A daily practice

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Happy New Year – Sketch for January 1, 2020

It seems we were just wishing everyone a happy new year and here we are, already into double digits of January. How does time slip by so quickly?

I resolved that this year I’d do a better job of the blog—even posting a little something regularly, like once a week. Now that I’ve blown that resolution, it’s time to at least get started.

In my journey into art last year, one resolution I did keep was to do a sketchbook entry every day. With the exception of a couple of days in early January 2019, I kept that promise to myself. In the process I’m well on the way to filling up my second 110-page sketchbook.

I’ve continued on with that practice this year. I use a simple 5.5×8” hardcover sketchbook from Michaels. It’s made of 75 lb. paper (not even mixed media weight), not meant for watercolours, but I use them on it regularly and it holds up remarkably well with never a bleed-through (unless I rub the paper raw).

To decide what to draw, most days I’ve been following drawing prompts from Doodlewash. These challenge me to draw everyday common things as well as things I would never attempt without a prod. On other days I draw what calls to me.

Here are a few pages from 2020, along with some of the reference photos (all taken by me).


If art is calling to you, keeping a daily sketchbook or sketch journal is a great way to get started and daily practice is a sure way to get better.

Adam’s Animals (review)

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Adam's Animals - fun facts about God's CreationAdam’s Animals – fun facts about God’s Creation by Kimberley Payne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kimberley Payne has packed a lot into her 90-page children’s activity book Adam’s Animals.

The book begins with a simple explanation—this is a book about animals we’ll find in the Bible—and an invitation to get acquainted with them, as Adam did when he named them.

To help give kids categories for these many creatures, Payne includes the simplest of animal classifications, naming five families of invertebrates and four of invertebrates. She has also devised a symbol for each to help kids recognize them. For example, the symbol for “Birds” is a bird emerging from an egg, for “Mammals” a milk-filled baby bottle.

Thirty-nine two-page animal entries follow. A typical entry contains, on the first page:
– The verse in the Bible where the animal is mentioned.
– A brief explanation of what the verse means or its historical or regional setting.
– A “Did you know?” section with six facts about the animal.

The entry’s second page displays:
– An additional Bible reference where the animal is mentioned again, if there is one.
– A picture to color.
– A word search puzzle.
These latter two would need to be printed if the book was a digital file.

The animals are presented alphabetically. Sometimes several animals from the same family appear in one entry (e.g. Lion, Cheetah and Leopard). Other entries are titled with the names of the animal in both sexes and when young and mature (e.g. Lamb, Ewe, Ram, Sheep).

Puzzle solutions end the book.

What a fun way to study animals! Though not a thorough or complete animal study, it would be a great supplement to an animal unit in a Christian school, home school or even Sunday School setting.

Janis Cox’s line drawing coloring pages are a great invitation to break out the crayons and get to work. The word search puzzles are sure to keep a kid busy for a few minutes at least, as they search for words that nail down the animal facts and trivia mentioned earlier in the entry.

Even parents and teachers are bound to come away from Adam’s Animals knowing more about our fascinating creature neighbors. I discovered, for example:

“Crickets hear through their front legs” p. 54.
“Owls have three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping eyes clean” – p. 58.
“Slugs have green blood” – p. 74.

I received Adam’s Animals as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review.

View all my reviews