Currently Browsing: January 2018 10 articles

Painting with ink washes on top of a pre-painted background texture. Actor Yannick Bisson in "Murdock Mysteries." Fabriano Artistico Cold Press 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Ink Wash on Pre-Painted Background Textures

Textures make me smile. What can I sketch on one today? I ask. The other day I made this brush pen and ink wash sketch on a pre-painted background texture. I love the way the yellow bits of textured background show as a glow here and there while the warmer reds come through as warmth […]

Pen and watercolor sketch on Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb. Watercolor paper (review of the paper coming in February).

In-Context: Just Go With It—Follow Your Nose

Often one sketch will lead to another. The other day, the world turned on its end and I was feeling a bit dark. I did some rapid fire sketches of all sorts of monsters in thumbnail. I’d post them but you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are. Just know they were tiny and […]

Pentel Brush Pen and gouache sketch on a pre-painting background. (Hand•Book Watercolor Journal.)

Textures 2018 Class Registration Closes February 3: Why Use Textures?

I am offering my “Textures: Backgrounds for Visual Journaling and Mixed Media” online again this year. The 2018 class begins on February 3. There are 6 weeks of lessons in which students work through the process of creating backgrounds for their artwork. I share my favorite materials and approaches and provide detailed information on on […]

Moods and Momentum in Your Daily Drawing Practice

The sketch in today’s post is the first sketch I did on the day following my November 19, 2017 fall (torn tendons and ligaments, and small fracture in left foot). I think you can tell from the sketch exactly how high my frustration level is as I sit up with a pen, my foot in […]

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Another Look at the Handbook Watercolor Journal

Things change over time. It’s a fact when you use art materials. Papers may be made for 400 years at a mill, but over your lifetime any paper you change will have subtle if not significant changes. The same is true for paints, and brushes. Some ingredients for paints might become scarce or no longer […]

A page spread from my Hahnemühle Watercolor journal that I tested. I'll be posting a review soon!

In Context: Notes, and Lists, and Sketches All Together

For today’s in context post I wanted to show you how when I need to make a note and work out which new pigments I want to buy and I’ve left my list at home, I simply sit down and work it out in the journal I’m using—even if it contains watercolor paper. Above you […]

A 4 x 7 inch watercolor painting on leftover book board that has been prepared with gesso.

Having Fun With Book Board Scraps

  In December I wrote, “Five Things To Do When You’ve Got Paper That’s Just Too Bad To Work With.”   In that post I wrote about gessoing over paper that you don’t enjoy working on so that you can still use the paper, but not feel limited by the paper in its manufactured state. […]

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Sometimes Technology Is Fun: The Last Half of 2017 on Sktchy

  Above: A short video slide show of the ortraits I made during the second half of 2017 while working with the Sktchy App. If it doesn’t show up here, you can view it on YouTube at this link. 2017 was a horrible year for me and technology. I had a scanner that didn’t work. […]

First page spread for 2018—a hardbound journal that is made with Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. Cold Press watercolor paper. (Journal approx. 8 x 8 inches square.)

In Context: Snow Piles

Typically on New Year’s Day I go and sketch at Como Zoo. This year, it seemed impractical to try to park (Como is always crowded on New Year’s Day), walk the long distance to the entry, walk to the Aquatic building (where I could sketch puffins), and reverse the process while keeping my toe warm […]

My sketch of Dick when I was in the emergency. I can see by the line that it is less fluid than normal, stopping almost artificially and turning at various points in a way I don't usually do. Additional there are restatements that I've obviously zoned out in—making more and more marks in one area instead of balancing marks across the surface. And there are several places where I can see and remember I made marks even though I was telling myself, "Don't." I just couldn't hear myself through the pain.

Why Drawing Practice Matters and What Your Line Can Tell You

Readers of my blog know that I love observing my process. I can’t help myself. Even during emergencies. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and find ways to always sketch. On November 19 I fell in a friend’s foyer. I was rushing across the foyer to my fanny pack to change my […]

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