9
Nov

carnelianprintscale

Woodcut: Carnelian (& gift ideas for the beginner printmaker)

Gift Ideas for the for Beginner Printmaker When I started posting printmaking tutorials on my youtube channel, I got a flood of emails asking where one could buy a comprehensive starter set to try printmaking without breaking the bank. I’ve searched, and there isn’t a complete set in a box that includes all of the parts I’d recommend to try making a linocut or a woodcut for the first time. But a kit can be assembled a la carte to get you, or your beginner printmaker started on the right foot! Printmaking is a wonderful art-making method that allows the artist to print in multiples. More than …[Continue reading]

1
Nov

SecretSanctuary

Pen and Ink Drawing for Inktober – Secret Sanctuary (Flowing)

Finding Time for Inktober The challenge of sketching an ink drawing in a sketchbook every day for 30 days can be overwhelming when you already have a busy month. This year’s Inktober was no exception, but I’m glad I squeezed a few of the sketches in between other obligations. When drawing is at the front of your mind – when you’ve decided to prioritize it – reaching for your moleskine sketchbook is easier. Your sketchpad calls your name and reminds you to grab it in snippets of time when you’re sitting still; in between patrons at an art festival, on the couch with …[Continue reading]

29
Oct

marmalade21072

Mat Board Collagraphs – and finding your Art Cheerleaders

Who’s Cheering in Your Corner? Did you catch this blog post about how you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Do you have a squad of encouragers around you? Who do you call when creative block crushes your art-making mojo, or a wave of uncertainty washes over your painting or printmaking adventures? Beginning artists are more susceptible to self-doubt than seasoned, professional, gallery represented artists. The Terrible Troll of Self Doubt Self doubt is a universal cycle, so professionals struggle with it too. The difference, perhaps, is that the journeymen artist has plowed a steady, determined …[Continue reading]

24
Oct

librarycat.3.10.300

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 Have you ever made a m linocut? Most folks I meet at art festivals say they recall printing in grade school from rubber erasers, potatoes, apples and carrot stamps. The fun thing is this: no matter how old the person is when discussing grade school printmaking – they remember what their first print was. A gecko, a spider, a dog, etc. Printmaking is fun, and I’m always delighted to bring it full circle, to re-introduce the process to an adult who hasn’t carved a block in a few decades. All you need are a few art supplies, and a reference …[Continue reading]

29
Sep

elconductor11x1572

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

silk aquatint portrait

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]

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