BOOK REVIEW: Doodletopia Fairies by Christopher Hart

We adore fairies in this household. And we adore art. Kids love books that teach them how to draw and Doodletopia Fairies by Christopher Hart came into our house just in time. I have heard of Doodletopia books before, but haven’t had a chance to look into others before.

9781607746959

The book is full of cute fairy characters  and there are 8 sections on each little feature: Heads and Faces, Fairy Bodies, Magical Clothing and Accessories, Wings and Poses, Fairy Personality, Magical Powers, Musical Instruments and Fairy Dwellings. Each section contains very clear and easy to understand directions on how to draw this or that feature and then an exercise is offered to help develop your own characters.  Readers are eased into each new lesson with the skill they have acquired on previous pages. Initially I thought of this book as a kids’ book, but as an illustrator I found I can learn from it as well. We will make it a family activity book, I say.

Overall Impression: Enjoyed looking through this book quite a bit, children are very excited about learning more about drawing fairies and elves with this book. Instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, exercises are fun and helpful. 5 stars.

I received this book via Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Advertisements

BOOK REVIEW: The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley

I enjoyed Mark Crilley‘s previous work The Realism Challenge and found his lessons clear and straightforward. I was excited to see his new work and in such an interesting format- a graphic novel called The Drawing Lesson. My children were especially excited for this one, as they are huge fans of graphic novels and they love to draw. As a self-taught artist I can appreciate the advice about the basics.

9780385346337

The book focuses on the importance of a mentor in the life of an aspiring artist. The story is about a boy named David who encounters a woman artist in the park. David admires Becky’s art and begs her to teach him. Each chapter introduces a concept and gives the idea for practice. Both characters are funny (my kids laughed so much at poor Becky being annoyed by eager to learn David). And as David’s drawing progresses, so does his friendship with Becky. The final chapter and Epilogue were quite touching. Each chapter gives very basic but at the same time very useful advice about how to get this or that part of the drawing right. There are 11 chapters, my kids were done reading it in one sitting and grabbed their sketchbooks right away.

Overall impression: I think this book is a great tool for introducing the basics to the young people as well as adults that want to learn how to draw but don’t know where to start. Some aspects of the story (introducing yourself to a stranger just because they draw well and especially barging into their houses) irked me a bit, but didn’t bother my kids at all. They paid all the attention to the advice about drawing. My children enjoyed the format of the graphic novel very much. 5 stars.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Week’s Roundup: Jan. 11- Jan 17, 2016

A quick roundup on what we’ve been up to this past week.

-We said goodbye to our holiday tree, it is always bittersweet to take down the decorations, and seeing the room empty and treeless again. But since our tree was so huge and took up a big part of our living room we were also anxious to get our space back

-We created tiny universes with marbles and phone light

-we had doctors visits, mostly good news, hopefully more health issues will be taken care of next week

-school at home went well, much better than last week. For history kids learned about European megalithic structures, D. watched a documentary about Stonehenge and read about Newgrange from Frank Delaney’s Ireland. It was all about human body at co-op, lots of info about blood. For geography D. is following adventurers from Jules Verne’s “In Search of Castaways” which he reads in Russian. The book took him across South America already 🙂

-all extracurricular activities went well, choir is still on a break, but karate, ballet and chess club are all back and kids seem to be having lots of fun with these

-at home: D’s room re-painting is in progress, and, hopefully a new bookcase and curtains are coming soon

-no special outings this week, but lots planned in the weeks to come

Favorite thing:

We read about amazing matte oil paintings setting the scenery for original Star Wars  and kids set to create their own playscape backgrounds. D.’s drawings quickly transformed into a Star Wars poster (which he is still working on), but C. made a jungle scenery for her little animals, I especially loved how she used oil pastels as a part of the landscape and moved them around…

DSC_0415

 

Not many pictures, not that many events, yet we had a better week overall.

 

Week’s Round Up : First 10 days of January

Hello, and Happy New Year to everyone who reads me 🙂 It’s been a while, but we’re back again.

Photo of the week:

 

 

New Year met us with nice biting frost, such beauty!

New Year met us with nice biting frost, such beauty!

What we were up to until now:

Continue reading

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 15-23

Another week went by, and lo! It’s almost Christmas!

 

What we’ve been up to December 15-23:

Letter to Santa, as always D. is all about Star Wars and C. had some unexpected wishes which I am not sure Santa can make happen.

We made homemade gingerbread cookies, kids’ dad made the dough and we did the baking. Kids refused to decorate them, though so they look a bit plain. But so delicious!

TBSOA 2015: gingerbread

 

We got so much snow!!! Fun with friends, games, giggles and sledding!

TBSOA: Snow Day!

 

C. turned 7! Hard to believe that my baby is so big already. We had a quiet celebration at home, plus C’s Spanish class at homeschool program had Las Posadas party. We also went to look at holiday lights displays nearby.

She chose Yule Log for her birthday cake :D I didn't bake it obviously

She chose Yule Log for her birthday cake 😀 I didn’t bake it obviously

 

blurry pic, but those were very very pretty lights

blurry pic, but those were very very pretty lights

Family game night! Dixit rules our lives, C. is getting better at submitting her cards too.

Kids made a holiday mobile and decorated candles

 

TBSOA 2015 : mobile

nothing fancy- mod podge and glitter

nothing fancy- mod podge and glitter

We had a joined birthday party with C’s friend L. Their birthdays are very close. Fun, warmth and yummy food.

each girl got a little letter art from me

each girl got a little letter art from me

C. made some clay keychains to give out to her friends and D. read holiday books out loud to us (Ollie’s Ski Trip remains a favorite after so many years)

very abstract but each hasa backstory :D

very abstract but each has a backstory 😀

 

So here we are, it’s Christmas Eve, I am hoping for a quiet and sweet evening, the morning will most likely be a chaos :DDD

TBSOA 2015: 3 weeks of December

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

 

THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2015: Days 4-7

Our season of small celebrations continues.

Day 4: Family movie night! Kids watched Home Alone for the first time, I haven’t seen this movie in more than 20 years so it was nice to return to childhood for a little bit (but I do admit I cringed at injuries of unlucky thieves, ugh).

Day 5: We put a little bit of lights outside

TBSOA 2015- lights outside

 

Day 6: D. and his choir performed in Christmas Concert and it was absolutely amazing. Well done once again!

TBSOA 2015- CHoir

 

Day 7: It was our “Winter Art” day. We read one of our most beloved winter books – “Buying Mittens” by Nankichi Niimi, such a lovely, kind tale and Kurai Ken’s illustrations are gorgeous!

Kids then painted their own illustrations- splitting the task, D. painted background and made a tissue paper foxes applique on it and C. created mittens for the little fox.

TBSOA 2015- winter art

 

I did a little bit of winter art myself, comparing forest scenery and what it’s like in the city

more at instagram

We listened to a lot of holiday tunes, kids also watched Russian movie “The Snow Queen”, beautiful fairy tale.

The song of the first week of holiday celebrations is Ukranian song Shchedryk (more known to English speaking friends as “Carol of the Bells”

 

Week’s Roundup: June 7-June 14, 2015

Another week went by, and suddenly it’s half of June gone just like that.

Photo of the week:

Despite my protests they managed to sneak a book each to the table

Despite my protests they managed to sneak a book each to the table 😀

What were we up to this week?

Continue reading