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Fedrix has been a trusted manufacturer of fine artist canvas since 1868, so we already knew their pre-stretched canvases were pretty Fabulous. But their PRO Series line has proven it’s the perfect professional surface for all artwork – from oils and acrylics to alkyds. Nominated from the line as a bestseller by two different retailers last year, Fredrix’s PRO Series 12-ounce, 2.25-inch Dixie Deep Bar Canvas takes the top spot in this year’s Fabulous Awards contest. The latest addition to Viarco’s popular Art Graf product line, the Tailor Shape Earth Color Set, is the number-two pick, followed by the Stabilo’s Point 88 and Point 68 markers and colored pencils.
This year’s winners were selected from a field of nearly 50 best-selling product recommendations collected last year from art materials retailers. The top three products and seven runners-up were determined in a voting process that took place on Facebook and at NAMTA’s Art Materials World.
Multiple retailers declared Fredrix’s PRO Series canvas a consistent best seller. “It’s a dream to paint on for any artist,” retailer Pam Truitt from Alabama Art Supply told us last summer.
It’s made from Fredrix’s 100-percent cotton, Dixie-style canvas that’s pre-stretched on heavy-duty, kiln-dried stretcher bars with extra bracing for support. The PRO Series is available in three profiles: Standard Bar 7/8 inch, Gallerywrap 1-3/8 inch, and Deep Bar 2.25 inch – which was voted most Fabulous by artists and retailers.
“Sales of Fredrix canvas are consistently strong, but we’re seeing even more growth with the Pro Series 12-ounce, 2.25-inch Deep Bar,” retailer Denver Tatman from Asel Art Supply in Dallas told us last winter. “People love the unique sizes of canvas – like the 16 by 72 and 36 by 96 inch – and the deep profile and solid build.”
Artist Keith Serra took part in our Facebook contest and gave Fredrix PRO Series Canvas his vote. He commented: “This is the best product of its kind in the market … hands down.”
It Measures Up
Viarco’s Art Graf graphite and carbon disks have always been popular, retailer Denver Tatman told us. But last year, Art Graf blended exclusive pigments and binders to create the Tailor Shape Earth Color Set – perfect for drawing or painting on wet or dry surfaces – and the best-selling line got even better. It was the #2 Fabulous Product this year.
In our spring issue, Denver recommended Art Graf’s new set – which was inspired by traditional tailor’s chalks. He noted: “They’re available in open stock, and in a beautiful cork-backed set of six that sells fantastically as a gift.” The six-color disc set features warm earth tones including sanguine, ochre, sepia, brown and dark, plus classic black, in an attractive cork palette. Pretty Fabulous for artists on the go.
Viarco also added Kneadable Graphite Putty to its Art Graf line, which includes water-soluble graphite tins, carbon pencils, graphite sticks and graphite pencils. The rich pigment blocks can be used to draw soft marks or create beautiful washes of color.
“It’s all the depth, delicacy and gestural elegance of Art Graf, now in a wide range of sumptuous shades,” commented the staff at Wet Paint in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Draw dry for smooth marks, or add water for inky deep or barely there washes.”
From secret gardens and enchanted forests to wild animals, a variety of coloring books were recommended as bestsellers to Art Materials Retailer last year. The Stabilo pens, markers and colored pencils that artists used with them were a clear favorite. Stabilo Point 88 Rollersets were chosen by artists and retailers as the #3 Fabulous Product.
“They’re a perfect complement to the coloring book craze,” retailer Anna Keiser from Alleghany Art Company in Pennsylvania told us. Stabilo’s Point 88 Rollersets feature .4mm tip fine-line pens in a convenient Velcro, roll-up case with a clear top – making them as fun as they are functional. Sets are available in an assortment of sizes and colors. Limited edition Rollersets are available too, like the pink/rose “Festival Spirit” or the blue-hued “Sporty Set.”
Stabilo’s non-smudging, water-based ink is formulated to sustain a long cap-off time and they don’t bleed through the paper. “These are the best pens for coloring intricate details. I love them,” commented Konnie Rhodes, who gave Stabilo’s Rollersets her vote. “I use them in adult coloring books and illustrating. They have smooth flow, don’t dry out, last for a long time, and are good quality.” No wonder they’ve become Fabulous.