What Kind of a Wise Ass Are You?

August 28, 2020
Page spread from last year in an 8.5 x 11 inch handbound journal I made with the OLD Gutenberg paper.

Look, I’m known as a bit of a wise-ass.

No, let’s be honest, I’m a total-wise-ass-pain-in-the-butt-[expletive-deleted].

As such I really respond well to the wise-assery of others.

Ryan Reynolds’ movie characters are a particular favorite of mine. Reynolds has the untrainable ability to talk fast, clear, and sassy while still pushing a plot line forward.

Not all actors can do this.

Bruce Willis did this week after week in the TV Series “Moonlighting.” John Cusack did this in his early movies. In some movies Sam Rockwell does this in an inverted, sotto voce way, breathtakingly as sharp, and in some ways more manic because it is unexpected.

I enjoy keeping track.

Using Space on a Journal Page

On this page spread I was doing studies of a character on a TV show.

In the detail image you can see how I have layered my washes of watercolor onto the texture of this laid paper.

Note: I made this journal with some of the OLD Gutenberg paper purchased before it was discontinued in 2016-2017 and then brought back. The new Gutenberg from Hahnemühle isn’t suitable for this type of work. But think about the use of this dry brush approach to glazing on your favorite cold press paper. I worked with filberts and watercolor.

The texture of the paper breaks the line of my Sakura Pigma Professional brush pen up into almost graphite-like lines. The paper allows for reworking and layering of colors. I used a little bit of white gel-pen to bring in some of the stubble, gray eyebrow hairs, and short-cropped hair.

After making a quick study on the left page, trying out colors for facial skintones, I decided that what was really interesting about this actor to me, was not his beard (gasp!) but the negative space around those ears. That became the focus of the second, more developed sketch.

Sometimes, after sketching I’ll leave the rest of a spread blank. Sometimes I’ll journal about my day.

But on this day I did what I often do, I honored a wonderfully delivered dialogue line by noting it down.

Even now it makes me laugh.

Even now I wish I’d said it to someone.

Does it bother me that it has no relation to the image on the page?

Nope. Not a bit. 

All that matters is that I note things down so I can savor them later. If that makes me a wise-ass who flaunts the rules of journaling you abide by, well I can’t do anything about that.

There’s only one rule I have for journaling—experiment as much as you can every day.

You get to decide how you want to work in your own journal. 

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