Monday, May 22, 2017

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors ~ A Crew Review

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

Have you been avoiding doing art with your children because of the mess it usually creates? Are you ready to have some mess free art fun? Then you really need to check out the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.! Arlene and I received a set of these awesome tempera paints to review as a part of the Homeschool Review Crew. While these are geared for kids ages 4 and up, they are truly fun for all ages! 

Back when I was first introduced to tempera paint in elementary school, it was a treat. We only got to paint in art class, only once every two weeks, and the whole class had to march down the hall to the art room because it was way too messy for our teachers to consider doing in our regular rooms. We wore old shirts backwards over our clothes to protect them, and we had to wait for the art teacher to mix up the paints for us if we ran out because it came in powdered form. Fast forward 35 years to today and the art world has changed. Just a few short years ago The Pencil Grip, Inc. first introduced their Kwik Stix. These stubby little tubes of pre-mixed tempera paints introduced a new generation to the fun of using paint... without all the mess! They resemble glue sticks, and are just as easy to use. Then, after people fell in love with the ease of mess free tempera paint, The Pencil Grip realized a longer, thinner stix could open the door for older students who wanted more control, but still without the mess.

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

Arlene and I decided we wanted to try these new Thin Stix out on a variety of surfaces and see how they handled. The results amazed us. They offer a simple solution for young children whose parents want to offer art, but cannot stomach the thought of paint all over the floor, and yet, they have the ability to be used by high schoolers while studying impressionists like VanGogh. The above picture of Sherlock's hat was Arlene's attempt to use them like a small child would, just for fun, and quickly. The tempera paint in the Kwik Stix dries in about 90 seconds, so there really is very little wait time until the child can take their picture elsewhere safely.

Arlene will turn 17 on Wednesday, so I challenged her to try something more difficult. Since we both enjoy many of Vincent VanGogh's works, she use the Thin Stix to copy his famous Sunflowers painting. I think she did a fabulous job.

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

After working on her sunflowers for a few minutes, Arlene asked for a color I was using and looked over at my picture. I heard her say, "Mom, how are you making Starry Night with art supplies designed for Kindergarteners?" I replied, "It's actually pretty easy. These things are amazing!" And no, it does not look just like VanGogh's original work, but we only had the 6pk of colors, and I was doing my impression of an impressionist. It was fun!

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

We had been having fun with using these on just regular white printer paper. They worked really well, but we realized as they started to dry that the edges curled up a little bit. So note to self: once the 90 seconds is over, gently put the paper between two plain sheets of paper between two books for the final drying cure to prevent curled pages.

Next up, we tried using the Thin Stix on canvas boards we found at the local art store. These are canvas stretched over heavy cardboard, so the texture is the same as regular canvas, but without the thickness of a frame-stretched canvas. After all, we were stretching these kids' art supplies and seeing how well they worked for older students. 

Arlene has been on a Dr Who kick recently, so she used the Thin Stix to draw the T.A.R.D.I.S. on her canvas board. 

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

We definitely noticed the difference in how they handled. They were fun, but required much more patience to get the desired effects since the surface was textured. Still good for impressionist work, but probably harder for a small child to use. 

Below are my pictures, the top one is a rough copy of VanGogh's Wheatfield with Crows done on textured scrapbooking paper. The bottom picture is my copy of his Vase with Red Poppies done on the canvas board.

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

So what did we think of Thin Stix? Arlene would recommend them for little kids, on non-textured paper. She said she would like them better for older students (like herself) if we had the larger set with more colors. Remember, they dry in 90 seconds, so if you want to mix the colors, you have to be quick.

Then I heard another Crew member mention they had used theirs on rocks... and I was intrigued. How would these work for summer art projects, like flowerpot rocks or decorating picture frames? So I sent Arlene and her older sister outside to get a couple decent sized rocks and clean them off. Once dry, Arlene used some inspiration from a recent baseball game to paint hers, and Emily said hers already had a light spot, so she used it for the cloud in her landscape picture.

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

I'm pretty sure the uses for Thin Stix are only limited by your imagination. If you have small children, you probably want the original Kwik Stix since they are shorter and faster. For upper elementary ages and above, try these Thin Stix for your Spring and Summer art projects. We have not had them long enough yet to tell how well the paint will stand up to the weather, once their rocks go back outside, but they're definitely fun to use.

Original Kwik Stix, and these newer Thin Stix are available on Amazon, on The Pencil Grip's website, and at other stores like Toys R Us. There are a variety of size and color options. The original Kwik Stix are about the length of a regular clue stick, but thicker at 3/4". These Thin Stix are almost 5 &1/2 inches long, but only about 1/2" thick like a glue stick.

If you're going to be in charge of crafts for VBS, summer camp, or just to entertain your own children this summer, get yourself some great mess free fun with Kwik Stix!

Mess Free, Tempera Paint, kids art supplies

To learn how all the other Crew families used the Thin Stix, click the banner below!

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No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

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  1. Oh Carol! We have loved doing Van Gogh with our Kwik Stix too! Loved seeing all your beautiful art. (Not to mention that darling blue police box!)