Showing posts with label Thought Corner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thought Corner. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thought Corner: Kind of Miscellaneous Monday Musings

I've fallen out of the habit of writing miscellaneous posts with shorter discussion topics, and participating in weekly memes like Musing Monday. So, today I’m going to talk about some of the things I wanted to mention earlier in the month but never got around to doing.

So, it’s November—NaNoWriMo; start of the holiday blog post preparation rush; all that good stuff—and I want to talk about some of my current November and upcoming December plans.

First, I'm not planning much for the month of November; however, I have a reason for that. I decided to skip a lot of extra posts in November in preparation for December. I have a couple of post ideas that I want to work on in between getting caught up on reading ARCs and posting reviews I’ve been sitting on for months. And I wouldn’t have the time to do everything I want if I didn’t scale back on blogging  in November. I also want to have the time to enjoy December. So, I'm hoping to get a lot done this month, which will involve schedule-schedule-scheduling away until I have enough posts to cover most of December.   

And second, I want to talk about subscriptions. I’m talking about the fact that I have finally joined the subscription bandwagon by signing up for my first one. Hooray! But wait, it’s not for a subscription box. I had to pick and choose what I wanted to do with my money. I thought long and hard about this, and focused on what would be more of interest to me in the long-run. That’s why I got a subscription for Discover Magazine.

There’s a pattern to what I’ve been reading recently: lots of nonfiction. I enjoy reading a variety of different subjects, because there’s always something to learn. I also want to stay somewhat up to date about what’s currently happening. So, while I think subscription boxes are great, Discover Magazine was more of a fit for me.

What about you? Do you have any subscription services you’re subscribed to? If not, is there any particular one or more you would like to join?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It's Halloween!: All about Star Wars & Reeves Watercolor

Well, hello. How are you doing? Today is Halloween—a.k.a. the end of the month—November is literally tomorrow. But, where’s the graphic? Why a full post? Well, typically I only post a picture on days like Halloween or Christmas, and it’s become something of a trend on Our Thoughts Precisely. However, this year, I wanted to do something a little different. So to break that trend I’m going to do an art supply review instead, which is why I saved my reeves watercolor review for Halloween. As always, a full list of supplies used will be down at the bottom of the post.
Name: Reeves Watercolor Paint
Source: Purchased
Set: 18 count
ml/fl oz.: 10ml; 0.34 fl oz.


More info...
  • Good color strenth
  • Transparent finish
Colors: Chinese White, lemon yellow, medium yellow, orange, flesh tint, brilliant red, crimson, violet, phthalo blue, ultramarine, permanent green light, sap green, viridian hue, yellow orcher, burnt sienna, burnt umber, payne's gray, and ivory black.
Today, I’m going to be talking about Reeves Watercolor paint. When I did the review for Canson watercolor paper, I used these paints, which reminded me that I hadn’t really written specifically about them in any kind of review, general thoughts, or whatever. So, I’m finally going to do that.

What I’m working on…
  • Padme Amidala fan art
Some things to know...
  • This paint does have a slight chemical odor. 
  • This paint does separate in the tube, but once everything is mixed it works perfectly fine.
  • When setting up a pallet, keep in mind that this paint can experience some cracking. That’s what happened to me, but I don’t mind since I haven’t had any cracking on my actual paintings and don't really care how messy my folding pallet is or isn't
Here's what this particular set looks like. It's pretty basic, nothing fancy.


I actually like Reeves Watercolor. For a set of 18 colors, the price isn’t very high, and the paint quality is better than say something you would find at the $5 price point. To talk more in-depth about these paints, I’m going to kind of discuss my recent fan art of Padme Amidala—a.k.a., the whole reason why I was so excited to share this post on the blog.


Normally, I try to do original art, because it challenges me more than something that I have a clear reference for. However, I was in the mood to draw one of my favorite outfits from the Star Wars franchise: Padme’s Throne Room Gown from The Phantom Menace. I mean, I like this outfit so much that when I was a kid I actually dressed up as Padme for Halloween. Yes, this outfit in particular. I've always liked the color choices and style of this outfit. The colors are so vivid, which gave me the opportunity to really test how far I could go with the paint. I layered a lot in order to achieve the color you see in the final picture. And, oh gosh, this painting basically took me two days from start to finish—that includes the initial sketch in my sketchbook, transferring it to watercolor paper, and etc.. The effort was worth it because I’m happy with the result.

All paint takes a little trial and error to really see if it suites your style. I’ve exclusively used Reeves Watercolor for months and like it a lot. It’s easy to use, and the range of basic, straight from the tube, colors offers a wide enough range of choices that I sometimes paint without mixing. In this case, I did mix the colors to get the shades I wanted.

Some other good points…

This paint doesn’t have a chalky finish that rubs away when you touch it. I honestly hate that about some cheaper brands of paint. As you can see in the picture, I can touch the dried paint without any problems (as long as my my skin is dry, otherwise the paint would reactivate). To finish my fan art of Padme, I used colored pencil and white gel pen.

Will I continue using these paints?

