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Basic Materials and Techniques for Pen and Ink Drawing

Pen and ink drawing is perhaps the cheapest medium available besides pencils. Unlike pencils, however, you must be careful not to make too many mistakes, because they ink can no longer be erased. On the other hand, this limitation makes pen and ink a good medium to practice on if you want to improve in drawing.

Another advantage of the medium is that you can draw on any surface besides drawing paper, and you can use any type of pen or marker for your drawings. What do you need to start with this medium?

Materials for Pen and Ink Drawing

To start with pen and ink drawings, you will need the following items:

  1. An assortment of drawing pens
  2. Drawing ink, pen, nib, holder, and nylon brush
  3. Ink drawing paper (either dye-based or pigment-based)
  4. Graphite pencils and eraser (for preliminary sketching)
  5. Clean rag (for blotting)
  6. Sealant spray (for protection and waterproofing)
  7. Ammonia-based window cleaner or water and detergent (for cleaning)

For drawing pens, you can pick the cheapest ballpoint and roller ball pens you can find or the most expensive dip pen, but you can also try fiber-tipped, fountain, drafting, archival ink pens, and lightfast ink pens for quality lines. Try each pen on a piece of paper to get an idea of the thickness of the lines. If you’re overwhelmed with the variety of choices, narrow them down by looking for the following qualities: fade-resistance, waterproof, fast-drying, and archival (permanent and acid-free).

You can sketch on any piece of paper, but if you want to keep your drawing for a long time, artists recommend smooth and fine surfaces for any type and watercolor paper for big washes.

Basic Pen and Ink Techniques

Learning the basic techniques for pen and ink drawing requires skills in both drawing and painting, because on the one hand, you have to learn to create volume and gradation using lines, and you also need to learn how to create tones and washes with ink and water.

Here are some of the things you need to learn:

  1. HatchingThis drawing technique uses lines that don’t cross over each other to create value.
  2. Cross ContourThis is similar to the hatching technique, but the lines near the edges follow the shape of the object.
  3. Cross HatchingThis drawing technique uses two or more lines that cross over each other to create value.
  4. StipplingThis technique uses dots instead of lines to create value. The closely packed lines will create darker areas than dots with more blank spaces in between.
  5. Random LinesThis technique uses lines that go in different directions to create value and texture.
  6. Ink WashThis refers to the use of a brush to apply ink on a drawing surface. The darkness or the lightness of the ink will depend on the ratio of water and ink, pretty much the same rules that you use with watercolors.

How to Explain Your Daughter’s First Menstruation

Don’t you wish someone knew what to say during your first period? Or if you’re a father, don’t you wish you know how to properly answer your daughter’s questions about it?

Girls react differently to their menarche, or first period, that is why it’s important that the girl gets the right information about her period and not feel embarrassed or scared about the changes she’s going through.

Tell Her About the Menstrual Cycle

While this is taught in schools, it’s even more important once your daughter has her first period. At this point it’s important to let your daughter understand that her body is now capable of becoming pregnant. A menstrual cycle triggers the release of hormones that will help prepare the body for pregnancy. The hormones create changes in the lining of the uterus and stimulate the maturation and release of the egg cell. The egg then travels into the fallopian tubes and falls apart if not fertilized. The bleeding is the result of the breaking down of the uterine lining.

Teach Her How to Track Her Cycle

Once she knows what is happening to her body during the menstrual cycle, she will be able to track it more easily using the calendar. This will allow her to observe the days of her period and to make predictions about her next one. However, remind her that her menstrual cycle will still be irregular during her first year, so, it’s okay not to have a 28-day cycle. But you need to take her to the doctor if her periods come often every 21 days or if the periods are more than 45 days apart.

Talk About Flows and Protection Methods

Tell her that there will be days when she has a heavier flow and that there are different methods of protection she can choose from. Young girls are advised to use sanitary pads that need to be changed every 4 hours. Some girls might prefer tampons, but make sure that she knows how to use it and is comfortable at the idea of using it. Tracking her flows will also let her know if her period is normal, because an unusually heavy flow with cramps will need medical attention right away.

Teach Her Proper Hygiene

Once she has been given instructions on how to use and properly dispose sanitary pads and tampons, remind her that it’s the right time to practice proper hygiene. Showering regularly and keeping her body odor-free should be her top priority, because her body is going through a lot of changes. Laundry issues will plague her, too, no matter how careful she is, so teach her how to remove blood stains effectively on her clothes and sheets.

Talk About Other Concerns

Your daughter will feel other changes in her body associated with her period, such as cramps, tender breasts, and back pain during her period. These can be addressed by taking pain relievers and having adequate rest.

Why You Should Have a Vacuum Cleaner at Home (Especially if You Live Alone)

Whether you have your own place or live with friends or family, there’s a good chance you will have to do a significant amount of cleaning. But keeping your home dust-free is rarely so easy – in fact, you’ll probably end up exhausted at the end of the day when everything is done.

And here’s where the vacuum cleaner comes in to make cleaning that much easier for you. While it might seem expensive at first, you’ll be glad to invest in one for the following reasons:

1. Brooms just won’t do the job well

Even something as simple as cleaning your room only once is enough for you to know that brooms just don’t cut it. And you’re right to think this way – in fact, the only thing a broom actually does is move the dust and dirt around until you can push them out of the house.

Vacuums are definitely superior when it comes to cleaning, as they suck in dust, cobwebs, and debris without you having to worry about them sticking to your broom or flying off somewhere unintended.

