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My Goals for 2017 and The MCBA Visual Journal Collective’s Ninth Annual Portrait Party

This post was originally published on January 15, 2017 during my site transition. Note: The images in today’s post were sketched while I was sick with bronchitis and watching an episode of “Forged in Fire.” I LOVE THIS SHOW. Four blacksmiths compete in three rounds for $10,000. First they make a blade in 3 hours, then finish […]


Sketching Is the Best Choice 99% of the Time

See the full post for details.


Decorative Papers Find a Home on the New Batch of Books

See the full post for details.


Playing Around on Folio Paper

A look at Folio paper and some pens.


Stonehenge Paper: More Tests—Concluded

Final experiments on Stonehenge.


Another Weirdo Journal

Out of the frying pan into the fire: an even weirder weirdo journal.


Stabilo Tone (AKA Woody) Paper Choices


Above: sketches made on different papers to test the Stabilo Tone's suitability for dog sketching Sunday August 2 and also for use at the State Fair at the end of August. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Full images of A, B, and C are discussed and shown below.

As readers of my blog will know from the past ten days, I've been on a bit of a Stabilo Tone (defunct art product, large wax, watersoluble colored pencil, now only available in a few uninteresting colors instead of the full, really fun range which included lovely grays!) binge.

I'm going to be working with them on Sunday, August 2 when I sketch dogs stopping by at Wet Paint during the Paws on Grand event. (NOTE: The time for that event is noon to 2 p.m. if you want the free pet sketch!)


Being Happy with the Little Bits—or Keep on Pushing to See Where It Goes: Part Four


Above: The entire page spread showing the fourth (left) and third (right) sketches in this series. Originally the previous page spread was still wet and I worked on the brush-only-sketch on the right while holding up the previous page to allow for drying. The black ink notes relate to the fourth sketch on the left. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This is part four of a four-part series of posts, begun on Monday, June 15.

After completing three quick sketches (two with brush pen, one painted directly with a brush and gouache) I still wasn’t satisfied with what I was getting but was so intrigued by the reactions of the Lukas gouache that I wanted to push forward and see what else I could make happen. This is what it means in part to enjoy and savor the “little bits.” You are so encouraged by your observations and experiments that you keep on pushing forward, moving forward with more experiments.

With that in mind I looked down at my tray on which my materials and tools rested, and saw two Neoart watersoluble wax pastels.

I decided that I would draw and lay in color with these crayons first and then add the gouache on top of the crayon, dissolving the crayon strokes as desired.


Being Happy with the Little Bits—or Keep on Pushing to See Where It Goes: Part Three


Above: Third sketch in the series, this is painted directly with a no. 8 round and cadmium yellow light and ultramarine blue Lukas gouache. The notes were added at the end of the painting session after the fourth (not shown) sketch was completed and relate to that fourth sketch. The tab at the gutter—I remove a certain number of pages from each new journal when I begin it; to make room for collage material. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This is part three of a 4-part series which started Monday, June 15.

Having used the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush pen for the previous two quick sketches I decided to work directly with a  no. 8 watercolor round. It was a synthetic without much of a tip left, but I didn’t want to get up and find a better brush, I just wanted to keep working.


Being Happy with the Little Bits—or Keep on Pushing to See Where It Goes: Part Two


Above: the second quick portrait sketch during my evening practice session. This one is still with the Faber Castell Pitt Artists Brush Pen and Lukas gouache washes (and flicks). There is a bit of text that was stuck on this page when I got here, “I think so, but let us try to keep to a chronological order.” That’s interesting because of what happens on the next pages, but that’s for a later post. (8 x 8 inch journal with Folio paper [a printmaking paper, not a watercolor paper] for pages.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Yesterday I started writing about a series of portrait sketches I made from a 19th century photograph. I made the series one evening recently, one after the other, with a break at one point to talk to Dick, who had just come home and was making dinner for himself. I thought it would be good to have a short break and have a chat. It would let paint dry, and give me a moment to rethink my approach.

Here are some additional reasons to push ahead and practice with a quick succession of drawings of the same thing/person/animal:

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