The answer to that is a definite yes. Eventually, I do want to try different, more expensive paints. That being said, Reeves watercolor works perfectly fine for what I'm trying to do: improve.

Finished painting…

Hop on over to Adri's blog, Toile, Think, Go, where she is reviewing some of the seasonal candy corn: It’s Halloween, Now Let's Talk About Candy Corn. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got movies to watch. Happy Halloween!
Full List of Supplies…

Canson Watercolor Paper
Reeves Watercolor
Pigma Graphic Pen
Pigma Micron 02
Artist's Loft Colored Pencils
Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen (white)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thought Corner: Sakura Pigma Micron Pens

Name: Sakura Pigma Pens
Source: Purchased
Set: 8 count


More info...
  • Archival quality ink: is waterproof, chemical resistant, fade resistant, bleed free, quick drying, and pH neutral.
  • Ideal for sketching, inking, and illustration.
  • Includes 6 Pigma Micron, 1 Pigma Brush, and 1 Pigma Graphic

Today, I’m going to be talking about the Sakura Pigma Micron pen set that I bought. This is actually my first set of pens with archival quality ink, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited to talk about them. I’ve just used ballpoint pens, markers, and more recently Papermate Felt Tip Pens. So, I was ready to make the switch to fine liners.

A full list of the supplies I used for the painting will be down at the bottom of the post…

What I’m working on…
  • A witch based off of a sketch from my sketchbook
Some things to know…
  • The ink is waterproof (more on that later)
  • These pens do not have an odor to them.
  • Does not bleed when applied to paper
  • Dries quickly
This is essentially what these look like. I had the choice of getting a smaller set, but choose to get the eight count since it had all the sizes I was looking for in fine liner pens.
Here's a quick swatch. As you can see, the sizes range from very thin to thicker darker lines. I personally prefer the look of thinner lines, but its nice to have the option to change that up when I want to. I also really like the brush pen.
Starting with the sketch…

The piece I’m talking about today is based off of a sketch of a witch from my sketchbook. I’d always planned to eventually turn it into a painting, and I figured that October was a good time to work on this one because of Halloween. Also, it gave me the perfect opportunity to test out these pens. I love these pens. It was definitely worth the price. They’re easy to use, and when I did a swatch of the pens I didn’t experience any dryness, which has happened to me on occasion with markers.

For this painting in particular, I wanted to keep the lines fairly thin because they weren’t that important to the overall piece. I used the 01 pen to ink the majority of the sketch. And the 1 graphic pen along the hat, eyes, and circle to darken the lines.

Next, I got to test out my favorite feature of these pens: they’re waterproof. I do a lot of watercolor painting, which is the reason why I originally looked into getting a set of these pens. Let me tell you, it’s awesome having these to use whenever I want to add a little more detail to my pieces before I begin painting. I love the fact that the ink dried quickly and it doesn’t smudge or bleed even when a lot of water was applied on top of it.

I pretty much just used some colored pencil to really get the color of the hair where I wanted it. I was pretty happy with how it looked at this point, but I later used some gel pen in order to really define some of the details I lost while adding color. I like the finished  painting more with the gel pen so the colors aren't just dark-on-dark-on dark.




Finished Painting

Overall…

I like these pens. I’m going to be able to get a good amount of use out of these pens, not just for paintings, but also inking sketches. These pens can be a little expensive, but if you get them from somewhere like Michaels, you can use coupons and easily get a good deal on them.
Full list of supplies used…


Sakura Pigma Micron pens
Reeves Watercolor Paint
Canson Watercolor Paper
Sakura Gelly Roll Gel Pen
Artist's Loft Colored pencil


Monday, September 11, 2017

Thought Corner: Canson Watercolor Paper

Campany: Canson 
Type of paper: Watercolor
Source: Purchased

Other info: 140lb; 300g
Size: 9in X 12in
Number of sheets: 30


More information:

Ideal for watercolor, acrylic, ink, and other wet techniques. Surface sizing to control absorbency. Durable surface allows for reworking. 
Today, I have a different kind of review to share on the blog. I'm going to be talking about one of my recent purchases: Canson Watercolor Paper. The example I’m going to be using for this post are from a page of birds that I painted on August 16th, 2017. Birds are actually sort of one of my weaknesses, and usually I'll draw quick simplified ones that don't require much of anything at all. I had a lot of fun with this page; although, I feel like I could have done a little better with the Christmas Robin. But it is what it is. Luckily, I'm only using the pelican as a example. The European Robin is just the sad bird that hangs out in the corner of a couple of the pictures.

Some things to know...

  • Like with any paper, you really have to test it out for yourself to see what works best for you. This post is my opinion based off of my experience.
  • Price was fair for thirty individual sheets.
  • I used Reeves Watercolor paint for these paintings.

Canson is a brand that came highly recommended—thanks Adri—and I was eager to try their watercolor paper for myself. Here's what it essentially looks like. Outward appearance is pretty normal for what you would expect from watercolor paper. The size is also pretty standard when compared to what I've used before.

