Wish vs AliExpress: Haul

Last week I introduced a new series based on an idea I had and implemented years ago.  You should go back and read that, but the upshot is that I did a bunch of shopping on both Wish and AliExpress.

And here’s the haul post.  First, the obligatory picture of the pile of packages.

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So many packages! Lots of fun.  I did open them to check what they were, but I didn’t take anything out or have a proper look until I had all of them.  Now let’s go in the same order as the shopping haul.

Item 1: pencils

Wish is on the left, and AliExpress is on the right.

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The AliExpress pencils feel a little nicer in the hand, but they’re all pretty similar.  They’re pencils.  The Wish set had 2 labelled 2H, but we’ll wait for the swatching post before I decide if it’s a dupe or not.

Item 2: erasers

Again, Wish on the left and AliExpress on the right.

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There is literally nothing to say about these.  They are exactly the same product.

Item 3: sharpeners

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The one from Wish doesn’t look like the ones in the listing, but it is the same shape so I’m not too bothered.

Item 4: pens

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Like the pencils, the AliExpress ones feel ever so slightly nicer in the hand.

Item 5: colouring pencils

Neither of these packages did well in transit.

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But the pencils themselves appeared to be undamaged.  They might have shattered leads, but I wouldn’t find out about that until swatching time.  There was a pencil missing from the Wish packet too.

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That’s it for the haul post.  Next week is the post you all really care about – the swatching 🙂

Wish vs AliExpress: Shopping

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, a girl had an idea for a blog post.  Fast forward a couple of years and she’s finally getting around to writing it.  It’s even going to be a series!  In order to combat my apparent ineptitude at blogging I’m not going to schedule any of them for publication until they’re all written.  So if you’re reading this, be assured that the follow up posts will go live each Wednesday for the next few weeks.

So.. what was the idea?  As if you couldn’t guess from the title.  Wish is a shopping website that has been the feature of a LOT of YouTube videos.  The site sells all sorts of things for very cheap prices, and many creators like to do hauls and see what they get, what the quality is like and so on.  I like Wish.  You can find all sorts of things for very good prices.  Some things are even free.  Except that each and every item has it’s own shipping cost.  There is no combined shipping for your whole basket, which can seriously up the total price.  And of course, with all such websites, these things come from places such as China, so there’s a lengthy shipping time.  But I don’t mind that so much.

However, I don’t tend to use Wish very much.  I have found an alternative.  AliExpress is a similar website.  It sells items from every category you can imagine, with some lengthy shipping times, for very cheap.  However, nearly everything on AliExpress is cheaper.  Plus, the shipping is mostly either very low, or free.  I’ve taken to screenshotting things I want from Wish and searching for them on AliExpress where I will usually find them for much cheaper.  Which is where the idea for the blog series comes in.

Aside from sometimes being cheaper, is AliExpress actually better?  I would do a test.  I would get everything I need for a project: paper, pencil, eraser, sharpener, inking pen, colouring implements.  I would get identical – as much as possible – items from both Wish and AliExpress and compare them.

First step?  Shopping.

Item 1: pencils. 

I was looking for a set of pencils, with varying lead softnesses.  At the time (back in 2018) the only set of plain pencils I could find on Wish was these “Sell Well Beautiful Painting Tool 6H-12B Professinal Sketch Art Drawing Pencil Sketching Pencils” – the typo is theirs, not mine.  The listing was for 5 random pencils in that range, and the item was free, with £2 shipping.

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For AliExpress I don’t seem to have a screenshot, or a listing name.  You can rest assured that it was probably as lengthy and keywordy as the Wish version.  But my notes tell me that I got a set of 3 pencils, and I could pick which grades I wanted.  They cost £1.45 with £0.14 shipping.

Item 2: erasers.

My criteria for this was a proper eraser, not a novelty colour/shape or anything.  Again, I could only find one listing on Wish.  It’s very hard to get accurate search results.  You find all kinds of things popping up for no apparent reason.  The only listing I found was this one.  £2 plus £1 shipping for a set of three.

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I learned from this listing that erasers can have a softness grade, so I made sure to find the same thing on AliExpress.  These were £0.50 plus £0.10 shipping for a set of five.

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Item 3: sharpener.

