Friday, May 19, 2017

My 2017 Birthday Gifts: Pokemon Sun & Moon Cards and Watercolor Goodies!

While I'm definitely not a kid anymore Birthdays are still a fun, enjoyable day for me despite my birthdays being way more busier then they used to be. If you have a birthday today or one coming up then I wish you the happiest of Birthdays. Now while I am not a kid anymore that doesn't mean I don't receive gifts anymore. Yeah I still (Unintentionally) con my parents into getting me stuff and on today's blog after some heavy comic and movie discussions from the past couple of weeks I'm winding down with a more relaxed blog.

That doesn't mean this blog will by lackluster by any means, nope this blog is going to be just as jam packed as I'm going to be showing you guys what I got for my birthday. To start things off per tradition I got three Pokemon card packs. This time I finally got ahold of some Sun and Moon packs after a pretty cool 6th generation (Ending on a Nostalgic note with Pokemon TCG XY Evolutions.) and I have to say these Sun and Moon packs, specifically one of them may be some of the best packs I've ever opened. Now instead of just showing everyone on the blog I've recorded a new Pokemon TCG Unboxing video for you guys to enjoy so let's dive on in!

Did I get a little TOO excited? These pulls were just amazing especially that Eevee pull. Like I said in the Video despite collecting Pokemon Cards every year since Pokemon TCG Team Rocket I have never EVER gotten myself an Eevee card. It almost seemed impossible until today.

This Eevee card will definitely be an outstanding part of my collection despite being a common grade card. (I collect all cards regardless of rarity... Gotta Collect Em All) Another favorite out of this same pack is the Full Body Lillie Trainer Card.

I'm pretty partial to Lillie she is one of my favorite characters out of Pokemon Sun and Moon's incredible character cast and having this full body art is awesome. Truth be told this is actually my first full body trainer card I've ever pulled despite these full art cards first being introduced in Pokemon TCG Black and White.... Never said I had the best of luck.

For those who can't watch the video let's take a look into what I pulled!

(I'll get better photos for you guys soon, I plan on doing multiple blogs spanning all my collection.)

Also you guys have to check out this awesome card I pulled, it's a Crochet/Amigurumi Poliwag card!

Pretty awesome right? I believe it's crochet but the environment might be knitted i'm not sure. Regardless this is a pretty awesome card. Though I have to ask... Is there a hidden meaning behind this card? Are we getting a Yarn Pokemon game? Pokemon's Woolly World? Pokemon Yarn Version? Maybe that's just wishful thinking, that would be pretty awesome to be honest, I'm not kidding.

While we're still on the subject of Pokemon I also got some new volumes of the currently running Pokemon XY Manga. This XY Chapter has proven to be an incredible chapter in the Pokemon XY manga series and it's even cooler when a certain character from the Red and Blue chapter has become part of the storyline again after not being involved since Generation 3.... Okay I was avoiding spoilers but if you look at the cover art you can obviously tell who it is.i've also finally gotten the first volume of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire which serves as sort of a sequel to the generation 3 manga and works as a sister manga to the XY storyline. I was hesitant to get this series just yet as I haven't read the Ruby and Sapphire mangas completely but I'm pretty well versed on the storyline so I don't mind. As a big fan of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire the games I can't wait to give this series a go, I just have to get a hold of the old RSE manga but as Box Sets exist that might not be so far in the future. I have discussed the XY series in the past but I should probably write a better discussion in the future. I'll talk more about these books soon so stay tuned!

Okay now we're switching gears to the 2nd big topic of my birthday. With my recent art journey and my newfound love and goal of watercolor my Mum seems to have picked up on my interest and I'm now completely set, I have everything I need and more.

First off Mum got me this Sakura Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box. This was a surprise, to be perfectly honest so far I've been using Crayola Watercolor and while I don't discriminate against crayola they're pretty good for beginners especially for someone who wasn't sure if he was even going to like watercolor like myself.

Anyway these Koi Water Colors are really good and you might be able to tell I've already given these paints a test run. This box comes with 24 paints and the colors provided are pretty much the only colors you'll ever need. It's got Crimson Red, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue and a color named Jaune Brilliant which after diluting with water or mixing other colors into it makes all the skin tones you need, which is great for someone who illustrates human characters like me. This isn't a full blown review so I haven't set up any proper swatches to showcase how the colors work but take a look at this.

The colors almost seem like professional grade and while I won't ditch my crayola I'm absolutely glad I have these paints as they are better. This really is a field sketch box as it comes with a convenient paint pallet, two sponges for blotting, cleaning and drying your brush and this water brush that holds water. I haven't owned a water brush till now but it's quite awesome. All you do is squeeze the body to dampen or soak the brush and it can make water consistency a tad easier. I also noticed you could actually cut up some Watercolor paper to fit into the inside of the lid for even more mobile convenience. If you don't have one of these and you're an avid watercolor painter you should get one of these even if you don't go out often. This ranges from 16-20 USD dollars so check around your art stores and get yourselves one! There's actually sets with up to 48 colors... that's a lot of colors. While it's out of the norm for me maybe I should do a video/review demonstrating these paints. Maybe I can get my artistic Sister to join in who knows.

