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The Importance of Regular Self Evaluations in Our Creative Lives

Above: One of my goals this year has been to draw as many interesting noses, ears, and beards as I can. Even on days when I can't get out and draw people from life, I might stay up late and get some practice in, sketching from TV or from old photographs I've collected. (Sketch in […]


A “Look” at My Internal Critic

Left: Verbal me "drawing" my internal critic, or at least responding to that prompt. There are a couple typos in this rapidly composed piece, Gallipoli minus one of its ls is perhaps the most glaring. There are other places more punctuation would have been helpful. Click on the image to view an enlargement, are read […]


Not Quite a 2014 Hiatus Post on Being Where You Are in Your Artistic Journey

See the full post for details.


A Tip and Two (or Three Depending on How You Count) Conversations

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Language Matters: Achieving a Tolerance for Mistakes as a Way To Improve

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Journal Shift: Public vs. Private

Sensing a shift in my journal practice to a more private mode again.


Finding Something Good in Your Drawings

A look at a Canada Goose sketch.


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


Left: Quick portrait sketch, from a 19th Century photograph. Faber Castel Pitt Artists Brush Pen and some light washes of Lukas gouache. The journal is about 8 inches square and I turned it on its side to work vertically. The journal is made with Folio paper, which is a printmaking paper, not a watercolor paper. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Last week I wanted to practice drawing people, something I don’t do often, frankly I’m more interested in birds. One evening I was up late and I burned through some quick portraits that I am going to write about as a four-part series this week. (Four parts because I wanted to break it down in to smaller chunks for people who stop by every day! Thank you!)

I’ve written before about perfectionism and how that stops people from being productive. I’ve encouraged journal keepers all my life to just get things down on paper and then consider them and move on. We learn things through the practice of keeping a visual journal. One of the most valuable lessons we learn is how the materials we choose to work with actually work. You learn this in a less pressured environment than if you were making a final painting. And we also learn how to push things and how far to push things.

The “think method” advocated by the "Music Man" doesn’t work well when mastering sketching and painting. You actually need to put pen to paper, and brush to paper.

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