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Testing Elements through Doodling

One of the best times to test design elements is when you are warming up. Take a couple moments to make a decorative frame around your warm up sketch. Use more than one approach. Don’t worry about cohesiveness—it’s a warm up sketch. Consider the following: • Make a long enough or large enough area of […]

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Piecemeal Style Portrait of Two Dogs

Today’s sketch is one of my favorites of my year so far. I made it using a Sktchy muse photo for inspiration and in the photos of my working process you’ll be able to see how I pull a photo up on my iPad and position the iPad to work, whether at a drawing table […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 4 Fold Outs

This is Part Four of a five-part series on simple approaches to backgrounds in the visual journal and paintings. See Part One here. Last December I was buried beneath the latest of the blog transfer issues. I didn’t get to post a number of images and posts I’d worked up. Today’s image falls well into discussion […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 3 Patterns

This is Part Three of a five-part series on simple approaches to backgrounds in the visual journal and paintings. See Part One here. Today I wanted to look at pattern—it’s something that you can use to quickly fill up the background space around a subject. I’ve written about some of my favorite approaches numerous times […]

Here is an earlier version of this sketch before I got the gouache out.

A Little Bit of Piecemeal Evolution: Dog Portrait

The other day I was working on a dog sketch from an image on Sktchy. I ran off the page with my green brush pen sketch and of course turned it into a “Piecemeal Style” painting, complete with washi tape and of course finished off with gouache. I didn’t think about taking photos at each […]

Looking at a Piecemeal Portrait

I’ve been writing about my “piecemeal portraits” for a couple years now. Recently I took a couple process shots while I was making one from a photo inspiration on Sktchy. My photographs aren’t taken with lights and so the color is off, but you can still get the idea. I’m working on setting up a […]

Art Graf 6B water-soluble pencil on two types of watercolor paper with washi tape.

There’s No Undo with Traditional Media—But You Can Scan Versions!

Stressful times send me to the drawing board. We’ve got some family health issues going on right now, so after Dick went to bed last night I stayed up and played with paint for two hours. I was going to do a quick water-soluble graphite portrait sketch from a Sktchy image. But that didn’t satisfy […]

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Why I Love Gouache

Above: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch in a Japanese Lined Journal. This sketch was made on a spread first covered with Montana Acrylic Marker and washi tape. I then painted with gouache, just the areas of the portrait that I wanted to paint, using the paint opaquely when I wanted to obscure the lines and background color, […]

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Getting Messy on the Page

Above: A quick (less than 5 minute) sketch of Dick (he was ready to go to bed and tired), with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen in the Flex Book journal I'll review soon. (I wanted to take it to life-drawing co-op before I wrote my review.) Read below for more details. My free sketching time […]

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Beard Drawing Withdrawal

Above: Pentel fine-tipped pigment ink brush pen on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper; background pre-painted with acrylics, rubberstamp ink, and washi tape. Two weeks ago I went into serious beard drawing withdrawal. Things have been crazy here. I've had weird computer problems and several long visits from the computer tech. He's great, but he […]

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