The only criteria for this was one that had a collection part so I could sharpen on the go and not leave a trail of sharpenings behind me.  Wish produced this “1 Pcs Safe and Cute High Quality Pencil Sharpener O578 Sacapuntas School Stationary Sacapuntas Lapiceros” for £1.00 plus £1.00 shipping.

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And on AliExpress I found this one.  £0.45 with free shipping.

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Item 4: pens.

I wanted fineliner inking pens, and I wanted them in black.  Wish has a lot of these, but they’re all brands like UniPin or Pigma – or they claim to be at least.  I searched for a non-brand set and found these.  “9pcs Black Pigment Liner Drawing Pens,Sketch Pen,Needle Pen,Signing Pen,Comic Pen,Student School Office Stationery.”  A pack of 9 in various thicknesses for £6 plus £2 shipping.

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And on AliExpress I got a set of 10 for £6.77 with free shipping.

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Item 5: colouring pencils.

Again, I looked for a non-branded set, with 24 pencils.  Wish has a lot of colouring supplies.  The pencils are usually bigger sets, and there are TONS of sets of gel pens and alcohol markers.  But I found this set: “24 colors Wooden Pencil Colorful Drawing Painting Pencils for Secret Garden Coloring Books (17.5cm ).”  They were £3 plus £1 shipping.

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On AliExpress I found these.  The 24 set was £3.38 with free shipping.

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Item 6: paper.

I didn’t mind what GSM (weight) the paper was, as long as it was the same from both websites.  But there was very little plain paper – either loose or in book form – on Wish.  And after hours of searching I found only 1 that listed GSM at all.  So I decided to just use my own paper for this one.

Tune in next week for the haul post.

More Disney Doodles

Here are some more of the Disney Doodles I’ve done since May.

For Frozen I did one of the trolls because they are adorable and monster-like.

Next up was Stitch.  I love the monsters from the Stitch-universe.  I could draw all of them.  Maybe I will.  Maybe I’ll make my own experiment.

For Winnie the Pooh I drew the tubby little bear relaxing in the sun.

I missed The Lion King and Star Wars.

And then I got to draw one of my favourite characters for Finding Nemo.  Here’s Dory.

Stay tuned for more Disney Doodles, or follow me on Twitter to see them as they’re done.

Hobbycraft Colouring Canvases

Last year for my birthday, Hobbycraft sent me a £5 voucher in an email. Everyone who signs up to their Hobbycraft Club gets this. It’s a decent deal – no minimum spend, no restrictions or anything.

After much scrolling on the website I settled on these Colour In Canvases. We stopped at the store on the way to my birthday dinner, but I couldn’t decide which one of two I wanted. So my boyfriend bought me the other one.

And then, in my bag of presents from one of my sisters were these two small versions.

Obviously, this had to be turned into a blog post.

I did some swatching on the back of one of the small canvases, to see what would happen. Would they draw at all? Would they bleed? Would they smudge?

I tried a bunch of different pen types. I was plesantly surprised by the alcohol marker (Ohuhu in this case). But this particular image had lots of tiny parts so I went with two pen sets from AliExpress.

Time to swatch out the whole set. Lots of pretty colours. The thin set felt a bit scratchier, but at least they had a yellow. The other set are nice and juicy.

As you can see in the swatch sheet, I tested each colour in each set against each other (I don’t think that made sense) and figured out what I was gonna use on the canvas.

I settled in with an audio book – Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth for those interested. Not on Audible though, but if they wanna sponsor me I’ll happily start listening to them. And I got to colouring.

I did the red, I did the orange, I did the yellow.

Then I turned on the torch on my phone cos it was getting a little dark in the room I was in and it was hard to see the yellow. Which is when I noticed that the red and the orange were fairly spotty.

So I used the phone torch to colour in the rest of it too.

I’m really pleased with it. It’s bright and cute. In certain lights and at certain angles it has a kinda sparkly quality to it. I couldn’t capture it on camera though.

I put the photos and my notes in a folder ready to write a blog post when I’d finished the other three canvases.

And then 9 months went by. At which point I decided to just write the blog post for the one canvas. When/if I do the others I’ll post about them too.

Join in a Paint-a-long

In a week or so I’ll be partaking in my very first paint-a-long. I’ve done knit-a-longs before, and crochet-a-longs. But I’ve never done an art one.

Well, as part of the second Cozy Con – which is September 19th and 20th – my good friend SamBeAwesome is running a paint-a-long.

