24
Oct

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Silk Aquatint Printmaking: Library Cat

Silk Aquatint Portrait Here is another silk aquatint , with colored pencil, based on a quick cell phone snapshot of my trusty studio assistant, Scout.  He’s all about being helpful, especially if you need things like fur in the paint, shoe laces untied while carving details on a block, paint brushes scattered to the floor, or a lap warmer. He’s house-renowned as an expert in his field of Bothersome-but-Cute. Do you have a studio assistant? How do you Make a Silk Aquatint? If you’re unfamiliar with silk aquatint, visit this post to read an explanation of the process and the concept. After you read …[Continue reading]

19
Oct

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Collagraph: Garden Watch – and inking tutorials for collagraph plates and printing

Mat Board Collagraph Versatility Have you ever made a mat board collagraph? If not, and you want to try it, visit this post for a detailed overview on making your first collagraph plate. If you’ve already created mat board collagraphs, do you print them just one way? Intaglio (with the uppermost surface cleared and wiped, and the recessed areas loaded with ink, to print from the “basement” of the plate)? Or Relief prints – applying and printing ink only from the uppermost part of the plate – or the “roof”, leaving the recessed areas blank? [NOTE: If you have trouble distinguishing between printmaking …[Continue reading]

15
Oct

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Collagraph: Sunday Morning – and helpful resources for entering art shows

How Do You Get Your Art Out into the Public? Are you juggling family and jobs while squeezing slivers of art-making into your busy world? How often do you apply to art shows? Do you ponder the opportunities of artistic exposure and camaraderie on social media? In the melee of the artist’s mind, it can be challenging to mount the technology of digital sharing.  “But it’s free exposure!”, we all say!  “Free” after you learn to title and scan your work. Free after you plan repeated missives to fill the What-Should-I-Say part of your posts on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  There is also …[Continue reading]

11
Oct

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Figurative Watercolor Painting – Recharge – and Building Your Own Art Photo Reference Library

Building Your Own Art Reference Photo Library In the last post, I described scheduling your own photo sessions to create a still life painting art reference library.  Your inspiration meter might spin past 100 while considering painting and drawing materials designed and snapped in your own space, with your favorite things, or your most loved people. The painting above – Recharge – is from a photo session done over a decade ago, and I still paint and draw from images I took in that photo session. A little planning with a camera, good light and a few costume changes on your favorite persons …[Continue reading]

3
Oct

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Linocut print – Viognier and Apples – and Linocut Ideas

About the Linocut This little still life linocut above is freshly framed and ready for exhibit in the POD Gallery I’ll be occupying this weekend at the Ventura Artwalk (see the map below). If you’re near Ventura, California, come and say hello! Really – it would be swell to meet you in person! Linocut Ideas If you’re looking for ideas to make a linocut print, I have an approach to share that’ll result in a whole series – especially if you like still life. The arrangement above was the result of a scoop through the kitchen to collect items with bright colors. A …[Continue reading]

29
Sep

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Beginning Watercolor painting – El Conductor – and the Ventura Artwalk

Be an Art Boss In Santa Barbara, California on Thanksgiving, a few decades ago, I took a photo of our feast. A turkey centerpiece, with a bowl of rice and a platter of green beans. A Mexican paper maché man under a sombrero with the words El Cuatrero (the rustler) scribed across the brim watched over our culinary adventures. You can see a black and white copy of the reference photo taped above my work in progress below, with the aforementioned turkey and green beans. Since I’m the boss of me, a few changes meandering into this watercolor. Mister turkey became a pot …[Continue reading]

27
Sep

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Pencil Drawing: Charmed – and How to Get Good Ideas for Art

Finishing Artwork After a Long Pause I started this pencil drawing on a plane while crossing the country. Have you ever sketched to pass the time on a plane with music or an audio book? Highly recommended. Time passes very quickly while you’re immersed in your own little flying art studio. 🙂  The unfinished drawing sat propped against a wall in my studio, until piles of projects inched it backwards, and the drawing fell down behind the table. Months later, I dropped a paintbrush that rolled under the table.  While crawling underneath to retrieve it, there she was, suspended in power cords, looking …[Continue reading]

24
Sep

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Mat Board Collagraph: Stackable Naps

Making a Mat Board Collagraph Plate Let’s make a collagraph printmaking plate from a scrap piece of mat board! I’ve got some process photos, blog posts and video tutorials for you. To source the mat board, you can order it on amazon here, or visit your local art-framer and ask if you can pilfer the scraps of mat board they recycle after cutting mats for clients (Note: this material is also called mount board in other parts of the world.) Cutting Pieces of a Puzzle Using a sharp blade, cut very shallow outlines of relevant shapes as though you’re making a puzzle, and …[Continue reading]

21
Sep

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Silk Aquatint: Bandana

What is a Silk Aquatint? Silk aquatint is a variation of a printmaking method – Aquatint.  The traditional version uses an acid bath, a metal plate, a blow torch and some pretty caustic materials.  This “silk” version is a home-studio, no-acid, Do-it-Yourself aquatint using plexiglass as a plate, synthetic silk and acrylic paint. By most accounts, this alternative was invented by Massachusetts maritime painter and printmaker Donald Stoltenberg (1927-2016) Silk Aquatint Print – Wait, What?? The premise of a silk aquatint – on a larger scale – is this: pretend you took an 8×10 sheet of plexiglass, and you painted one side black, …[Continue reading]

18
Sep

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Drypoint Engraving – Asleep in Rome – and the prints of William Hankey

Printmaking Nomenclature Question: What’s the difference between an etching and an engraving in printmaking? See the answer at the bottom of this post. Helpful folks like to point out mis-categorized printmaking terms, and errant tools used in the art studio that were MacGyver’d to get the job done. You and I both know that people have good intentions in their corrections, and we may inadvertently guide innocent beginners down a dark path of misinformation when inaccuracies are sprinkled willy-nilly in a how-to post. I’ve been corrected here, and on my youtube channel many times, so thanks to the process-sticklers out there for keeping me …[Continue reading]

6
Sep

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Watercolor: Afternoon with Wyeth – and a New Documentary on Andrew Wyeth

Inspired by Andrew Wyeth One of my favorite artists is Andrew Wyeth. One of my favorite books about him is Andrew Wyeth – A Secret Life by Richard Meryman.  In the watercolor above, Meryman’s book is draped over the arm of a chair as an ode to both the author, and the artist. I was amazed at Meryman’s ability to open a door, and pull you over the threshold to sit at a table of Wyeth children on a wintery night – with words. I was in those rooms, watching eager kids draw, and then pause to listen, startled, as their father N.C. Wyeth …[Continue reading]

29
Aug

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Watercolor: Flaking Sails – and Artist Newsletters and Email Lists

Why Should Artists Build an Email List & Send Newsletters? I can hear you groaning over that question from way over here. You would rather paint or draw than write. Words aren’t your strongest wheelhouse? I get it; you don’t know what to say. And yes, like me – you speak with your hands, so while writing newsletters, you can’t flail and gesture with said hands, so words come out stiffer and less You-ish. I know, I know.  Here – take a deep breathe, have a cookie 🍪 and sip this iced tea 🍹 while we review some solid reasons to reconsider, and …[Continue reading]

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