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A Watercolor Sketch of Alun Armstrong

Alun Armstrong’s character in “New Tricks” wears a knitted watch cap in many episodes. And so in March 2021 when I was sketching him every day I ended up sketching him in such a cap quite a lot. That’s fine because I think it’s fun to sketch knitted textures.  Here is the sketch before I […]

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Another Dog Portrait…

As we leave July and my Patreon discussions about dog portraits I simply wanted to make a case, through one more portrait, about contrast. It’s vital, it draws the eye, it’s fun to build up.  Here’s a sketch from 2018. I liked the textures (and suggested textures) so much that all I wanted was a […]

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The Case for Not Finishing a Sketch

I’m the first person to encourage people to finish what they start. In fact I encourage people to push past the point where they think they have finished, because until you “break” a few sketches you don’t really know where that point of finish resides. But I also wanted to put a word in today […]

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Annals of Downsizing: Why Not Fold Some Paper?

I’ve got 10,000 things to do, but why not fold 800 sheets of paper? While clearing out my storage room I found a box of pre-cut 17 x 11 inch paper with the grain running with the 11 inch side. I had it cut years ago to use for printing some zines I was making. […]

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In Context—Playing Catch Up

  I’ve been offline for five days and it seems like I’ve forgotten everything about the computer and the programs I work in. I’m playing catch-up and a post here was on the top of the list. It has been a difficult month physically for me: increased vision difficulties and a back spasm that made […]

A close up of my scribbling. The Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen I was using was getting deliciously dried out.

Bookbinding and Journaling, I Can Be Contrary In My Choices

I started the new year with one of the journals I bound in the fall of 2017. (I made 50 plus journals in a month while in a cast [foot and ankle] due to a fall down some stairs. Another contrary choice I see in hindsight—but the orthopedic surgeon had cleared me for activity.) It […]

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More Fun With Hair (and a Beard)

The brilliant audacity of this hair takes my breath away. It makes me smile.  

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In Context—Hair Volume and a Note

Volume in hair is always such a glorious surprise. It can float right off the page. (This is a page spread from December 2018. I’m not sure why I didn’t have a date and time on this sketch—I usually write that information automatically on each sketch or page when completed. This book has been archived, […]

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Papers Buckling When Using Wet Media

Awhile back a student wrote to me about her problem with buckling papers in her journal. Buckling happens when wet media is used on papers. The moisture soaks into the fibers that make up the paper. The fibers swell, the buckling ensues. The artist may become grumpy. But that’s like being grumpy at clouds for […]

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Using More Than One Type of Pen

The mood we want to achieve in a finished illustration influences what type of pen we choose to work with—what type of line we want to express. It’s obvious when I started to sketch this I was pulled by interest in the facial hair and short hair on the head, as well as the height […]

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