Currently Browsing: sketching in public 16 articles

People around me at the dentist's office. Small Hahnemühle Watercolor Journal. Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen FB and watercolor.

Sketching at the Dentist’s

There’s no excuse not to have a sketchbook with you at all times.  I’ve made sketchbooks as small as 2 x 4 inches. They fit nicely into a pocket if you aren’t carrying a purse or bag. And now so many commercially bound books are available in small sizes, including the Hahnemühle Watercolor Book, which […]

Two quick pen sketches while I sat in the waiting room at the Allergist's.

In Context: At the Allergist’s

Sometimes it’s the line or angle or shape of a subject that attracts us. We need to get it down as quickly as possible because we don’t know when the subject will leave. (My first subject was called away before I could do any development.) Sometimes it’s the volume or brilliance of something contrasted against […]


Sometimes People in an Audience Catch My Eye

Above: Line of people sitting in front of me at the opening performance for “Orphan Train.” In the pocket size Hahnemühle Nostalgie book with a Sakura Pigma Sensei. I had the great good fortune to go to “Orphan Train” at the Minnesota History Theater on opening night. My friend, composer and musician Charlie Maguire did […]

Someone Really Wants to Take Gouache to the Fair

Left: The scan of my second chicken test on the Canson Plein Air Watercolor Board (cold press). This is 9 x 12 inches and done with a Uni Posca Marker, the Pentel Pigment Brush Pen with the squeezy barrel, a Montana Acrylic Marker, and Daniel Smith Watercolors applied with a Niji water brush. Completed under […]


Which Paper Will I Use at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair? Don’t Know—But I Can Tell You How I’ve Been Narrowing It Down

Left: My first runner-up for Fair Journal paper was white Stonehenge. Here’s a test piece I made while sketching from the TV one afternoon. It’s glued down to a larger page in my experiments journal.  Which paper will I take to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair? I wish I knew. I have a vague notion. […]


Sketching in Public: Looking for Negative Space

Above: Quick sketch in my current journal. Read more about it below. You can see the most amazing things when you’re out and about. When I go to a local diner (Cecil’s—French Toast Turkey Club…just saying), I typically sit and sketch until the meal arrives. There’s a great cross section of the population. Cecil’s is […]


The Seventh Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out is TOMORROW—Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Above: A quick sheep sheering sketch I made on Thursday, the opening day of the Fair. I went to hear my friend Charlie Maguire sing, but of course I got a lot of sketching done too. (I'm testing Pigma Sensei Pens here, with Schmincke watercolors, on TH Saunders/Waterford 140 lb. watercolor paper. I will have […]


Project Friday: Dealing with Interruptions and Chaos—The Reality of Creativity

See the full post for details.


Another Note on Taking a Mental Break to Get a Second Wind


Above: sheep sketch; 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper; Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils (used dry). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

On Sept. 6 I wrote about taking a mental break when your energy is low by returning to a favorite drawing standby. I thought you would enjoy seeing another example of this from my 2009 Minnesota State Fair visits. At the Sketch Out on Sept. 1 I returned to the barns after a short Corn Dog break and decided I really wanted to see some rich black lines on the paper. (It’s all that white paper, it’s blinding!) I sketched the above ewe with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then scribbled in some various blues for shading. I really like the shapes I was able to catch quickly. It freed my mind up from the small strokes I had been taking all day with pencils.

Zapped back by this little break, I walked into the Poultry section with a renewed mission to sketch one more bird before I called it quits for the day (which had been a long day—I'd walked in at 10:38 a.m.).


Last Chance to Visit the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

Above: My first journal card from my second visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair on September 1, 2009. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry on a 9 x 7 inch card of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. HP Watercolor paper. Notes written with a Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.3. I started in the top left […]

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