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Sketching Faces: When You Feel You’ve Hit A Plateau

    I sketch a ton of faces. I look back over the years and see how my approach to sketching faces has changed, how it’s constantly evolving. Often students write to me about experiencing a plateau in their drawing efforts. They feel that they have achieved a level of skill at which they remain […]

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Working Transparently and Opaquely with Watercolor

My eyes have still not settled down after the cataract surgeries (January 28 and March 5). There are some issues which appear to be permanent. I’ll deal with them in another post. Today I wanted to write about the drive to paint in color, the need to push paint around. If you saw the journal […]

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Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

  Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate. But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell […]

Detail of today's painting.

Using Watercolor Flats and a Bit on Back-Runs

In this experiment on Canson Heritage Hot Press 140 lb. watercolor paper from the end of 2018 I used only a 1 inch large flat watercolor brush.  I’ve written other posts about how you can use the edge of the brush to do more linear bits, like the creases in the forehead, but in the […]

Detail of today's image.

Mop Brushes Are Your Friend

I know that sometimes you want that special brush that has the delightful point and gives you all the detail you crave. Today’s post isn’t about that brush. That brush is great when you need it, but if it’s the only brush you’re using your work is going to look fussy very fast. So what […]

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Thinking about Dry Brush Portraits

One of my favorite things to do is to paint with watercolor in a dry brush fashion. What does that mean? Dry brush means that there is relatively little water on your brush. You move the pigment carrying brush across the paper and the brush picks up the texture of the paper.  For the best […]

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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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Look Around for Elastic Faces

You’ll recall that last week I wrote about starting projects. My drawing examples were all faces. If you’re looking for muses to sketch and your family won’t pose for you (or can’t because your schedules don’t align) there are lots of folks on the Sktchy App who have elastic faces. Exaggerate them on not, it […]

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Sketching Warm Up—A Quick Approach

Just as it is important to do your daily exercises, go for your walk, ride your bike, it’s important to do your drawing warm up. These can be done very quickly. The sketches on the above page spread were done in less than 12 minutes. That’s how long it takes to make my breakfast noodles. […]

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Limited Choices Lead to Successful Projects

  After my post last week about doing creative projects many people wrote in to tell me that they were inspired to start a project. One accomplished artist wrote in to ask advice: Just looking for advice. After listening to the podcast on projects I’ve decided to take up the challenge. Over the years I’ve […]

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