Currently Browsing: The Drawing Life

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In-Context: Just Go With It—Follow Your Nose

Often one sketch will lead to another. The other day, the world turned on its end and I was feeling a bit dark. I did some rapid fire sketches of all sorts of monsters in thumbnail. I’d post them but you wouldn’t be able to tell what they are. Just know they were tiny and […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Another Look at the Handbook Watercolor Journal

Things change over time. It’s a fact when you use art materials. Papers may be made for 400 years at a mill, but over your lifetime any paper you change will have subtle if not significant changes. The same is true for paints, and brushes. Some ingredients for paints might become scarce or no longer […]

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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. […]

First page spread for 2018—a hardbound journal that is made with Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. Cold Press watercolor paper. (Journal approx. 8 x 8 inches square.)

In Context: Snow Piles

Typically on New Year’s Day I go and sketch at Como Zoo. This year, it seemed impractical to try to park (Como is always crowded on New Year’s Day), walk the long distance to the entry, walk to the Aquatic building (where I could sketch puffins), and reverse the process while keeping my toe warm […]

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 […]

The large, about 9 x 11 inch Japanese Lined Journal that I love to sketch in with the Pentel Brush Pen and Acrylic Markers. Carl Too is standing around watching the paper dry.

What’s on the Table?—The Curl of the Paper

I just love working in my favorite Japanese Lined Journals from APICA. The paper loves the Pentel Brush Pen. Sometimes I work in gouache on this paper, but sometimes I leave the sketch as is and turn the page. Other times I put in an acrylic marker background. I used an orange 15mm wide Montana […]

Staedtler Pigment Liner on a 3M Post-it Note™, collaged with painted paper, and expanded. A Piecemeal portrait.

In Context: A Piecemeal Portrait of a Dog

Sometimes when I don’t like the paper in a journal I’m working in (here a Zeta Smooth, heavyweight journal from Stillman & Birn) I will sketch on Post-it Notes™ Sometimes I save those bits of paper and make a piecemeal portrait. (See the category list for additional piecemeal portraits.) See my four part review on […]

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In Context—Favorite Papers

Sometimes you can search and search and test and test, and you just keep coming back to a favorite paper. For me I love to paint on white Stonehenge paper. It isn’t a watercolor paper—the washes need a different handling than on watercolor paper. Yet there is something so fun about working on the paper—the […]

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