Stillman and Birn
Art Paper Gallery
Monday, May 30, 2016

San Miguel Mission Chapel, Santa Fe, NM

Artist: Brenda Swenson, United States
Media: Watercolor and ink
Surface: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Thanks, Brenda Swenson for posting this beautiful drawing. Brenda did this in one of our new Softcover Edition sketchbooks, available again in North America this June.

San Miguel Mission

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Still Life Arrangement of Bottles

Artist: Elaine Hill, United Kingdom
Artist Statement: I work mainly from photographs provided copyright free, from various Facebook sites by generous photographers who like to see what artists create from their photos. This painting is from photographer Ann Traverse and it made me smile as soon as I saw it, a cheerful sight during a rainy couple of weeks.

It’s painted in watercolour in one of my Stillman & Birn journals and I picked the Zeta for the smooth paper. Using a grid method, I penciled in the outline of the flowers and bottles, then I painted in the yellow flowers, the background greenery went in next from a mixture of Indanthrone Blue and Permanent Yellow Deep.

I started on the bottles using light washes of Ultramarine for the blue bottles and Quinacridones Red and Magenta for the pinky red bottles and Permanent Yellow Deep and Quinacridone Red for the scarlet bottle with the big flower.

I put a wash of grey, made from Indanthrone Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange, on the blue bottles with the reflections and also on the clear bottle which also had a pale wash of Quinacridone Magenta dropped in. I used a strong wash of Ultramarine to model the tops of the blue bottles and Indanthrone Blue & Quinacridone Burnt Orange for the very dark area of blue glass, making sure to paint round the pattern of reflections. The red bottles had darker washes of Magenta and some of the Indanthrone & Burnt Orange mix. The scarlet bottle had a mix of Magenta & Permanent Yellow Deep used to model the pattern in the glass. Corks were a pale wash of Yellow Ochre with Burnt Orange at the bases and dotted with the grey mixture. Flower stems were a brighter green to reflect that they were plastic. The pink & burgundy flowers were done next with Magenta and a touch of Red and I tweaked the background with a bit more darker green mix to bring out some of the yellow flowers.

I’ve put a border round the painting to finish it off, but not over any of the bottles which I think brings the bottles forward in space and plus, I’ve used it repeatedly throughout this sketchbook giving it a unity.

MEDIA: Pencil and watercolour
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Elaine Hill is a British artist who enjoys painting predominantly in watercolour in addition to her full time office job. To date, Elaine’s subjects have been mainly close up still life arrangements and animal faces but she is now also expanding her range to include landscapes. She is also starting to work in other mediums such as acrylics, water-mixable oils and pastels. Elaine has exhibited with her art club at Salford Museum and recently carried out a number of private commissions.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Makeup Blunder

Artist: Cannon Pearson, United States
Artist Statement: It started with a softcover Alpha. I laid down the base gradient with Liquitex spray paint. It’s water-based and not too noxious. I just bought a few cans to try out. I don’t like the blue can that I bought, so I tend to use red and yellow a lot. The scribbles and silver outlines were done with Montana Acrylic markers. The eyes and mouth were cut out of a Canson sketchbook and pasted here. The type came from tabloids which I scanned and printed onto Staples inkjet sticker labels. I painted over those with Liquitex acrylic paint. I finished it up with a coat of matte finish.

I tried this just to see what I could throw at this book. I’m always surprised how much stuff that I can keep piling on top. Hope you enjoy it.

[Ed. Note: This artwork was created on a sketchbook from the first run of Softcover Edition sketchbooks. The new release will be announced shortly.]

