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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.  […]

Another direct brush painting withe greenish umber, azure blue, and a bit of red (didn't note down the pigment).

Project Friday: Direct Brush Painting and Some More Green

In Monday’s post I wrote about how I am pushing myself to use more greens. Greens aren’t just for landscapes (which is good because I don’t do many landscapes). If you look closely you can often find green tones in people’s faces. But you can also abandon realistic color and go in with a variety […]

A 9 x 12 inch brush pen portrait with watercolor washes and a Montana Marker acrylic background. That yellowish color—that's Schmincke's Green Yellow.

This Is Not A Review—The Best Laid Plans

  Today I was going to start a week long review of either a sketchbook I’ve been working in or a paper I’ve been working on for the first part of the year. But life happened. Those reviews will still come along, probably in April. All the images are scanned and organized, I just haven’t […]

Pen and watercolor sketch, with acrylic marker background, done over a note Dick left me, which I'd previously stuck in my journal.

At Least I Wasn’t Abducted By Aliens: Keeping Your Sense of Humor and Productivity

Note: This blog post was originally set to run during the second week of January but technical issues with the blog delayed it. This version was edited for publication today. Anyone who bothered to stop by or call me from October through January this year knew things were tough. I was beyond grumpy because of […]

This is a small (about 3 x 4 inch) journal that I made using scraps of the tan-toned paper Nideggen. I used black backcloth and decorative paper that I made. (For information on how I make my decorative paper please join my Textures class.)

Letting Things Go, Even in the Pursuit of Goals: The Little Journal That Got Away

Note: This post was originally scheduled to run at the end of December 2017. Due to technical issues with the blog I’m just getting to it now. If you read my blog you’ll know that I keep track of the number of pages that I create each year. I do this because it is a […]

A 4 x 7 inch watercolor painting on leftover book board that has been prepared with gesso.

Having Fun With Book Board Scraps

  In December I wrote, “Five Things To Do When You’ve Got Paper That’s Just Too Bad To Work With.”   In that post I wrote about gessoing over paper that you don’t enjoy working on so that you can still use the paper, but not feel limited by the paper in its manufactured state. […]

Direct brush watercolor sketch on a 4 x 6 inch scrap of book board that was gessoed before sketching.

Five Things To Do When You’ve Got Paper That’s Just Too Bad To Work With

My recent series on Zeta paper in the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks generated a lot of mail about paper. I know a lot of people get part way into a journal, find they aren’t enjoying the paper and feel constrained about wasting the paper by simply jumping to a new journal. I think to stay […]

Cover of "The Essence of Watercolor," by artist and author Hazel Soan.

The Essence of Watercolour: A Book by Hazel Soan

Near the end of this past summer I received a note from Batsford asking if I would like to review a the Hazel Soan book: “The Essence of Watercolor.”  (I provided the above link to Amazon so you can read more about the book and see a flip through one reader has put up. I’m not […]

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 […]

Portrait 1

Making A Color Chart To Test My 2017 Fall Watercolor Box

Recently I purchased the new fall Schmincke Pan Watercolor Set at Wet Paint. This contains different colors than the one I purchased in the spring, added colors to, and then took to the Minnesota State Fair. While recovering from bronchitis I had some time on my hands so I decided to make a color chart […]

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