The January 2021 Scrawlr Box was late, but I have no problem with that. There were delays due to Covid, and Brexit, and all the other chaos going on in the world right now. And Scrawlr were very good at giving updates and keeping the customers well informed. It wasn’t their fault.
And it was a good box. Well worth the wait.
Inside were three Tombow ABT markers, a Blackwing pencil in fancy Scrawlr labelling, a Zig Millennium pen, and a gorgeously smooth Clairefontaine sketchbook.
The featured artist this month was Chris Lambert, the founder of Scrawlr. And his specialty is doodling. Right in my wheel house.
The sticker for this month is missing – one of the reasons it was late was trouble with that. They’ll be putting it into February’s box, and I can’t wait. It’s usually similar to the featured art, or to the cover of the zine. And look how gorgeous that is.
This was certainly not one of those boxes that sits on my desk waiting to be used for months and months. This one got used right away!
First up, swatching. I made two mistakes. Can you spot them?
Mistake number one was testing the Zig pen under water-based markers, by using one of the Tombow pens. The ABT pens are alcohol-based.
Mistake number two is… well, you’ll see.
I got doodling before the ink on the first set of my layering swatch had dried. I was very eager. The Zig pen is very nice. So smooth. At first I thought it was the Clairefontaine paper, which is smooth and delicious on it’s own. But I tested the Zig on some other paper and it’s just as smooth. Very fun to use.
I got started with my main artwork piece. Big sweeping paisley shapes and lots of doodles.
And then I set to adding some colour. Which was a little upsetting.
It looks good at a distance (excuse the crappily cropped photo). But up close you can see a lot of bleeding.
Mistake number two on my swatch sheet was not doing a bleed test. The paper is very good, and bleedproof in the sense that there’s no ink showing on the back of the paper. Both sides of the paper are usable. But I should have tested whether or not the pens would bleed out of the lines I’d drawn.
I was a little unhappy with my piece, so I decided I’d go a step further. I did three things, each of them turning out very well.
First, I used a thicker lining pen to outline the paisley shapes on that first piece, to give it a slightly tidier look.
I did a second piece where I used bigger doodles, leaving slightly bigger spaces to colour so that I could colour a little away from the lines. This helps minimizing bleed.
And I used the markers to draw the paisley shapes, and then doodled on top of them.
I’m really happy with the last three pieces. And I don’t hate the bleeding one. I enjoyed this box quite a lot. I’ve used up most of the sketchbook already – they’re not full thickness books. Only 12 pages.
I love my subscription to Scrawlr. I know they’ve had some trouble with the past box or two, but they’re doing everything they can and I have no complaints. I’ll keep subscribing to this box for as long as they make them.
Bring on February’s box.