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Cupixel Sketch Review by Renee Knoblauch

Cupixel Inc.
59 Hamlet Street
Newton, MA 02459

Cupixel Sketch is an innovative art concept from Cupixel Inc. The concept behind Cupixel Sketch is anyone regardless of skill can draw and paint an amazing masterpiece.

The suggested age range is twelve to adult. Some younger kids may be able to utilize Cupixel Sketch. Cupixel coming out with a version that will be more suitable for younger kids in the future. The company says each project should take around two hours if you are doing the project from start to finish in one sitting. You can also do smaller sections at one time over several days.

The cost for Cupixel Sketch is $69.99 for one box. You can also buy the Cupixel Sketch Bundle which allows you to do two projects as it comes with a second set of canvases and a metal frame. The art supplies like the paint in the box will be enough up to nine projects. You can order a refill box with the canvases and frame for $19.99.

The gem of this program is the app that uses Augmented Reality (AR) This app uses your phone to sketch out the lines of the art project you choose to create.

Everything you need comes in the box to create your masterpiece. All you need is the Cupixel Sketch box kit and a smartphone to download the Cupixel app.

There are twelve three-by-three mini one-hundred percent cotton canvases. You only need nine of the mini canvases for your project. One of the three extra canvases is used to practice with the Augmented Reality technology and the other two are provided if you make a mistake. The canvases connect to form one nine-by-nine-inch canvas. Each of the mini canvases has a plastic tab system that will lock them together to create the larger canvas.

The kit also has twelve tubes of artist quality acrylic paint. There is a wide variety of colors for blending other colors. The app will help you blend the colors as needed.

Once you have completed your project there is a Black Aluminum Metal Frame to put your finished project in. The seams are snug and snap together easily.

A Device Stand is provided which is a heavy metal frame to place your phone on while using the app. The Device Stand can be adjusted to your preference of position. The stand will not move or tip over easily. The quality is phenomenal.

A soft Device Pad which looks like an oversized mouse pad but, with a square hole off to one side. The back is rubber to keep it from slipping. The Pad serves two purposes. One it gives your hand a place to rest while you paint and draw, and the second function is to keep the canvas from moving around while you are sketching the image. Both the Pad and the Stand can be used whether you are right orleft-handed.

The Paint Tools are also included. There are two premium acrylic flat head brushes #8 for painting larger surfaces and a #2 for smaller details. There is a brush holder with three compartments. The holder breaks apart and fits inside one another for convenient storage. You can put water in the two holders on the end for quick cleaning of the brushes. Also included are three reusable containers for paint. The containers have screw-on-lids so you can save your paint if you need to finish later. A microfiber cloth is also included to clean up your hands or surface.

There are two graphite pencils a softer B grade pencil for darker lines and a 2H grade pencil for more defined lighter lines, sharpener, eraser, and a narrow-tip black marker.

You will need to download the Cupixel App. Once it is downloaded your box will have a code to activate the app on your phone.

Your next step is deciding what you want to sketch. You can upload your own photo or drawing, or one from the Cupixel’s Art Gallery. After you have decided what to sketch it takes the image to create it in a sketchable image. There are a lot of options in Cupixel’s Art Gallery and the gallery is broken up by skill level and themes. Another feature in Cupixel’s Art Gallery is the ability to save your favorite designs.

Your image gets converted into nine squares on your phone screen that corresponds to your mini canvas tiles.

The app provides a tutorial. After placing the phone on the Device Stand, you can practice on one of the mini canvases by inserting it into the square hole on the Device Pad. This will give you practice using Augmented Reality and sketching out your project.

Once you are ready to begin your project you will choose a color tone to paint the canvas. This will act as a primer to seal the canvas also. I suspect the color tone is based on the art you choose.

On your phone, it will display the three-by-three canvas section one at a time. You will trace the image onto your canvas. You can see your hand and pencil placement while you are tracing your image. If you go out of line you can pause and erase to fix any errors. At first, the depth perception felt odd, but I quickly adapted after a few strokes.

After you have sketched your picture you are ready to assemble the mini canvases. The next step is highlighting the sketch with the marker and then painting your project. The app will instruct you exactly how many drops of paint you need to blend the colors.

Once the paint is dry you are ready to put it in the frame. The frame can either be set on a shelf or hung on the wall.

I had my fourteen-year-old son use Cupixel Sketch. He loves to draw and has some decent artistic ability. The hardest part was making him wait for me to start so I could see the process of the kit. My son loves technology and wanted to understand howAugmented Reality works and he spent some time researching the technology while he waited for me to be ready.

He watched the tutorial first. The hardest part was deciding what he wanted to sketch. He finally decided on a design from the Cupixel’s Art Gallery. It just took him a few strokes on his practice canvas to grasp the process. I also tried sketching on a mini canvas. We both agreed that at first it felt awkward but, once we got used to it, we were easily able to sketch out the lines without difficulty.

He was not able to do his project all at once. He worked on it over several days. The paint stayed moist in the containers and he did not have to remix anything over. I was impressed with how well the design came out. My son was able to sketch out the small intricate details to create his own masterpiece. The blending of the paint he thought would be intimidating turned out to be unfounded. The sketching and painting were extremely easy to follow with the step-by-step instructions. The black frame makes a statement as the painting stands out.

Cupixel Sketch is impressive, and my son was ecstatic with the final results of his project. He is ready for me to order a refill or two for him.

--Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2020