2. Your home is on a whole new level of dusty

No matter how good or fast you are at keeping your home dust-free, if your home gets dusty really easily, you’ll eventually wear yourself out trying to keep it spotless all the time with just manual tools.

This isn’t the issue when you invest in the right equipment to keep your home clean. With a vacuum cleaner, not only do you have a more effective way of getting dust out, but you also make your task a lot easier on yourself.

What’s even better is that vacuum cleaners are easy to use, and you can even teach small children how to use it safely.

3. You have allergies

Brooms move dust around too much without even removing it, and when it gets in people’s noses, it can easily trigger allergic reactions. This can make cleaning really difficult, if not outright impossible.

If you happen to suffer from this yourself, or if you live with people who do happen to be allergic to dust, then you’re definitely better off investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner to avoid this.

Cleaning your home and ensuring its spotlessness isn’t the most glamorous of chores. It’s tedious for almost everyone, and even allergy-inducing for some people who can’t do it themselves.

However, with the right equipment, you can make cleaning much easier on yourself and on everyone else – and there’s no better time to start than now.

So what are you waiting for? Invest in a high-quality vacuum cleaner today!

4 Simple Techniques to Explain Anything to Anyone Quickly

It’s easy to get in your own way when you’re trying to hold a conversation or teach something to the person you’re talking to. Meanwhile, effective speaking is more difficult.

Your speech can have serious consequences when you’re doing a PowerPoint presentation or a job interview, or when you need to communicate your thoughts in such a way that the other person or audience that they can understand it clearly and easily.

On Spontaneous Speaking

Spontaneous speaking is the act of being able to speak clearly and concisely without pausing or being confused at what you just said. And to do this, you have to be able to think and decide simultaneously.

More specifically, you need to be able to do two things instantly: figuring out what exactly you need to say, and figuring out how to say it in a way that the person or audience that you’re addressing can understand.

Structures for Spontaneous Speaking

There are a few techniques you can use to break things down into much simpler concepts, such as the following:

  • What-So What-Now What – This structure gives you a general framework when it comes to answering most questions asked of you in most occasions:
    • State what has happened or what is happening, followed by:
    • The reason why this particular thing or phenomenon matters, and what can be learned from it; and lastly,
    • Steps or future actions that can be taken in order to move forward.
  • Answer-Details-Describe – When answering a question, whether it’s after a speech or presentation, or during an interview, proceed by:
  • Answering the questions by condensing the information into as few words as possible. Next;
    • Detailing the answer by giving examples (you can use comparisons, such as metaphors and analogies, to give a clearer picture). Only after these can you:
    • Describe the value of your answer to the person asking.
  • Problem-Solution-Results – This is best used when trying to persuade an audience to try out your idea, concept or argument.Start off by:
    • Describing the problem you want to solve;
    • Following up with the steps to doing so, and;
    • Finishing off by explaining why and how these steps will solve the problem.
  • 1-3-1 – Another simple way to condense an argument or concept is by using the following structure:
    • Start with one (1) main idea or premise;
    • Lay out the three (3) main arguments for this idea or premise, and:
    • Recall your main points with one (1) call to action or conclusion.

Aside from using this technique to present an argument or just information, you can also use this to remember and learn ideas and concepts with a much better grasp.

8 Safety Tips to Keep In Mind for Your Next Camping

The summer season is the best time for people in Singapore to go on camping trips. Whether you are camping in an RV or a tent, in a national park or in a private campground, you need some preparations for a safe camping with friends or family.

  1. Bring a First Aid Kit

Purchase or make your own first aid kit that includes the following items:

  • Bandages and band aids
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Ibuprofen or Aspirin
  • A travel size bottle of alcohol
  • Antihistamine
  • Ensure Safety Storage for Food

Pack your foods in air-tight, waterproof bags and containers, and keep everything perishable in an insulated cooler. Raw meats should be separated from other foods to avoid cross contamination.

  • Keep Pests Away

You certainly do not want to attract rodents to your camping site. Therefore, make sure to store your food back to its containers or at least avoid keeping them out when done eating. If you’re bringing your dog with you, keep him on a leash and check for ticks when you’re about to go home.

  • Stay Warm

Camping means sleeping outdoors, so make sure to keep yourself warm and dry by bringing sleeping mats. You may also want to consider dressing in layers for additional warmth.

  • Know the Plants

You do not want you or your kids to get skin reactions to poison ivy or poison oak when on the trip. Research and learn to spot poisonous plants.

  • Purify Your Drinking Water

If you must drink water from untested water sources, like lakes and streams, always purify it by boiling for at least a minute. You can also use water purification tablets, which contains chlorine, iodine or halazone and will kill most water-borne viruses, bacteria and some parasites.

  • Make a Safe Fire

Do not build campfires under low trees or leaving your campfire unattended. Check for flammable debris, such as dry leaves and garbage, near your fire pit. If there’s no designated fire pit, surround your campfire with rocks.

  • Protect Your Skin From the Sun

The sun’s harmful rays can reach your skin not only on sunny days, but even on cloudy and hazy days. Always put on sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 before heading out. Look for a shade during midday and wear hats and sunglasses as much as possible.

While this list seems to be short, more of it is common sense and things that you already know. Like any other vacation, camping trips also needs planning. If you are well-prepared, your camping trip is much more likely to be fun and memorable for everyone.

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