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Sketching Faces: When You Feel You’ve Hit A Plateau

    I sketch a ton of faces. I look back over the years and see how my approach to sketching faces has changed, how it’s constantly evolving. Often students write to me about experiencing a plateau in their drawing efforts. They feel that they have achieved a level of skill at which they remain […]

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Thinking about Dry Brush Portraits

One of my favorite things to do is to paint with watercolor in a dry brush fashion. What does that mean? Dry brush means that there is relatively little water on your brush. You move the pigment carrying brush across the paper and the brush picks up the texture of the paper.  For the best […]

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Looking Back at InkTober 2018

I frequently work for days and weeks at a time in ink only. I have an early, childhood love of dip pens and inky fingers. I love working with the brush pen directly, and taking chances with bold brush lines.  This year I was also getting ready to go to a sketching conference and wanted […]

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Trick or Treat Sketch?

I live in a neighborhood of university students. I think there are only five home-owners left. We don’t get trick-or-treaters for Halloween. If you live in a neighborhood where you do I suggest you position yourself by a window, and draw the costumed visitors. (This assumes that you have lights on your porch or front […]

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Working on Hahnemühle’s Harmony Watercolor Paper

I’m a hot press paper person. It’s plain and simple. Sure on textured papers if you use the brush pen the line gets all broken up in interesting ways. Great. I love that. But I love the smooth feel of the brush pen moving along smooth, plate smooth paper more. Much more. One of the […]

Direct brush sketch with watercolor on the new Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper.

New Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper Debut at Wet Paint

Mark your calendars. Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be painting demonstrations to celebrate the release of the new Winsor & Newton Watercolor paper at Wet Paint, in St. Paul MN. The first 100 attendees will receive a free 22 x 30 inch sample sheet of this 140 lb. […]

Direct brush sketch using a heavily opaque watercolor which breaks up delightfully on the texture of this Jack Richeson Recycled Watercolor paper. (English Red)

Looking Again at Jack Richeson Recycled Watercolor Paper

  In 2012 I did a bunch of paintings and tests of Jack Richeson Recycled Watercolor Paper. It’s a 135 lb. Cold press paper that has a decidedly grey white color.  In one of my posts on this paper I actually admitted that the paper made me feel “very odd.” I shouldn’t like it. It’s […]

Direct brush watercolor sketch on a 4 x 6 inch scrap of book board that was gessoed before sketching.

Five Things To Do When You’ve Got Paper That’s Just Too Bad To Work With

My recent series on Zeta paper in the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks generated a lot of mail about paper. I know a lot of people get part way into a journal, find they aren’t enjoying the paper and feel constrained about wasting the paper by simply jumping to a new journal. I think to stay […]

The first sketch I made on World Beard Day. I got a bit of a late start. I started large—this is about 12 x 18 inches, Pentel Brush pen and watercolor, with an acrylic marker background. For all my portraits I was using muses in the Sktchy App. So many great bearded men who post photos of themselves for us to sketch!

No Shave November

Since I’m so interested in drawing beards I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t keep track that “No Shave November” is going on. This is an event that seeks to raise cancer awareness and also raise money for cancer research. You can read all about it at the link. I was going to […]

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In Context—Direct Brush Sketch and A Brief Review of “Taboo.”

  I know last week when I started the new series “In-Context” I wrote that I wouldn’t be writing a blog post with the images—but today’s entry really required a bit more “context.” In January I started watching “Taboo” staring Tom Hardy. Readers of my blog already know I’m a huge Tom Hardy fan and […]

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