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In Context: Not the Time To Explain a Vignette

As an artist, you know whether it’s the right time to introduce the concept of “vignettes” or not. Pick your battles.

Page from a test booklet made with 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico Hot Press Watercolor paper. As people come and go I keep layering sketches on the page. It's a very small waiting room.

Update on Richard’s Eye

Thank you to everyone who wrote sending me good wishes for Dick!  For Dick routine cataract surgery turned into anything but routine. It took 11 weeks but the epithelial defect has healed in Dick’s eye. “You have the most sensitive eyes I’ve ever seen,” his regular eye doctor, who did the surgery, said 9 weeks in […]

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Colored Pencil Demo: Red Pepper—Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk on colored pencils to the University of Minnesota Women’s Club. The women were very welcoming, very attentive, and someone in their membership makes ridiculously delicious brownies. (Thankfully they pushed two of them on me!)

One of the samples I took to show them was a drawing of a red bell pepper on Museum Grade Wallis Paper. (Wallis Paper is a wonderful pastel paper that is coated with an acrylic primer which contains grit. This creates a great surface for grabbing pastel pigment and holding it. But it is also a fun paper to use for colored pencil if you don’t mind the voracious quality of the paper as it eats your pencils and if you pay attention to a couple other foibles.) We ran out of time at the meeting (they would ask questions and I would digress!) and so I thought it would be fun to post the process here.

The following images show the steps in building a colored pencil sketch on Wallis Paper. This drawing was done as a class demo in one of my advanced colored pencil classes (where I deal with working on oddball types of surfaces). The demo was completed in under an hour, with breaks for questions, paint drying time, digressions. The finished artwork is approximately 7 x 5 inches.

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Paper Choices: Fitting the Paper to the Technique

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Above: Two journals I made this week using a purple bookcloth and decorative papers I made with Fabriano Uno Soft Press 140 lb. watercolor paper (a discontinued paper) and acrylic paints. Right—7 x 8.5 inches, “frost” pattern; left—8 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches, loose swirls of color. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

When I stopped to take a photo for my journal (I like to document book batches with swatches of materials used and photos of the resultant books as a record and reminder) of two new journals that had just come out from drying under weights, I realized they gave me the opportunity to talk about paper choices in a concrete way.

Paper: What Do Visual Journalers Want?—Part 2

This post continues yesterday's discussion of paper from a visual journaler's perspective.

Some Paper Recommendations

Below are some papers that we discussed as a group at November's meeting of the MCBA Visual Journaling Collective. I have provided my thoughts about them. Because these are my thoughts I encourage you to try the papers yourself before you dismiss them or before you make a bulk purchase. (You might want to buy sample packs as suggested in part one of this topic.) I’ve tried to be accurate in my info, but always double check before you buy. (Note that I couldn't find a way to make a superscript 2 for the weight fraction: gm/m2—the 2 should be a superscript. When I do it with Typepad's text controls the leading between my lines is messed up and that's a greater evil. Just read and imagine a superscript; you can do it.)

If a paper is readily available I have not listed a vendor. You should be able to find it at Daniel Smith, Wet Paint, Talas, Jerry's Artarama, Cheap Joe's, and so on. If I only know of one vendor I have provided a link. Also if I've been able to quickly think of an example from one of my journals that is already scanned and on my website I've provided a link to a journal page using that paper, so click and see some extra work.)

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Paper: What Do Visual Journalers Want?—Part 1

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Above, three different papers, three different journals. Left to right: the new Folio paper, pen and watercolor, Annigoni Designo with Pentel Color brush and gouache, and Fabriano Artistico hot press with pen, ink and gouache.

Two weeks ago about 20 visual journal keepers met to discuss PAPER at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. As we went around the room sharing what we liked to do with paper and what we hoped a paper would do for us (support collage, take wet media, etc.) more than half admitted they were paper “addicts.” We knew we were in good company.

Some attendees admitted also that they loved any type of paper and were paper “magnets” always finding paper on their outings and returning home with scraps of this and that to use in their artwork. Only a couple members had made paper, but everyone agreed they loved to collect it and plan projects.

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