Currently Browsing: Birds

In Context—I’ll Sketch On Any Bit of Paper

I suppose you could call it a doodle, but I think of it as a sketch. It isn’t in my journal, it’s in my day planner, which sits beside me on the computer table. One of my students alerted me to a new Peregrine nest cam and I turned it on. I grabbed what was […]

My friend Terri Wentzka took this photo of me as I sketched a turkey at the Fair, using my portable "table." The entire table is attached to a monopod. The brush holder is in the top right corner of the table.

Making a Simple Brush Holder for Your Travel Brushes

This year at the Fair I wanted to use real brushes with water, not water brushes, when painting.  Since I stand when I sketch it meant I had to have a way to put all my supplies and journal on one work surface. Dick and I made up a prototype “travel table” using plastic corrugated […]

This is the first sketch on the gray paper I did this day. I started with red pencil, but abandoned it because I didn't like the red on the paper. I went instead to the Pentel Brush pen.

Summer Chicken Sketch Out with Metro Sketchers

Earlier this summer a local Minneapolis couple who keep chickens invited Metro Sketchers over to their home—they have 6 chickens! Sketchers filled the yard on fold out and lawn chairs while the chickens weaved in and about nibbling on cracked corn sprinkled on the grass. One chicken decided that my wash water (which didn’t have […]

Chicken sketch in pen and watercolor on a 9 x 12 inch watercolor board, made in the Poulty Barn in 2016.

The Great Minnesota State Fair Sketch Together Is Almost Here!

The name has changed slightly but don’t be confused, the best sketch out of the year still offers the same great fun—two sketch out days to choose from (attend them both if you can); four fun meetings to attend and meet other sketchers, and a whole world of live subjects to sketch and interesting buildings […]

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In Context: Warm-Ups Matter

The rest of this month and through the first weeks of August I’ll be working with bookbinding students so I’ve got some short “summer reading” posts coming up. Later I’ll have some product reviews, tips posts, and of course some Minnesota State Fair Prep! SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

My gouache start was obviously going nowhere, there was too much drag. I moved on to color pencil.

Review of Strathmore’s Vision Watercolor Paper

One thing you have to remember when testing paper is that less expensive papers aren’t going to do all the things that you want them to do. It’s a matter of trade offs. Is it essential that your favorite pen work on a paper, or that you can add watercolor washes, or use color pencil? […]

Day 1: Rituals

Wrapping Up My 2017 International Fake Journal

Today I’ve got a gallery of images created in April for 2017 International Fake Journal Month. (Don’t know what IFJM is? Or what fake journal is? Click on the link.) This year’s journal was a loose sheet journal. All the sketch pages were 6-3/16 x 9.25 inches. In keeping with my goal of using what I […]

Mixed media sketch (8.5 x 11 approx. on Nostalgie) using brush pen and green Uni Posca marker, followed by acrylic paint markers, watercolor, and color pencil. There's a little bit of pink gel pen in some areas, but it wasn't showing up so I went in search of other tools; oh, and a bit of red-china marker.

How Do We Pick The Subjects For Our Art?

  My childhood was spent in many places, amidst many cultures. Something I always found, wherever I was—birds. It didn’t matter if we were in Switzerland and it was pigeons on the city window sill, in a Fijian village where chickens were scratching for survival, or an animal sanctuary where Emus had perfected the ninja […]

9 x 12 inch Kilimanjaro Watercolor paper journal page. Brush pen and watercolor. The turkey was a yard visitor, the quotation was from a movie I was watching that night. Do they mean anything together? No, but I wanted to get the quotation down as I watched the movie. I knew I wanted to laugh and think about it some more. And I have.

Journaling Superstition #20: Your Text and Your Image Need to “Make Sense” Together

Students tell me all the time, “I can’t write in my journal, I don’t have anything profound to say.” Or they worry, “I don’t want to write on my pages because my handwriting is so bad.” Or they fret that, “What I’m thinking about right now and want to write about doesn’t have anything to […]

This is a pen and watercolor sketch made from life at the Minnesota State Fair in 2016. In class you'll see me demonstrate sketching live animals at the Fair!

Drawing Practice: Drawing Live Subjects in Public—Class Begins April 30, 2017

Do you wish you had a daily drawing practice? Do you wonder how to approach sketching live subjects? Do you want to join in the fun of sketch outs but you feel self-conscious sketching in public? Is there a nagging voice in your mind telling you that your sketches always fail? Beginning April 30 I […]

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