Currently Browsing: creativity

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In Context: Sometimes Stories Pop into Your Head…

Sometimes something about your source inspiration suggests a story. This can be a pose that a model strikes for you, or a person you see out in public having a conversation you can’t overhear, or a photo inspiration like the type you find on Sktchy. It can even happen when you draw a selfie. Whenever […]

Detail of today's watercolor sketch.

Studying Other Artists, Or Dealing with a Plateau in Artistic Development

Recently one of my Drawing Practice students mentioned that she’d been discouraged to see the “before” and “after” artwork someone had posted on Facebook. Some of the artists included showed art from childhood and adulthood. Others posted work that was only a couple of years apart, yet showed great development of representational facility. All were […]

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Practice: Thinking about Ricky Jay

  Writer, historian, magician, performer, actor, Ricky Jay died on Saturday, November 24,  at the age of 72. While a man who knew how to run all the classic short and long cons might not seem the ideal role model you need to take a closer look. Here is someone who spent his life observing […]

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Why Drawing Matters

Drawing matters for a number of reasons. Last week I had a note from a past student who had recently lost her mother. The student had stopped drawing for months. Grief disrupts life in a thousand ways. When I was writing to her I was thinking about my own maternal loss this year, the death […]

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Still More about Scribbling

This is part three of a three-part series on some scribbling portraits I’ve been working on. Check Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts from this week for the others. After a few sketches it seemed obvious to me that I needed to try a female subject. I find it difficult to sketch women. Wait, not difficult, simply […]

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More Scribbling

When I use an approach that appeals to me or interests me in some way I want to try it again to see if I can apply it to different subjects. After I sketched the image shown in Monday’s post I spent several days making experiments. I scribbled with all sorts of pens, with all […]

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Playing with Lines, Scribbling…

As the caption states, I was trying something new when I drew this. I used a couple different pens and then added watercolor washes. But when I was working with the pens I didn’t try to consider my lines carefully and keep them to a minimum—I scribbled. It was great fun. And I felt that […]

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John Ruskin: The Father of Modern Sketchbook Practice

Tuesday in a Facebook group I belong to someone asked: “Which country originated the practice of the sketchbook?” Group members, myself included, got sidestepped into discussionsof what was a sketchbook, and the history of bookmaking, and I even looked into the Oxford English Dictionary and an online dictionary to see when the word “sketchbook” went […]

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It’s Fun To Change Media Now And Then

Sometimes if you’ve been working steadily in one medium it’s good to take a break and do some sketching with a totally different medium. I’d been sketching so much with pen and watercolor before the Minnesota State Fair that I decided to start a sketchbook for color pencil quick sketches. (I say quick sketches because […]

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Projects versus Series?

  Sometimes in classes I have students ask me what the difference is between a project and a series. I believe the difference is basically slim to none depending on how the user of these words understands and defines them.  Dictionary.com defines “project” as something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme. a large […]

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