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Looking at Canson Heritage Watercolor Paper

This past fall I purchased a block of 140 lb. hot press Canson Heritage Watercolor paper. It is a 100 percent cotton paper with vegetable sizing. (Yep, I am not happy about the sizing, but there you have it.) Since then I’ve been working on it to complete a project. I haven’t posted sketches from […]

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Testing Yarka Watercolors

Last fall I was in Wet Paint and they had some sets of Yarka Watercolors for sale. I purchased two sets. One was a standard set of colors that I bought for a young friend as a gift. The other set, “High Chroma” (HC) was for me to experiment with.  They were in fun square […]

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Self-Assessment: 2018—Filling Journals, Using Up Paint

  Some Background and The Brand of Paint I’ve Been Using Lately Yes, this painting actually has something to do with self-assessment and goal setting. First I want to say something about the materials… While I did sketch some more after painting this image yesterday (Dec. 31, 2018) this turned out to be my final […]

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Painting with a Paper Towel?

If you don’t remember to restock your regular day pack with all the tools you put in your Minnesota State Fair fanny pack, you’ll have to manage with what you have left. Saturday when I visited my father-in-law with Dick I didn’t realize I had practically nothing in my pack! My last Fair day was […]

I have a small clearer's caddy—the type of handled open-topped case that people who clean efficiently (professionals and other efficient folks) use to carry their cleaning products and tools from one room to the next. These are available in hardware and home stores, as well as online. This one cost about US$ 8. I cut stiff cardboard dividers to insert into the two main wells. These are held in place with tape on both sides so that they don't move. (See the side of the white pen area.) By keeping similar colors together I can reach quickly for a new pen as needed. Because the caddy is a caddy it has a handle (center piece as you look down). I can pick it up and move from room to room with my markers and use them anywhere I want. (Center partition on the topside contains masking and washi tapes for a project I was working on.)

Storing My Montana Acrylic Markers

I am frequently asked how I store my Montana Acrylic Markers. As you can see from the photo I use a cleaner’s caddy.  I cut stiff cardboard dividers to insert into the two main wells. These dividers are held in place with tape on both sides so that they don’t move. (See the side of […]

Mixed media sketch on Zeta—Pentel Dye-based brush pen, water brush, watercolor, acrylic marker background and collage. On most smooth papers I've used the dye-based ink of this particular Pentel brush pen lifts off well and creates interesting effects. That wasn't the case on this paper. Lifting this water-soluble ink on this paper was problematic and even gentle attempts led to pilling of the surface.

Part Four: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

Today is part four of a multi-part series on the Stillman & Birn (S&B) smooth surface Zeta journals. You can read part one here. This post deals with some mix-media approaches and some pros and cons I discovered about this paper. You can read part two here. In this post I write a bit  more […]

Using the Sakura Pigma Professional Brush pen in FB on the smooth Zeta paper. The lines are crisp, the pen is a bit draggy on this surface.

Part Two: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

This is part two of a multi-part review of the Stillman & Birn (SB) Smooth Zeta Soft-bound journal. You can see part one here. Today I wanted to look at two approaches for which the smooth heavyweight Zeta is suited. Mixed Media Because of its weight the paper is particularly suited to collage and mixed […]

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Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

A couple months ago I picked up a Stillman & Birn Soft Cover Zeta Book. I don’t use Stillman & Birn books. I don’t care for the way they make their hardcover books and their papers are either too lightweight, or in other ways not responsive to the way I work. With so many other […]

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Project Friday: A Bit More on Brush Pens

To wrap up Brush Pen week I was going to go on an on about the brush pen some more, but I realized that in 2015 I wrote a post that includes a video on brush pens from Jet Pens as well as a bunch of links to various brush pen posts in my blog. […]

This portrait was also made using the water-soluble color brush. I love the way you can pull shading out of the line. Sometimes I stroke the tip of the brush pen with my water brush and pick up diluted ink so that I can apply shading without a line on the paper.

My Love Affair with the Pentel Brush Pen

I love the brush pen so much that I write about it almost constantly. Every so often I make a concerted effort to get people to try it. That’s what this week is about. My blog posts are all brush-pen related. I’d like to begin by mentioning that I didn’t always like the brush pen. […]

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