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The Kakimori Brass Pen Nib

  This spring a friend told me about a new sort of dip pen: The Kakimori Brass Pen Nib. It’s shaped like a bullet. Channels all around the nib feed the ink to the point. (See the product photo at the left.) I thought it might be interesting to try it out because you can […]

A detail of my painting of actor Colm Meaney. You can look closely, especially in the hair, and easily see that I'm using very little water with my watercolor pigments.

Another Look at Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal

I go on and on about how much I love Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal. It’s about 8 x 6 inches and looks like a very thick Moleskine—i.e., black cover, elastic closure, back envelope, ribbon book mark. (Let’s just point out that the first thing I do when I open a new one is pull that ribbon […]

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Why Character Actors Make the Best Models

This sketch of a character actor in an historical drama (set in the 1930s) is not exaggerated. This is how he looked (essentially, OK there is always some exaggeration when you draw directly with ink, because if a line goes a little wonky I simply keep going…) It’s no secret, especially when I work with […]

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I’m Learning More about Neill Rea’s Face

Season 8 of “Brokenwood Mysteries” started streaming in July on Acorn. I’ve been watching along as they release the new episodes; and of course sketching. I think I’m finally starting to get a little better feel for Neill Rea’s face. (His cheeks need to be a little plumper to catch his character’s kind but “I’m […]

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Derwent Shade and Tone Set

Manufacturers of art materials are always looking for new ways to bring existing products to more people, often in different forms. The Derwent Shade and Tone Set is a recent example of that. I’m not testing a lot of stuff right now (downsizing, blah, blah, blah; and a lot of paint I want to use […]

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The Fun of a Bold Brush Line

A new pigment brush pen and a fresh page in a smooth-surfaced lined paper journal: what could be better than that? This is one of my sketches of actor Alun Armstrong. I did a project where I drew him (multiple times) every day in March last year. (#MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth; look it up, a couple other people […]

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Review: Kuretake Ultra Fine Pigmented Water-based Brush Pen

I love brush pens and I’m always looking for a brush pen with ink that will withstand watercolor washes and not bleed. Additionally the brush pen has to be water-based ink because solvents (and even alcohol pens) give me headaches. I was excited to try the Kuretake Ultra Fine brush pen with pigmented, water-based ink. […]

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Hahnemühle 100 Percent Cotton Watercolor Books

In March I purchased one of the new Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbooks which contain 100 percent cotton, 120 lb. watercolor paper. I purchased the large portrait size (8.3 x 11.7 inches). I’ll start by saying it’s an expensive book. I paid just under $60 dollars for it (that becomes important later). You can click on the […]

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Real-life Characters: Casketeers

  Last year when I had bronchitis for 5 months I discovered “Casketeers” on Netflix. If you like quirky people and enjoy learning how other people go through their days in different professions, and if you have ever desired to move to New Zealand, this show is something to check out. This reality show follows […]

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Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators (And More on Magnani Portofino)

  After my initial tests with Magnani Portofino I tried different pen and ink only tests. For today’s post I did a quick pen sketch of actor Mark Benton who stars in “Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators.” It’s a fun mystery show set in Stratford-upon-Avon where everything is Shakespeare-related. Benton plays Frank Hathaway, and the […]

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