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Detail of the painting so you can see the brush pen sketch lines and the thickness of the watercolor I was using in an opaque manner.

Sketching on Any Old Paper You Have At Hand

Sometimes we can get into our heads. We can spend time telling ourselves all the reasons we can’t take time right now and paint.  As a teacher for over 30 years I think I’ve heard every excuse there is: no space to set up, don’t have the materials I want to work with; I don’t […]

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Visiting Minnesota—A Drawing Student’s Question

Recently a former Sketchbook Skool Student wrote to me asking me what to see when she was in Minnesota. (Evidently she was traveling here to go up north in Wisconsin for a drawing class at one of the resorts.) Of course whenever you ask someone a question like that you are taking into account their […]

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Making Neutrals with a Secondary Triad

  Update: May 14, 2022. The paper used for this portrait was from a pad purchased in 2000-02. Magnani Portofino paper has been “revamped.” The current version of this paper is NOT one I would recommend for wet media work. You can see a post reviewing the currently available paper on this blog on May […]

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Judging Your Own Art

  It always surprises me which of my art pieces people seem to like the most. But I don’t believe we should be led by this—just interested in the perception. Obviously when you work commercially a client explains what they want. You then either execute that or have convincing reasons for how they really want […]

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In Context—Sketching Through Pain

  Be sure to note the date—it’s last April! I’m doing just fine today and keeping up with all my physical therapy maintenance exercises. This is a couple sketches of Nic Sampson, an actor on “The Brokenwood Mysteries.” Click on this link to read my recent review of the series. (Hint, I’m a fan.) I […]

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Yet Another Wizard

  Yes another wizard; this is one of my favorites. I’ve been having tons of fun painting wizards in-between the demands of downsizing. Tired of sorting papers to put into storage? Go sketch a wizard.  At the end of this post you can also see the full-page spread where this portrait was sketched. And on […]

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Getting Some Sketching Practice In

The other day I was writing about a friend alerting me to the fact that Amazon Prime is now carrying some of the seasons of “Portrait Artist of the Year.” I have loved this show from the moment I heard about it from one of my English friends. Here are a couple sketches I made […]

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Another Sort of Selfie—The Doodle Selfie

  This is a late-night doodle, which is also a selfie… It’s on Fabriano Hot Press watercolor paper that I made into a hand-bound book. After midnight my spelling is questionable, though at least I still usually question it.

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More Hair—a Selfie

  I’m wrapping up the current hair series with a selfie. My braided hair of course. I don’t do selfies often. I have to stand in the bathroom and juggle pens and palettes.  I was frustrated late one night because my foot was in a cast and my vision was particularly frustrating. But there is […]

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Television Mysteries

Things have come up and interrupted my writing of blog posts. I’ve got little folders with the dates and topics and the drawings all set up and yet I keep getting “called” away. I decided rather than try to make the reasoned, composed, and collected blog post about all the mysteries on television I’ve been […]

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