Cretacolor Passion box

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From the Brevillier company we received this beautiful Cretacolor Passion Box. We kindly thank Brevillier for this.

On the Internet the following information about this box can be found: The Passion Wood Set by Cretacolor comes in a beautiful metallic wood box and includes 25 pieces of drawing materials. Perfect for the student and professional alike this set is designed to inspire each artist to creatively approach their artwork. Included in the set are artist quality pencils, leads, pastel pencils and drawing accessories: blending stick, rubber eraser and sharpener. Makes the perfect gift for aspiring artists. Made in Austria. Contents: charcoal pencils-soft and medium, nero pencil-soft, black chalk pencil-medium, sepia-light and dark pencils, sanguine-oil and dry pencils, white chalk pencil-medium, various artist chalks, paper stump, kneadable eraser, artist sharpener, black chalk and white chalk lead, and compressed charcoal stick.  

This is really a nice present! Just looking at the box gets a creative person in ecstasy. What a lovely box. Carefully I unpacked the luxurious grey wooden box which is so beautiful that you actually want to wait a while before opening it.

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Once opened I see white blotting paper. How wonderful to pick that up and to look at what lies beneath. I find myself staring at the content. Nicely tucked away in their little boxes these coloring materials lie waiting: two Black and white charcoal sticks, in different color tones, a round black charcoal stick, a stumper, 4 broad graphite sticks, 6 pastel cubes (both in sepia brown shades) and Included is a brochure of the Brevillier Cretacolor collection.

To be honest, pastel chalk, pastel pencils and charcoal are not really my piece of cake. I always cause smudges with these materials and they are more suited for making natural and realistic drawings like people, animals and still lives. I draw in a totally different fashion (usually using fineliners, felt tip pens and sometimes regular pencils). So it’s quite a challenge for me to work with these. Long ago I followed some art courses where we had to use these materials so luckily I do know a bit of how they work.

First I tried the pencils. For this I picked a picture from a tattoo coloring book. I used a paper stump for blending the whole picture. You just put some pigment down next to a line and press it towards the middle with the stump. With some pencils this went easier than with others. The difference is caused by the medium and the soft varieties and by the different kinds of pencils. I liked the Sanguine Oil/Rötel Fett pencil best. A fat oil-ish red/brown pencil. If Cretacolor would produce a whole line of these pencils I would be the first one to purchase one! This pencil really works evenly and smoothly and does not smudge. Though the paper stump scratches the paper noisily (whether this is caused by the paper, the stump or the chalky material, I cannot tell) it works well. I never experienced this noise with normal graphite pencils or other paper stumps. What strikes me is that there is no little block with sandpaper in this box. I think this is regrettable because if you are not used to working with a paper stump then you end up with a black stump due to the charcoal and that will smudge the brown parts (or reverse). Luckily I did have a block with sandpaper so I could clean the paper stump.

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After this I started working with the pastel chalk blocks. I intentionally picked black paper to see how the colors would work on this paper. And it went well. The bird I draw roughly at first with the thin white stick. Then I colored the bird in with sepia and brown colors. Some parts I spread out with a finger and finally I put in some black and white accents. I used all 6 colors which I found a bit challenging because I’m not used to working with this material. Tip: put some (baby) tissues next to you so you can easily clean your hands and won’t make stains. I am not really satisfied with my bird but that says little about the material which I think works well, and the colors are beautiful.

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Next I tried the graphite sticks. I picked a fantasy drawing in modern art style. The effect is very nice which I had not expected. Normally I think of still lives when it comes to this material, people and animals or landscapes, not something modern. As I draw modern fantasy myself with fineliners I thought it would be fun to try this chalky and charcaolish material. The broad graphite sticks are somewhat greasier which I like more than pastel chalk. One of the sticks is even greasier, this is the black NERO 1 which draws almost like a regular graphite pencil. Working with these sticks I noticed that by rotating the stick while drawing you can work a broad soft line to a sharp hard line easily. This you can see in my example.

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Finally I used the thin round black charcoal stick. I prefer this one to regular one in this box because the black and white ones are coated and in contrast to the regular ones do not smudge your fingers. With this one I drew an owl after an image I found on the internet. The stick works fine and I am pleased with the result. I worked on somewhat toothier paper.

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The sharpener performs the way one would expect. The kneading eraser is good for removing smudges around your drawing. You can also use this to apply light spots in your drawing in order to create reflections.

Plus points: a gorgeous looking box, luxurious material, a variety of materials of good quality in a nice box. Ranging from rough, soft to medium, there is something for everyone.
Minus points: a list of materials that are included in this box is lacking which is a pity. I had to google to find out what the materials were exactly because I needed this for my review. But I could not find all the information I needed on the internet. A little card or brochure with the materials pictured and their use explained would help. Besides that a little board with sandpaper for the paper stump is missing. I you are working for the first time with this you will have to purchase one if you do not own one already. Cleaning the paper stump on a regular basis is necessary.

Conclusion: A gorgeous luxurious box with many different materials which makes for a beautiful gift. The materials are of good quality and certainly the way everything is stored and wrapped makes it extra special. If you want to start dawing with charcoal, pastel and such then this Passion Box is very suited for that. Because there is something for every taste in it you can chose material from very soft and rough to medium or greasy to work with. An asset for every artist or amateur!

This Cretacolor Passion Box is amongst others available at Gerstaecker.

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