The guys over at smart art box adjusted their schedule so that we get our boxes earlier each month, so this unopening is earlier than usual!  This month’s box is oil painting in a Van Gogh style.

What is a Smart Art Box? 

The smart art box is a monthly subscription box. Each month you get full sized supplies in different mediums complete with a lesson plan. This lesson plan is I think really sets this box apart from any other box. If you’ve never worked in a specific medium, you won’t feel lost as long as you follow the step by step instructions. The handout that comes with the box goes over a short history of the artist we’re focusing on, and gives tips on achieving that style. It also explains what each product in the box is, and then of course the step by step lesson itself.

What came in this month’s box?

For August we got four full sized tubes of SOHO oil paints (I’ve never tried these, so this should be interesting!), Chelsea Classical Studio Lavender Brush cleaner, Creative Mark Painter’s Edge palette knife, Creative mark all edge canvas, and a pro stroke red sable brush. It’s listed as a filbert, but it’s actually a round.

My Project

You may not know this about me, but I’m fascinated by Van Gogh. While it’s not a style I typically paint in, his life story and mental condition combined with the fact that his work was so well balanced and designed has always intrigued me. For my project, I applied the paint heavier than instructed, but that just comes down to my own personal preference given I have painted this way before. I found that the SOHO oils worked great with the palette knife technique. It was a nice texture, without being too stiff. I will definitely give these paints a try with my mixing medium I usually use an with paint brushes and let you guys know how I liked it for that.

The one thing that came in this box that I won’t be using again is the Chelsea Classical Studio Lavender Brush cleaner. This stuff was a serious irritant. It caused my throat to tighten up and my chest to hurt immediately after opening the bottle.  It was an important reminder that just because something is listed as nontoxic, it does not mean that it cant hurt you! So often people ask me for safer or more natural alternatives to the Mona Lisa Odorless mineral spirits that I use. Know what? That stuff has NEVER caused a bad reaction for me. I will stick to that and just continue to be wise about how and when I use it (keeping the room well ventilated, keeping the lid on it when I’m not using it etc).


If you are within the US and are interested in having your own Smart Art Box sent to you each month, here is my affiliate link.