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Sketching in Family Situations: Creating New Family Contracts

If you desire to sketch at family gatherings and visits but it seems impossible this post is for you. If you already have sketching integrated into your life I suggest you stop reading and go sketch. Recently a blog reader wrote the following to me I love your posts and your portraits! How do you […]

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Do You Stop Or Keep Pushing?

One of the things I’m asked most frequently by students is, “When do I know I’m finished with my [painting/sketch]?” I’ve heard many people give the flip response, “When you realize that you’ve gone to far, then you know you should have stopped.” It’s actually more simple and more complex than that. First, yes, if […]

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 […]

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We Work With What We Have

Left: In the smallest landscape Hahnemühle Nostalgie sketchbook which is about 6 x 4.25 inches—a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch from a photo in the Sktchy app, while waiting in the doctor’s patient room. No new cartridges, just the barest flow of ink…I had to keep trying to move around the face and get in a […]

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Overcoming Resistance in Your Creative Life

Above: Selfie made looking in the bathroom mirror, sketching with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, on Nideggen (in a handmade journal that's about 7 1/2 inches square). (Text obscured for privacy.) Vertigo or not, I'm going to sketch every day. It keeps me tuned up for those days when I can really pull out all […]

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Fear of the Blank Page

Above: Phyllis, at 94, one year into taking up watercolor painting. I made this sketch while sitting next to her as she painted. I chatted with her teacher and sketched. Phyl has a look of complete concentration on her face. She is looking deliberately. She is marking deliberately. When she finishes she doesn’t fuss. She […]

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