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Detail from the finished piece.

The Piecemeal Portrait Tutorial That Wasn’t

To keep myself drawing while I’m working out what my post-cataract eyesight will be I’ve been videotaping my sketching sessions. I find that the resultant videos allow me to look again at my process and ask myself questions about the progress I’m making with my eyesight.  It also takes the focus off of whether or […]

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Notes to Yourself in Your Journal

I find the practice of making even brief notes during or at the end of a sketching session  help me focus where I want to go next. If something turns out too elongated I try again, often with a different pen or tool, as I did here. And I might even make a small diagram […]

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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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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 4

      Since there is no writing on this page in my Arteza Watercolor Book—direct brush painting with watercolor. I used a 5/8 inch flat wash brush and also a size 10 watercolor round for some of this. I should have worked a little harder to make enough wash for the background to not […]

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Painting on Canson Heritage Watercolor Paper

    I’ve already written a little bit about Canson Heritage Watercolor paper in a couple posts on the blog. I’ve admitted that I like the way my pens work on its hot press surface. I’ve admitted that even though it has a non-gelatin sizing I enjoy working on it either with transparent washes  or with […]

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Cooking Shows and Interesting Ears

Yep I sketch while I watch TV. I’ve written about it a ton on the blog in the past 11 years!  Well one of the reasons I love to do this is I love EARS. I don’t know if there is a “season” for cooking shows. New competition shows in cooking seem to start all […]

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Do You Stop Or Keep Pushing?

One of the things I’m asked most frequently by students is, “When do I know I’m finished with my [painting/sketch]?” I’ve heard many people give the flip response, “When you realize that you’ve gone to far, then you know you should have stopped.” It’s actually more simple and more complex than that. First, yes, if […]

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Drawing Beard Stubble

Even if you don’t enjoy sketching beards as much as I do you owe it to yourself to practice some beards. Why? Because if you enjoy sketching people, some of the people you sketch will have beards. And all those beards will be different.  You’re working on your visual vocabulary. The human face has a […]

Detail of the face area showing the watercolor.

Step By Step: Pen, watercolor, and Collage

I make sketches I call piecemeal portraits because I end up running out of paper and have to add paper to them. Typically I do this on loose sheets. But recently I’ve found myself doing it sometimes in my journal too. Today’s portrait is one that I made in my regular journal. The journal is […]

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Another Eyebrow Update

Above: Here's a quick contour drawing I made of Dick as he sat on the couch in the TV room—for all the folks keeping track of those eyebrows! I was working in the 6 x 8.5 inch Prat FlexBook Sketchbook with the Sakura Pigma Sensei Pen. (Just one thickness, but I did go over the […]

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