Currently Browsing: In Context

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In Context: At the Allergist’s

Sometimes it’s the line or angle or shape of a subject that attracts us. We need to get it down as quickly as possible because we don’t know when the subject will leave. (My first subject was called away before I could do any development.) Sometimes it’s the volume or brilliance of something contrasted against […]

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 […]

Pen and watercolor sketch on Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb. Watercolor paper (review of the paper coming in February).

In-Context: Just Go With It—Follow Your Nose

Often one sketch will lead to another. The other day, the world turned on its end and I was feeling a bit dark. I did some rapid fire sketches of all sorts of monsters in thumbnail. I’d post them but you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are. Just know they were tiny and […]

A page spread from my Hahnemühle Watercolor journal that I tested. I'll be posting a review soon!

In Context: Notes, and Lists, and Sketches All Together

For today’s in context post I wanted to show you how when I need to make a note and work out which new pigments I want to buy and I’ve left my list at home, I simply sit down and work it out in the journal I’m using—even if it contains watercolor paper. Above you […]

First page spread for 2018—a hardbound journal that is made with Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. Cold Press watercolor paper. (Journal approx. 8 x 8 inches square.)

In Context: Snow Piles

Typically on New Year’s Day I go and sketch at Como Zoo. This year, it seemed impractical to try to park (Como is always crowded on New Year’s Day), walk the long distance to the entry, walk to the Aquatic building (where I could sketch puffins), and reverse the process while keeping my toe warm […]

Sketching two pumpkins that I was given last year. I love all the knobby bits and the stems, and don't mid that I go off the page! Brush pen on the new Folio paper in a handmade book. (The tab at the spine was inserted at the binding to make room for collage throughout the book.)

In Context—Pumpkins

I really enjoy the fall because there are so many pumpkins around to sketch. I love playing with angle of where I’m sitting and how the pumpkin is turned because it can look so different.  Mostly pumpkins give me an excuse to move the brush pen across the page. If you don’t have much time […]

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In Context—Favorite Papers

Sometimes you can search and search and test and test, and you just keep coming back to a favorite paper. For me I love to paint on white Stonehenge paper. It isn’t a watercolor paper—the washes need a different handling than on watercolor paper. Yet there is something so fun about working on the paper—the […]

Working on a toned background.

In Context—Just Draw

In the “In-Context Series” I promised I wouldn’t write a whole lot of text. Just let the page spread stand for itself, but sometimes I feel the need to say a little more, and include a detail image. This type of spread is what you often see in my journals: a prepainted page with a […]

Sketching with the Platinum Carbon Black fountain pen (containing that ink) in an 8 x 10 inch journal. While coughing…

In Context—Working in a Series While Coughing

I managed to catch a cold bug and then come down with bronchitis so coughing has made sketching a bit difficult this fall. (Gasp, there have even been some missed days!) Today’s image is an example of the type of thing I’ve been up to. Thank goodness for the Sktchy App when you’re ill. So […]

"Scan" from my day planner which sits at my side on my computer desk. I used "Scannable" which is an app on my iPad. Years ago someone came over to use my art scanner and put a wire bound book down on it before I could stop him. It scratched the glass and led to all sorts of retouching work before I could get the glass replaced. I've been looking at options for "scanning" wire bound items. Scannable is OK for text documents but it doesn't have the ability to get crisp detail and it provides a scan, with image that can look a little burnt out. It's great though for text and if you have to send a document quickly—or if you want to protect your scanner. (I only scan wire bindings on my printer scanner and always cover the wire with tape and place it right to the edge of the glass.)

In Context—I’ll Sketch On Any Bit of Paper

I suppose you could call it a doodle, but I think of it as a sketch. It isn’t in my journal, it’s in my day planner, which sits beside me on the computer table. One of my students alerted me to a new Peregrine nest cam and I turned it on. I grabbed what was […]

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