I have several creative and artistic kids, as well as being that way myself if I get the chance, so we were happy to have the chance to review the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. We mostly intended to just play around with these tempera paint markers and see what projects and creations we could contrive for using them.
Tempera Paint Sticks
These marker-like sticks are actually solid tempera paint, made less messy and easy to control. They glide on smooth and dry very quickly; the package says it dries in 90 seconds but in our experience it’s generally faster than that. We used them for several projects on several types of materials. My younger son and I used them for the painting portion of a drawing program we did for another review. My second oldest son is working on a poster using them. I made a sign on canvas, and I colored a piece of wood for decoration.
We found that we like them for all of these, but they seem to be more usable for some of those projects than for others. For instance, it was more difficult to use these to paint the drawings we made for the art review because the tips on these are about the thickness of my finger. That made it difficult to color just a small portion of a drawing, or get into corners and things like that. I would love to see a crayon size of these! We were also more limited on actual colors – since they dry quickly, they don’t blend very well, and I really missed there being a white in this package.
I don’t know if you can see the detail, but in the kids’ pictures above, you can tell that these are actually paint. Of course, an experienced artist will be able to use the markers in such a way so that this texture doesn’t show through, but I liked being able to tell in the kids’ paintings that it’s malleable paint and not just a marker. The kids really enjoyed just making their own creations like this.
So we enjoyed using it on paper and poster board. It has a smooth glide and is fun and easy to use. Then toward the end of this review period, my family had a tragedy – my grandma passed away. Long story short, she is probably the single most influential person in my life and the lives of most of my cousins, and it was largely unexpected. Being an artistic person, one of the things I did to help me through this time was make myself a reminder of her. It was reiterated at her memorial service that my grandma is a perfect example of the Proverbs 31 woman, and as that has largely been my life goal I want to remember that she is a true example of that for me. From here out in my life, this sign will help me think of her.
This sign is on canvas. I enjoyed making the sign and was careful to measure out and practice my lettering first, but I’m not sure I’d try using these on a sign like this again. You can see that the edges of the letters aren’t firm, and that likely has to do with the texture of the canvas itself. These are much better for filling in a larger surface.
Another project I did was to color a small wooden M to decorate our home. This was the most successful project we tried. I LOVE the way the tempera paint markers glided on the wood, and I wished I’d grabbed one of the wooden signs from the store instead of the canvas for my other sign. It was SO easy to use on this, and I feel like tilting the marker on its edge and different amounts of pressure made a difference on the wood. It worked similarly on the poster board, but since my son was trying to color smaller spaces it didn’t turn out as well.
We will get these out more in the future. It’s been fun seeing how they work and where they will be useful to us. I think in the future we’ll try a paper mache project or a plaster one like a volcano and see how they color on those surfaces. So much art, so little time! I’m glad to not have to clean up the mess – and when the kids did get it on the table, it wiped right up. Try them out on your projects, and don’t forget to check out the other Crew reviews!