Since stumbling across art supplies in TK Maxx late last year I have been scouting out the shop each time we go past looking for obscure art supplies or just bargains. I was not disappointed on my latest visit!
After trying Fabre Castell and Marabu art crayons in a limited amount of colours I had been looking online to increase my collection so I knew as soon as I saw these art crayons sat on the shelf that I definitely wanted them. I had never heard of the brand ‘Kingart’ before and as usual I had no signal in the store so I couldn’t even Google them but at £24.99 for 48 gel sticks it didn’t seem like too much of a crazy risk. They had packs of 12 and 24 too, it seems to be a popular brand for the store since they also had brushes, acrylic paints and canvases by Kingart.
The packaging is lovely and bright, when you open them they are split into four sets of twelve gel sticks each in gorgeous sparkly cases which I really appreciate because it means that I can carry a set of 12 when I take them out and do not have to take the entire 48 which are actually quite heavy if you plan to take them into the wild. 12 of the 48 are metallic colours.
One of the gel sticks had a defect in the plastic casing but I do not think this will affect the use.
The actual gel sticks are the same design as the Marabu art crayons which I received in a Scrawlrbox. They have a nice ergonomic holder which is nice, I wasn’t brave enough to try and twist them up because the others I have do not go down once they are twisted up. I believe they may be manufactured by the same company and have just been packaged for different brands, I will still review them though since I definitely wanted to give them a good try.
The gel sticks have no scent at all which is nice since the Fabre Castell ones had a strong chemical smell. They are just like drawing with a lipstick and are water soluble. The initial swatches are lovely, they are vibrant and clear, the colour selection is brilliant, I don’t think it is missing any necessary colours. The colours smudge just like pastels, they are messy!
I created some watered down swatches too, as expected the colours are less vibrant once watered down but you are spreading the pigment so that makes sense. The colours do not dissolve completely so you are still left with almost the same marks as you made on the paper initially. It’s almost as though the water just creates a ghostings effect.
The sparkly gel sticks are beautiful and really shimmer in the light, the glitter does spread as you dissolve the pigment on the paper. All of the colours including the metallics are more vibrant on watercolour paper possibly because of the grain in the paper which picks up more pigment than the smooth paper.
I tried to blend the colours on the paper and although they do blend in the dissolved state the fact that the pigment is still very much present on the paper definitely detracts from the blending of the colours so I would not suggest these crayons if you really like to blend colours on the paper.
I had fun playing with a pineapple. I tried to make the most of the staining effect and ghosting effect by drawing the pineapple outline first and then dissolving the pigment to colour in the pineapple.
I wanted to give these a really good go because I can definitely see me using them for more collage work but I wanted to draw an illustration too. This little bear holding a meeting in the forest is created with the Kingart gel sticks and a black fine liner for bears little details. You absolutely cannot get tiny details with this art supply so everything had to be loose and chunky. The colours do blend when they aren’t being dissolved and they layer really well too. It is hard to get a really dark colour without using the black which soon fades if you try to dissolve it. The main thing that I like about all of the art crayons that I have tried though is that they are so much fun, you can’t get lost in tiny details so you are forced to be more fluent and free with your mark making. They have no information on them about light fastness which is unfortunate, where an art product has no light fast information it is always best to assume that they have little to no light fastness and should be kept out of the daylight.
I enjoyed these so much I even bought a set for a friends birthday too. They are such good value, I am not sure how long they will last me. Not as long as the set of lipsticks I own because these are more likely to get used!
If you see them and they are in your budget then I think they are worth having a play with.
Thank you for reading my review, I hope it was helpful,