Currently Browsing: brush pen

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OK Sometimes I Doodle

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Warm Ups: Some More Thoughts…

I’ve written about warm ups many times, but readers still often forget how important they are. So I’m sharing some warm up pieces from my journals again today, before I get some more warm ups done and get my day going. My goal with warm ups is to check myself on my ability to correctly […]

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Running Out of Paper Space

  In the last post you saw me add a fold down section to a journal page. Today, just for grins, here’s a loose sheet—a quick sketch that saw me running out of space for the best part of the portrait: hair in a top of the head ponytail. I slapped a piece of extra […]

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In Context—Losing a Loved One

We can find insightful quotes which remind us of our humanity everywhere.

I  find that even a quick sketch of dogs will bring me out of a funk and get me back to focusing on actions I can take to turn things around. Dogs are about living in the present moment. If we can't live with them (and currently I don't have dogs) we can still remember and learn from them as we draw them. (These are two lovely dogs on Sktchy.)

Project Friday: How To Deal with Crappy Days in Your Visual Journal

Here’s a question I’m asked frequently: How do you deal with crappy days in your journal? Not long ago a student explained to me that when she kept a written journal she would often write about the stress and frustration in that journal, but then never look back at it.  She felt that her visual […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 5 Lifting Off Color

This is Part Five of a five-part series on executing simple backgrounds in your journal or other artwork. Part One of this series can be found at this link. I’m going to end this series with the simplest approach to background texture—color lift off. To do this you need a paper with sufficient surface sizing […]

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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 […]

Sketching two pumpkins that I was given last year. I love all the knobby bits and the stems, and don't mid that I go off the page! Brush pen on the new Folio paper in a handmade book. (The tab at the spine was inserted at the binding to make room for collage throughout the book.)

In Context—Pumpkins

I really enjoy the fall because there are so many pumpkins around to sketch. I love playing with angle of where I’m sitting and how the pumpkin is turned because it can look so different.  Mostly pumpkins give me an excuse to move the brush pen across the page. If you don’t have much time […]

A full spread sketch in the largest Hahnemühle Nostalgie sketchbook. I used a Bienfang Magenta watercolor brush pend to start and did the comb and wattles and area around the eye. A little different approach for me because I usually start with the eye. Then I decided to paint some of the features, add color to the background, and also add some stenciling detail to the background.

When Do You Stop? When Is A Drawing Finished

I think the number one question I get from students is: “When do I know my drawing is finished?” Most people aren’t going to like the answer. You’ll know after you’ve taken a ton of sketches past the point of no return. Here’s the thing, you’re asking a question that involves choices both stylistic choices […]

Brush pen sketch made while watching "QI."

The Things You Learn Watching TV

I like to watch “QI” with Stephen Fry. Topics of all sorts get brought up. Other people have taken over as host in recent years, but I haven’t seen any of those episodes yet. Acorn streams episodes. Someone is always saying something funny as they try to answer Fry’s questions. For me it’s a good […]

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