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The Freedom of Quick, Loose Sketches for Your Drawing Skills

Over the last 35 years and hundreds of students have confessed to me that they “don’t have time to sketch,” or that they “were physically too ill to sketch.” I always respond that you can always find time, and even if ill you can get something down on paper that will be useful to you […]

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Quick Brush Pen Portrait

Here’s another quick brush pen portrait. Something fun you can do: Click on this image so it blows up on your screen. Then in a new browser window, open Sunday’s post which included a brush pen portrait, but on a different type of paper. Blow that image up by clicking on it. Look at both […]

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On Patreon/RozInterim in September 2022—Brush Pen

The discussion on Patreon, and my demos, for the past couple of months, has been about defining what is a loose drawing to you, and how to work loosely to achieve that vision. I guess there’s always more to discuss about working loosely when you love working with brush pen. So this month on Patreon […]

A detail of my painting of actor Colm Meaney. You can look closely, especially in the hair, and easily see that I'm using very little water with my watercolor pigments.

Another Look at Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal

I go on and on about how much I love Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal. It’s about 8 x 6 inches and looks like a very thick Moleskine—i.e., black cover, elastic closure, back envelope, ribbon book mark. (Let’s just point out that the first thing I do when I open a new one is pull that ribbon […]

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Color Pencil Loves Watercolor

  Color pencil loves watercolor (and gouache) because they dry to a surface that still allows the application of color pencil. And when you use the color pencil with light pressure on top of dry watercolor passages on a slightly textured paper you get a lovely broken color effect. (You can see that in the […]

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Why Character Actors Make the Best Models

This sketch of a character actor in an historical drama (set in the 1930s) is not exaggerated. This is how he looked (essentially, OK there is always some exaggeration when you draw directly with ink, because if a line goes a little wonky I simply keep going…) It’s no secret, especially when I work with […]

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Two Portraits, Two Different Pens

  I am always amazed at the different line qualities different pens give the same hand. And how even the same pen dried out will render results so different from the first use of a non-refillable pen, or any tool that gets worn. In this page spread I warmed up with a sketch from one […]

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Take More Than One Look

When you’re sketching someone, whether it’s a month-long project like last year’s #MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth, or just someone you see on the street (if they stick around long enough) take more than one look. Here’s a page spread from a hand-bound journal I made with Fabriano Artistico 90 lb. hot press watercolor paper. (8 x 8 inches […]

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Breathing Room on the Page (or Page Spread)

One of the most important compositional tools you have in a visual journal or sketchbook is the breathing space on the page (or page spread).  The negative space around an image helps define the image through silhouette, and shape recognition. The space will help you correct angles and proportions when you go off—or— if you […]

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Visiting Minnesota—A Drawing Student’s Question

Recently a former Sketchbook Skool Student wrote to me asking me what to see when she was in Minnesota. (Evidently she was traveling here to go up north in Wisconsin for a drawing class at one of the resorts.) Of course whenever you ask someone a question like that you are taking into account their […]

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