Comparing 2020 Blending Tools to the 2019 Model

We’re comparing last year’s vs. this year’s new blending tools.

Gold Handled brushes from 2019:

Aliexpress link: Cost per brush: $1.43 + .73 shipping (from China)

Ebay link: Cost per brush $1.46 (you can make an offer, so might be able to buy if for a little bit less)…still comes from China, though

Amazon link: $2.59 + .99 shipping (from China)

Mushroom Shape Foam Blenders (I apologize that I refer to them throughout the video as a foam brush.)

Aliexpress link: Costs have risen since I bought these blenders, and they are now between $1.24 and $1.34 each, depending on the color of the foam. (from China)

Ebay link: The price varies..if you buy one, it’s $1.43, and if you buy two, the price drops to $1.40, and if you buy three, the price drops to $1.37 (from China)

Large Black, Flat Head Blending Brush

Aliexpress link: The cost has risen since I bought mine, and they are now $4,02 each. I paid $1.88 when I bought mine (from China)

Ebay link: Cost $3.50 for one, $3.40 for two and $3..30 for three. (from China)

Amazon: Cost, $9.00 but overall best price on Amazon, as you get a set of four tools, but only one is the blending brush I use in the video....This is also the only product I’ve found that comes from Amazon Prime, so you can have it in as little as two days.

Inks Used:

Wendy Vecchi Blendable Die Ink (Poppy color) Link: Price $3.79 from + shipping

Wendy Vecchi Poppy Ink Link: link: Price $3.99 plus shipping

Ranger Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry) link: Price $5.69 plus shipping link: Price $5.99 plus shipping link: AmazoPrice (on sale now) $4.19 plus shipping

Amazon Prime link: Price: $6.18

Papers Used:

Canson XL Watercolor Paper Link: Walmart, Cost $5.97 (online)

Michaels Recollections Heavyweight Cardstock link: Cost $15.99 (use a coupon to get the price around $10 per pad)

Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 80lb. (Sorry I didn’t give the correct information in the video about the name or weight of this paper) Link on Amazon: Price $32.34

Walmart’s brand Pen Gear link: Price $5.92

Results from each tool:

Best Performance using the 2019 Gold Toned Blending brush: I still really like this tool and recommend it much more highly than the black handled similar looking tools…You need to buy separate brushes for dye based inks and oxide/pigment inks, and if you don’t want to clean them in between uses, I suggest you buy one for every color family, for example: red/orange, pink, purple, green, yellow, blue, gray/black, browns…in the end, you might decide you don’t blend much with some of these colors, so could buy 5 for dye inks and 5 for Oxide and pigment inks, for a total of 10 brushes. Please be sure to label them for either dye or oxide inks so you don’t confuse yourself and not be able to continue using a brush for what you’d intended.

With Wendy Vecchi Blending Ink in Poppy:                                                                     Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 Lb.                                                                          Canson XL Watercolor Paper

With Distress Oxide ink in Picked Raspberry:                                                                Walmart’s Pen Gear                                                                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor Paper

Best Performance with the Mushroom Shaped Foam Tool: Note, this is a foam tool, and worked much differently than the other tools. If I would offer a suggestion, it would be to skip buying these, as I don’t think they bring much to the table in the way of blending.

With Wendy Vecchi blending ink in Poppy:                                                                        Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                    Pen Gear from Walmart

With Distress Oxide in Picked Raspberry:                                                                                    Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                  Michaels Recollection Heavyweight

Best Performance with the Large Black Flat Head Brush: This gives a lighter blend than the other tools. To clean this, you’re supposed to simply wipe it on a cloth, but I found it required a little cleanser and a rinse instead. I recommend you buy two of these tools…one for Oxide and Pigment inks and one for Dye based inks.

With Wendy Vecchi Blending Ink in Poppy:                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                                Michaels Recollections Heavyweight

With Distress Oxide in Picked Raspberry:                                                                      Canson XL Watercolor                                                                                                              Michaels Recollection Heavyweight

I hope this helped you to decide if you need a new blending tool, and if so, do you like the paper you’re currently blending on. 

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