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Barry Ayton
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Floral Still Life: Postcard Colouring Book; 20 superior watercolour cards
Floral Still Life: Postcard Colouring Book; 20 superior watercolour cards
by Pepin Van Roojen
Edition: Stationery
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I urge you to try these out, they really are worthwhile., 6 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I urge anyone a little dissatisfied with the "adult colouring books" (which are either not "adult" or are full of thick lines and tiny sections outlined in those thick lines) to try these colouring postcards.

Why? Here's a list for you:

250 gsm card - not the crap you see in the colouring books, heavyweight drawing card. It looks like hot press, it's has a slight texture but not as much as the NOT paper I'm used to..

Beautiful and subtle artwork - guidelines, not "do it here, exactly, no going outside the lines". yes, perhaps a little more skill needed, but certainly within the scope of most novices and noobs.
And that thick card means you can use watercolours, inks, fibre pens, etc

And the outlines themselves - drawn/printed in about 0.1 mm mid grey lines. I think that even colour pencils will cover them if that's what you want (maybe not pale baby blues and such).

I;m very picky with the colouring books - most are 80% junk images, stupid repeated patterns that you could draw yourself blindfolded, and 20% decent flower/butterfly/etc outlines... this set? TWENTY beautiful, useful, inspiring images to colour. Eitehr do them solid colour for a punchy looks, simply, or shade them, blend with water, etc.

Printed one side - the other has the traditional postcard bits for address and such, essentially blank.

20 postcards for about £8 - you can stuff up a few as you learn, then create some masterpieces.



Now a proviso:

I have not tried this book with Pentel fibre tips (they tend to have a heavy colour flow, wetting absorbent papers) - the cards feel like a good 250 gsm watercolour hot press, it absorbs water for blending ans washes nicely... it MIGHT have a bleed problem with a heavy-flow fibre pen.

BUT - also in this is that the card is a good twice the thickness of those "adult colouring books" - so it would bleed a lot less than they do.

They are great with the PITT art pens, the ZIG ink brush pens, dip pens and Winsor & Newton colour ink, and Inktense blocks, as well as watercolours and watercolour pencils.

I sound all gushy over this postcard set - but I'm just so happy with the quality and the end-results... after dozens of rubbish "adult colouring books, gutter printed, double sided printing, thin paper... these are a revelation of what can be done.

A complaint? I'd like to see a LOT more choice in the postcard books (not inside any one book, I mean a lot more books - animals, more flowers, butterfly, birds, dark and light fantasy, sci-fi, etc... not just flowers and the other "Arabian designs/art nouveau designs/Chinese designs".
More REAL pictures rather than "design shapes" pictures.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 6, 2016 5:40 PM GMT


Derwent Inktense Block Grate and Shake
Derwent Inktense Block Grate and Shake
Price: £2.98

2.0 out of 5 stars This is just tat, shame on Derwent!, 3 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a cheap and nasty little bit of tat this is.

Mine arrive with the grate circle off the top - I had to push it back in. It's very thin tinny metal.
The whole thing feels cheaply made; the top screws onto the base loosely; the grate part has a push-clip top that it too severe a clip, you have to push like buggery to get it on

Before you buy this item - look for a decent but cheap grater, fine, Parmesan cheese style, and a set of £1 shop cheapy containers (or ASDA £1 each clip-seal jars!)... it's a LOT better value, maybe a little dearer but so much more worth it.

This is just tat, shame on Derwent!


Alphabeticals: 26 Fun Alphabet-Character Templates to Make and Enjoy!
Alphabeticals: 26 Fun Alphabet-Character Templates to Make and Enjoy!
by Markus Fischer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Fun artwork but a missed opportuinity for greatness., 25 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I usually love these sorts of "oddities" - they define creative, maverick, thinking.

The art work is quite lovely... but it's very much a missed opportunity.

