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Mixed Media—Working Loose When Your Ink Runs

It can easily happen to anyone at any time—you do a really cool ink sketch, get the watercolors (or other water-based medium) out, start to paint, and watch as the ink color dissolves from the line and spreads into your paint. This bothers a lot of my students. I’ve even heard them gasp, cry out, […]

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Storing My Montana Acrylic Markers

I am frequently asked how I store my Montana Acrylic Markers. As you can see from the photo I use a cleaner’s caddy.  I cut stiff cardboard dividers to insert into the two main wells. These dividers are held in place with tape on both sides so that they don’t move. (See the side of […]

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Another Look at the Handbook Watercolor Journal

Things change over time. It’s a fact when you use art materials. Papers may be made for 400 years at a mill, but over your lifetime any paper you change will have subtle if not significant changes. The same is true for paints, and brushes. Some ingredients for paints might become scarce or no longer […]

Staedtler Pigment Liner on a 3M Post-it Note™, collaged with painted paper, and expanded. A Piecemeal portrait.

In Context: A Piecemeal Portrait of a Dog

Sometimes when I don’t like the paper in a journal I’m working in (here a Zeta Smooth, heavyweight journal from Stillman & Birn) I will sketch on Post-it Notes™ Sometimes I save those bits of paper and make a piecemeal portrait. (See the category list for additional piecemeal portraits.) See my four part review on […]

The first sketch I made on World Beard Day. I got a bit of a late start. I started large—this is about 12 x 18 inches, Pentel Brush pen and watercolor, with an acrylic marker background. For all my portraits I was using muses in the Sktchy App. So many great bearded men who post photos of themselves for us to sketch!

No Shave November

Since I’m so interested in drawing beards I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t keep track that “No Shave November” is going on. This is an event that seeks to raise cancer awareness and also raise money for cancer research. You can read all about it at the link. I was going to […]

Quick pen sketch that I started on a legal pad (lined yellow paper) and then decided that I wanted to shade and fiddle around with.

Using Little Bits of Paper

I write about using little bits of paper every so often. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I have another post on this coming up later this month. Here’s a sketch I started on a yellow legal pad. I was trying to decide if I would sketch or paint, and I wanted to […]

8 x 10 inch pen and watercolor sketch on Fluid 100 140 Hot Press watercolor paper using the Molotow masking pen. You can see areas where I applied mask in the bandana, beard, and shirt. I was using the 4mm tip (I couldn't find the finer tip) and working loosely. If you want finer lines you can  purchase a refilled and use a toothpick, brush, or other tool, to apply this liquid mask.

Useful Tools: The Molotow Grafx Art Masking Liquid Pump Marker

If you paint in watercolor, inks, or acrylics, chances are at some point you’ve tried to mask something off so that you could retain the white of your paper, or an earlier color that you had laid down.  Artists use lots of products for masking—tape is the obvious one, especially if you want to create […]

I believe in the value of making a mess. I believe that sometimes you just need to make marks on a page, just to get things down on a page and to keep the flow going.

In-Context—Doodling

 

1. Direct brush sketching.

Looking at a Piecemeal Portrait

I’ve been writing about my “piecemeal portraits” for a couple years now. Recently I took a couple process shots while I was making one from a photo inspiration on Sktchy. My photographs aren’t taken with lights and so the color is off, but you can still get the idea. I’m working on setting up a […]

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My Goals for 2017 and The MCBA Visual Journal Collective’s Ninth Annual Portrait Party

This post was originally published on January 15, 2017 during my site transition. Note: The images in today’s post were sketched while I was sick with bronchitis and watching an episode of “Forged in Fire.” I LOVE THIS SHOW. Four blacksmiths compete in three rounds for $10,000. First they make a blade in 3 hours, then finish […]

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