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New Winsor & Newton Watercolor Paper Part 2: Classic Cold Press

Before doing my watercolor demo at Wet Paint on April 7, 2018 I had to test the “Classic” cold press sample I’d been given. I feel that “Classic” is a bit confusing as names go. To me that sounds like “traditional,” or “original.” While I don’t drink Coca Cola, it sounds like Coke Classic and […]

Here's a closer look at those dirty washes.

In Context: Dirty Brushes

In general I like to start a work session with clean brushes. Which means you want to end a session by cleaning your brushes. Sometimes when I’m sketching out and about there isn’t enough water in my water brush to flush out the bristles. I find that I would rather paint something than worry too […]

Painting with ink washes on top of a pre-painted background texture. Actor Yannick Bisson in "Murdock Mysteries." Fabriano Artistico Cold Press 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Ink Wash on Pre-Painted Background Textures

Textures make me smile. What can I sketch on one today? I ask. The other day I made this brush pen and ink wash sketch on a pre-painted background texture. I love the way the yellow bits of textured background show as a glow here and there while the warmer reds come through as warmth […]

The large, about 9 x 11 inch Japanese Lined Journal that I love to sketch in with the Pentel Brush Pen and Acrylic Markers. Carl Too is standing around watching the paper dry.

What’s on the Table?—The Curl of the Paper

I just love working in my favorite Japanese Lined Journals from APICA. The paper loves the Pentel Brush Pen. Sometimes I work in gouache on this paper, but sometimes I leave the sketch as is and turn the page. Other times I put in an acrylic marker background. I used an orange 15mm wide Montana […]

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 […]

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 […]

Actor Brad William Henke in his role as the vicious prison guard in "Orange is the New Black." 9 x 12 inch Fabriano Venezia journal. Sepia Pentel Color Brush and water to dilute ink.

More Television Viewing in October

While under the weather in October I used my couch time productively to binge watch the remaining episodes of the Netflix Comedy-Drama “Orange is the New Black.” I’ve enjoyed the show since it first came out. Set in a women’s prison the show has a strong cast of female leads and over the first five […]

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 […]

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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