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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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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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How do you mix colors?

How do you mix colors?

  HERE IT IS! I’ve been promising to do this class on color mixing and the color wheel for a while now, and now it’s done. Here’s what it’s about: As an artist, you’re probably familiar with the color wheel, with the three primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, and the secondary colors of orange, purple, and green. But—have you ever looked at a color printer cartridge and noticed that printers don’t use ink...

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Kopp Sisters Collages

  For a long time, I wasn’t at all interested in making any kind of art that had anything to do with the books I write. I just didn’t have any ideas along those lines. Sometimes my publicist would want me to make some art that could be used in some way for marketing purposes, and I absolutely hated that idea. The last thing I want is for art to become a thing that has deadlines and emails attached to it.I have always wanted art...

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Messing About with Paint

Messing About with Paint

              Here’s something new I just sort of fell into: I was messing around with a painting and made a big mess and decided the big mess looked interesting. Next think I knew, I was making these abstract watercolor paintings. I’ve been noodling away at them every day while I write my next book—or while I’m supposed to be writing, I guess. Is it procrastination? A distraction? A good way to...

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Bad Drawings Make Great Backgrounds: When a Sketchbook Page Goes Wrong

Bad Drawings Make Great Backgrounds: When a Sketchbook Page Goes Wrong

When I travel, I always take a sketchbook to keep a record of the trip (and, honestly, to entertain myself, because there are only so many old churches one can tour in a day).  Here’s a video tour of my latest sketchbook, and you can always see more on Instagram. But what happens when a page in a sketchbook goes horribly wrong? Now, I’ve filled lots of sketchbooks with practice and lessons, and every single page in those books could...

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I’m An Aspiring Author. Do I Need a Website?

Every month in my newsletter, I offer readers a chance to win the book of their choice if they ask me a question. I pick a question to answer in the next newsletter, then I send them their book.  This month, an aspiring author asked me, “I have 2 novels being shopped by my lit agent, at the moment I’m trying to decide whether a website is worth my time, energy or financial investment. Do you think an author’s website is worth having...

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