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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 […]

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Part Three: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

This is part three of a multi-part review of the smooth Zeta soft-bound journals from Stillman & Birn (S&B). You can see part one here. Yesterday I posted part two here. Working in Watercolor on the Smooth Zeta Paper I think it’s fair to say that most of my blog readers work with wet media—most […]

Using the Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen in FB on the smooth Zeta paper. The lines are crisp, the pen is a bit draggy on this surface.

Part Two: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

This is part two of a multi-part review of the Stillman & Birn (SB) Smooth Zeta Soft-bound journal. You can see part one here. Today I wanted to look at two approaches for which the smooth heavyweight Zeta is suited. Mixed Media Because of its weight the paper is particularly suited to collage and mixed […]

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Making A Color Chart To Test My 2017 Fall Watercolor Box

Recently I purchased the new fall Schmincke Pan Watercolor Set at Wet Paint. This contains different colors than the one I purchased in the spring, added colors to, and then took to the Minnesota State Fair. While recovering from bronchitis I had some time on my hands so I decided to make a color chart […]

8 x 10 inch pen and watercolor sketch on Fluid 100 140 Hot Press watercolor paper using the Molotow masking pen. You can see areas where I applied mask in the bandana, beard, and shirt. I was using the 4mm tip (I couldn't find the finer tip) and working loosely. If you want finer lines you can  purchase a refilled and use a toothpick, brush, or other tool, to apply this liquid mask.

Useful Tools: The Molotow Grafx Art Masking Liquid Pump Marker

If you paint in watercolor, inks, or acrylics, chances are at some point you’ve tried to mask something off so that you could retain the white of your paper, or an earlier color that you had laid down.  Artists use lots of products for masking—tape is the obvious one, especially if you want to create […]

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Same Pen—Different Papers

Throughout the spring this year I was testing watercolor papers. I made signatures of the watercolor papers I was testing and then used the same materials in each of the booklets. This is a quick and easy way to compare papers because you only have 16 pages until you can move on to the next […]

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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Hair—Something I Love To Sketch

One of the things that attracts my eye to a possible face to sketch is the hair of that person. I like it when people get inventive with their hairstyles. It’s a little bit of living vicariously for me, because as you might know I haven’t changed my hairstyle since I was in my twenties!  […]

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Different Types of Brush Pens for Different Results

I write lots of posts about the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and the various squeezy barreled brush Pens that Pentel makes. The beauty of those pens is the real brush tip with synthetic hairs. These individual hairs allow you to get broken strokes that play up the texture of the paper and add an emotional […]

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Carl Has Come Home

Confused about Carl Too (see Friday) and Carl? Carl was my first Giganotosaurus model. He’s a Schleich, but he’s really large. I’ve never seen another one of their models be this large. He’s the only one I’ve seen in person. The last at the hobby store and then there were none. But I’ve enjoyed sketching […]

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