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In Context: Things You Learn in a Day

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Working Transparently and Opaquely with Watercolor

My eyes have still not settled down after the cataract surgeries (January 28 and March 5). There are some issues which appear to be permanent. I’ll deal with them in another post. Today I wanted to write about the drive to paint in color, the need to push paint around. If you saw the journal […]

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When Your Pen Leaks Make It a Feature

Here’s a sketch from 2018 when I was doing some experiments to find my favorite toned paper for mixed media. I was testing a bunch of different chipboards. They soak up watercolor and gouache but you can use acrylic markers on them. Most I found were too expensive (when you locate them and pay postage) […]

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Upgrading Your Paper Choices for Sketchbooks, Visual Journals, and Art

  To get the best results when sketching and painting it makes sense to use the best quality materials that you can afford. Then upgrade those materials as your budget allows. Recently a blog reader wrote in saying that she had upgraded her art supplies to artist level watercolors (mostly Daniel Smith), purchased some quality […]

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How Do I Keep a Journal or a Sketchbook?

I get asked all the time “How do I keep a journal or a sketchbook?” I teach journaling classes in which students create in visual journals. I teach drawing classes that require students keep a sketchbook. Some people also ask me how journals and sketchbooks differ. The questions have so much “extra” weight. What those […]

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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 […]

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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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