Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

If you like Cross Creek you will love Idella

Idella Marjorie Rawlings Perfect Maid

Idella Marjorie Rawlings Perfect Maid

I am African American and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is one of my favorite authors. I loved Cross Creek and she is an excellent writer. However, I had to understand the times in which this book was written also I had to overlook demeaning remarks. If you can look pass these occasional remarks and see the dignity assigned to Martha Pickens and old Will, see the difference between truths and prejudices, relate to the author's life, you will enjoy Cross Creek. NOW, read Idella: Marjorie Rawlings' Perfect Maid and you won't be able to put it down. Miss Idella was a woman of her times and I felt I was reading about the lives of my grandmother, great grandmother and aunts. She gave me pieces of history left out by my relatives. I use to love for them to talk about their lives and the history and legacy given to me by them is priceless. Miss Idella wrote/told her story well and gave me a perspective I could relate to 100 percent. A must read!--full of pictures of her and her lovely family :)

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Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

Gave me the confidence to tackle darker skintones.

Realistic Watercolor Portraits Variety Ethnicities

Realistic Watercolor Portraits Variety Ethnicities

This book is a wonderful guide that takes you directly into portrait painting from a photo. What is excellent is the diversity of skin tones; I was able to use her layering method of transparent color and apply it to my own photos for pictures; I just match the skin from my photo to a portrait in the book. She also guides you all the way through to the end of the picture with all the important details that many authors gloss over; creating realistic shadow tones mixing and applying "crevice"darks- around nostrils, ear folds, eye lids etc. And other important finishing touches hair, eyelashes even facial hair.The author includes many useful tips inset on pages throughout the book as well as demonstrations for children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. The demos are very thorough and I find myself referring to it to create the palette for skin tones and shadows almost every time I sit to paint a figure. A terrific book that can add to your skill set and improve your understanding of creating vibrant transparent luminous skin and hair. Her method takes time, layering and allowing to dry up to 10 or 12 layers of transparent watercolor but the results are wonderful, this is not direct or spontaneous or alla primal approach but you can definitely learn tips on portrait painting you can use no matter what your preferred style but the book teaches you how to paint skin hair and fabric, not how to draw.Great book highly recommended!! A methodical approach that works!(I also like Charles Reid figure/portrait book which is completely 180 degrees in the opposite style but I think these two approaches can balance you to a happy medium)

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Senin, 27 Februari 2012

Another Winner from Coben

Six Years Harlan Coben

Six Years Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben puts his well known skill as a writer and story teller to good use in this novel, which is a combination love story and mystery. After a whirlwind summer romance at a retreat in Vermont, a young college professor is convinced that he has found the true love of his life, and that she feels the same way. Yet without explanation she suddenly tells him that she has decided to marry an ex-boyfriend and extracts his promise not to try to contact her in the future. He keeps that promise for six years--hence the title--until one day he reads the obituary of her husband. He goes to the funeral in the hope of seeing her, only to discover that she is nowhere to be found and a different woman claims to be the deceased's wife.

What should be a simple inquiry turns into a dangerous journey involving murder, a bank robbery, organized crime, witness protection, the NYPD and the FBI. Yet despite formidable obstacles, the college professor relentlessly pursues trying to find the love of his life.

Contrary to the negative reviews, I think Coben does a great job of developing an interesting story with unpredictable twists, lots of action, and a real surprise ending. He nicely ties everything together at the end, and along the way reveals just enough to keep the reader guessing without giving anything away. Although this is not the typical kind of novel that Coben writes, he has done a really great job here and provided a very entertaining read. Ignore the negative reviews and enjoy this novel.

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