Why? - Simple... the paper is VERY thin, not much thicker than standard computer printer paper. I;m guessing maybe 130 gram or there about. If this decision was to make it cheaper then very much - shame on them!

if it had been printed on even cheapo art-paper, 160 gram, I'd have given 5 stars... but this stuff is less than useless - it's just a little too thick to glue onto card without it buckling and too thin to stand on its own.

It should have either been on slightly thinner paper for glueing down or printed on half-again as thick paper (thin card) for using them as is; preferably that latter, thicker card.

Sadly, it's a huge missed opportunity for greatness and real fun.

Second small quibble? - The outlines are pre-cut, great... but they should also be pre-crimped for folding.

It's very sad but the fun of the designs and ideas of the 3D alphabet just don't live up to the chore of making them. You'd be better of grabbing the free PDF files from his website and printing them onto standard weight paper and gluing them down.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2016 10:09 AM GMT


Watercolor brushpen 20 colors set (Japan Import)
Watercolor brushpen 20 colors set (Japan Import)
Offered by TLC corporation
Price: £27.13

5.0 out of 5 stars These are bloody fantastic! The colour goes on smoothly and cleanly. Bright and vibrant colours., 31 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll get the bad out of the way first: It's a rather odd mixture of colours - I suppose that, in 20, they're trying to give an all-round selection.
It's better than others where you have to buy a "summer colour pack" and an "architectural colour pack" and a "designer colour pack" - so you end up with the colours you need but have 4 lots of about 6 colours (duplicated across all the packs).

So this is only a MINOR quibble.

Now the good:

The brush-pens are about 6 or 7 inches long and about 1/4 inch diameter. The brush tip is an inch long taper from about 1/8 inch at the base to a fine and strong (as in, it keeps its shape well) tip.
I'm not sure I'd use them to lay down a large sky wash but they are gorgeous for lightly starting trees and bushes, even a lake area, and then water-brushing the colour away from the stroke to make the delicate colours we love in watercolour.

These are bloody fantastic! The colour goes on smoothly and cleanly. Bright and vibrant colours.
Then you can brush over them with a water-brush pen and the colour softens and flows superbly - that rich colour becomes a translucent beauty on the paper.

For the price of them, they are truly great fun to use. A small quibble might be that the first lay-down of colour can "stain" some thinner and cheaper papers (so that when you water-brush them you do have a darker brush colour than stays where you originally started)
I don't mind that - if you start with a long stroke around a shadow area then brush out from that you end up creating a beautiful translucent highlighted area with the original starting stoke still being the shadow area. I'd suggest not using a paper that is too absorbent - the initial colour stroke might stay behind a little too strongly absorbed.

They arrived from Japan in a padded box, very speedy delivery (especially for end-of-year time).

I strongly urge you to try them - the price is decent and they are surprisingly good!


Redoute Roses Colouring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)
Redoute Roses Colouring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)
by Charlene Tarbox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful artwork let down by the style of book - thiner paper and back-to-back printing., 23 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm really spilt over this book.

The pictures are SUPERB - truly beautiful drawings that are just aching to be coloured or brushed. The artwork is fine-line but detailed (unlike some that have lines as think as a pencil!)

It's a difficult thing for them to do - detail or not, thin lines that people might go over or thick bordered areas - and this artist has hit the right point for it all.
Truly gorgeous artwork...

BUT...

But - the pictures are front - back of pages... sorry.. not on for this sort of art book.
And the paper - well, it's thick-ISH, about 130 - 150 gram paper. Sorry, again, not good enough. OK for single art per page, definitely NOT for back-to-back artwork.

The answer?

I'd pay double for one page per artwork... triple for one page per artwork and thicker paper!

"Make it so!"


MADE4U Paint By Numbers Combination Kits of Canvases Mounted on Wood Frame with Brushes and Paints for Adults Children Seniors Junior DIY Beginner Lever Acrylics Painting Kits on Canvas (Countryside G428)
MADE4U Paint By Numbers Combination Kits of Canvases Mounted on Wood Frame with Brushes and Paints for Adults Children Seniors Junior DIY Beginner Lever Acrylics Painting Kits on Canvas (Countryside G428)
Offered by THE MADE4U
Price: £35.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly recommend these paint by numbers. Superb quality., 15 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thoroughly recommend these paint by numbers.

