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Don’t Miss the 11th Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out!

  It’s almost time for the 11th Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out! Saturday, August 24 and Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Location: Minnesota State Fairgrounds in  St. Paul, Minnesota. See this link on the Fair Website for driving instructions to the Fairgrounds, and a printable map of the Fairgrounds. (These maps are available at the Fair […]

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Ways Your Journal Reflects Your Life—Unfinished Tests, Unfinished Sketches

      I hear from a lot of blog readers and students that they work on their journal sketches later, if they can’t finish them when they first set out to sketch. I believe a journal needs to reflect your life. That puts me in the “move on” camp if a page isn’t finished […]

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Different Watercolor Papers Take Paint Differently

Different watercolor papers take paint differently. The higher the quality of the paper the better the fibers and sizing used to make it will interact with your paints (which need also to be quality artist paints). If you’re having an issue, like the one I was on this spread (read my handwritten comments), and on […]

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In Context: A Show, a Sketch, a Note

  I hate it when a show has only a season. I don’t seem to stop myself from watching. Then when there are no more episodes I’m hooked, but bereft. This happened was going to happen with this show, so I stopped early. One of the many wonky sketches I did in April when I […]

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Another Watercolor Sketch in an Arteza Watercolor Book

      I’m still working my way through an Arteza Watercolor book.  It’s 8.3 x 11.7 inches. I wrote a review of this journal and paper in a ninepart series (I think it was only nine).  You can enter the words “Arteza Watercolor Book” in my blog’s search engine and all the posts will […]

Examples of the Simple Round Back Spine structure with cloth covered boards and recessed labels. (The book in the back has a raised label effect we will discuss.)

Bookbinding: Registration closes August 2 for Simple Round Back Spine Class

Registration for “The Simple Round Back Spine” online bookbinding class closes August 2, 2019.  Class begins on August 3, 2019 with all lessons dropping at once so that students can work at their own pace during the month. I’ll be available to answer your questions. (I recommend that students aim to make two books during […]

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Sketching in Family Situations: Creating New Family Contracts

If you desire to sketch at family gatherings and visits but it seems impossible this post is for you. If you already have sketching integrated into your life I suggest you stop reading and go sketch. Recently a blog reader wrote the following to me I love your posts and your portraits! How do you […]

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Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

  Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate. But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell […]

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A Little Bit of Bright Color in a Portrait

You already know how I feel about the paper in the Arteza Watercolor Book—pretty ambivalent at best; but there is nothing like a bit of bright color to make you smile. And if you are working loosely with a flat brush, you might just start giggling because you’re having so much fun. Get out your […]

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Keeping Your Mind in the Present Moment

Seems like you can’t turn around these days without someone telling you to keep your mind in the present moment. I tell my students that all the time. I have told students for 30 years that being able to keep your mind in the present moment is one of the main benefits of journaling. I’m […]

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