Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pens Review


Blending Colored Pencils with Finesse Blender Pens

by Elizabeth Gyles Johnson, artist and art instructor


Elizabeth Gyles Johnson is a pencil artist who focuses her art on the delights of life. Elizabeth teaches the intricacies of drawing at all skill levels to a collection of students worldwide through online workshops and classes at CreativePencils.com. Learn more about Elizabeth in our featured Artist Spotlight post, and follow her process as she draws with colored pencils and then creates a painted look with the Finesse Colored Pencil Blender pen.


Blending colored pencils gives a richer look to any drawing. Blending can make a colored pencil drawing look like it has been painted. The ability to accomplish that blending without stress to one's hand is something every pencil artist welcomes.

The Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pen allows one to blend the colored pencil without the necessary pressure that a blending pencil requires. That is a big bonus! It is especially nice when blending large areas.

The Finesse blending solvent is housed in a pen form making it handy for travel or tossing into a bag of journal supplies for the day. There is a brush tip on each end, one bold and the other fine.

I really enjoyed the low odor formula. I never noticed a scent at all! It dries very fast, eliminating the need to wait very long before adding a new layer of color. And I love that the Finesse blending pen is acid free. You just never know when you are coloring something you will want to keep for a very long time!

The solvent in the Finesse pen blended the colors well but did not create mud by over-blending. I liked that. And it did not bleed but rather stayed right where I put it. The instructions say that the Finesse blending pen is formulated to blend wax-based colored pencils. I tried it with oil based colored pencils and it seemed to work with them too.

I think that I will enjoy the Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pen most for journaling. The portability of its pen structure is so handy. It is quick, clean, and convenient!

Supplies Used:

  • Mixed Media paper
  • Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pen
  • Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
    • White
    • Salmon Pink
    • Blue Lake
    • Light Peach
    • French Grey 50%
    • Sienna Brown
    • Indanthrone Blue
    • Cream
    • Black
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Blush
    • Caribbean Sea
    • Blue Violet Lake

Watch as Elizabeth uses the Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pen to give a painted look to a colored pencil drawing.

Elizabeth Gyles Johnson purchases all of her artist pencils from Jerry's Artarama because of their customer service and great packing of delicate artist pencils for shipping. Here are some other drawings Elizabeth has done with pencils purchased from Jerry's Artarama.

How do you like to blend your colored pencil artwork? Have you tried this great new tool yet? If not, now is your chance to do it! For a limited time while supplies last, we're offering a FREE Finesse Colored Pencil Blender Pen with the purchase of any colored pencil set of $49 or more! But hurry, this Jerry's Exclusive Offer is only valid until May 19th, 2013!



The Art in Advertising


Art as a selling tool: selling as an art form!


Art is a medium of expression. More than one artist has described painting as a way of speaking, language without the words. Many works of art present a new perspective, sometimes making sharp insights about society.

Advertising is also a visual means of conveying a message, though it is much more specific. The only message advertising really tries to get across is: Buy this product! Advertisements attempt to persuade the viewer to action, one that is solely centered on commerce.

We may be inclined to think art and advertising are opposed to each other, that they stand for completely different things. While this may be true at times, their relationship is much more complicated than that. Art and advertising draw from each other in ways we may not always recognize.

Just as art imitates life, advertising imitates art. And some art, in turn, imitates advertising. Of course, none of this would have been possible if not for the birth of consumerism. Consumerism has been defined as "the consumption of goods without a compelling or essential requirement." It adheres to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We've got food. We've got shelter. Now what? We're bored and we want to feel good about ourselves. So we buy things.

This concept has been credited to Edward Bernays, a nephew and disciple of Freud, who linked sexual needs and desires to consumer products in the 1920s. Since these early days, advertising has often been accomplished through a visual means. One of the earliest commercial illustrators was Norman Rockwell, who created ads for Jell-O and Orange Crush. His Four Freedoms series was used to promote war bonds during World War II.


It doesn't appear that many people questioned this practice, for decades, until the counter-culture of the 1960s. At that point, artists and activists were questioning everything and the world was in a general upheaval. Art really came into its own as an expression for new ideas. New media, even, were presented.

Notably, Andy Warhol had a lot to say about consumerism through his art. He mocked mass production with his Campbell's soup cans, his iconic duplication picture of Marilyn Monroe. He closed a gap between art and commerce by bringing commerce into the artistic conversation. He immortalized American brands like Campbell's and Tide. Interestingly, he also appeared in a television commercial in Japan, in an advertisement for TDK cassettes.



