December 2014 Smart Art Review


Smart Art
Monthly | Cost: $49.95/month
8-11 trial/full sized art supplies
Ships to the US


Smart Art is a brand new subscription box and December was their first ever month! If you’ll recall my intro post about them from earlier, they are all about helping artists to find their creativity by providing a monthly box of tools and inspirational ideas!

Smart Art provides artists with diverse high quality materials that inspire and nourish creativity. Each month subscribers receive a new box featuring a different artist that highlights their time period, 8-11 trial/full sized art supplies, a suggested project and a detailed pamphlet introducing a new art medium.


First look!

(I secretly judge subscription boxes based on the kind of tissue paper they include and I have to say that Smart Art didn’t disappoint. XD I think Julep wins for the best tissue paper on a monthly basis because the designs are gorgeous, but I really liked the bold and bright colors for Smart Art’s tissue paper choice.)


This month was all about acrylic paint and pop art!

Their pamphlet includes a little intro about the month’s theme, information on the included items, and a section for the suggested project of the month. Personally I really need the suggested project section because I’m not the creative type at all and I’m the kind of person who depends on instructions to get through. XD


On the “back” of the pamphlet, there’s a little history about pop art and also tips on how to make it through the project! (which is also very appreciated because I’m really not well-versed when it comes to art/how to take care of art supplies).

I have actually taken some art classes before. XD I took a comic-style drawing class in elementary school, a required art class in middle school (which was pretty fun!), and then a basic art elective in high school. I do enjoy art, but I’m not the best at it so I marvel at others who can create pieces that inspire emotions because it’s something I just can’t.

The extent of my drawing abilities is below, haha. I drew that literal representation of a crab apple on paper with pencil, scanned it, and then colored it in (messily) with Photoshop. (I created this drawing for my past food blog, which I have now since abandoned because the lighting at restaurants bothered me and I’ve taken to documenting the food I eat on my Instagram anyway) I guess I’m okay at drawing things that are already there (if that makes any sense), but I honestly do not have the creativity to just make up something completely new and inventive.

 Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 2.45.01 PM

(and yes, I did draw the current fox at the top of my blog :))

DSC_1180 DSC_1181

8” by 10” Canvas Panel by Blick Art Materials ($1.96) – This is the canvas you can paint your masterpiece on! It’s a very solid piece and definitely holds up well.


10-Well Paint Palette ($1.03) – We used to have a lot of these plastic palettes growing up (just from random art projects or whatever), but I’m pretty sure we’ve thrown them all out by now so it’s great that they included this in case you don’t have one handy at home. I’m just a little sad that they didn’t include a palette that had a thumb hole so that you could hold it up as you paint. XD


Plastic Finger Spray Bottle (~2.65 oz, $0.91) – I was a little confused as to why they included this when I first saw it in the box, but after reading the pamphlet, its inclusion makes sense! Acrylics dry quickly so if you wanted to rework your art, that can be tricky. However, if you lightly spray your painting with water as you work, you can extend its drying time, allowing you more chances to perfect your work.


Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic – Phthalo Blue, Green Shade (2 oz tube, $8.29)


Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic – Quinacridone Crimson (2 oz tube, $12.99)


Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic – Yellow Medium Azo (2 oz tube, $10.99)


Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic – Titanium White (2 oz tube, $8.29)


This Smart Art box included four tubes of acrylic paint – your primary colors (yellow, blue, red) and white (for softer shades). The greatest thing about these is that you really don’t need a lot of paint as a little goes a long way (and each tube has a lot of paint), so you could potentially go out and buy more canvas for more painting fun!


Princeton Paint Brushes, Set of Three ($3.99) – This set included three short handled brushes: Round 3, and Flat 4 and 8. They are natural bristle brushes and you can actually use these for oils too! (oil paintings are my favorite)


The first ever Smart Art box!

Overall value: $48.45 (I used the list pricing for everything).

Overall enjoyment: This was definitely a fun introduction and I like their information pamphlet. I think the best thing about this subscription is that it can be for both adults and kids alike. Adults can use this as a stress reliever (art can be relaxing! I really want to try one of those paint by instruction nights out) and kids can use this very same box to expand their creativity + art knowledge. In addition, parents can totally buy this to enjoy as a shared activity to spend more time with their kids since there is definitely enough paint to go around!

And… I’m actually going to give this entire kit to my mom as part of her birthday gift (which is coming up at the end of January) because I know she’ll appreciate it more than I ever could and because she’ll paint something awesome. XD She’s actually quite into art/painting, though she’s mostly worked with watercolors but I think this would be a great way for her to experiment with a new medium! But shhh… don’t tell her. 😉

*Disclosure: The above item was complimentary and received for review purposes. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received. I only review things that are in line with my interests and wouldn’t subject you, my dear readers, to boring products or subscriptions.


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