Thursday, November 26, 2015

The New Colored Pencil: A Book Review

 Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have so many things to be thankful for. I'm thankful to have my family that I love so much, my friends, and my writing and theater. God has blessed me innumerably. This Thanksgiving is a bit stranger because my beautiful Mammaw just passed away, but we are also thankful that she is in Heaven rejoicing with the Savior that she loved so much. 

 I have so many books to review, so I hope you guys are interested in learning about some neat books. Today's book is The New Colored Pencil by Kristy Ann Kutch. I received this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is a bit different than the ones I have reviewed so far, a fact that will soon be apparent. 

Start coloring, relieve stress, and learn to create radiant, original works of art using colored pencils, wax pastels, and watercolor pencils.

Add vibrancy to your coloring creations with instruction from best-selling author and teacher Kristy Kutch as she guides you through recommendations for the newest colored pencil brands, best drawing surfaces, and groundbreaking techniques.

Including easy step-by-step demonstrations and inspiring art from today’s best colored pencil artists,The New Colored Pencil shows you how to use color theory to your advantage, combine color media, create and enhance textures, and experiment with surfaces to create phenomenal effects. Whether you use traditional wax-based, or watercolor colored pencils, The New Colored Pencil will take your creative art pieces to a whole new level.

 First off, let me note that this book is beautiful. As you can see from the cover, it makes for a perfect review to post on Thanksgiving. Inside the book are lots and lots of gorgeous illustrations, most of them created by talented author, Kristy Ann Kutch. You could just have the book to look at the many lovely pictures inside.

 This book is very detailed. The author lists many different sources for artistic materials, their quality, and about how expensive they usually are. In some cases too much detail can be an annoyance, but for a book like this, I think it fits very well. While the description lead me to think it was a tutorial book, I found it more to be a guide and advice book. There aren't a lot of step-to-step instructions throughout (I didn't quite finish the book before this review, but I have read and looked enough for this review), but there are some that seem like step-to-step and you could follow along with. I think this is more of a detailed resource that you can use for advice about supplies, technique, and many other aspects of colored pencil drawing. 

I'm really happy to have this book as part of my growing creative books collection. Learning more about the art of coloring with pencils is something I am sure I will be able to put to good use. If you're an art enthusiast and want to learn more about colored pencils, whether you are experienced or a newbie, I'm sure you can use this book. I certainly have enjoyed having it. 

~ a rambling author

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Submarines, Secrets and a Daring Rescue: a Book Review

So NaNo was a bit of a bust. I had good reasons for it, though, and I got some stuff written anyway. Instead of telling you why I decided to abandon NaNo for this year, I want to present you with a review! Submarines, Secrets and a Daring Rescue by Robert J. Skead with Robert A. Skead. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. 


In this second book in the American Revolutionary War Adventure series, Submarines, Secrets, and a Daring Rescue, twins Ambrose and John Clark find themselves volunteering for another mission to help the newly forming United States. Inspired by their success in delivering a secret message to General George Washington himself, the boys step up to help transport much-needed gunpowder to the patriots and end up in an even more dangerous situation, trying to man one of the first submarines and then, later, attempting a prison break to rescue one of their older brothers.

Follow these brave young patriots as they follow in their father’s footsteps and rely on each other, their considerable courage, and God’s providence for guidance and strength.

 You may remember me reviewing the first book in this series back in April. I was curious to see what might happen to the Clark twins after their initial espionage filled adventure, so I quickly volunteered to read this second installment. I did not read it as quickly as the first, but that was due to college and whatnot, not the book's content.

 The characters in the story were much the same as the first. I did enjoy how the point of view of the story shifted to be from Ambrose instead of John, like the first book. Seeing through Ambrose's eyes was quite a bit different and at times I missed the level headed John, but for the most part I enjoyed the usual mischievous twin learning to be a man. I enjoyed the inclusion of their older brother, Berty, and several historical characters.

 I liked the story line well enough, but probably not quite as much as the first book. Still, it was interesting and kept a pretty good pace. I always enjoy reading fictionalized retellings of historical events. According to some information in the back, some of the events in the story were a bit inflated and didn't really happen, but were based on historical events. I was a bit disappointed to know that the submarine pictured on the cover was never actually used in a successful mission. Anyway, the plot was good for the grade level and kept me engaged.

 Overall, a good work of fiction, especially if you're a young person. This book is middle grade, but can be enjoyed by anyone if you want a light, quick read. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to future books in the series. Buy it here.