If you tune in to her Twitch stream on Sunday September 20th you’ll find her running a paint-a-long to paint that adorable little bird. I don’t really have a realistic style like that, so it’ll be interesting to see what I come up with.

I believe the time translates to 5pm GMT, but don’t hold me to that.

Sam has also released a list of the minimal materials you’ll need to join in.

Paint in red, yellow, blue, and grey or black.
Pencil, brush/es, paper.

Additionally you might also want green paint, white paint, masking tape and some tissue.

Sam says not to forget your postivie attitude too 🙂

Will you be joining us?

Draw This In Your Style

As I mentioned in my Artfight blog, I won’t be participating next year.  Which is a real shame, because I loved the concept.  Essentially people submit their art for other people to draw in their styles.

#DrawThisInYourStyle and #DTIYS is a popular art trend, and it’s something I really enjoy doing.  I did a blog post about it last year.  At the time I thought it was a one off trend, but since it seems to be a recurring one, I’ve done some more.

I’ve done this beauty by Naomi Lord.

This redhead by Cin.Nano

This extremely colourful gal by Hoopla_Art

And this character by Sparkiiro that you might have seen in my FaeBruary post earlier this year.

I haven’t done any – apart from ArtFight – in a while.  I want to do more.  There are a lot of characters that I bookmarked on ArtFight that I want to draw.  I may message the artists and see if I can draw them anyway.  Stay tuned.

A Return to Colouring Books

I used to be really in to colouring books.  I had a very very big collection of them.  And I really enjoyed using them.  I coloured dozens and dozens of pages. Here’s just a sample.

But since I started drawing and doing my own art, I haven’t really done any other colouring.

Early in 2019 I had a massive sort of everything I owned and culled my collection, keeping only about 50% of the books/magazines.

And in the last few weeks I’ve been sorting my things again.  Culling the extra stuff I don’t need, and condensing how I store what’s left.  I’ve halved my collection of colouring books again, keeping around 20.  There’s some Harry Potter ones, some Doctor Who ones, some Dungeons & Dragons ones.  Things like that.  Then there’s also some generic colouring books for adults.

While sorting I remembered that there were a few pages that I’d started and never got around to finishing.  So I finished one.

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It doesn’t look too bad at first glance, but I made a real mess of it.  I can not keep gel pens within thin lines apparently.

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So I used my dubious drawing skills to redo the outlines.

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And then I moved on to the next unfinished piece.  This one only had one or two sections coloured in, but after just three hours I managed to get it looking like this.

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This one was a beast.  Soooo many tiny little shapes.  Fatty helped me though.

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And after about a week of a couple of hours a day I finally finished it!

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After that I moved on to one of the other handful on unfinished pages, right?  Of course not.  I started a new page.  Because I am me.

Disney Doodles

Ages and ages ago I was told about a Twitter feed called Disney Doodle.  I checked it out, but they seemed to be on hiatus.  I followed anyway, so that I’d see if they ever came back.  And in April they did.

Every week Disney Doodle posts a character or a movie, and challenges people to create art and post it on Sunday.  The first one was Mickey Mouse.

I didn’t fancy drawing Mickey himself, so I drew a monster in a Mickey Mouse costume.

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I didn’t get time for Lady and the Tramp…

…but I did another monster in a costume for Donald Duck.

For Toy Story I deviated from the monsters in costume because I just had to draw one of the little three-eyed aliens.

I went back to the costumes for Goofy…

…and for Minnie Mouse.

That one was in May.  I have done more since then, but I’ll save some for the next blog post.

Who’s your favourite Disney character?  I don’t think I have a specific favourite; I just love Disney 🙂

ArtFight

July/August was Artfight.  It was my 2nd Artfight and I was very excited.  I submitted a lot of art and then I was accused of tracing and more than half of my art was just removed from the website.

I was going to write a post about the event, before the accusation and removal.  Then I was going to write a rant about that.  Now that I’ve calmed down I’m just going to say that I’m really disappointed, and that I won’t be participating again next year.

Here’s the art that I did.

Please note that none of these are my characters.  All the artists involved were properly tagged when I posted them on Twitter, Instagram and Deviant Art.

I received lots of grateful and happy comments about these pieces.  As far as I know only one person had an issue.

I also got attacked a few times and received some very awesome art of my characters.