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Projects versus Series?

  Sometimes in classes I have students ask me what the difference is between a project and a series. I believe the difference is basically slim to none depending on how the user of these words understands and defines them.  Dictionary.com defines “project” as something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme. a large […]

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Limited Choices Lead to Successful Projects

  After my post last week about doing creative projects many people wrote in to tell me that they were inspired to start a project. One accomplished artist wrote in to ask advice: Just looking for advice. After listening to the podcast on projects I’ve decided to take up the challenge. Over the years I’ve […]

Detail of the eye area. Dry strokes of paint stumbled over the top of dry lower layers take texture from the paper and create a fun broken-color effect that helps mimic the texture on a chicken's face.

Everyone Needs a Side Project

A few weeks ago my friend Danny Gregory called me up to discuss my thoughts about projects. Most readers know my Daily Dots—daily drawings of my Alaskan Malamute bitch Dottie made the last 4 and a half years of her  life. But friends and students know that I’m always engaged in whatever the latest project […]

Brush pen and watercolor sketch made from a Sktchy muse—a young woman wearing a fake beard. (I like to draw beards, what can I say.) The finished page has a Montana Acrylic Marker background applied after the sketch was finished.

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.  […]

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2018 Drawing Practice—Drawing Live Subjects in Public

 All my life, one of the most exciting, energizing, and simply fun experiences I’ve enjoyed has been while I’m sketching live animals. It doesn’t matter if I’m at home with a dog visitor (we don’t have live in models any more) or out and about in the field checking out wild turkeys or walking around […]

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 […]

My sketch of Dick when I was in the emergency. I can see by the line that it is less fluid than normal, stopping almost artificially and turning at various points in a way I don't usually do. Additional there are restatements that I've obviously zoned out in—making more and more marks in one area instead of balancing marks across the surface. And there are several places where I can see and remember I made marks even though I was telling myself, "Don't." I just couldn't hear myself through the pain.

Why Drawing Practice Matters and What Your Line Can Tell You

Readers of my blog know that I love observing my process. I can’t help myself. Even during emergencies. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and find ways to always sketch. On November 19 I fell in a friend’s foyer. I was rushing across the foyer to my fanny pack to change my […]

A full spread sketch in the largest Hahnemühle Nostalgie sketchbook. I used a Bienfang Magenta watercolor brush pend to start and did the comb and wattles and area around the eye. A little different approach for me because I usually start with the eye. Then I decided to paint some of the features, add color to the background, and also add some stenciling detail to the background.

When Do You Stop? When Is A Drawing Finished

I think the number one question I get from students is: “When do I know my drawing is finished?” Most people aren’t going to like the answer. You’ll know after you’ve taken a ton of sketches past the point of no return. Here’s the thing, you’re asking a question that involves choices both stylistic choices […]

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Happy New Year—Make 2017 A Year of Sketching

Left: Pentel Brush Pen and light washes of gouache on a Canson watercolor board (9 x 6 inches) with Montana Marker background. Reginald D. Hunter is a comedian/entertainer.   I cut one finger pulling boxes down (paper cuts!!!) and cut another picking up something sharp. Typing slowly. But that’s OK because all I wanted to […]

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Project Friday: Just Get Something Down on Paper

Above: Selfie made with bold Uni Posca pen (orange, the tip is about 1/4 inch wide) and a Sakura Pigment Medium Brush Pen (solid tip). The drawing is in a 9 x 12 inch Dylusions journal—which I cannot recommend for structural reasons specific to how I work. I'm sorry, but when I've worked in it […]

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