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When Your Pen Leaks Make It a Feature

Here’s a sketch from 2018 when I was doing some experiments to find my favorite toned paper for mixed media. I was testing a bunch of different chipboards. They soak up watercolor and gouache but you can use acrylic markers on them. Most I found were too expensive (when you locate them and pay postage) […]

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Notes to Yourself in Your Journal

I find the practice of making even brief notes during or at the end of a sketching session  help me focus where I want to go next. If something turns out too elongated I try again, often with a different pen or tool, as I did here. And I might even make a small diagram […]

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Upgrading Your Paper Choices for Sketchbooks, Visual Journals, and Art

  To get the best results when sketching and painting it makes sense to use the best quality materials that you can afford. Then upgrade those materials as your budget allows. Recently a blog reader wrote in saying that she had upgraded her art supplies to artist level watercolors (mostly Daniel Smith), purchased some quality […]

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Ways Your Journal Reflects Your Life—Unfinished Tests, Unfinished Sketches

      I hear from a lot of blog readers and students that they work on their journal sketches later, if they can’t finish them when they first set out to sketch. I believe a journal needs to reflect your life. That puts me in the “move on” camp if a page isn’t finished […]

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Different Watercolor Papers Take Paint Differently

Different watercolor papers take paint differently. The higher the quality of the paper the better the fibers and sizing used to make it will interact with your paints (which need also to be quality artist paints). If you’re having an issue, like the one I was on this spread (read my handwritten comments), and on […]

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In Context: A Show, a Sketch, a Note

  I hate it when a show has only a season. I don’t seem to stop myself from watching. Then when there are no more episodes I’m hooked, but bereft. This happened was going to happen with this show, so I stopped early. One of the many wonky sketches I did in April when I […]

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Another Watercolor Sketch in an Arteza Watercolor Book

      I’m still working my way through an Arteza Watercolor book.  It’s 8.3 x 11.7 inches. I wrote a review of this journal and paper in a ninepart series (I think it was only nine).  You can enter the words “Arteza Watercolor Book” in my blog’s search engine and all the posts will […]

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Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

  Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate. But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell […]

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A Little Bit of Bright Color in a Portrait

You already know how I feel about the paper in the Arteza Watercolor Book—pretty ambivalent at best; but there is nothing like a bit of bright color to make you smile. And if you are working loosely with a flat brush, you might just start giggling because you’re having so much fun. Get out your […]

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The Property Brothers Make Change Seem Easy (with Hard Work)

I’m probably the only person on the planet who sees “Property Brothers” as a show about change, adaptation, and living in the present moment. (As I write this I’m also including “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” as I watched them all simultaneously; and I have since started watching the new, “Property Brothers: Forever Home.”) While […]

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