Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley Book Review

For the first time ever, drawing instructor and graphic novelist Mark Crilley brings his easy-to-follow artistic instruction to aspiring artists in the form of a comic book, providing you with a one-of-a-kind how-to experience. In The Drawing Lesson, you’ll meet David—a young boy who wants nothing more than to learn how to draw. Luckily for David, he’s just met Becky—his helpful drawing mentor. Page by page, Becky teaches David (and you!) about the essential fundamentals that artists need in order to master drawing, all in a unique visual format. In panel after panel, Crilley provides lessons on shading, negative space, creating compositions, and more, with accompanying exercises that you can try for yourself. Are you ready to start your drawing lesson today?

About the Author

Mark Crilley is the author of nearly twenty books, including The Realism Challenge, Mastering Manga, and Mastering Manga 2, as well as several series of books and graphic novels, including Akiko, Miki Falls, Billy Clikk, and Brody’s Ghost. Since being selected for Entertainment Weekly’s “It List” in 1998, Crilley has developed a massive Internet following for his drawing demonstration videos, which have received well over two hundred million views on YouTube. His books have been featured in USA Today, the New York Daily News, and Disney Adventures magazine, as well as on CNN Headline News. He resides in Novi, Michigan. 

My Thoughts:

I have a 10 year old son who has recently started to learn how to draw. I thought this book would intrigue him and capture his attention to the process of drawing.

I've never heard of Mark Crilley before, nor have I read any of his prior books.  

This was a unique drawing book set as it is set up like a comic book. It’s about a young boy, David who stumbles upon an artist at a park drawing. He is a persistent kid who begs her to teach him how to draw like she does. Becky is very reluctant at first but, David keeps showing up and turns out to be a good student.

The illustrations are fabulous and are drawn in pencil in a sepia tone. They are fabulous drawings with a lot of details. It’s very impressive.

Each chapter covers a different technique. 

Drawing what you see
Beginning with a loose sketch
Understanding light and shadow
Checking proportions
Simplifying things
Creating a Composition
Bringing it all together

At the end of the chapter, the reader is given an assignment that was learned from that chapter.

I like that it shows over and over that criticism is okay when learning. You learn from those criticisms to be a better artist. Every artist has a different style and not one way is right but, the foundation is still the same with the basic techniques. 

I would recommend this book to anyone wanted to learn how to draw. It gives you a full spectrum of drawing. 

I received a free copy of this product from Blogging for Books- Waterbrook in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Beric The Briton a TOS Crew Review
My family gets extremely excited when Heirloom Audio Production puts out a new audio drama this time the story is, Beric The Briton by G.A. Henty. I received a physical copy of Beric The Briton CD and their digital downloads.

The digital downloads include the following the Study Guide downloadable as PDF, printable copy of the Inspirational Verse, Soundtrack MP3 download, unlimited access to the Live The Adventure Letter E-Newsletter, Beric The Briton E-Book, Printable Promotion Poster, and a Behind-the-Scenes Documentary.
The physical CD copy of Beric The Briton

Is a two CD set in a gorgeous case with the Inspiration Verse inside the middle of the case. Beric The Briton is 2 1/2 hours abridged story by G.A. Henty. Recommended for kids 6 and up in age and yes, even adults will enjoy it. This story is one of G.A. Henty’s most popular novels of all time. The story takes place during the time the  Romans and the invasion of Briton around 60 AD. Two young friends Beric and Bodouc are captured by the Romans. The two friends are trained as gladiators. Their journey takes them on discovery of the Savior and the meaning of true unconditional forgiveness. In the end the cost of following Christ is a high. I’m not going to give away the whole story so you are going to have to listen to it yourself. If you have a sensitive kid this may scare them. It’s done in good taste and it’s not all graphic like some horror flick honestly.

Beric The Briton Study Guide

This study guide is a 50 page PDF. This is a colorful PDF that looks like its written on parchment paper. You can use this guide for younger and older children for some great discussions and studying. The guide is well thought out with some comprehension questions. The study guide is broken down in three sections.

Listening Well: this section lets you see that your child understands the story. Some of the questions are easy and other ones are harder. All the answers are easy to locate.

Thinking Further:You can take up the story another notch in this section. You will be asking thought provoking questions that make your child think and put their thoughts in their own words. Such as trying to figure out the character’s intentions and what they think the characters are feeling or thinking.

Defining Words: those tough new vocabulary words and finding out the meaning. A valuable skill of looking of vocabulary words in the dictionary.

Included also is a Bible study: Bible Study I: The Importance of Studying History. My family loves history and I love my kids always learning about God’s world and seeing history in terms of our Savior.