MEDIA: Spray paint, acrylic pigment and medium, collage
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

Cannon Pearson is an illustrator from Atlanta, GA. He studied graphic design at the University of Georgia, and then went back to school to study photography at the The Creative Circus. His work is a combination of analog and digital elements incorporating photography, drawing, painting, and random found elements pieced together in Illustrator and Photoshop. Website:

makeup blunder

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mid-Century Unease – Edward Hopper & Nina Simone Together

This is a compelling, moody video of Edward Hopper’s paintings and Nina Simone’s music.
via Mike Bailey:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Palmer Feed Mill

Artist: Tim Oliver, United States
Artist Statement: While primarily a plein air watercolorist, I’m passionate about sketching in pencil as well as pen and ink. Rural landscapes of my native West Texas tend to be the primary source of inspiration in my work. I love to sketch and paint agricultural and industrial subjects as well. I sketched this feed mill (Palmer Feed and Supply, San Angelo, TX) in my Stillman & Birn Alpha 9×12 wire bound sketchbook. I tend to work with heavy watercolor washes and the Alpha holds up extremely well! I also currently use a Beta Hard Bound 5.5×8.5. Its compact size is very handy and I love the heavy weight paper! The quality of the paper is exceptional and it accepts ink and watercolor extremely well.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

Tim Oliver is a full time Landscape Architect and passionate watercolor artist and sketcher. He paints exclusively in watercolor and is dedicated to consistently keeping a sketching regimen. He sketches in pencil, pen and ink, water soluble graphite and watercolor. He holds associate membership in the Outdoor Painters Society, American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and West Texas Watercolor Society. He is also a member of the GAS Painting group and Urban Sketchers Texas.

#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing ‪#‎architecture‬ ‪#‎arqsketch‬ ‪#‎archisketcher

Oliver Mill

Saturday, May 7, 2016

In Memoriam – Florian Afflerbach

Stillman & Birn shares the pain of the Urban Sketchers community upon learning of the tragic death of Florian Afflerbach. Florian accomplished much in his short life and touched many others with his talent, passion and intellectual curiosity, with his humor and generosity of spirit. He was a great architect and artist, a scholar and educator, a friend. It is heartbreaking and unbelievable that Florian is suddenly gone from our midst. He will be sorely missed.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

About Picasso’s ‘Night Fishing at Antibes’

The painting was created just at the outbreak of World War II. It is a somber view of a world about to explode, a companion piece to Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. This excellent 8-minute video essay helps us to understand Picasso’s allegorical painting:  via #nerdwriter1


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oliver’s Nightmare

ARTIST: Jaimie Dent-Campbell, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: My mantra is “show up every day”. I set yearly challenges for myself to draw and/or paint every day. The practice of “showing up every day” has vastly improved my drawing/painting skills and has strengthened my confidence when approaching any subject. This year’s challenge, that I’ve dubbed “Life in the H20” has me focused on daily drawing of things that live in water (real or imagined). When I sit down to create, I usually know what I’m going to draw. I keep a notebook full of notes and small sketches of things for futures works. I start paintings with a sketch in graphite. I then start to loosely build watercolor layers, adding more details with each layer. I usually finish each piece with graphite and white paint pen details.

“Oliver’s Nightmare” was initially inspired by artist friend, Jessica Seacrest’s (@jessicaseacrest) pen sketch of a tiny ship on a rolling sea. I also used my love of Katsushika Hokusai’s art as inspiration as well as my fondness for mythological sea creatures. It has a companion piece called “Oliver’s Dream”, a subtler vision, which can be viewed at my Instagram gallery, along with all of my daily paintings at @maaadkat .

MEDIA: Graphite and watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jaimie Campbell is an artist living in the San Joaquin Valley of California. She has worked professionally as an illustrator, photographer and graphic designer. She is currently working in watercolors.

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Whose Next for a Ride?

ARTIST: Colleen McCafferty, Australia
ARTIST STATEMENT: I was inspired to paint camels by Danny Gregory’s blog on Sketchbook Skool. I remembered that I have photographed lots of camels on my travels. But having seen the camels first-hand helped enormously with my colour choices and to paint with an artist’s eye.

