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Hesitation: Reluctant to Start a New Project

  Recently one of my students wrote to me that she was hesitant about starting a new project. Hesitancy springs from a lot of issues and conditions. Hesitancy can arise as resistance and part of the ongoing barrage of negative talk you might experience from your internal critic. It can also exist because you have […]

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End of Year Evaluations: Setting Goals and Projects

Something I talk to my students about a lot, whether it’s in a drawing class like “Drawing Practice” or now on my Patreon site is the importance of setting goals and projects that support those goals. It all begins with an honest evaluation of where your skills and your goals are right now. I was […]

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In Context: Where Are You Steering?

The page text is today’s text. But if you need a hint: Think—intention.

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Why I Do What I Do: Still More on Watching TV…

Sometimes I watch TV just so I can sketch Ryan Stiles—because he makes me laugh and laugh, and laugh. (At the time of this post American episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” can be seen on HBOMax.) And because, while he doesn’t have a beard, and his hair style has stayed basically the same […]

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Why I Do What I Do: Even More on Watching TV…

  Sometimes I watch TV because people forget to comb their hair… Or I need a really small portrait (this is about 3 inches tall) to fit a small frame, because everything else in my life is chaotic, but I can at least work on a(-nother) gallery wall. (Brush pen on a scrap of printmaking […]

Here's a close up view to show some of the color pencil lines.

When Is It a Good Time to Sketch in Pencil?

Usually I answer the question “When is it a good time to sketch in pencil?” simply by saying “Never.” I reside in the camp of, sketch in ink, live with the odd-off strokes, the pentimento. Use it all to train your eye. But sometimes you want really smooth lines, or don’t want to risk missing […]

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The Freedom of Quick, Loose Sketches for Your Drawing Skills

Over the last 35 years and hundreds of students have confessed to me that they “don’t have time to sketch,” or that they “were physically too ill to sketch.” I always respond that you can always find time, and even if ill you can get something down on paper that will be useful to you […]

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Another Potential Journaling Hiccup: The Perfect Time and Place

Blog readers and students often write to me about their hopes and deferred dreams for their journaling and their art life. They live with the hope that if they can “just get through to retirement,” or “Just get through this current crisis [fill in the blank as to what that is]” that the clouds will […]

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Looking Back at My March Project: Sketching Alun Armstrong

So much has kept me from scanning the many sketches of made of Alun Armstrong in March 2021 #MarchisSketchAlunArmstrongMonth. But I did manage to scan a few of the sketches in the past week. There are many, many more, some I quite like, some have no resemblance to Armstrong and I can only look at […]

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Ink or Paint, Either Way Thank Goodness for Hipsters

  I am so grateful to the younger generination, especially the hipsters who devote real energy to their facial hair. There is nothing more fun for me than sketching beards, and there are great beards out there now to sketch. This young man actually had Dundrearies! Named after a character in the 1858 British play […]

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