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Dip Pen Nibs and Holders—A Great Overview from Jet Pens

Left: Opening image in Jet Pens' Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders. Click on the link below and go have a look now! Students are always asking me about dip pens (I only have a brief opportunity to introduce them in my sketching-with-ink class as I have so many types of pens to cover). Since […]

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My Favorite Japanese Pen Nibs and Some Starter Tips

The post provides info on dip pen nibs I like to use.

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Where Do You Find Birds?

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Above: One of my favorite sketches from my 2009 Fake Journal (see it all in a video clip, and in posted scans here). Schmincke pan watercolors over Ziller Glossy Black Acrylic ink (dip pen), on water resistant pages in an Alvin Field Book. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The other day, after seeing my bird-filled 2009 fake journal online someone asked me where I found all those birds to draw. (The person was from Minnesota.) I wrote back telling her my some of my favorite places to go and look at birds in the Twin Cities—places where I can always count on a bird being present when I need a bird fix, which is actually at least once a day.

But her question made me think about the issue of "finding" stuff a bit more. My friend Linda once told me about a part of the brain (can't remember what it is called) where you can actually input things you want to look out for and it will hold "that thought" and see that item EVERYWHERE. So maybe you are looking for 66 Mustangs, or fire hydrants, or odd typographical signs, or, in my case BIRDS. Because you have set up your internal spotting engine to see those things you'll find an abundance of them. (You can actually do this in a general way too, by just suggesting that your brain look for visual journaling options and voilà—everywhere you look!)

I Made a Low-Tech Movie of My 2009 Fake Journal

I really wanted to show my 2009 fake journal in a way so that the size and character of the pages would come across. I got to thinking that my small digital camera had the capability of taking 60 second videos. Well, I set up a tripod and started to "film." I put the resultant […]

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Mining Sketchbooks for Inspiration (Again)

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Above: This is a cropped portion from a page spread I did during the recent SketchCrawl. The bottom right hand corner is the penguin sketch I'm interested in. It was the last penguin sketch of the day and the most successful, and I was sad that I'd run out of space on the spread, but the sketch was to have life in another way too. This sketch was made with a Staedtler Pigment Liner and Schmincke gouache, in a journal I made with Nideggen paper. Read about it below. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Regular visitors to the blog will remember that for SketchCrawl on the 11th I went with a group of sketchers to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. (If you would like to see all my pages from this SketchCrawl they are posted at Twin Cities Sketchers.) I focused on the animals, which is typical for me. The above image is a sketch I made while at the zoo. There was one very sick looking penguin and he was standing still, so I sketched him.

090411BPuffPen Left: the entire page spread can be viewed by clicking on this image. The journal is approximately 6.5 x 9 inches. The top half of the page spread was used for puffin sketches. I then moved on to look at the pengiuns and those sketches are on the bottom portion of the spread beneath the dashed line.

When I am out sketching at the zoo I'm not worried about trying to get a finished painting of an animal or bird, I'm just trying to notice things about whatever it is that I'm sketching. I believe that everything I notice will be useful to me later when I try to make paintings of any of the animals or birds. I didn't have any plans to do a painting of a penguin anytime soon, but that very day these sketches were useful to me when it came time to do the next entry for my International Fake Journal Month journal.

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First Page Spread in My International Fake Journal Month Journal

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Above: The first page spread in my fake journal, started April 1, 2009 (my persona writes the date Year-Month-Date). Click on the image for an enlargement.

This week has been exhausting but interesting. I had to juggle a lot of things. One of those things was the start of IFJM, the other was jury duty. I'll be posting about the later sometime soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to post the opening  spread to my IFJM journal to give people an idea of the approach I'm taking.

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An Update on the MCBA Visual Journal Collective: Using Photos in Your Journals

 

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Above: a page spread I did in our Altered Book Round Robin (the owner of this book elected to use a Handbook journal and not a printed book). The theme for this book was lost and found and inclusions were welcome, but most of the stuff that I find is pretty large so I thought it best to paint the object (a Lake Superior stone). I was working with dip pen, Ziller Glossy black ink (pretty much obliterated by the paint) and Schmincke gouache. Don’t ask me what was going on with the composition here. The verso page was all lumpy from the previous spread’s rivets and inclusions (I had to glue two pages together to cover the eyelet backs and such). I wasn’t going to use that side, and then I was painting it. Well at least it has an interesting texture and it fits with the idea of lost and found “ideas." Click on the image to see an enlargement.

March 16, members of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective met to once again, explore visual journaling and share our work. We watched a short documentary on Peter Beard, a photographer known for his journals filled with photos, scraps of paper, and animal skins and blood.

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