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Mop Brushes Are Your Friend

I know that sometimes you want that special brush that has the delightful point and gives you all the detail you crave. Today’s post isn’t about that brush. That brush is great when you need it, but if it’s the only brush you’re using your work is going to look fussy very fast. So what […]

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More Dry Brush: Portraits

I wanted to revisit the idea of dry brush watercolor used in portraits again today. This portrait, also made with leftover paint has light, transparent base washes still showing through at the edges of the next and around the beard and hair. But here also you can see the exaggerated way in which I use […]

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Thinking about Dry Brush Portraits

One of my favorite things to do is to paint with watercolor in a dry brush fashion. What does that mean? Dry brush means that there is relatively little water on your brush. You move the pigment carrying brush across the paper and the brush picks up the texture of the paper.  For the best […]

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In-Context: Before Cataract Surgery

Even avid readers of the blog might not recognize when this was sketched unless it had the date on it. I know exactly when it was sketched because I can still feel how my eyes felt on this day as I searched for the lines. I have found it interesting to observe my own artistic […]

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How You Can Use Visual Journaling to End Arguments

  Let me begin this post by stating: this is not an April Fool’s Day prank. I’m serious about the ability of visual journaling to end arguments. First you have to keep a visual journal. Next you and whomever you’re arguing with have to have a good sense of humor and a developed ability to […]

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Project Friday—Let’s Collage

In this post I’ll walk you through a recent collage I made. This isn’t something that I preplanned. It’s simply something that I worked on with the materials at hand, moving from one thought to the next.  I’ve turned the step-by-step into a Project Friday because I hope you’ll get up from the computer, make […]

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What’s the Deal with the 2019 Celebration of International Fake Journal Month?

In January I decided that after 10 years of a public celebration of International Fake Journal Month I’d end the public portion of this project. You can read about my reasons at the above link to the official blog. So this year there is no button and theme/tagline and most important, nothing for me to […]

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Stonehenge Aqua Review Part 1—Overview and the Cold Press Surface

In 2017 I requested Stonehenge Aqua samples based on a company promotion. I’m sure many of you did the same. You’ve probably already made your decision about this paper. I spent most of January 2018 working on Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. watercolor paper in both the cold press and hot press surfaces.  For various reasons—the […]

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The Daily Potato: A Look at a Daily Drawing Project

At the end of September 2018 Jennifer Okano brightened everyone’s day by posting this wonderfully dimensional sketch of a sweet potato in a group I host for past students. She wrote:  This month my focus has been on contours. Outside, inside, cross. Picking the oddest Japanese sweet potatoes at the market has given me a […]

Examples of the Simple Round Back Spine structure with cloth covered boards and recessed labels. (The book in the back has a raised label effect we will discuss.)

Simple Round Back Spine Class Registration Will Close February 14, 2019

Registration for “The Simple Round Back Spine” online bookbinding class is still open through February 14, 2019.  Class begins on February 15, 2019 with all lessons dropping at once so that students can work at their own pace during the month. I’ll be available to answer your questions. (I recommend that students aim to make […]

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