Testing New Brush Pens

I love watersoluble pen and ink work because sometimes you feel like keeping a line and sometimes you don’t.

On Roz Stendahl’s blog and her Patreon site, Roz Interim, she demonstrated the Pentel Sign Pen – Artist Micro Brush. They’re dye based and water-soluble, perfect for shading with a touch of water, and on top of that they have a super fine brush tip! You can see that in the photo below.

I was able to find both sets of 6 at my local Michael’s and immediately set to testing.

Portraits don’t always have to be realistic, do they?

Hahnemühle Nostalgie – A5 portrait

The Paperwhite’s Update #1

It’s been two weeks since you saw the first images of the daily documentation of my little Paperwhite’s growth. It’s been growing gangbusters now that it has its roots firmly entwined among the glass beads.

These daily ink and watercolor sketches just prove that art can be made in the briefest of time. These rarely take more than a half hour of my time but give me immense enjoyment.

That’s a good trade off any day!

Testing the Clairefontaine Watercolor Sketchbook

Back in May I was asked by Roz Stendahl to be one of a few artists to help her test an A5, landscape format, Clairefontaine Goldline Watercolor Sketchbook provided by the Clairefontaine representative.  Roz started out the testing before sending the book along for each us to fill a few spreads using various techniques and media.

I decided to fill a signature by testing assorted techniques: watercolor, water-soluble inks, gouache and watercolor pencils.

I was the fifth to work in the book and unfortunately by the time I received it the stitching was coming undone and the book pages and signatures were separating. I really enjoyed working in it but even the best watercolor paper can’t overcome poor construction. This can be seen in the video Roz posted in conjunction with her comprehensive review of the book. You can also see Roz’s testing and the testing from the other artists at the same link. Their work is exquisite and their comments enlightening.

This was a great opportunity for me to clarify what I look for in a visual journal. I know I’ll continue to experiment with commercially bound books because it’s just too much fun not to… but I also won’t give up binding my own books with my favorite papers in my favorite formats either!

Thanks Roz!

Best Two Bucks I’ve Spent

I finished the second spread of Paperwhites the other day and was so pleased with my photo editing I just have to share!

I edit ninety percent of my photos on my iPhone using a few select apps, yet as much as I appreciate what I can do with PhotoToaster and Snapseed… TouchRetouch is absolutely magical… just look at the before and after.



$1.99 in the Apple App Store and I believe it’s available at Google Play too… best two bucks I’ve spent.

I broke a couple of roots as I took it out of its glass pebble-filled jar. I won’t be doing that again.

The Paperwhite’s Progress

This little fella was a holiday gift from a dear friend who’s dealing with some health issues this winter. What started as a project to draw its growth once a week quickly morphed into a daily meditation as I paint and send out prayers and positive vibes across the universe.

The growth is heartening, although in a day or so, I’m betting the roots will be too long for me to continue to remove it from the vase for its modeling session. Even though I’m already looking forward to many happy hours painting flowers I need to remember… first things first… live in the present and document today!