Bible Study II: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Most of us know that God tells us not to do no murder. Then it uses the scripture form John 15:13-God also forbids us to use violence against others unless it is in self-defense. Rather, we are to show kindness, mercy, and love toward our neighbor. We are even to love our enemies. But the greatest love is manifest in laying down one’s life for one’s friends”.

Bible Study III: One Way- A nice study about all things are created for HIS glory, we are to have not idols, no other gods, and there is no other Savior and not other paths to the one true God.

Printable Copy of the Inspirational Verse

The Inspiration Verse says “I will gladly die for Him who died for me”. This is full colored and a gorgeous picture. You just print it out and it could easily be framed or laminated.

MP3 Soundtrack of Beric The Briton

This is a downloadable MP3 which is the same as the physical CD.

The Adventure Letter E-Newsletter

You will have unlimited access to the newsletter which is filled with Christian history through news, articles, and so much more.

Beric The Briton E-Book

This is the orginal book from G.A. Henty with new colored illustrations.

Printable Promotional Poster

A gourgous 24’x36” full colored poster with the cast on the bottom of the poster.

Behind-the-Scenes Documentary

With over 50 minutes of exclusive information on the amazing process it takes to put together an audio production. You will meet the actors, and crew.
G.A. Henty and his historical fiction books are amazing and I’m glad that Heirloom Audio Productions has been using his works. G.A. Henty writes about Godly character, Christian values, and about those who stand up for their faith in God no matter what trials you are going through. Of course, we can’t overlook the historical fiction that teaches you history, biography, and geography.

How did I use this in our Homeschool?

My 10 year old son, 13 year old daughter, and I listened to this audio drama. I never have to ask my kids twice if they are ready to start listening to any Heirloom Audio Productions. This time around I tortured my kids as I made them wait to start it while we were finishing another audio book. It was a brutal wait of one week.

Finally, the day came. We have always listened in the van while traveling around for varies activities. We found the great thing about living out of town now is that we could listen to the story in one day instead of over a few days! As usual, I can’t get away with listening to it just once with my kids.

After we listen to the audio drama we sat down and went over the comprehensive questions in the Study Guide. As many times as we listened to this my kids have soaked it all in like a sponge and I had to tell them to speak one at a time as they both were blurting out the answers.

I only printed out the page of the Bible study portion of the Study Guide for my kids. I had both of my kids look up the scriptures in the Bible study section by themselves and afterwards we discussed it.

We listened to the MP3 Soundtrack on the computer while cleaning up the house. My son and I watched the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary one evening and the same evening we looked at the Printable Promotional Poster and Printable Copy of the Inspirational Verse Online.

My Final Thoughts:

I am still amazed at the quality of the audio drama that Heirloom Audio Production has put out. Everything down to the smallest detail is not overlooked. The sound effects, the musical scores, and the actors/actresses are top notch this production and all the previous ones. It was so realistic that my family felt like we were there in the adventure.

My family has fallen in love with audio books because of Heirloom Audio Productions. Amazing, intriguing, heart stopping, realistic action packed adventure, compelling, spellbound, and an amazing audio drama jammed packed with heartfelt faith of two young men putting their faith and love of God in action and learning how to be true followers of God. There are just not enough words for me to truly explain how good this was as we were all in awe of this.

Would I recommend Beric The Briton, you bet without a second thought. I would do the same for all of Heirloom Audio Productions as they are AMAZING.

Social Media:

Beric The Briton Facebook

The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series FB page

Heirloom Audio Productions social pages





Monday, July 18, 2016

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander Book Review

First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:

Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.
 My Thoughts:

I love the old hymns. This particular hymn was made into a lovely children’s book in 1848. My mom had this particular story book that she read to me as a little girl-of course it was a reprinted version much later. I wish I actually had that particular book. When I seen this book has been remade I knew I wanted to share it with my kids. My kids are 10 and 13 but, they still appreciate a good book for any age. The book is intended for ages 4-7.

This is a lovely hardcover book with 32 pages. The illustrations are fully colored. The art work is breath taking. There is such a vast amount of details down to the tiniest flower. Just like our Savior took care of the tiniest details of His Creation. We spent a lot of time exploring the pages and looking at the beautiful and colorful illustrations. The pages just come alive. Each page is so unique in showing His Creations.

 The story is based off of Genesis 1:1”In the beginning God Created the heaven and the earth… And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good”.

This would make a great gift and would be a good edition to keep as a keepsake in your library to pass down and share.

You can purchase it through Amazon.

This book has been provided to me by Flybye Promotions free of charge and in no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255. All links were current when posted


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