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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 […]

Cover of "The Essence of Watercolor," by artist and author Hazel Soan.

The Essence of Watercolour: A Book by Hazel Soan

Near the end of this past summer I received a note from Batsford asking if I would like to review a the Hazel Soan book: “The Essence of Watercolor.”  (I provided the above link to Amazon so you can read more about the book and see a flip through one reader has put up. I’m not […]

Quick pen sketch that I started on a legal pad (lined yellow paper) and then decided that I wanted to shade and fiddle around with.

Using Little Bits of Paper

I write about using little bits of paper every so often. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I have another post on this coming up later this month. Here’s a sketch I started on a yellow legal pad. I was trying to decide if I would sketch or paint, and I wanted to […]

Sketching two pumpkins that I was given last year. I love all the knobby bits and the stems, and don't mid that I go off the page! Brush pen on the new Folio paper in a handmade book. (The tab at the spine was inserted at the binding to make room for collage throughout the book.)

In Context—Pumpkins

I really enjoy the fall because there are so many pumpkins around to sketch. I love playing with angle of where I’m sitting and how the pumpkin is turned because it can look so different.  Mostly pumpkins give me an excuse to move the brush pen across the page. If you don’t have much time […]

All my binding methods can be done at home without any special equipment. I stack my books with heavy art books as weights, there are also some bricks on the top of the stack that didn't make it into the photo. When I'm done binding everything gets put back on the shelves and it's life as normal.

New Adventures in Book Binding

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to add a new entry into this series of posts started way back at the beginning of my blog! A shoulder injury has kept me from binding batches of books. I’ve bound a book now and then so I’d have a special Minnesota State Fair Journal, […]

A full spread sketch in the largest Hahnemühle Nostalgie sketchbook. I used a Bienfang Magenta watercolor brush pend to start and did the comb and wattles and area around the eye. A little different approach for me because I usually start with the eye. Then I decided to paint some of the features, add color to the background, and also add some stenciling detail to the background.

When Do You Stop? When Is A Drawing Finished

I think the number one question I get from students is: “When do I know my drawing is finished?” Most people aren’t going to like the answer. You’ll know after you’ve taken a ton of sketches past the point of no return. Here’s the thing, you’re asking a question that involves choices both stylistic choices […]

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Using Photoshop to Quickly Change Background Colors in a Scan

Sometimes you finish a sketch and you wonder, what would happen if I did “this” or “that.” But maybe you don’t want to try “this” or “that” because you don’t want to lose what you already have. I tend not to use Photoshop to change my sketches just because I prefer to work with natural […]

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If You Can’t Go Tight Go Loose

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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—Doodling

 

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