I usually sketch out with a 2B mechanical pencil first, go over it with ink and then the fun part starts with watercolour washes. My preferred pens are either Lamy EF or Platinum Carbon EF. For this sketch I needed brown ink so I used a Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 in Sepia. A few darker and thicker ink strokes were added at the end with a dip pen and DeAtramentis document ink in Brown. I prefer to use transparent watercolours, mostly Daniel Smith and some Windsor & Newton, and I often add multiple washes to increase the vibrancy. I use lots of water and love the way the pigment moves in such a random way. Generally the whole painting is completed from start to finish within 2 hours.

When traveling, my time is limited and I go straight into it with a pen sketch then watercolour. I find the paper in the Zeta series just perfect for my way of painting as it handles my heavy water usage so well and the smooth paper allows the pigment to flow beautifully.

MEDIA: Watercolour and ink
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270gsm – Smooth Finish

I am an Australian artist who is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to frequently travel around this beautiful country and particularly into the Outback. I am retired and have been painting on and off for over 30 years. My preferred medium by far is watercolour, although I also paint in acrylic and oil – just not lately! I am a colourist and love vibrant colours.

Last year I spent 3 months traveling in the Outback and challenged myself to do a sketch every day in an effort to practice my drawing and to make myself do more painting. I’m pleased to say I met that challenge and came home with more than 60 mostly plein air sketches as a wonderful record of my journey. I haven’t stopped sketching since then! More of my work can be found on my website and

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing

whose next

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kawaii Citrus

ARTIST: Kate Hadfield, United Kingdom
ARTIST STATEMENT: I’ve recently started a new sketchbook project specifically to play more freely with different materials, patterns and techniques as a balance to the more stylised drawings I create for my everyday work. This sketchbook drawing was inspired by a weekly drawing challenge I take part in on Instagram, I have found these sorts of challenges a great way to connect with other artists online and to boost my creativity by tackling unusual subjects and styles. My initial sketch was much more abstract but the drawing eventually evolved into my typical combination of saturated colours and bold outlines. I also couldn’t resist injecting a bit of fun with some kawaii style faces! The colour was built up with layers of markers and coloured pencils and inked with Fineliner and paint pens. This is my usual method of working, I enjoy the process of layering with mixed media and building up depth, colour and contrast as the drawing evolves. It’s always exciting to see where that process that takes me.

MEDIA: Ink, colored pencil, alcohol and water-based markers
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kate Hadfield is a digital and traditional British artist who designs for the crafting and scrapbooking industry. She works in a variety of media including marker, pen and ink, watercolour and coloured pencil.
Instagram: @katykatehadfield

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎markers



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hungarian Parliament Building

Artist:  George Lewis, United States

Artist Statement: I use watercolor as a tool to express my thoughts and emotions. One of its great qualities is seeing the water and paint co-mingle together, almost dancing on the paper. I have always been deeply drawn to architecture, on which the majority of my work is centered, and the unlimited environments around it. Whether that be an urban setting or a far off destination, there is always a story to tell and experiences to take in. While architecture and its surroundings in my artwork are crucial, so is my intention to emphasize the light and shadows around them as well.

I’ve always been intrigued by European architecture. Recently, I discovered the vast amounts of wonderful buildings in Budapest, Hungary, a country not really well recognized by very many tourists. One such structure is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It’s a great classic example of neo-gothic architecture which unfortunately is one of very few still remaining in the country. For this piece I sketched the building out with an HB pencil adding very subtle details here and there. I then applied watercolor in a way to evoke not a true painting but simply a sketch, applying paint in certain areas and leaving the true white of the paper in others. In all honesty, my true approach when beginning this piece was to just paint and “see where it goes.” I believe the more you think about a painting, sometimes you just might also be over-thinking it as well. When the entire painting was dry, I lifted paint in areas I felt were too dark. I also put a few small highlights using Chinese white paint. Lastly I added areas of shading using my pencil. This piece is probably my third watercolor sketch using the Alpha series. I’ve always used the Beta series in the past but I must say that the two papers both work great for my intentions, each in their very own distinct ways.

