The Zone System of values for artist

I am the proud owner of a book signed by Ansel Adams “The Range of Light”. It was the first or one of the first books using laser and digital technology to print images of art photography. I also have books from photographers Wayne Bullock and Others. What all these photographers have in common is […]

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The cross composition design: a flexible concept for artworks

This likely will not be the end of this painting. I must let it sit or hang on the wall in my studio and let it ferment — but for now it is done or very close to done. I really am excited about where this is going….. it is not ordinary or what others […]

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Rule of Thirds: well, let’s call it the suggestion of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is not a rule at all– at least not for me. Anytime someone says there’s a rule or absolute — RUN like hell the other direction.  Rules are made to be broken — at least that’s what we all have learned by now. As I’ve  said in earlier blog posts, I […]

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Counter Balance Steelyard Design Worked Best

This pastel started with a  series of graphite thumbnails.  I  picked a prepared 5×7 paper mounted on foam board that had been textured with clear gesso. I find it has a nice tooth and the places where brush strokes go different directions, where they cross, it leaves nice ridges that I can use to create […]

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Great Reads For Artists

Austin Kleon has two great books that every artist working to build a career needs to read. The first is Steal Like and Artist. Kleon ‘busts’ any mythical idea artists might have, that what they do is really original. The premise is that as a society we learn by stealing from those that came before […]

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Pastel Choices, Which to Buy? Not an easy thing

Anyone deciding to try their hand at pastel faces the same issue I did less than two years ago. After a lifetime of doing almost exclusively oil paintings, other than a high school trial of various mediums, I wanted to try pastel. All I can do is share my insights while my trial period is […]

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Fuzzy Edges and the Group Mass Design

I stumbled across a thumbnail graphite notan as I was looking for something to do my daily painting exercise on a sanded 6×8. I loved the blurry edges that graphite notans gave me and I decided to try and capture the vagaries of those soft edges as I used my pastels. I first went to […]

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Picking a Color Palette Made Easy

Collecting Colors Often I look at thumbnail drawing and find myself puzzled at what color combinations to use. Or, worse yet, those I chose aren’t working. In a workshop with Kathy Newman and Elizabeth Wall of Chicago, I learned to collect colors in nature when I am out drawing. Both artists said that nature’s colors […]

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Conte Art Drawings Require a Light Touch

x I love to draw. It’s so  relaxing. Whenever I get frustrated with my pastel, or oil painting, or I feel I am not progressing as I want, etc (whatever I’m whining about at the moment), I end up returning to drawing. While graphite and charcoal are my favorites, recently I have been experimenting with […]

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