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Thinking about White Hair on Toned Paper

There’s nothing finished in this study of a man with white hair and a beard. It’s me noodling around experimenting with how to get the values of white hair on toned paper. I’m working in a handbound journal made with Zerkall Nideggen (it has a lovely fiber fleck of texture throughout). I guess paper nostalgia […]

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Paper Nostalgia

Paper nostalgia is that pull and desire to work on a particular type of paper that you haven’t worked on in some time. I was trying to organize some of my images in my database and came across this one from almost a year ago. I felt an immediate wave of paper nostalgia. My first thought […]

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In Context: Painting on Drawing Paper

  After Monday’s long post, just a short post, with another painting on drawing paper. I just finished the journal with this quick sketch and now I get to start a new one! It’s sitting on the drawing table waiting. Below is a detail of the scan showing an area at the temple on the […]

A detail of my painting of actor Colm Meaney. You can look closely, especially in the hair, and easily see that I'm using very little water with my watercolor pigments.

Another Look at Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal

I go on and on about how much I love Hahnemühle’s Travel Journal. It’s about 8 x 6 inches and looks like a very thick Moleskine—i.e., black cover, elastic closure, back envelope, ribbon book mark. (Let’s just point out that the first thing I do when I open a new one is pull that ribbon […]

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Color Pencil Loves Watercolor

  Color pencil loves watercolor (and gouache) because they dry to a surface that still allows the application of color pencil. And when you use the color pencil with light pressure on top of dry watercolor passages on a slightly textured paper you get a lovely broken color effect. (You can see that in the […]

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Why Character Actors Make the Best Models

This sketch of a character actor in an historical drama (set in the 1930s) is not exaggerated. This is how he looked (essentially, OK there is always some exaggeration when you draw directly with ink, because if a line goes a little wonky I simply keep going…) It’s no secret, especially when I work with […]

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I’m Learning More about Neill Rea’s Face

Season 8 of “Brokenwood Mysteries” started streaming in July on Acorn. I’ve been watching along as they release the new episodes; and of course sketching. I think I’m finally starting to get a little better feel for Neill Rea’s face. (His cheeks need to be a little plumper to catch his character’s kind but “I’m […]

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Two Portraits, Two Different Pens

  I am always amazed at the different line qualities different pens give the same hand. And how even the same pen dried out will render results so different from the first use of a non-refillable pen, or any tool that gets worn. In this page spread I warmed up with a sketch from one […]

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Another Bit of Brush Pen and Ink Wash

      In 2021 I drew a lot of sketches of actor Alun Armstrong. Many were sketches in my journals. It was a project I did—#MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth. As I go through and work on rebuilding my digital archive it’s fun to come across these sketches and be reminded of the fun of trying to decipher […]

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Thinking about Ink Wash

Last week I started another one of these notebooks with printed ink lines. I always have a book like this near the TV so I can sketch if the mood takes me.  This sketch is from spring 2021. It seems a lifetime ago. Back then Niji water brushes were what I was used to when […]

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