03 Feb New Year, New Medium: An Overview of January’s Maker Monthly Box

Rhodia Dot Pad

January’s Maker Monthly box featured the 6 x 8.25” Rhodia Dot Pad which has 80 sheets of extra white super smooth paper (I first got into Rhodia notebooks specifically because of the ridiculous smoothness of the paper).

January's Maker Monthly Box - Rhodia Dot Pad

As the name implies, you’ll find the sheets of this notepad covered in a very subtle dot grid with 5mm of spacing between each point. Dot grids are great when creating work that requires both vertical and horizontal alignment of it’s elements, such as the divs of a website design, the letters of a logo or the walls of a floor plan. What’s great about the pale violet dots of the Rhodia Dot Pad is that they are invisible when scanned, which makes for a cleaner transition from analog to digital.

The cover of the Dot Pad is scored so that you can easily fold it back around the reinforced staple binding and get it out of the way when working. Each page is also micro perforated near the binding for clean removal of unwanted pages.

January's Maker Monthly Box - Rhodia Dot Pad

Pentel Aquash ™ Water Brush

The Pentel Aquash ™ Water Brush included in January’s Maker Monthly box is a refillable fine-point brush with a durable nylon tip that is perfect for hand lettering, watercolor and illustration work.

The easy-to-squeeze barrel can be removed and filled with ink, dye or water when working with powdered pigment, solid watercolors, watercolor crayons, pencils and more. Watch this video to learn how to fill your Pentel Aquash Water Brush. The shape of the barrel keeps the brush from rolling away and it’s translucent color allows you to keep your eye on the water supply.


Higgins Black Magic Ink

To help you get started using your water brush (and other tools), we’ve included a 1 oz. bottle of Higgins Black Magic drawing ink. Black Magic is a professional-grade, pigment-based ink that is waterproof, fade-proof and acid-free. This opaque ink is the darkest one offered by Higgins and produces a fast-drying, semi-flat black finish. You can choose to use the ink as-is or dilute it with water to create lighter shades but is not intended for mixing with other inks.

Higgins Black Magic ink is perfect for use with brushes, technical pens, dip pens and air brushes.


Tom Bow Dual Brush Pen

The Tom Bow Dual Brush Pen is arguably the most popular brush lettering tool used today, and deservedly so. This marker features both a large, flexible brush tip and a fine tip, allowing you to create bold, natural strokes of variable widths as well as refined details with consistent lines. The water-based ink used in this brush marker is blendable with the other 90+ colors offered by Tom Bow when you use their colorless blender and the nylon tip glides beautifully on the Rhodia Dot Pad paper.


Prismacolor Ebony Graphite Drawing Pencil

The Prismacolor Ebony graphite pencil found in January’s Maker Monthly box creates extra smooth, dark lines that are perfect for just about anything from sketching portraits to laying out out your lettering pieces before applying ink. I recently did a study of water bottle in a drawing course and enjoyed using the Prismacolor Ebony for lines and shading from start to finish.

The Wildcard

For the 6th and final item in January’s Maker Monthly box, members received one of the following:

  • Yasutomo Calligraphy Marker
  • Speedball Dip Pen
  • Princeton Mixed Media brush
  • Silverwhite Mixed Media brush

The Yasumoto Calligraphy marker features a chisel tip, in one of various sizes, and uses a non-toxic black ink with that flows nicely from the marker. These are great for trying your hand at a range of traditional hand lettering styles such as Roman, Gothic and Blackletter as well as the more modern flat brush style. The Speedball Dip Pen came in one of various combinations, but the most common one found in January’s box was the #102 Crow Quill pen which has a straight body and superfine, flexible nib that’s perfect for everything from from illustration to calligraphy. This can be used in combination with the Higgins Black Magic ink. If you’re unsure of which one you received, simply pull the nib from the holder to find the style number engraved on the lower end of the nib. I’ll have some additional information and instructional videos published on these dip pens shortly! The Princeton and Silverwhite mixed media brushes can be used with a variety of paints, including watercolor and oil, as well as with the Higgins Black Magic ink included in your box. The round brushes are great for brush lettering and general painting, and the script brushes are great for creating fine lines and elegant lettering. I’ll have some additional information and instructional videos published on these tools shortly also!

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