Painting School: A Net Galley Review


I’ve been dabbling in doodling recently. Trying out sketching and watercolor just for fun. I’m never going to sell any of my artwork, not that I wanted to, but I do like improving my limited skills and learning new things. 

I was really excited about this title, Painting School by Tanya Emelyanova, for a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s geared towards kids and that’s about where I’m at! I also liked the look of the artwork. It has a Japanese Kawaii look to it with cute little eyes and facial features. I also like the variety and layout style of the book. 

Grace and I sat down to have a little art session! I had fun painting a whale shark and she a hammerhead shark. 

While I really liked the setup of this book and how the beginning is explained, it is very clear this artwork was done digitally. Now that isn’t a problem exactly unless you are trying to recreate using watercolors or acrylics as is suggested in the beginning. I’ve never made digital drawings so I started out with water color. The directions for painting these clearly makes it difficult for them to turn out the way you expect them to. For instance, you cannot put light colors over top of dark. I wish it had given clearer directions for painting in an order that would work. 
I do think this would make a great beginners guide to digital painting. 

Grace really enjoyed the painting. She didn’t seem bothered by the fact that it wasn’t easy to make it like the picture, but then she’s a kid and a really easy going one at that! My oldest daughter is a perfectionist and knowing her this would have been quite frustrating. 

Here are our finished art pieces! I ended up using watercolor pencils and then painting with water on top. Grace just used straight water colors and then added a fun background! 

Overall I still liked the book, but I think it could have been a little more practical or specifically address digital painting.

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.: A TOS Review Crew Review

The Pencil Grip, Inc  My girls love anything art-related. It doesn’t take any convincing on my when I offer an opportunity to create. When I told them we were going to get to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. they couldn’t wait until they arrived. Thin Stix by KwikStix  This is a unique product in that it is tempera paint in a stick form. When using them they almost feel like oil pastels in how they glide across the page. There are also package with an even wider range of colors. They are ideal for little hands and work well on thicker paper like card stock or poster board. We opted to take a little trip to the craft store and the girls picked out some wood projects to complete. We also did some rock painting. These were ideal uses!  

The girls had fun painting these little wooden characters from the craft store. The paint glided on easily and dried extremely fast. These dried in less than 90 seconds. Their only issue with these was that they are very thick and fine detail was a little tricky. This is only an issue because of the age of my girls. Grace did not mind not having a finer point for details, but Beth and Rose prefer a finer tip for art. These would be ideal for young crafters if you are a mom like me who is not a fan of big messes when making things. I saw no need to have the girls wear any protective clothing because the paint is in solid rather than liquid form. If the girls were younger I probably still would have had them cover with something. 

 Our second project using Thin Stix was a favorite for all of us!  

 We have a little potted flower garden in the front of our house and raised beds in the back. We decided to take smooth rocks and paint them for the flower garden. The girls painted rocks for a full hour! They did use some other paints for fine details this time, but most of the work was done with the Thin Stix. I loved how easily they glided onto the rocks surface and especially how fast they dried. One of the frustrations with art projects like this for my girls is waiting for things to dry. When they have inspiration, they don’t want to wait! They made rocks to look like favorite story characters, gems, animals, and all sorts of fun things. (I did find out from a test run that the paint may wash off in the rain, so if you do an outside project make sure to use a sealant on your project!)  We did not use this product on paper for a full project, but I did try them out as a test. You will definitely want to use thicker paper for best results. Again, the speed of drying time is a huge factor in how much these impressed me. Impatient little artists won’t have time to become engaged with something else because of the waiting. There have been so many times when the girls were very young that projects we tried simply flopped because of the extensive drying time.  Take a look at what my Crewmates have to say about Thin Stix 6pk of Classic ColorsNo Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}Crew Disclaimer