for you. I remember when I first started using watercolor I tried different brands and struggled to find the one that allowed me to achieved the best results. So I’m hoping this post will be helpful to those out there who are looking for some advice on this subject.

IMG_0676

Recently Strathmore was kind enough to send me some of their watercolor papers to try out. If you are not familiar with this brand, it’s a U.S. based company and its products are one of the highest quality art papers available on the market.

You can find more info about Strathmore here http://www.strathmoreartist.com/

IMG_0837

This is the Dolce & Gabbana inspired illustration I painted on their 400 Series Watercolor paper. It’s a 300 g/m2, cold press, acid free paper and it is advertised as suitable ” for watercolorists of all levels because of the fine and even washes that can be achieved using this sheet. It also has a strong surface that will allow lifting and scraping applications.”

IMG_0889

Here is my personal opinion:

I found this paper really pleasant to work with. As you can see from the photo I chose a very detailed subject to illustrate and as I was painting I felt like watercolor pigments responded very well on the paper surface.

I liked the way watercolor performed on it and the washes I was able to achieve. This paper has good absorbency but it didn’t soak wet paint too quickly. It is also pretty resistant and it didn’t buckle. I did make a couple of mistakes here and there but I was able to scrubb it off without ruining the surface. It is an acid free paper which means that it won’t yellow and colors won’t degrade overtime.

I checked out the price on the internet (each website offers different deals) and it is not pricey at all if compared to most European brands I have tried before (I don’t know about other countries but in Italy watercolor paper in general is very expensive, even if it’s not of the best quality…). It’s not 100% cotton paper so I think that is why is so affordable but I feel like it performed well nonetheless and is totally worth the money you pay for it.

Overall I am really happy with this paper and I would definitely recommend it.

IMG_0847

Hope you’ll find this post helpful.

xoxo,

Melissa

STAEDTLER triplus fineliner

pens Hi everyone!

As suggested by the title and photo, in this is post I will be reviewing STAEDTLER triplus fineliner 334. If you live in Europe like I do, you probably already know this company, which is one of Europe’s leading writing instrument manufacturers. Their products vary from basic writing supplements like pencils and colored pens to creative products like modelling clay and artist supplies. For more information on their products you can visit their website on http://www.staedtler.com/en/.

I have been using STAEDTLER products since I was in Art school so you can immagine how excited I was when they contacted me suggesting we did a collaboration. They kindly sent me a box containing 30 assorted colors to try out that I used to create this fashion sketch.

step2

Here is my opinion about the triplus fineliner: they have a superfine, metal-clad tip that I think is perfect not only for writing but also for creating a variety of detailed illustrations. Because of its drysafe ink, the pen will not dry out (I tested it and left the cap open for a day). One tip I should give you ( this is something that probably all artists do but it may not be so obvious to everybody), if you are planning to use the fineliners for coloring you should first test the colors out on a separate sheet, as some colors are actually darker than what they look from the cap.

staedtlerpens

Last but not least, STAEDTLER was kind enugh to send me extra boxes of  triplus fineliners (each one containing 30 assorted colors) to give away to my followers, so stay tuned for more info on how you can win this awesome gift!

I hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo

Melissa