|The Marco Tribute Masters Collection|
I hope your blood sugar level is stable . . . get ready for
some eye candy!
Unless a box is really special, you know that my
reviews don’t spend much time on colored pencil packaging; I like to focus on
the product. Fair warning: The product I’m reviewing is almost all about
the packaging – the Marco Tribute Masters Collection. And it is one of
the most beautiful presentations of colored pencils I have ever seen!
The collection includes eight slipcased boxes, each color-themed
selection devoted to a modern art master. According to the card inside each
box, “Marco selects eight legendary artists in modern art and leverages their
masterpieces as inspirations to create ‘Tribute Master Collection.’ May your
ideas fly together with inspiration from the masters.”
The book-like boxes remind me of Tombow’s Irojiten set,
which I also love for its elegant beauty. I must say, however, that Marco does
Tombow one better: Instead of an elastic band to hold the box closed, each
Marco box has a magnetic closure that snaps securely shut with a satisfying
|Ribbon tabs make it easy to pull the boxes out from their slipcase.|
Inside the box lid is a brief statement about the artist’s
life. On the back is a quotation by the artist.
Each box of 10 pencils holds tints, shades and saturations
of one or two hues. For example, Monet’s box includes pinks and violets, while
Cezanne’s has shades of blue and blue-green. Here’s where I think the designers
could have tried harder (and would certainly have had more fun) to make each
box evoke a particular master’s palette, not just shades of one hue. Surely Van
Gogh’s box would have included yellows as well as blues? Still, it’s immensely visually
pleasing to see harmonious tones arranged together.
Several years ago when I first got a set of Marco Renoir Fine Art colored pencils (I can’t find the set of 72 I got on Amazon, but
this link goes to the 100-color set), I did some research to learn more about
these pencils. Apparently Chinese manufacturer Marco also produces pencils for
other brands, and the Marco Renoir set is identical to a set sold by Dutch art
supply company Royal Talens/Bruynzeel (which is owned by the Japanese company
Comparing the pencils in the Tribute Masters Collection to
those in my Marco Renoir set, I saw that the pencils are identical in every way
except the barrel appearance. When I compared swatches, the cores that were
duplicated were identical. It’s also worth noting the price difference: I paid
about $40 for my Marco Renoir set of 72 several years ago; the Tribute Masters
set is about $90 for 80 pencils.
|Top: Marco Renoir; below: Marco Tribute Masters Collection|
|Barrel size is the same for both (it's an optical|
illusion that the Tribute Masters pencil on top
|Marco Renoir and Tribute Masters cores |
|I redid the swatch for 25 because the tip had traces of another color when I made the first one.|
Lest you think that all I am doing is drooling over
the packaging, I did, in fact, make a sketch (of an unusual San Marzano Radosta
variety of heirloom tomato that looks just like a pepper). Like the Marco
Renoir set, the Tribute Masters pencils are neither stellar nor terrible;
instead, they fall into that vast middle area of pretty-good/not-bad colored
pencils that are neither soft nor hard. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but
who cares when the packaging is this unique and distinctive?
Here’s the rest of the candy!
|7/20/21 Marco Tribute Masters colored pencils in Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook|
|The back of each box includes a quotation by the artist. This one by Klimt is my favorite in the collection: "There is always hope as long as the canvases are empty."|
|Van Gogh box|
|Van Gogh pencils|
|A gift bag was included with the set! If you have a loved one who is a colored pencil geek, I recommend this gift!|
That IS truly remarkable packaging.ReplyDelete