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The Daily Potato: A Look at a Daily Drawing Project

At the end of September 2018 Jennifer Okano brightened everyone’s day by posting this wonderfully dimensional sketch of a sweet potato in a group I host for past students. She wrote:  This month my focus has been on contours. Outside, inside, cross. Picking the oddest Japanese sweet potatoes at the market has given me a […]

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Project Friday: Working Quickly in a Series of Sketches

There is always a lot of paper around the studio. Recently when I was putting away the camera equipment I “found” a large copier paper-sized box full of packets of 9 x 12 inch toned papers. There are light colors and dark colors. Some of it is smooth, some is textured. I purchased these packets […]

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Testing Elements through Doodling

One of the best times to test design elements is when you are warming up. Take a couple moments to make a decorative frame around your warm up sketch. Use more than one approach. Don’t worry about cohesiveness—it’s a warm up sketch. Consider the following: • Make a long enough or large enough area of […]

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In Context: Letting Things Go

I find that a great way to let things go, or change feelings, is to draw something that expresses how I feel. Give it a try. Let’s use our art for our own personal benefit!

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Self-Assessment: 2018—Filling Journals, Using Up Paint

  Some Background and The Brand of Paint I’ve Been Using Lately Yes, this painting actually has something to do with self-assessment and goal setting. First I want to say something about the materials… While I did sketch some more after painting this image yesterday (Dec. 31, 2018) this turned out to be my final […]

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Happy New Year 2019

It’s the first day of the New Year! I believe that everyday needs to be greeted as a first day. I believe that you need to do something creative each day. In the 10 plus years I’ve been writing the blog I’ve written about New Year’s Day each year. Here are links to some of […]

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Focusing on Doing and Not on Naming

Several people wrote to me after my last post When Drawing Isn’t Fun. Most said that they found it helpful in starting an internal dialog with themselves about their creative practice. But one of my Urban Sketcher friends Tina Koyama wrote a very important point in her comment on that post: Grief. The grief of letting […]

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When Drawing Isn’t Fun

Recently a student wrote to my Drawing Practice group that she wasn’t sketching daily and wasn’t having fun when she did draw. Despite the fact that what she was drawing looked great and showed that all her hard work was paying off, she couldn’t see the value in it. This can happen to anyone at […]

Detail of today's watercolor sketch.

Studying Other Artists, Or Dealing with a Plateau in Artistic Development

Recently one of my Drawing Practice students mentioned that she’d been discouraged to see the “before” and “after” artwork someone had posted on Facebook. Some of the artists included showed art from childhood and adulthood. Others posted work that was only a couple of years apart, yet showed great development of representational facility. All were […]

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Check Out My Article in Artists Magazine January/February 2019

A couple months ago I was asked to write a piece about sketching in the snow for Artists Magazine. (That link takes you to their subscription and individual issue purchase page. I’m in the January/February 2019 issue.) My copies arrived a couple days ago.  The issue includes my 4-page article with 9 helpful tips on sketching […]

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