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At Some Point, You Just Have to Deal with the Painting in Front of You

At Some Point, You Just Have to Deal with the Painting in Front of You

  Several years ago, I took a class with Qiang Huang, an amazing oil painter from Austin. We were all painting from still lifes set up next to our easels. His work is both beautifully precise and also loose and imaginative. That balance of accuracy and abstraction was what we were all after. At one point he said, “Your still life setup is just a reference for the design you want to create. You’re not here to copy it.” In...

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It’s Pumpkin Season!

  This class is available on Skillshare! Get a free trial and check out all my classes with this link. Pumpkins! Could anything be more fun to paint? One of the best ways to learn to draw and paint is to do a still life. You get to work on shapes, proportion, composition, values (meaning light and dark), and color. Best of all, it’ll help you develop your own style. For this class, we’ll paint a beautiful arrangement of pumpkins on...

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Travel Sketching in a Cafe: Food & Drink in Pencil & Watercolor

Check out this class on Skillshare, and get 2 months free to check out everything Skillshare has to offer, with this link. One of the best parts of traveling is trying a different cuisine. And the fact is, when you’re traveling, you do end up spending a lot of time in restaurants. That means that your travel sketchbook is the perfect place for drawing food and drink! It’s also a fun way to pass the time in a café. And it’s not just for...

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The Rebecca Diaries

The Rebecca Diaries

In December I started an art project based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel REBECCA.  I don’t know when I’ll finish it. It’s more like a book than an art project in that way: I can finish a painting in a day or two, but a book takes years, and it’s always an open question whether I’ll be able to finish a book at all. These paintings are like that. Unlike a book manuscript, there’s no way to save earlier...

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Urban Sketching in New York City!

Urban Sketching in New York City!

  My new art class is live on Skillshare now. Use this link to check out the class and get 2 months free to explore everything they have to offer. Do you love New York? So do I! It’s my favorite spot for urban sketching, travel sketching, and kind of exploring and art-making. In this class, we’re going to focus on the one skill you really need to paint a city like New York: Perspective. We’ll use Manhattan for our laboratory to...

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In 1918, We Collected Peach Pits for Gas Masks

In 1918, We Collected Peach Pits for Gas Masks

  I’ve been talking to a lot of book clubs lately (y’all are figuring out Zoom! Yay!), and something that keeps coming up are all those weird bits of research that either don’t make it into the books at all, or that end up in the book as one tossed-off line, when really there’s a whole crazy story to tell. So here’s one of those crazy stories, in collage form: during WWI, we collected peach pits to use as...

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Anybody dreaming of Italy?

Anybody dreaming of Italy?

  Ah, Italy! I was there exactly one year ago, and I wish I was there right now! At least we can dream. My new Skillshare class is all about simplifying a classic Italian village scene. Go here to preview the class and get 2 months free on Skillshare, which is more than enough time to travel the world (virtually, anyway) and improve your sketchbook skills! First, we’ll focus on getting the major shapes in place by measuring how they fit...

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How to Paint a Chicken

How to Paint a Chicken

My new Skillshare class is called How to Paint a Chicken. Guess what it’s about??? For about ten years I raised chickens in my backyard. I can tell you from experience that chickens are wonderful subjects to paint! My style is to paint them against a simple, neutral backdrop, as if they are sitting for a formal portrait. With this style they look almost like members of the family, and you can capture their unique personalities. (Yes,...

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Come sketch with me in a French village!

Come sketch with me in a French village!

  OK, we’re not actually GOING to France. But you can practice being in France with your sketchbook! Take this class on Skillshare now, and get 2 months free with this link: https://skl.sh/3hXKhyN Join me on a travel sketching adventure in the beautiful village of Cambos-Les-Bains, France! We’re going to paint a scene that addresses one of the biggest challenges of travel sketching: how to give a scene depth, so that you feel that...

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Rewrite, Revise, Revisit: A Guide to Editing Your Book

  Have you finished a first draft? Congratulations! Now the fun begins. Every writer knows that editing is the most important part of the writing process. This is where all the really important, meaningful work happens. It’s where you have the most control, and the ability to really carry out your intentions and make this into the kind of book you set out to write in the first place. In this class I’m going to give you a toolbox for...

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