MEDIA: Pencil and watercolor
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: George Lewis is an architectural illustrator and fine artist. He works in a variety of mediums including, marker, pen & ink and pencil but specializes in watercolor.

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#‎architecture‬ ‪#‎arqsketch‬ ‪#‎archisketcher

Hungarian Parliment

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sketchbook of the Teenage Egon Schiele

Research presented in the 2013 book titled “Egon Schiele: The Beginning” includes previously unpublished images from Schiele’s early sketchbook.

Among the sketches found in the journal is a portrait of Margarete Partonek (below), a girl who caught the artist’s attention when he was 15 years old. “The young Schiele quickly became obsessed with Margarete, drawing images of her and writing her poetry with a persistance only teenagers can muster.” See this link to see more entries from Schiele’s sketchbook:

Art historians have written that Schiele has come to be recognized for his exceptional draftsmanship. This can be difficult to appreciate in Schiele’s highly expressionistic works, which intentionally distort human shapes. But check out Plate 8 of 15 in this sketchbook to see what a skilled draftsman Schiele was even at fifteen.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Pick of the Day at Wet Paint – St. Paul, MN.

Thank you to Meg and the rest of the wonderful staff at Wet Paint (St. Paul, MN.) for selecting Stillman & Birn as their Pick of the Day. Meg writes, ““My go-to sketchbook is the Zeta by Stillman & Birn. The extra-heavy weight, smooth finish paper takes exquisite ink work detail and holds up to extensive watercolor and other wet media. The range of sizes in both spiral and hard bound provide options for everyone. A true mixed-media marvel!”

Wet Paint Artist Materials
1684 Grand Ave.
St Paul, MN 55105
Tel: 651-698-6431

Wet Paint Pick of the Day_04-07-16

Friday, April 8, 2016

Prairie Style Planter – Café Brauer – Lincoln Park, Chicago, Il.

Artist: Andrew Banks, United States
Artist Statement: My sketchbook is a record of my artistic process; a place for me to investigate and develop techniques and to record what inspires me. This Prairie Style planter is just one of many sketches in an ongoing series dedicated to the architecture of the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Sitting outside of the Prairie Style Café Brauer building, this large planter is one of several landscaping objects which complement the details of the café itself. I was drawn to the planter’s reference to classical detailing, while remaining evidently within the Prairie Style. I was also drawn to the symmetry and its contrast in color and material.

Penciling in a centerline, I began proportioning out the heights of each section of the planter, starting from the base and working my way up the top, lightly indicating each with a horizontal line. These horizontal lines became the skeleton of the drawing, giving me the information and size relationships I needed to draw the rest of the contours. Then, I inked over all lines with a thin black pen and once again over the entire contour of the planter with a thicker pen to give the appearance of depth and relief. I suggested the material of the concrete base by stippling. I then added some light grey tone with a brush pen to the concrete areas. Working from light to dark in color, the green top and metal ornament wrapping the base was also colored with a felt tip brush pen. The varying tones were achieved through multiple passes. Before applying each layer of green, I made sure the previous one had dried to avoid any unwanted smudging. Since the brush pen I used was transparent, building up tones was similar to water coloring, and so the more layers I added the more I was able to build up the values in the shadows as well as represent its circular form through a range of tones. The smooth surface of the Epsilon paper worked great for the “swiping” motions I used with the pen, and the paper held up really well to the multiple layers of ink.

MEDIA: Graphite, ink, brush pen
SURFACE: Epsilon Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Smooth Surface

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Andrew Banks is a freelance artist and illustrator at Andrew Banks Illustration. Andrew works with a variety of media including watercolor, ink, graphite, and markers and specializes in rendering architectural subjects, details and landscapes. Andrew is an active member of the Urban Sketchers Chicago group, and you will rarely find him without his favorite sketchbook and pen.
Instagram: @abillustrator

[Ed. Note: The Prairie School – or Prairie Style – was a late 19th- and early 20th-century architectural style, most common to the Midwestern United States. The style is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the native prairie landscape.

