Watercolor is such a tricky medium to work with, but also so rewording. It takes a while to figure it out and a right instruction is invaluable. The new book by illustrator Jenna Rainey –Everyday Watercolor is an excellent starter or a refresh course for anyone who wants to paint with watercolor.
The book is literally meant to be used every day, with lessons for 31 days of the month. It provides material for a consistent practice, introducing new skill every single day. Each activity builds on the previous one. The book starts with introduction and continues on to week 1 – Technique, where we learn how to handle watercolor , select colors and getting a feel of the brush. Week 2 is Form, Perspective and Light, followed by Complex Shapes in section 3. Value, volume and depth as well as application are discussed in Sections 4 and 5. Each day has an exercise that includes detailed steps and palettes for the proposed work. The book is very easy to follow and gradual buildup of skills helps with confidence.
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who always wanted to try watercolor, but was afraid to do it. I definitely recommend it as a fun daily practice or a refresher course too. 5 stars.
I received this book via in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
What can be handier for traditional or digital artist than a set palette. I myself found limited palette exercises incredibly helpful both while working digitally and with traditional media. Color Index XL– the new book by author and graphic designer Jim Krause is an invaluable source of just that- a collection of over 1000 color palettes.
The book begins with a quick introduction into color theory and proceeds to list the palettes. The book doesn’t require any specific method to use the palettes, but they are grouped into three sections (of about 360 some combinations). First section deals with warmer palettes that lean toward warm colors (orange, red and yellow), second section is all about color combinations with a variety of hues, and the third section is dedicated to combinations of cooler hues. Each color palette includes 5 colors and both RGB and CMYK formulae are provided. Each page includes dark, light, muted and bright version. See a quick flip through on my instagram
This book is incredibly handy resource for anyone working with colors, I am deeply appreciative of all the hard work that went into it and will surely refer to this book on a daily basis. 5 stars and a must have.
The book is split into a few sections- the one talking about the Constellations by far is the largest. I love how the author talked about origins of Constellations names. The facts about the Milky Way, the moon, the sun, the planets and other celestial bodies follow. The artwork throughout the book is stunning.
Overall impression: 5 stars for beautifully presented facts on space. My children can’t put the book down, it definitely became a treasured past of our home library.
I received this book via in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
The most wonderful time of the year is closer that we think. Or is it just me? The stores seem to be full of holiday items already and I am holding Holiday Cookies by in my hands, looking through my calendar and planning all the things we shall bake come December.
der Nederlander, a food stylist and recipe developer from California has put together a lovely collection of holiday recipes. The book includes a wide variety from classics and ever popular recipes to international favorites and ideas for decorating. I am particularly curious about spiced cookies, as we are too used to sweet treats. Holiday confections section of the book is a nice bonus.
Very excited about making our holidays even more merry with this lovely book. Beautiful photography, the recipes seem very doable and ingredients are easy to find. Might make a little “holidays around the world” event with the international recipes with the kids. 5 stars.
Who doesn’t love a cute home decor book, bonus points for practical tips. How to Set a Table by POTTER book promised to offer an exciting range of possibilities to add to one’s dining experience. I was surprised to find the book on a smaller side, quite compact and under 200 pages long.
The information touches many aspects of shared meals: it mentions casual dining, weekday breakfasts, formal dining, buffet-style entertainment and even birthday picnic. It is however quite concise: an occasion and approximate setting mentioned and not much else. A tip on etiquette is likewise included but only one per occasion. I did appreciate the info graphics on types of basic dinnerware. Formal dining has nice tips on arranging of plates and glasses. The photography is lovely and images are abundant – plenty of eye candy here.
Overall impression: I think it makes a cute little gift. The book is very pretty to look at, it has this delightful linen cover that I just loved. It won’t teach you everything you need to know about table etiquette, but I thought it was a nice and pretty cheat sheet with enough occasions included.
I received this book via Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
The rules and set up is pretty straightforward, there is a deck of cards and tokens. Three cards go into a pool and each player gets 5 cards. Words are then created and tokens received. We played half a deck at out first round and it took us about 30 minutes to get through it. It was three of us me, an adult, a 7th grader and a 4th grader. All three of us had fun making up words. It was definitely not as easy as I thought at the beginning as one gets a letter or a suffix or a syllable and has to get creative with that. My 4th grader had a bit of a trouble at first, but then got into it and had tons of fun.
Overall impression: fun and quick game, perfect for a classroom or a quick round with family and friends. Rules are easy to follow. Cards are made of a sturdy material which is nice for those little fingers that won’t stay still. I definitely recommend it.
The Midnight Queenis a debut novel by Sylvia Izzo Hunter. I confess I picked this book initially because of the beautiful cover. The plot seemed interesting too, and reminded me of Suzanna Clarke Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norell.
The story revolves around Gray, a young magick scholar, who got into a terrible predicament involving a murder and had to go spend the vacation in the house of his Professor. He gets to know the Professor’s daughters and together with them tries to untangle the situation he found himself in. The style of the writing imitates that of the Regency period novels. And although I think it was a nice touch and added to the atmosphere, I also found it was “trying too hard” at times and soon grew tired of it. The plot moves slowly, and language unfortunately doesn’t help to speed it up. First 100 pages were especially trying, it started to move a little bit faster after that, but not by much. The story was entertaining and I still think the plot sounded really interesting, but it ended up just ok.
Overall impression: Not bad, but not great either. Goodreads marks it as a first book of the series, I am not sure if I am looking forward to the next one. 3 stars.