Of course you can't paint water color without Watercolor paper and Mum has given me this large Canson XL pad of watercolor paper.

This holds 30 sheets of 140 lb/300 g cold pressed watercolor paper. I've already experience this paper once before by using some of Mum's paper so this should be a lot better then the 90 lb cold pressed I started off with. 30 might not seem much but as I don't always using the whole sheet for one piece and cut the pieces down to various sizes this should last me a good while, I'm not exactly fast at pumping out Watercolor pieces anyway. (I'm not good enough for that.) Canson has a great quality and while it's not Mum's fancy Arches Cold Pressed Cotton Paper I'm happy to finally have some 140 lb to myself in a brand I love.

Finally to aide in my Watercolor venture I'm trying out something new. These are Royal & Langnickel Watercolor pencils. Yeah I was confused at first two but apparently these pencils are made out of a similar material to water color cakes and while they may apply like a normal colored pencil once water is added they turn into, well Watercolor.

Using these you can create some pretty awesome effects. I was eager to get them because they should be better for my watercolor line art then normal colored pencils. This is a completely new medium to me so I haven't dove into it fully but I can say these do work and blend nicely when water is added. This also comes with a pretty awesome medium sketching pencil and a thin tip round Watercolor brush for doing details. This set comes with all the primary colors and any other color can be made simply by blending the pencils or using regular Watercolor. This is another art piece I should really do a video on in the near future. Oh yeah this box as well as having the Royal Crown on it has this hole on the back of the box, wasn't sure what this was at first but apparently it's to drain the water out of the box if your pencils are still wet.

That's the end of my watercolor birthday gifts and thank you Mum for getting me all this stuff it was quite surprising but I guess you see potential in me as a watercolor painter.

Well not everything went smoothly but I got these 10 set of skin tone Watercolor makers from Crayola. I got these because I wanted to do comics and these seemed like a good way of getting used to makers. Now I highly doubt this is Crayola's fault it's probably where I ordered it from but it seems my markers are already dried out.

See I've watched videos of people using these and they were quite vibrant accurate colors but mine are far from that. Well the darker skin tones are fine and dandy but what's supposed to be a beige skin tone is... Not beige. I also can't use the sides of these markers for thicker lines because it just doesn't show up. I guess I got some dried out makes from the warehouse of the place they were ordered from, oh well. While the quality isn't what I expected I think they'll do okay if I mix them with watercolor, though that wasn't the main purpose of it they're too blotchy to use on their own. Guess I'll look for a different brand, maybe an alcohol based brand.

Moving on the last birthday gift I got is this new Sketchbook. Up until now I've been using this massive sketch book and these smaller but cool homemade sketchbooks but in wake of my art urge I've actually used up my two homemade sketchbooks (Whoops I drew too much.) so Mum got me this 100 sheet Strathmore Sketchbook.

100 sheets is quite a lot so I don't expect to fill this up for a bit. Though I've already done two sketches and while they're not magnificent I'll show you guys what I've sketched so far.

Yes that's a Mantine from Pokemon. I actually want to do more Pokemon illustrations (These new Pokemon Cards only fueling my inspiration) so I thought in pure random... Why not Mantine? Mantine is a pretty awesome Pokemon and a beast in the new Generation 7 metagame. It's not super great I did it on a whim but I also added a little Remoraid under him as well.

Next up I drew Aeris Eclipse again... This time pictured with her best friend Rachael Scarlet next to her.

Have I shown you guys Rachael before? She's another OC of mine from the same story as Aeris. While it's not superb I may turn this into a little watercolor piece. It's nice to finally draw something in a different angle, I'm slowly breaking into more poses. It's just a quick doodle anyway.

Two sketches done only 98 pages to go. This sketchbook also allows you to fold your pages back which is convenient but I did notice the binding isn't a complete loop and sometimes the pages get stuck.

So that's my Birthday gift haul and I love every piece of it (Even though the markers didn't work out so well.) I don't think I can express how much I'm glad Mum gave me the chance to get these watercolor supplies. I'll be a gallery artist before you know it, haha. Jokes aside I think I'll go pretty far with these supplies so all you need to do now is see what I create with all this. Like I said previously there are certain items such as my Koi paints and Royal Watercolor Pencils that I want to actually do videos on in the future so stay tuned for that!

Speaking of videos I have a big announcement... So as you've noticed I've not done much knitting lately, if any. I apologize for this but my knitting has been held up and one of my excuses that aren't really excuses is the fact that I haven't been able to film this one specific video until now which has held up my progress on the self striping socks I'm making my sister. That's all changed and knitting (In the sense of my own work, I haven't done a blog without mentioning it at least once.) is coming back full force starting with Episode 4 of ZAK Knits! Yes ZAK Knits my YouTube series where I knit, discuss knitting, and show you how to knit is coming back NEXT FRIDAY! It's filmed and ready to be edited so on Friday the 26th prepare yourselves for ZAK Knits Episode 4. Catch up on my previous episodes by going to this YouTube playlist: Until then here's a little teaser...

That's a wrap folks!

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