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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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Another Watercolor Sketch in an Arteza Watercolor Book

      I’m still working my way through an Arteza Watercolor book.  It’s 8.3 x 11.7 inches. I wrote a review of this journal and paper in a ninepart series (I think it was only nine).  You can enter the words “Arteza Watercolor Book” in my blog’s search engine and all the posts will […]

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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 […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 9

Doing a Tape Test in the Arteza Watercolor Book I use Nichiban Artist’s tape 99.9 percent of the time when I want to tape something. It works well on my favorite papers—it’s one of the reasons those papers are my favorite papers, I’ve found a tape that works with them. But many watercolorists like to […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 8

Again I didn’t write anything on this journal page, so it’s a bit weird for “In Context” but it’s one more in my series of mini review comments on the Arteza Watercolor Book. What I enjoyed on this spread was the manner in which I could get some delicate wash techniques. I was using a […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 7

This is me using up left over watercolor paint and working opaquely (for the most part) in the Arteza Watercolor Book. This paper is fine for working opaquely with either watercolor or gouache.  I find the paper is a bit draggy when working opaquely, especially with my watercolor flats. I find myself wishing I’d chosen […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 6

      This isn’t strictly an “In Context” post. I don’t have things written on these pages and I’m going to show more than one spread. But I’m keeping it in context because these are all from the Arteza Watercolor Book and all these posts together constitute my review of that commercially bound sketchbook. […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 5

  On this page of my Arteza Watercolor Book I was testing fountain pens—using my Sailor Fude Fountain pen with Platinum Carbon Black ink. The pen moves well on the slightly textured paper. The ink settles quickly and doesn’t bleed when you add your washes. (I go in pretty quickly with my washes so I […]

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