While Warhol tended to goad commercialism, another artist whose work seemed to have not much to do with consumers, also appeared in commercials. Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was commissioned for TV ads for Alka-Seltzer and Lanvin chocolates.



In the old days, the pre-modern era, an artist only appeared in his art by way of self-portrait. Warhol and Dalí were essentially commissioning their faces — the famous white mop of hair, the pointy mustache — their personal characteristics helped to develop their brand. They demonstrated that art and advertising feed off each other. Art makes a statement about the world; advertising makes a statement about a product. In this, the post-modern era, most media is a comment on or a reincarnation of something else. Now more than ever, there is a symbiotic relationship between art and advertising that must be sustained.


What are your opinions on art, advertising, and the growing links between the two? Are there any more examples you can give us of commonalities between them? Let us know about it in the comments below!


Plein Air Painting - How to Travel with Art Supplies


How to bring your supplies with you in the field!



Thus far, we've covered what plein air painting is, where to go to paint, and what to use for painting it. We've got one last problem though: how do we bring all our materials out into the field for plein air painting — wherever that field may be? Well, over the centuries artists have developed some very clever and convenient methods for travelling with art supplies, and they've only gotten better with time!




To start with, let's pick something to paint on! Whether you're drawing on a pad of paper, painting on a watercolor block, or sketching with oils on canvas, a support is needed for any surface you plan to work on. Many artists stand while plein air painting, so a portable easel is a good choice. Special easels, often called French easels, were developed to provide not just support, but storage, and include drawers and compartments for carrying paints and brushes within the easel. However, French easels can be a bit of a hassle to haul around, so if you're not in need of the storage as well, a simple travel easel can suffice. And conversely, if you plan to sit whilst painting, whether at a table or on the ground, a selection of table easels and drawing boards could be just the ticket! The key is to decide how best you like to paint, and choose the perfect plein air easel to match your style.

Recommended Plein Air Easels:

French Easel

Travel Easel

Drawing Board


Painting palettes can be as basic as a plank of wood, or an incredibly complicated and specifically sculpted piece that's an artwork in itself. Whichever style of palette you prefer, however, it is an absolutely necessary plein air painting supply! The surface on which you choose to mix your paint depends much on which painting medium you're using. Watercolors mix well in a palette with wells so water doesn't spill everywhere; oils blend nicely on smooth surfaces; and acrylics work great in a palette with an airtight seal that keeps them wet and workable. The choices are virtually limitless, and many artists like to keep quite a few palettes "in rotation" at any one time, to maximize their painting options.

Recommended Painting Palettes for...




Solvent Containers

Very few paints are used completely alone — with no mediums, water or solvent mixed in. Using water or solvent widens the effects achievable in any given paint, but poses a problem for transportation. We can't just bring a water bottle into the field and paint directly from it, nor lug a whole can of turpentine everywhere we go. Luckily, we have many options open to us for bringing fluids and mediums plein air painting, without spilling them all over the place. As with palettes, which container you choose depends on your paint — and hence whichever medium or solvent you plan to use with it!


Recommended Containers for...


Turpentine / Mineral Spirits


Bags & Carriers

While we could go plein air painting with nothing more than a French easel, various bags, packs and carriers certainly make field life easier. Whether you need to carry extra paper and canvas, snacks and sunglasses, or every tube of paint you've ever owned, chances are you're going to need a way to haul it around. Tote bags and satchels are perfect for sketchbooks and small supplies, with their wide array of pockets. Carts and bins are great for rolling heavy items and large canvases across rough terrain. And there are even special carriers designed for hauling nothing less than a whole easel! Going out into the field for plein air painting doesn't need to be a hassle, if you've got everything packed up and ready to go!

Recommended Carriers:

Tote Bag

Rolling Cart

Easel Carrier


Wherever we go when plein air painting, however we get there, chances are after a while we'll want to sit down and have a rest — or we may want to spend our whole painting session sitting. Since bringing armchairs and drafting stools into the field isn't really an option, a good portable seat is invaluable. From a basic folding canvas stool to a comfy chair with included storage, finding a seat out in the open doesn't have to mean plopping down in the dirt!


Recommended Portable Seating:



Seating with Storage

And there we go! By now, we know all about plein air painting, where we should go, what we should use, and how we should bring it with us. And just in time, because plein air painting season is here!

We hope you've enjoyed our tips and trips through plein air painting! What are your plans for the season? Spring into plein air season, and tell us about it in the comments below!

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