The Prairie School developed in affinity with the ideals and design doctrines of the Arts and Crafts Movement begun in the late 19th century in England by John Ruskin, William Morris, and others. Likewise, the Prairie School had a profound influence on the aesthetics of artisans in reaction to the design compromises emerging from mass production manufacturing techniques. Source: Wikipedia]

Prarie Style Planter - Andrew Banks
























Friday, April 1, 2016

About Velázquez’ “Las Meninas”

“There is maybe no painting in the history of the form more worthy of analysis then Velázquez’ Las Meninas“. That’s the start of this excellent 10-minute video essay about Velázquez’ masterpiece:

via @clairewaves


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gapstow Bridge – Central Park

Artist: Joe Rayome, United States
Artist Statement: As much as I enjoy working in the studio, there really is no substitute for the experience of working on location. Although it can be intimidating, the knowledge I’ve gained from drawing and sketching in city crowds and changing environments has led me to understand my process more fully, and ultimately fuels the fire for my studio work. The quickened pace of working on location has taught me the value of simplifying a scene and how a few well-placed brush strokes will always be more powerful than a thousand fussy ones. This is especially true with watercolor: less is more.

This image of the Gapstow Bridge in Central Park is an example of a quick sketch in which I was merely attempting to capture the feel of the scene before the sun fell behind the skyline of the city behind me. It’s not a finished painting, nor is it meant to be – It’s simply an exercise in observation and technique. I quickly penciled in the waterline and the shape of the bridge before laying in a series of watercolor washes, preserving negative shapes along the way. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the relationship of water and land, so I went back in with darker tones and allowed them to run from the bridge down over the surface of the pond. I often find that when a painting isn’t working for me, it’s because I’ve failed to connect my shapes.

MEDIA: Watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Joe Rayome is a full-time artist and Signature Member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. He lives in New York City.
Instagram @joerayomeart

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#‎BetaSeries‬ ‪#‎CentralPark

_Gapstow Bridge_ Joe Rayome for Stillman and Birn

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Portrait of Cole Sprouse

Artist: : Kaja Dunnewind (@usloual), Netherlands
Artist Statement: Not too long ago I was stuck in a rut of drawing the same familiar faces over and over again and finally letting go of references with this drawing of Cole Sprouse felt wonderfully freeing. This piece was totally different from my usual ones and got me really excited for this amazing art journey I’m on and developing my own style.

My technique: I simply sketched the subject with black pencil and added shadows mostly with a cross-hatching technique. Then I used a watercolour pencil to put on a cream colored layer all over the background. To get the deep dark black at the top I used ink. Then I grabbed my watercolours and used messy splatters to let the ink flow into a beautiful deep blue color.

MEDIA: Pencil, watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Epsilon Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia‬ ‪#‎EpsilonSeries‬ ‪#‎colesprouse

cole sprouse

Monday, March 14, 2016

Arising from Flowers

Artist: Mashiiro (Magalie Gréaux), France
Artist Statement: Flowers have always been a subject I wanted to practice with watercolors. For this piece, I wanted to depict a fragile woman, reaching from a field of delicate white flowers, like she used to be one of them, and “evolve” to a woman. I found that layering washes of different soft colors was a lovely way to draw the softness of a field of flowers, contrasting with the black lines of the leaves.

Building up layers for this drawing took me quite a long time because I had to wait for the layers to completely dry before applying the next one, and be careful not to paint on the previous flowers. Once all of the watercolor layers were completely dry, I inked the leaves with a Posca marker pen for a very deep matte black effect, and outlined the woman with a Sakura Micron Fineliner. This drawing was definitely a good opportunity to practice this very simple but time-consuming negative coloring technique.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Epsilon Series — Heavyweight — 150 gsm — White — Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Mashiiro is a digital and traditional French artist, mostly using pencils, watercolors and ink techniques. Self-taught, she’s not pursuing a professional art career even though art is taking all of her free time. You can find her on Instagram @m4shiro, on Tumblr ( or support her on Patreon (!