However, that being said, I do like the interior design. When you open the cover it’s not directly attached to the paper, so you can fold it back and have it out of the way. I found that to be incredibly useful since my desk has a very limited surface space left over between my laptop and art supplies. This feature is particularly useful when I don't necessarily want to take the page off of the stack.

Now, the paper is basically the selling feature. I've used 90lb cold press, and let me tell you it's nothing like the 140lb. For one, the latter is a lot sturdier. Two, I liked the way the paint dried. Reeves already has a matte finish, but between this paper and the one I was using, Canson was noticeably smoother. Three, it handled the water well. It does warp under heavy saturation, but if you have tape around the edges it'll be fine. And four, reworking top layers of paint is easy.

The progress of the Pelican from left to right...

The progress of the pelican shows what I mean about the potential for reworking. This is the only bird I didn't work on continuously. I set it aside for a least an hour before returning and it was easy to get right back to smoothing out some of the edges—particularly in the brown and blue areas along the head, neck, and wing.



 =   
(Finished pelican was touched up with a bit of white Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen around the blue part beneath the brown of the beak.)

Overall, I‘m really happy with this paper and will be buying more from this brand in the future. One more thing: Puffins are now my favorite bird. They’re adorable. I didn't get the progress of the puffins on camera, but I wanted to post them anyway. So, here are a pair of bonus Puffins. If you look in the corner of the picture on the left, the European Robin makes another very small appearance, LOL...

Have you tried any of Canson's paper? If so, tell me about your experience in the comments down below. And if not, would this be something you would be interested in? Or what is u our favorite type of watercolor paper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thought Corner: Power Rangers (2017)

Title: Power Rangers (2017)
Produced by: Haim Saban; Brian Casentini; Marty Bowen; Wyck Godfrey
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Story by: Matt Sazama; Burk Sharpless; Michele Mulroney; Kieran Mulroney 
US Release Date: March 24, 2017
Viewing Format: Redbox DVD Rental
Going into Power Rangers (2017), I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I remember of it was the old series I used to watch when I was a kid during—or was it after? Before?—the Saturday morning cartoon block. Still, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the film and was excited to watch it. And you know what? Power Rangers was actually really good. I was surprised by how much I liked the film.

I was prepared for a certain level of cheesiness. Instead, what I got was a well-thought out movie with aliens, superpowers, and Zords (cause you can’t forget about the Zords). But that wasn’t all. This movie also explored the complicated and often messy side of life from the perspectives of characters from different and diverse backgrounds. I liked how this film was made, and the action sequences and training scenes were interesting to watch. The characters are worth making mention of because they were my favorite part of the movie. They weren’t perfect, squeaky clean hero characters who never did or got anything wrong. No, they were allowed to make mistakes and grow from them, all the while learning how to be Power Rangers. The individual and collective character development was spot on. They were great individually, but I liked when they worked together as a team.

I didn’t think I’d say it, but this movie was pretty awesome. I’ve come to one conclusion: I need a sequel. I don’t know if there will be one, but hey, you never know.

What about you? Have you seen Power Rangers? If so, tell me what you thought about the movie in the comments down below.

Friday, August 11, 2017

ARC Review: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

The Library of Fates
Title: The Library of Fates
Author: Aditi Khorana
Source/Format: First to Read; eARC
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Razorbill; July 18, 2017

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn...

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough. The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
You guys know I loved The Star-Touched Queen (TSTQ) and its sequel, A Crown of Wishes. So, when I saw that The Library of Fates was being compared to TSTQ, I was just like “yes” and also “Where can I sign up for this one?” Low and behold, I got the chance to get an eARC of The Library of Fates and was beyond excited to start it. What makes this hard is that I do like this book, but there are some things that I was a little on-the fence about.

I’m going to start with what I liked about The Library of Fates. The beginning was very interesting. There was some world building going on and I loved all the details about the scenery, old myths, and creatures specific to the book. I also liked the initial direction of the story and was interested in seeing how the political conflicts would playout—especially concerning the main character, Amrita, her father, and the fate of their kingdom. There were a lot of scenes that I thought were interesting. They were creative and took full advantage of the previously established myths as well as the setting.

For the most part, I was a big fan of the characters. Amrita’s initial reaction to the sudden changes to her situation was great, and I enjoyed the fact that part of The Library of Fates focused on her journey. She was helped along the way, and the parts where she was forced to face her past, present, and the possibilities of her future were incredibly emotional and pretty awesome. Thala was pretty interesting. I liked her character mainly because of her strong motivation to be free of her own set of circumstances.

However, as the story progressed I began to notice some things that were kind of similar to TSTQ. Since TSTQ is one of my all-time favorite books, I remember a lot of how the story went down. I know that the synopsis for The Library of Fates makes the comparison, but there was a point when those similarities got a little uncomfortable. Mainly because I felt like I was reading parts of Maya, from TSTQ’s, story again.

That being said, there were a lot of things I still liked about this book. And overall, I basically enjoyed the story and will definitely check out more books by this author. (Actual rating is 3.5 out of 5)

This copy of the book was provided by First to Read (publisher) for this review.

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