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Picking a Pen to Suit Your Paper

I write about picking your art tools and media to suit your paper (canvas, etc.) a lot on the blog.  Lately I’ve been working in one of the journals I bound in #2017BigBind that I made with the OLD Gutenberg paper. (This is the Gutenberg paper made before 2017, before the cancelation of the paper […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 5 Lifting Off Color

This is Part Five of a five-part series on executing simple backgrounds in your journal or other artwork. Part One of this series can be found at this link. I’m going to end this series with the simplest approach to background texture—color lift off. To do this you need a paper with sufficient surface sizing […]

Detail of the female portrait.

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 3

Today is the final part of my three-part review on the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. See Part One of the review here. See Part Two of the review here In today’s post I wanted to write about the book structure itself. I’ll then wrap up with a final comment about the paper quality. Binding and Covering […]

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Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 2

This is part two of a three part series on the Hahnemühle Watercolor sketchbook. Please click on this link to read part 1. Today I am going to look at two aspects of paper response in this watercolor sketchbook. These techniques are important to me and therefore I select books containing paper which can handle […]

Platinum Carbon Black ink fountain pen sketch with watercolor washes. This page was taped off with Nichiban masking tape. The tape removed cleanly. As mentioned in the text the paper buckles from the watercolor application—this is clearly see at the top of the scan where the page is wavy even when placed weighted on the scanner. I made this sketch later in my use of the book and am starting to grow accustom to water usage on the paper. The cold press texture of the paper allows interesting puddles of paint when using sedimentary colors like Azure blue. Mixing colors on the page is possible because of the quality of the sizing and the flow it promotes. (I was testing a palettes of new colors for this sketch.)

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 1

Today I’m going to begin a three part review of the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. I suggest that you read all three parts before purchasing. I will write more about this in a moment. This sketchbook was released in 2017. I purchased two in the summer of 2017 but was unable to work in them until […]

Here's a closer look at those dirty washes.

In Context: Dirty Brushes

In general I like to start a work session with clean brushes. Which means you want to end a session by cleaning your brushes. Sometimes when I’m sketching out and about there isn’t enough water in my water brush to flush out the bristles. I find that I would rather paint something than worry too […]

Here is a detail of the sketch showing a bit of lifting around the nose.

A Couple More Thoughts on Green and Flat Brushes

I wanted to show another green-based watercolor I worked on last year while I was testing the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. (A review with lots of details about that paper and the binding of that sketchbook will appear in a couple weeks.)  Today’s image was created mostly with watercolor flats. I went in with round brushes […]

My sketch of Dick when I was in the emergency. I can see by the line that it is less fluid than normal, stopping almost artificially and turning at various points in a way I don't usually do. Additional there are restatements that I've obviously zoned out in—making more and more marks in one area instead of balancing marks across the surface. And there are several places where I can see and remember I made marks even though I was telling myself, "Don't." I just couldn't hear myself through the pain.

Why Drawing Practice Matters and What Your Line Can Tell You

Readers of my blog know that I love observing my process. I can’t help myself. Even during emergencies. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and find ways to always sketch. On November 19 I fell in a friend’s foyer. I was rushing across the foyer to my fanny pack to change my […]

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 […]

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.

In-Context—Doodling

 

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