Currently Browsing: creativity

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 […]

The original sketch which is a light quick pencil sketch, ink sketching added, watercolor, and acrylic marker. It's about 8 x 8 inches square on new Folio paper. (Remember I differentiate between the old style Folio and newer incarnation of that paper.)

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 […]

Sakura Fiber Tipped Brush Pen sketch with watercolor washes, on Fabriano Artistico, 140 lb., Hot Press  watercolor paper.

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 […]

I believe in the value of making a mess. I believe that sometimes you just need to make marks on a page, just to get things down on a page and to keep the flow going.



6 x 9 inch Platinum Carbon Black sketch pen and gouache sketch on watercolor paper. (Sktchy model.)

Getting Used to New Glasses

Since April I’ve been getting used to a new prescription in my glasses. This is always a stressful time. Since March I’ve had two new pairs of glasses—the first pair didn’t work at all (everything in the close vision was double!). Because I was working around the clock in the middle of two projects and […]

9 x 12 inch sheet of recycled watercolor paper with a quick ink sketch (dried out pen) from imagination. I was thinking about portrait composition with people and animals.

Being Present

I’ve been organizing my files and clearing up the studio so I can move on to new projects. I found this loose journal page in the TV room on a stack of books. I also read in that room early in the morning while Dick is upstairs reading his newspaper and having his coffee before […]

This quick brush pen sketch with an acrylic marker background allowed me to assess a new type of illustration board in under 5 minutes. (6 x 9 inches)

Two Reasons to Work in a Series

Background Information You Should Know Yes, I have a collection of plastic dinosaurs. They are scale replicas. Yes they are technically toys but did I mention they are scale replicas. If you’ve taken any drawing class from me you’ll have heard me talk about these subjects—still life subjects who are great stand ins for live […]

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