I got some new metallic paints from Arteza -- a gift to myself for the new year. Today, I finally got around to swatching them...

I try to make a swatch of all the new paints and markers I get. It's the best way to see the true color. I also swatch them on the paper that I'm most likely to use them on (140lb watercolor paper) so that I know how they will perform.

I believe it's a "best practice" to swatch your new paints and markers. How else will you know what they really look like? The color bands on the tubes are nice, and it's nice to be able to see through the bottles if they're in a bottle. But you won't truly know what the color is going to look like unless you use them on the paper for yourself.

If you don't swatch, I strongly suggest you start this practice. I have a separate journal just for my swatches. This allows me to have my swatch journal handy and accessible when I'm in the midst of painting and trying to decide on colors. It definitely helps the decision making process because I can see the true color!

Yesterday, I ordered the 60 count Arteza EverBlend Art Markers as well as the skin tone set of 36. These are alcohol based markers. I've already setup the page in my swatch journal to make swatches of the 96 colors that are on their way to me. I can't wait to see how these perform compared to the 60+ Copic markers in my art supply collection...

My Copics are at least 10 years old. They still write, but they are a bit dry. When I compared the cost of getting refills for all 60+ as well as new nibs, which are probably necessary since the current ones are pretty much dried out, it was much less expensive to purchase the 96 Arteza markers. And from all of the YouTube videos I have been watching reviewing the Arteza brand alcohol markers (as well as how to blend with them), I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed.

For the amount of money I invested 10 years ago on my Copics, I will keep them around and simply slowly purchase refills and nibs for them. It will be better than doing it all in one fell swoop. Besides, what artist doesn't have a couple of different brands of the same supply? Not any artists that I know of!

Start your swatch journal today! You will be glad you did!!