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Ink Your Drink! A new class on painting cocktails

NEW on Skillshare! I’m teaching the ink transfer technique I’ve been posting about lately on Instagram. To find out more about the class, and to get 2 months free on Skillshare, use this link. (And there are tons of great classes on Skillshare! I’m particularly fond of Jim Richard’s urban sketching class.) To see all the classes I’m teaching on Skillshare, here’s a link that shows you all the classes and also...

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I Went on a Sketching Trip to Mexico and I Took You With Me

I Went on a Sketching Trip to Mexico and I Took You With Me

  We just went to Mexico together! Well, almost. I took my iPad to Guanajuato, Mexico last week and filmed an online class on travel sketching–so you can watch it and it’s almost like being there! I decided to focus on the two subjects that are easiest for beginners–building facades (meaning, looking straight on, no perspective skills required) and landscapes. This class walks you through the process I use when I’m...

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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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Time for Another Art Auction!

Time for Another Art Auction!

I’m auctioning off a bunch of paintings to benefit two worthwhile charities. If you want to skip the explanation and go straight to the auction, go here. Bidding ends November 17, 2019. It’s been a tough three years, friends. If you’re like me, maybe you’ve found it hard to keep going in the face of catastrophically bad news night after night, terrifying world events, and just an unbearable, soul-crushing sense that our...

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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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Paintings for a Good Cause!

Paintings for a Good Cause!

It’s time to throw another art bomb at the patriarchy. I’m offering up a dozen paintings for auction on eBay, and 100% of the proceeds will go to either the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. That’s right, every single penny you spend will benefit one of these two groups–I’m not keeping anything for myself. These are mostly oil paintings, but for the first time I’m including a couple of watercolors. I started doing...

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Develop Your Internal Tutor

Develop Your Internal Tutor

I just picked up this book at Powell’s. In the introduction is the most extraordinary passage–it could apply to any creative pursuit, so I’m sharing it here: “Develop an internal tutor. When you begin drawing, often you’ll find you’re accompanied by an internal critic, pointing out your mistakes and making you question your drawing. This can be more restricting than a lack of ability. You need time to look...

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The Joys of Starting in Pencil

The Joys of Starting in Pencil

Sometimes artists fall into the trap of thinking that if they start with pencil, they’re not a real artist. They should be able to go directly into ink, or paint, or whatever. But this is nonsense! Imagine if writing worked that way. If every word I typed went straight to the printer and ended up in the final book. What a mess that would be. They’re even called DRAFTING tools! Drafting, like a first draft. A pencil is a two-part...

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The Self-Appointed Artists Residency

The Self-Appointed Artists Residency

A little over a year ago, I appointed myself Washington Park’s artist-in-residence. I’m not sure the people who run the park ever knew I was their artist in residence, but it didn’t matter. A self-appointed artist in residence doesn’t require anyone’s approval: that’s the singular benefit of doing it this way. There’s no application process. No deadlines, no mission statements, no work samples or CV,...

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It Doesn’t Matter How Good You Get

It Doesn’t Matter How Good You Get

So I’ve persuaded you to let go of this idea of talent, and child prodigies, and to put down the neuroscience and back away slowly. Maybe I’ve convinced you that you—yes, you—could, even with your meager, talentless, non-optimized brain, learn to play the piano or draw a picture. But! You might argue now. I can’t spend twenty years on this! I didn’t go to art school, and now I can’t. It’s too late. I’m too old. I can’t afford...

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