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Working Transparently and Opaquely with Watercolor

My eyes have still not settled down after the cataract surgeries (January 28 and March 5). There are some issues which appear to be permanent. I’ll deal with them in another post. Today I wanted to write about the drive to paint in color, the need to push paint around. If you saw the journal […]

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My Friend Tom Won’t Stand Next to Me in an Electrical Storm…

It’s official, after Sunday’s event my friend Tom said “You have the most awful luck! Remind me not to stand next to you when lightning is threatening!” I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t stand next to me in that situation either. And recommend that you don’t as well. Sunday Dick and I went house hunting. […]

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Ways Your Journal Reflects Your Life—Unfinished Tests, Unfinished Sketches

      I hear from a lot of blog readers and students that they work on their journal sketches later, if they can’t finish them when they first set out to sketch. I believe a journal needs to reflect your life. That puts me in the “move on” camp if a page isn’t finished […]

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Different Watercolor Papers Take Paint Differently

Different watercolor papers take paint differently. The higher the quality of the paper the better the fibers and sizing used to make it will interact with your paints (which need also to be quality artist paints). If you’re having an issue, like the one I was on this spread (read my handwritten comments), and on […]

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In Context: A Show, a Sketch, a Note

  I hate it when a show has only a season. I don’t seem to stop myself from watching. Then when there are no more episodes I’m hooked, but bereft. This happened was going to happen with this show, so I stopped early. One of the many wonky sketches I did in April when I […]

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Sketching in Family Situations: Creating New Family Contracts

If you desire to sketch at family gatherings and visits but it seems impossible this post is for you. If you already have sketching integrated into your life I suggest you stop reading and go sketch. Recently a blog reader wrote the following to me I love your posts and your portraits! How do you […]

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Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

  Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate. But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell […]

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The Property Brothers Make Change Seem Easy (with Hard Work)

I’m probably the only person on the planet who sees “Property Brothers” as a show about change, adaptation, and living in the present moment. (As I write this I’m also including “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” as I watched them all simultaneously; and I have since started watching the new, “Property Brothers: Forever Home.”) While […]

Detail of today's painting.

Using Watercolor Flats and a Bit on Back-Runs

In this experiment on Canson Heritage Hot Press 140 lb. watercolor paper from the end of 2018 I used only a 1 inch large flat watercolor brush.  I’ve written other posts about how you can use the edge of the brush to do more linear bits, like the creases in the forehead, but in the […]

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In Context: Handling the Page

Sometimes our brain just clicks on an automatic timer. That happened the other day when thoughts of my last Alaskan Malamute Dottie bubbled into my mind exactly on the day 16 years after she had died.  How you handle an image or text, or both, on a page or page spread is going to be […]

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