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Direct brush sketch with sedimentary colors.

Part Three: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

This is part three of a multi-part review of the smooth Zeta soft-bound journals from Stillman & Birn (S&B). You can see part one here. Yesterday I posted part two here. Working in Watercolor on the Smooth Zeta Paper I think it’s fair to say that most of my blog readers work with wet media—most […]

Using the Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen in FB on the smooth Zeta paper. The lines are crisp, the pen is a bit draggy on this surface.

Part Two: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

This is part two of a multi-part review of the Stillman & Birn (SB) Smooth Zeta Soft-bound journal. You can see part one here. Today I wanted to look at two approaches for which the smooth heavyweight Zeta is suited. Mixed Media Because of its weight the paper is particularly suited to collage and mixed […]

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Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

A couple months ago I picked up a Stillman & Birn Soft Cover Zeta Book. I don’t use Stillman & Birn books. I don’t care for the way they make their hardcover books and their papers are either too lightweight, or in other ways not responsive to the way I work. With so many other […]

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 […]

All my binding methods can be done at home without any special equipment. I stack my books with heavy art books as weights, there are also some bricks on the top of the stack that didn't make it into the photo. When I'm done binding everything gets put back on the shelves and it's life as normal.

New Adventures in Book Binding

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to add a new entry into this series of posts started way back at the beginning of my blog! A shoulder injury has kept me from binding batches of books. I’ve bound a book now and then so I’d have a special Minnesota State Fair Journal, […]

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In Context—Favorite Papers

Sometimes you can search and search and test and test, and you just keep coming back to a favorite paper. For me I love to paint on white Stonehenge paper. It isn’t a watercolor paper—the washes need a different handling than on watercolor paper. Yet there is something so fun about working on the paper—the […]

Working on a toned background.

In Context—Just Draw

In the “In-Context Series” I promised I wouldn’t write a whole lot of text. Just let the page spread stand for itself, but sometimes I feel the need to say a little more, and include a detail image. This type of spread is what you often see in my journals: a prepainted page with a […]

Working with the Pentel Sepia Color Brush Pen on Stonehenge paper. (6 x 9 Inches).

Yet Another Paper with Sepia Brush Pen

After posting about using the Pentel Sepia Color Brush Pen on a couple other papers last week, I kept picking up the brush pen while working. The other day I sketched this gentleman on white Stonehenge Paper. I thought it would be a good time to post this image because the other post might still […]

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 […]

Detail on FA.

Same Pen—Different Papers

Throughout the spring this year I was testing watercolor papers. I made signatures of the watercolor papers I was testing and then used the same materials in each of the booklets. This is a quick and easy way to compare papers because you only have 16 pages until you can move on to the next […]

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