#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#mixedmedia #EpsilonSeries


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Venasque, Provence

Renowned watercolor artist Iain Stewart discusses experimenting with a bold new technique.

Artist: Iain Stewart, United States
Artist Statement: I have been experimenting with different tools and techniques for the last year or so, mainly a flat brush, dry brushing, and a palette knife, to explore the possibilities of a combination of my current approach to painting and some new ideas. I’ve been highly intrigued by the palette knife for some time and the impasto qualities this adds to watercolor. If done wet in wet the edges will blur slightly. If done wet on dry then you can work gouache much in the same way you would oil paint. I can scrape out negative shapes or use gouache in a very thick mixture to give impressionist marks that are hard to accomplish with a brush. Depending on the wetness of the paint I can also make darker marks with the palette knife if this is done early in the drying process.

I refer to this type of painting as “serious play” and that’s exactly how I approach it. In my piece Venasque, Provence I’ve taken a perfectly good watercolor and then begun the process of purposely changing it to suit myself. I’ve done a lot of lifting which blurs the hard edges of some passages and then with the palette knife come in and scraped, in a methodical way, the “bones” of the structure. This didn’t give me enough punch so I decided to introduce, cadmium red, zinc white, new gamboge, and lavender in gouache to amplify the effect and add pops of pure color.

This type of painting suits me very well. It’s spontaneous, colorful, and I’m going purely on instinct in the final stages. I enjoy the effects of painting counter-intuitively to the general methods of watercolor and will continue to explore these techniques. It’s good to do something completely different at times regardless of the results. I find that if you allow yourself to have fun and explore in the studio, your work will only profit in the end. You just need to be open to ruining a few paintings in the process. As a advocate of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks and loose paper I might add that the Beta Series held up very well to the continued abuse I tend to put my paper through and the surface is perfect for a palette knife.

MEDIA: Watercolor and gouache
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#‎architecture‬ ‪#‎arqsketch‬ ‪#‎archisketcher‬ ‪#‎gouache‬ ‪#‎impasto‬ ‪#‎iainstewart‬ ‪#‎iainstewartwatercolor

Venasque, Provence


Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Fanciful Bookplate

Artist: Jody Marx, United States
Artist Statement: I started keeping a small-format sketchbook in 2013. I always put my name and phone number in the front since I lost a sketchbook at a superstore a few years ago. (Luckily I got it back.) My contact pages have become increasingly fanciful over the years. This illustration is from my new sketchbook. It’s based on a Victorian bookplate design.

My daily sketchbook/journal is the 4”x6” Stillman & Birn Alpha Series. I usually start with a pencil sketch, then trace it over using a Micron pen. After erasing the pencil lines (or not), I layer multiple watercolor washes using water brushes. I usually finish up by adding more Micron pen lines.

MEDIA: Pencil, Ink and Watercolor
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: I have a BFA from University of Michigan where I started out as a painter (acrylic on canvas) and also studied design and advertising. I have worked as a graphic designer since graduating 35 years ago. I began to become bored with graphic design and wished to get back into Art. Three years ago I earned a certificate in the University of Washington’s Program in Natural Science Illustration in hope to use it as a catalyst to jump-start a more satisfying creative phase of life.

Although I still earn a living as a graphic designer, I also take commissions in Natural Science Illustration. In addition, I am developing an additional style based on Victorian etchings artists such as Grandville and Beatrix Potter. I am interested in the concept of anthropomorphism and the artist Walton Ford’s visual story-telling.

‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎artjournal‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎design‬ ‪#‎illustration‬ ‪#‎sketch‬ ‪#‎sketchbook‬ ‪#‎stillmanandbirn‬ ‪#‎watercolor‬ ‪#‎watercolour‬ ‪#‎watercolordrawing‬ ‪#‎mixedmedia

Jody Marx