Tag: sketchbook


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Black and white art is cool. It’s dramatic. It’s dynamic. It’s expressive. It’s also messy. But I love it.

The top drawing is 9”x12” on Legion Stonehenge drawing paper, my favorite. The sketchbook study is in an 8.5”x5.5” Stillman and Birn Alpha softcover.

It took numerous sketches to find a look I liked. With the Blue Jay drawings, I finally found it. I started with a very blurry vine charcoal image, blended it out with a brush, refined it with erasing, and added details with a carbon pencil. The softness comes from blending and using a touch of powdered charcoal with a brush. I use a white charcoal (chalk or pastel) pencil, too, but haven’t yet found one I like.

Numerous quick sketches filling my Stillman and Birn sketchbook. These are all from my reference photos.
The Saw Whet Owl sketch turned into an attempt to use charcoal on canvas. If I try it again, I’ll need to add more coats of gesso and sand it down to have a smoother surface. it’s difficult to tell, but the owl was only about 7” tall!

Categories: Art Pastel Pencil

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Oil Pastel Practice

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Sometimes I need to remind myself that a sketchbook is for practice. I sketched two monochromatic pictures to keep color choices minimal.

I practiced sketching oranges. With some, I used the chroma color first, with others a layer of white. The one I liked the best used three different but related colors that overlapped. The color was more convincing, and the texture was the best of the three (bottom right).

And apples are my favorite thing to sketch when I’m practicing.

Categories: Art Pastel Pencil

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Fifteen Years Blogging

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How many can claim a fifteen-year old blog? Happy anniversary to this little corner of the web where I’ve documented all the arts and crafts I’ve obsessed about since 2006. Even with that strong blogging habit, at some point over the past year I slowed down on blog posts and increased Instagram posts. Instagram is easy and popular, and it’s all too easy to forget about writing. Recently, I decided I missed keeping up this ancient blog and it needed an update—and perhaps Instagram needs to go away. Long story short, you cannot control reels on your feed, and I found many objectionable.

So, here’s an update on the ol’ blog. I’ve not been as artsy lately, but I’ve still managed several sketchbook sketches…

Caran d’Ache Neocolor II
Mars Lumograph Black pencils
Pen and ink on gray paper
More pen and ink, plus some water soluble graphite
Acrylic markers, Inktense, and Neocolor II

I also sketched this large landscape using Derivan Liquid Pencil tinted with blue and yellow.

Graphite, liquid pencil, Mars Lumograph Black, and Conte Pierre Noir. This measures about 14”x21”

A quick pen and ink landscape…

And a still life on Pastelmat.

Neocolor II and Pablo colored pencils

Here’s the question: Will this little blog still be here in another fifteen years?