Currently Browsing: In Context

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In Context—Philosophy

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In Context: Minnesota Primary Election Today

Please vote in what might be the penultimate election before the oligarchy begins in November. The polls are still open for a couple hours! SaveSave SaveSave

Detail of plum.

In Context—Sketching while Sick

My hiatus has been a bit of a bust. Instead of catching up on my ongoing projects and starting a new one that I really wanted to jump into, I came down with a respiratory bug. I sketch even when I’m ill. Many may think that’s a waste of time and paper when you’re coughing […]

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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 […]

Two quick pen sketches while I sat in the waiting room at the Allergist's.

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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