Absolutely beautiful quality and end-result images (with a little skill... not much but they are more medium to higher skill that first-timer)

Paints are generally soft and buttery; I have had some a little drier but a few drops of water and a good shake = perfect again.

The brushes could be a bit better - they do the job.. but not well - I suggest some better brushes - here on Amazon there is a 24 pack for £6 odd - I bought these and have used some from this pack for the painting = GREAT FUN.

If the makers are reading - try to find some better brushes, please...Even the basic R&L brushes are better that the ones supplied (Coarse bristles and they splay very quickly).

The final painting is superb - you get some 20-30 colours... NO MIXING!!! That alone is well worth the £18; the "mix this with that" just never seem to work.
The paints cover very well, only the very lightest needs either thick coating or double coat (I use thick paint, it adds texture to skies and seas (the blues and whites are the most transparent).

I have about 10 of these now, most not started... working my way into them... I have no hesitation is suggesting you give them a try, they are truly beautiful and well worth the cost.



This sounds gushy and maybe a little faked - but I'm genuinely very impressed with these paint by numbers... they are fun, relaxing, hassle-free (no mixing, no "it's not the same colour!!") and the final painting looks "the business".

Delivery is pretty fast as well, perhaps 3-4 weeks
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2016 4:04 PM GMT


Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera (16.0 MP, CMOS Sensor, 60x Zoom, 3.0 inch LCD) - Black
Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera (16.0 MP, CMOS Sensor, 60x Zoom, 3.0 inch LCD) - Black
Offered by WAA Electronics
Price: £288.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere - the camera as a whole lets the lens down entirely., 13 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Look elsewhere.

This camera has SUCH a high miss rate to decent images; and I'm an experienced photographer, many years.

And... it locks up, constantly. This appears to be a known problem and Nikon are also seeming to be doing nothing about it!

The good point? When.. WHEN... you can get it to focus properly and produce a good image... they are lovely images; that zoom is very sweet.

Sadly.. ALL of the rest of the camera lets it down.


Luxugen Colouring Pencils, Assorted Watercolor Pencils Set with Triangle Box Water Soluble Pencils Art Supplies 24/36/48 Count (Set of 48)
Luxugen Colouring Pencils, Assorted Watercolor Pencils Set with Triangle Box Water Soluble Pencils Art Supplies 24/36/48 Count (Set of 48)
Offered by Luxugen
Price: £24.95

3.0 out of 5 stars REVISED: These are rather a basic and coarse watercolour pencil; very dry and harsh but you can work them., 24 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are rather a basic and coarse watercolour pencil.

They are both dry and crumbly - they don't have the coverage or the buttery feel of some of the other WC pencils.
The tips break and crumble easily; in use they feel dry and powdery - like normal school-grade colour pencils

They cover only very faintly (which might mean they last a while but the pictures are VERY wishy-washy). The colours themselves don't have any punch to them, they seem lacking in colour components.

At first I was sure that they were just normal colour pencils - when you brush them almost nothing happens.
You have to scrub a bit to get some colour movement. And the technique of wet-brush on the pencil to carry "paint" just doesn't work at all.
Use a short bristle brush and the colour moves - but it's not a very good technique to HAVE to use.
Use a long brush or a moppy brush and not a lot happens.

Seriously - if you have any artistic ideas, please don't wast your money on these. Use the same amount of ££ and buy DECENT watercolour pencils, even if it's "only" 12/18/24 - Derwent and Derwent Inktense, for example.

"You get what you pay for" is the truth.

*********************************************************************************************************************************

Revision - made without any duress. Up from 2 stars to 3 stars.

I've played with these some more, given them some more time.

They do have their little foibles, for sure But I've found ways to use them.

If you use them as normal, like colour pencils, shade and line and intense areas, light patches, etc.
Then you spray a fine mist of water ALL over the picture.
Wait about 5-15 seconds.

