Currently Browsing: Productivity


At Least I Wasn’t Abducted By Aliens: Keeping Your Sense of Humor and Productivity

Note: This blog post was originally set to run during the second week of January but technical issues with the blog delayed it. This version was edited for publication today. Anyone who bothered to stop by or call me from October through January this year knew things were tough. I was beyond grumpy because of […]


Letting Things Go, Even in the Pursuit of Goals: The Little Journal That Got Away

Note: This post was originally scheduled to run at the end of December 2017. Due to technical issues with the blog I’m just getting to it now. If you read my blog you’ll know that I keep track of the number of pages that I create each year. I do this because it is a […]

Detail of a portion of today's image.

Just Keep Going Whether You Run Out of Ink Or…?

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on Facebook and in the blog’s comments section, and in private emails after my February 10th post. It was sad to hear the blog’s mail program is not working. But it was good to have confirmation of my suspicions.  It still isn’t working. I’ve been in contact with the […]

Pentel Brush Pen and gouache sketch on a pre-painting background. (Hand•Book Watercolor Journal.)

Textures 2018 Class Registration Closes February 3: Why Use Textures?

I am offering my “Textures: Backgrounds for Visual Journaling and Mixed Media” online again this year. The 2018 class begins on February 3. There are 6 weeks of lessons in which students work through the process of creating backgrounds for their artwork. I share my favorite materials and approaches and provide detailed information on on […]

A pen sketch using a Faber Castell Pitt Calligraphy pen (black ink) on Lettra Ecru. That's an all cotton paper that can be purchased from Neenah, and some local print shops and suppliers. 9 x 11 inches. The pen was running out of ink. I love when that happens.

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 […]

A page spread from my Hahnemühle Watercolor journal that I tested. I'll be posting a review soon!

In Context: Notes, and Lists, and Sketches All Together

For today’s in context post I wanted to show you how when I need to make a note and work out which new pigments I want to buy and I’ve left my list at home, I simply sit down and work it out in the journal I’m using—even if it contains watercolor paper. Above you […]


Sometimes Technology Is Fun: The Last Half of 2017 on Sktchy

  Above: A short video slide show of the ortraits I made during the second half of 2017 while working with the Sktchy App. If it doesn’t show up here, you can view it on YouTube at this link. 2017 was a horrible year for me and technology. I had a scanner that didn’t work. […]

My sketch of Dick when I was in the emergency. I can see by the line that it is less fluid than normal, stopping almost artificially and turning at various points in a way I don't usually do. Additional there are restatements that I've obviously zoned out in—making more and more marks in one area instead of balancing marks across the surface. And there are several places where I can see and remember I made marks even though I was telling myself, "Don't." I just couldn't hear myself through the pain.

Why Drawing Practice Matters and What Your Line Can Tell You

Readers of my blog know that I love observing my process. I can’t help myself. Even during emergencies. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and find ways to always sketch. On November 19 I fell in a friend’s foyer. I was rushing across the foyer to my fanny pack to change my […]

Direct brush watercolor sketch on a 4 x 6 inch scrap of book board that was gessoed before sketching.

Five Things To Do When You’ve Got Paper That’s Just Too Bad To Work With

My recent series on Zeta paper in the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks generated a lot of mail about paper. I know a lot of people get part way into a journal, find they aren’t enjoying the paper and feel constrained about wasting the paper by simply jumping to a new journal. I think to stay […]

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 […]

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