Currently Browsing: Fabriano Artistico Watercolor paper 3 articles

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In Context—Hair Volume and a Note

Volume in hair is always such a glorious surprise. It can float right off the page. (This is a page spread from December 2018. I’m not sure why I didn’t have a date and time on this sketch—I usually write that information automatically on each sketch or page when completed. This book has been archived, […]

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In Context—Just for the Fun of Feeling the Paper

I was having so much fun with this sketch on real watercolor paper, that I forgot to write down the date and time on the page! That’s a lot of fun. I started working late one night in one of the 9 x 11 inch watercolor journals I bound last fall. It contains Fabriano Artistico […]

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Minnesota State Fair Prep—#7: Sketching Animals (or People) at the Fair

050829CCow Left: Sketch of a cow from my 2005 State Fair Journal. Pen sketch with gouache wash on prepainted 8 x 8 inch square cards made of 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. This cow was in the birthing barn and I stood on bleachers to look down into its pen. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This post continues the Minnesota State Fair Prep Series begun on August 12.

Everyone who knows me knows that the big draw for me about the State Fair (no pun intended) is the way you can get up close and personal with the animals and sketch them. There are huge barns filled with pens and stalls, each filled with animals competing to be the best in their category.

Everyone who knows me also knows I’m a carnivore (just take me out for barbequed ribs if you want to understand what this means). Yes I am sketching animals that I eat. I don’t have a problem with this. If you do, please stop reading and come back to my blog on another day. (Some of my friends are vegetarians. I was a vegetarian for 18 months once. It isn’t going to happen again. I deal with my carnivore nature and my love of animals by asking questions and by supporting humane farming practices.)

I have a great deal of respect for Minnesota farmers. They work hard, in difficult situations, to create a living for their families, supply quality food for the country’s citizens, and deal with the vagaries and risks of farm life. I have had wonderful conversations with farmers about how they work, how they raise animals and crops. When I am at the Fair and talking to them I believe my role is to listen and learn. In all the years I have been going to the Fair I have never met a farmer who didn’t respect his animals. I have been privileged to hear stories about families who have farmed for generations.

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