Now you can use a brush - dry or with extra water - to move the colour about, blend shades, etc. This method produces some decent art work.
You do lose out on some of the techniques available with the better watercolour pencils - dry brush, blends, using as comb to make grass - the results are more wet-in-wet all the time.

These pencils are just too dry - very crumbly and powdery to draw with (I had to constantly keep blowing little chips off the paper).

If the makers read this - make them a little more smooth and "buttery" - think a little more towards crayon level. Not too far.. but more than they are now.

These are just too dry - more normal colour pencil level than watercolour pencils.

PS - I was wrong, above, about "And the technique of wet-brush on the pencil to carry "paint" just doesn't work at all" - if you use warm water then the colour does come from the pencil.

But - you shouldn't have to do it that way...

I'd like to give 3 1/2 stars - they do deserve more than just 3... but they are not good enough to earn 4 stars.


Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge
Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge
by Kerby Rosanes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very much flawed and failed gem - wrong book format and vastly unfinished - it's NOT an art book, it's an activity book., 16 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Two stars simply becasue the artwork is beautiful.

BUT:

A many of the drawings go over two pages, with the crease/gutter fold ruining the drawing.
If the book was lay-flat or even separate pages in a folder - 3 stars (see below for the missing 2)

Far, far too many unfinished drawings.. "Fill the waves with sea-creatures" - NO, I bought your book to colour them in, if I had drawing skills I'd bloody well draw my own on a blank card!
"Fill in the shells with pattern", "Fill in the mane", "fill in the..." - NO! Minus two stars just for that.

You get the idea - probably HALF the drawing are unfinished, Half the book is ruined by the across-the-spine two-page image.

Usable pictures? About 10. I didn't bother to return my copy - I ripped it apart, removed the binding and separated out the USEFUL pages, about ten of them.

While the artwork IS lovely - there are far too many little happy faces and blobby morph-creatures, sunglasses and smiles on the sun.. SO damn twee, it's sickening. Some would be OK, but nearly every picture has some silly little smiley blob or happy-sun.

The book is printed in the wrong format and feels unfinished. It's really a kids play-book... part colouring in, part "find the xxx", part paper-based "hidden object game" - but aimed at advanced users, "adult", by the complexity of the pictures.
An "activity book" at best.

A very much flawed and failed gem.

How to fix it?

A] one page per picture, not running into the spine.
B] preferably even having one page per picture with nothing on the back.
C} finish the bloody pictures!

▬▬▬

End result:

If you buy this thinking it's an art book, for colouring - maybe watercolour pencils, colour pencil, art crayon.. you will be sorely disappointed.

If you buy it thinking of a child's activity book but more advanced, to suit older and more "able" people, then you might be happy.

For me? The "Creative Haven" books, so far, are SO much superior to this.


Jakar Eraser Battery Operated with Refills
Jakar Eraser Battery Operated with Refills
Offered by LPC Stationers
Price: £2.88

3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, it works but has small issues., 15 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a little hit -and-miss.

OK - it WORKS. Yes, it removes the pencil lines, softens shading and creates pale sections inside a shaded area.
NB - don't press on it (which is difficult, you need to press down to activate the switch - it should have been a side button or such), just let the small weight of the item do the pressure needed.

On first use it throws rubbery chunks all about. After the first use and the square edge has been rubbed to a semi-point, you can use it with a little "fluff" flying off.
But then even a normal square eraser casts of parts as it erases.

So that's not a bad point - just be aware of it. if your art can't take "fluff" over it, don't use this tool.
If the "flying fluff"f it's not wet or moist then it can be blown off.

The device revolves the eraser - it's just a little electric-car motor that spins at some 2000 rpm. It has no real power behind the spin, too much pressure will quickly overpower the motor and stop it.
If you can find an eraser that vibrates, back and forth like the wife's "massage toy" then I recommend that over this. It will keep vibrating even as more pressure is put on it.

But this is still easier and more precise than an hand-held eraser.


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