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Richard Doesn’t Have a Clue

Yesterday was Father’s Day and like many fortunate people who have parents who are not only still living but living nearby we spent the afternoon with Dick’s dad CR. We brought treats and sat and talked. Later we struggled to get him into clean, fresh clothing. CR has lost the ability to stand for even […]

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In Context—Paper Testing

For the first two months of 2018 I tested both the hot press and cold press versions of the new Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. watercolor paper.  To do that I first bound two books. One contained hot press paper, the other cold press. I then used all the usual pens and paints I typically use […]

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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 […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 3 Patterns

This is Part Three of a five-part series on simple approaches to backgrounds in the visual journal and paintings. See Part One here. Today I wanted to look at pattern—it’s something that you can use to quickly fill up the background space around a subject. I’ve written about some of my favorite approaches numerous times […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 2 Multi-color Backgrounds

This is Part Two 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. One of the simplest, yet most interesting approaches to a background, especially for a portrait, is to have broken color. This means that one or more […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 1

I was organizing my images for blog posts and noticed that I had a lot of common themes, some not as obvious.  What do the images in today’s post and those referenced (linked) all have in common? Well all but one have backgrounds painted AFTER the sketch is made (and typically even after the sketch […]

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New Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper Part 2: Classic Cold Press

Before doing my watercolor demo at Wet Paint on April 7, 2018 I had to test the “Classic” cold press sample I’d been given. I feel that “Classic” is a bit confusing as names go. To me that sounds like “traditional,” or “original.” While I don’t drink Coca Cola, it sounds like Coke Classic and […]

Uniball Vision pen with green-black ink sketch and watercolor, paint pens, and acrylic marker on Stonehenge Aqua hot press watercolor paper.

Mixed Media—Working Loose When Your Ink Runs

It can easily happen to anyone at any time—you do a really cool ink sketch, get the watercolors (or other water-based medium) out, start to paint, and watch as the ink color dissolves from the line and spreads into your paint. This bothers a lot of my students. I’ve even heard them gasp, cry out, […]

Brush pen and watercolor sketch made from a Sktchy muse—a young woman wearing a fake beard. (I like to draw beards, what can I say.) The finished page has a Montana Acrylic Marker background applied after the sketch was finished.

Just Try It: Pushing a Drawing Beyond Finished

How do we make decisions, fast decisions, when sketching out in the field? By making decisions during practice, and comparing results. Some people can hold two versions of a piece in their mind and weigh what the future work will look like.  For artists just starting out there might seem to be too many possibilities.  […]

Direct brush sketch with watercolor on the new Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper.

New Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper Debut at Wet Paint

Mark your calendars. Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be painting demonstrations to celebrate the release of the new Winsor & Newton Watercolor paper at Wet Paint, in St. Paul MN. The first 100 attendees will receive a free 22 x 30 inch sample sheet of this 140 lb. […]

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