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Projects versus Series?

  Sometimes in classes I have students ask me what the difference is between a project and a series. I believe the difference is basically slim to none depending on how the user of these words understands and defines them.  Dictionary.com defines “project” as something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme. a large […]

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Limited Choices Lead to Successful Projects

  After my post last week about doing creative projects many people wrote in to tell me that they were inspired to start a project. One accomplished artist wrote in to ask advice: Just looking for advice. After listening to the podcast on projects I’ve decided to take up the challenge. Over the years I’ve […]

Detail of the eye area. Dry strokes of paint stumbled over the top of dry lower layers take texture from the paper and create a fun broken-color effect that helps mimic the texture on a chicken's face.

Everyone Needs a Side Project

A few weeks ago my friend Danny Gregory called me up to discuss my thoughts about projects. Most readers know my Daily Dots—daily drawings of my Alaskan Malamute bitch Dottie made the last 4 and a half years of her  life. But friends and students know that I’m always engaged in whatever the latest project […]

Detail of plum.

In Context—Sketching while Sick

My hiatus has been a bit of a bust. Instead of catching up on my ongoing projects and starting a new one that I really wanted to jump into, I came down with a respiratory bug. I sketch even when I’m ill. Many may think that’s a waste of time and paper when you’re coughing […]

I  find that even a quick sketch of dogs will bring me out of a funk and get me back to focusing on actions I can take to turn things around. Dogs are about living in the present moment. If we can't live with them (and currently I don't have dogs) we can still remember and learn from them as we draw them. (These are two lovely dogs on Sktchy.)

Project Friday: How To Deal with Crappy Days in Your Visual Journal

Here’s a question I’m asked frequently: How do you deal with crappy days in your journal? Not long ago a student explained to me that when she kept a written journal she would often write about the stress and frustration in that journal, but then never look back at it.  She felt that her visual […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Quick sketches of some Bosc Pears with a Pentel dye-based brush pen. A Niji water brush was used to draw out the shading from the water-soluble ink lines. (All in the largest portrait Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook—the paper is a dream to work on with the PPBP and its cousins.)

What Do You Have on Hand?

It has been hectic here lately. I notice I’ve been getting grumpy. It’s not because I’m busy. I love being busy. It’s because I miss the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (and the Pentel Colorbrush Pen cousins). All my projects involve other media right now. They leave little time in the day for my tired eyes to […]

Pentel Brush Pen sketch on pre-painted Folio paper, with Schmincke Horadam Gouache. Handmade journal, approx. 8 inches square, turned on side so gutter runs horizontally.

Maintaining Momentum and Fun in Our Daily Practice

If we want to create a daily practice, whether it’s exercise, diet, thought, or art related, we need to make sure that we contain elements of fun in that practice. It’s those elements of fun which keep us coming back to the practice. And ultimately it’s the fun that we bring into our work that […]

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