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The Field Artist Watercolor Journal: A Review

It has been several months since I first picked one of these up. This review will be heartbreaking for me to write. They came so close with this commercially bound journal—sewn signatures, paper that actually liked watercolor, several convenient sizes, a covering material that’s pleasant to hold… So What Is Wrong With This Book? The […]

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Dark Skin Tones on the Old Gutenberg Paper

I love painting on the OLD Gutenberg paper. (See note at end of post if you don’t know why I’m calling it “old.”) Even the lightest weight Gutenberg came in would take watercolor beautifully; it just might buckle a little, but the heavier weights of the paper took water even better.  The yellow-cream of the […]

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Dogs—Paws On Grand Is Coming Up

    This year, because of bronchitis I’m not going to be able to sketch dogs at Wet Paint for Paws On Grand. But I wanted to give you a heads up about this event because there  are going to be some great artists on hand ready to make quick portraits of your dog, cat, […]

I have a small clearer's caddy—the type of handled open-topped case that people who clean efficiently (professionals and other efficient folks) use to carry their cleaning products and tools from one room to the next. These are available in hardware and home stores, as well as online. This one cost about US$ 8. I cut stiff cardboard dividers to insert into the two main wells. These are held in place with tape on both sides so that they don't move. (See the side of the white pen area.) By keeping similar colors together I can reach quickly for a new pen as needed. Because the caddy is a caddy it has a handle (center piece as you look down). I can pick it up and move from room to room with my markers and use them anywhere I want. (Center partition on the topside contains masking and washi tapes for a project I was working on.)

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 […]

Detail of the female portrait.

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 3

Today is the final part of my three-part review on the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. See Part One of the review here. See Part Two of the review here In today’s post I wanted to write about the book structure itself. I’ll then wrap up with a final comment about the paper quality. Binding and Covering […]

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Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 2

This is part two of a three part series on the Hahnemühle Watercolor sketchbook. Please click on this link to read part 1. Today I am going to look at two aspects of paper response in this watercolor sketchbook. These techniques are important to me and therefore I select books containing paper which can handle […]

Platinum Carbon Black ink fountain pen sketch with watercolor washes. This page was taped off with Nichiban masking tape. The tape removed cleanly. As mentioned in the text the paper buckles from the watercolor application—this is clearly see at the top of the scan where the page is wavy even when placed weighted on the scanner. I made this sketch later in my use of the book and am starting to grow accustom to water usage on the paper. The cold press texture of the paper allows interesting puddles of paint when using sedimentary colors like Azure blue. Mixing colors on the page is possible because of the quality of the sizing and the flow it promotes. (I was testing a palettes of new colors for this sketch.)

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 1

Today I’m going to begin a three part review of the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. I suggest that you read all three parts before purchasing. I will write more about this in a moment. This sketchbook was released in 2017. I purchased two in the summer of 2017 but was unable to work in them until […]

Moods and Momentum in Your Daily Drawing Practice

The sketch in today’s post is the first sketch I did on the day following my November 19, 2017 fall (torn tendons and ligaments, and small fracture in left foot). I think you can tell from the sketch exactly how high my frustration level is as I sit up with a pen, my foot in […]

Mixed media sketch on Zeta—Pentel Dye-based brush pen, water brush, watercolor, acrylic marker background and collage. On most smooth papers I've used the dye-based ink of this particular Pentel brush pen lifts off well and creates interesting effects. That wasn't the case on this paper. Lifting this water-soluble ink on this paper was problematic and even gentle attempts led to pilling of the surface.

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

Today is part four of a multi-part series on the Stillman & Birn (S&B) smooth surface Zeta journals. You can read part one here. This post deals with some mix-media approaches and some pros and cons I discovered about this paper. You can read part two here. In this post I write a bit  more […]

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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