Stoo’s Picks

Here’s a few of the things I use in the process of doing what I do accompanied by a few words and links (some as affiliated links).

Over time I’ll be dropping more in here as short and concise review snippets, just enough to voice my opinion but not to send you off to sleep. Only a few to start off with but will be add more as I find the time. Cheers!” – Stoo

LED Gaming Mouse

Was on the look out for a gaming mouse for my son to use on his laptop. With so much choice available it was quite overwhelming what ones to include in the shortlist let alone actually pick one!

I scoured the reviews and opted to go for this one in the end. It was a good price backed up with a fair old number of positive reviews. The look of the mouse was great and with the contrast between the white case and the LED lights really stood out amongst the defacto black ones available.

So how does it feel? Well it does what you expect has varying DPI settings and feels comfortable in the hand without the ache you can get from similar cheaper models. I tested it quite extensively with a few games and it felt responsive and unhindered in operation.

Droid Star Rating:

* Affilite link *

Veikk A15 Tablet

June 2019, my old Wacom tablet was showing signs of failing – erratic pen detection and random straight lines which alas signalled the end for it. No matter what I tried I had no choice but to bin it and look for a replacement.

Initially I was going to go for another Wacom but by chance I’d seen a tablet advertised from a company called VEIKK. I hadn’t heard of  Veikk before let alone know about their products. This A15 model I really liked the look of, so I watched a few review videos and read a selection of comments on its Amazon(UK) page. It was on offer for £40, so I took the plunge and ordered one.

Over a year on, it still works, it’s pen is battery free which until recently was one of the big selling points of Wacom tablets. The drivers, once I’d uninstalled the Wacom once, worked great. There is an occasional screen mapping problem with dual screen setups, where it forgets the mapping after an awaken but it’s so minor it hasn’t hindered the use – doesn’t seem to be doing it so much after the last update.

So would I recommend this tablet?  I would for Windows 10, no idea what it’s like for Mac and I can say that under Linux Mint it behaves like a normal pointer device, so no pressure sensitivity being picked up, which is a shame as I wish more manufacturers supported Linux. One day?

Worth a look I’d say.

Droid Star Rating:

Krita Digital Art Software

A few years back I was looking at videos on YouTube for digital painting software that wasn’t Photoshop. I’d had some experience of MyPaint on Linux which is brilliant for sketching but wanted something with more advanced features. Krita popped up in my search along with a video by the excellent David Revoy. I was immediately impressed by the features it offered especially the brush engine , it looked brilliant! I took the plunge which in the case of Krita is no more than a click and an install and started to use it.

I don’t proclaim to be an expert using it but when I do use it the software doesn’t get in the way of being creative, it just does the job well, more so if like me you use keyboard shortcuts, this software sits comfortably with mouse/tablet and keyboard use. It has a fantastic brush engine with plenty of customisation so you can tweak the brush presets to exactly what you want. I could go on, I won’t. Take a look and try it out for yourself if you’re on the look out for something to get into digital art. Did I mention it’s free!

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Rotring Tikky Mechanical Pencil

Since my school days, I’ve always liked mechanical pencils, the immediacy of the lead and precision of the line just worked for me. So I guess it comes as no surprise I draw more with these types of pencils than more traditional ones. Don’t get me wrong I do use normal pencil but prefer these for line work.

I discovered this brand of pencil after Shoo Rayner recommended them in one of his videos – he has a fantastic YouTube channel by the way. I find them comfortable to hold, and they deliver the lead without hassle. Having said that, re-filling them needs some getting used to as the mechanism is a bit tricky  to get the lead to appear after a new one has been inserted.

I think they’re pretty good value overall and are of a decent enough quality to feel comfortable in the hand, the little eraser inside the end cap comes in hand too.

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