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Artistic flair

Although we've lots of electronic bells and whistles to inform and entertain us, sometimes it's good to put pen or brush to paper and express ourselves.

_ MARY JANE PARK, Times staff writer

Photo credit: MujiOnline

Pencils in three dozen colors arrive in a recycled cardboard holder. They don't slip when wet, so they're ideal for drawing even in wet or humid weather. Colored pencils with storage case. $12.50.

Mount favorite photographs in this fold-up album, or write a special message in white, silver or gold ink. Accordion album. $18. Anthropologie, Old Hyde Park Village, Tampa.

High-quality paints and implements plus fun instructions remove all intimidation from aspiring artists. Watercolor for the Artistically Undiscovered, by Thacher Hurd and John Cassidy; Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered, by Quentin Blake and John Cassidy (Klutz, Inc.) $19.95 each. Brick and click bookstores;

Something about the touch of a fountain-pen nib to quality paper can inspire great expression. Parker Reflex Comfort Grip cartridge fountain pen in white, black, blue, red and green. About $8. Office supply, discount, drug and food stores.

SHOP: Time was, nearly all educated people carried a sketchbook. No time for lessons? This package can get you started. The Sketchbook Kit: An Artist's Guide to Materials, Techniques and Projects. Illustrations by Anthony Colbert, text by Angela Gair. $22.95. Chronicle Books. Brick and click bookstores. Other ideas for words and pictures,