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The Puzzle of Starbuck

Look, I’ve read Melville’s “Moby Dick” three times in  my life—I’m not about to read it again. But that doesn’t mean I stop thinking about it. Growing up all I could think about was Queequeg, his coffin, his ability to see what was coming, sort of. Lately I can’t stop thinking about another character: Starbuck. […]

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A Little Bit of Collage Can Be Your Friend

You know how I like to paint on drawing paper? Sometimes the paper complains. That happened when I put in the Montana Marker background on this page spread. The marker ink/paint saturated and roughed up the paper at the top of the page. I didn’t want the paper to be weak there because it would […]

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Testing Langton-Prestige Watercolor Paper

  I have just started testing Daler-Rowney’s Langton-Prestige Cold Press Watercolor paper. In the above video you can see my first experiments with it and my first thoughts. If the video doesn’t play you can view it on Vimeo at this link. Normally in my demonstration videos I include any photo reference or still life […]

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More Episodes of WILTY

I’ve been having serious withdrawl symptoms with no new episodes of “Would I Lie To You.” Then a couple weeks ago I saw it jumped to the front of my queue—more episodes. I’ve sped through them, unable to h help myself, and now of course want more episodes of “WILTY” all over again. But I […]

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A Look Back at the Early Days of the Pandemic

Journals remind us of things. They provide a look back. They can be a great record of the events of our lives. They provide a look back, in this instance, to the early days of the Pandemic. The Digital Armageddon I’m going through since February 2, 2021 has resulted in some losses of data—I need […]

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Giving Yourself Feedback

Recently on the blog I wrote about how it’s important to ask yourself questions in your journal. It’s also important to give yourself feedback in your journal. I find it useful when I’m making portrait studies to write short notes to myself about the angles that need correction, proportions, colors used and so on. I […]

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Using Your Journal to Ask Questions

A journal is for asking questions. You can ask visually, and you can also ask written questions. To me, often the most interesting thing about my journal pages is not what I drew on the page or what I noticed as I went through my day and captured visually, but the questions and thoughts I […]

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On Deciding Which Version of a Sketch You Like Best…

Here’s the final version I did of this brush pen and watercolor sketch on toned (tan paper); with a little bit of white gouache for the highlights. (The cheek is actually the paper color.) Sometimes when I’m sketching I enjoy the plain sketch, or some early version of the sketch so much, that I stop […]

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There’s Something Marvelous About Brush Pen on Bright White Paper

  When you need a break I think you can always squeeze in one or two quick brush pen sketches. I think the crispness of a brush pen line, even when it drags to dry-brush lines, is cheering against the white of the paper. The lines say, “This is the boundary, this is the texture.” […]

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In Context—Books I’ve Been Reading

I’ve been downsizing my library, so I have been spending my free-time in the past year rereading books before I give them away. Here’s a character’s take on crime-novel reading. I have my own theories on the popularity of mysteries and crime fiction. And of course on my own readership of those genres. But hey, […]

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