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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cat’s Eye

Artist: Maryanne Pitman, U.K.
Artist Statement: The image that I was going to use was of a black and white domestic cat, the focus being on the eye. Now I wanted to be a bit lazy with this one and do as little drawing as possible, so selected the black shade paper (and this is a good true black shade, not that wishy washy black that some papers tend to be). It was a case of love at first sight between the Polychromos and the Nova Series, as the pigments adhered to the paper brilliantly, and with what little blending that was needed worked effortlessly. So I felt that I had achieved what I had set out to do as the black paper did most of the work for the negative drawing and popping out the eye so as to give it that glass marble effect. Thank you Stillman & Birn, this is a top notch paper!

MEDIA: Faber-Castell Polychromos colour pencils (oil based)
SURFACE: Nova Series (Black) – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Maryanne Pitman now lives in Dorset, UK, after having grown up in South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Maryanne primarily works in graphite pencil, but dabbles in anything that leaves a mark on surfaces!

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Zeta Series

ZETA SERIES
Extra Heavyweight: 270 gsm
Shade: White
Surface: Smooth
Media: Dry & wet media, watercolor, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/zeta

Excerpt from online review:
“By far the Zeta series is my favorite paper to draw on. The paper is smooth and thick, allowing for lots of layering and blending without any pilling and erases quite nicely.”

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

We wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.

Shown here:
“Fireworks over Kyoto” (1948)
Artist: Kōichi Okumura, Japan
Woodblock Print

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa

Artist: Muriel Christensen, United States
Artist Statement: When I saw my niece’s daughter’s upset face, I got an idea to put her on Santa’s lap for this year’s family Christmas card. I like to do a custom card every year with my artwork. So, for the baby’s face study, I sketched out the concept first in my sketchbook. Sometimes just a pencil sketch or in this case with oil paint. I used acrylic gesso, first applying a generous amount in my Alpha Series sketchbook. I tried to get in the emotion of the baby. Since it was in an upset mood, I chose a somewhat jollier Santa to make the overall impact a bit more festive. When I was satisfied with the result, I painted the full rendition on canvas. The initial study in the sketchbook allowed me to experiment with color and placement. Sometimes I paint in all the final details in the sketchbook study, but in this case, I just did the rendition of the baby only.

MEDIA:
Study: Gesso and oil paint
Finished rendering: Oil paint

SURFACE:
Study: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish
Finished rendering: Canvas

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Muriel Christensen is full-time an engineer but loves art and creates artwork whenever she can. She loves to do portraits and uses different media. Muriel is based in a suburb of Chicago and is a member of Urban Sketchers Chicago chapter and also a member of Plein Air Painters of Chicago (PAPC).
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MACPortraits/
Instagram: @murielannart

 

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Koi Stream

Aritst: Juanjo Gaspar, Spain
Artist Statement: While visiting the Sensō-ji in Tokyo, I saw this stream of koi, and I couldn’t resist painting them. I’m in love with Japanese culture; I have studied Japanese and Shodo (traditional Japanese calligraphy), so this trip was a chance for me to get a first-hand glimpse of the icons and imagery associated with the country.

I used acrylic markers for the koi and plants, then several watercolor washes to get the watery effect and finally some pointillism shading with a .2 calibrated pen.

MEDIA: Acrylic markers, watercolors and ink
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Juanjo Gaspar is a Spanish illustrator and designer based in Madrid. He divides his time between food illustration, oil and acrylic paintings and sketches for personal interest and vector illustration for his design studio clients. You can find him on his Instagram account: @juanjogasp

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Giveaway Winners Announced

These are the ten winners of our annual holiday giveaway. Each will receive a Nova Series sketchbook (5½ x 8½) in the shade of their choice and a set of Caran d’Ache gouache.

Winners were chosen by random drawing. Sequential numbers were assigned to each participant upon entry. After the contest closed we used a random number generator to select ten numbers from the total entries. These are the winners:

Moh’d Bilbeisi
Vivien Blackburn
Michael Broshar
Riko Colin Chock
Felicity Flutter
Kristin Gjerdset
Elaine Hill
Maike Josupeit
Patrick Ng
Laura Sfiat

We congratulate the winners and thank all who participated.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Nova Series Review

Artist Jennifer McLean, author of “Just Add Water Silly”, the popular blog about watercolor and mixed media, recently posted this review of our Nova Series sketchbooks: http://justaddwatersilly.com/2017/11/27/toned-paper-stillman-birn-nova/#comments Shown here are two of Jenn’s drawings done on Nova Series paper from the review, both painted with watercolor and gel pen.

There’s just one more day to enter for our Holiday Giveaway. Ten winners will get a Nova Series sketchbook bundled with a five-tube set of Caran d’Ache gouache. Here’s the link with information about how to enter the contest:  http://bit.ly/2C8Djkx

 

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Giveaway

We’re giving away ten Stillman & Birn Nova Series sketchbooks together with a Caran d’Ache Gouache Studio set. The gouache set contains five 10 ml tubes: magenta, cyan, yellow, black, and white. The Nova Series sketchbook is a 5½” x 8½” softcover binding; winners can choose from the three paper options (beige, grey or black).
———————–
TO ENTER CONTEST:
Simply email us with your name to: contest@stillmanandbirn.com. We will automatically enter you. You will receive an email reply confirming your entry within 48 hours. Entry to this contest closes December 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

NOTIFICATION:
Winners will be picked at random on December 16, 2017. Winners will be notified by email and their names will be announced on our blog and social media sites that day. We will naturally respect any winner’s instructions to remain unnamed.

RESTRICTIONS:
You must be over the age of 18 in order to enter; one entry per person. No purchase required. No geographical limitations.
———————–
ABOUT CARAN D’ACHE GOUACHE STUDIO SET:
Caran d’Ache Gouache Studio paints are formulated from luminous and highly concentrated pigments combined with vegetable-based binding agents to form colors of incomparable beauty. Because gouache is an opaque medium, color doesn’t blend into the background on toned paper and, unlike with watercolors, it is possible to paint lighter colors over darker tones. Gouache can create dramatic, dimensional effects, striking detail and vivid color on toned paper. Gouache can be easily combined with other media such as pencil, pastel and watercolor, and can be reactivated with water to help with correcting mistakes or blending color. Made in Switzerland.

ABOUT STILLMAN & BIRN NOVA SERES SKETCHBOOKS:
Nova Series sketchbooks are made with premium toned papers that support a wide range of dry and wet media.The papers are double-sized for exceptional wet strength and surface luminescence: pigment glows on these papers! Nova Series papers are robust, they allow for multiple erasures without pilling; they hold ink line without feathering; they support layering multiple washes with wet media. These papers are suitable for: colored pencil, ink, gel pens, paint markers, watercolor, gouache, chalk pastels, oil pastels, water-soluble graphite, charcoal, Conté crayon, colored dry pigments, watercolor pencil, soapstone pencil, etc.
Paper Weight: 150 gsm
Surface: Medium Grain
Toned Shades: Beige, Grey and Black
Bound in the United States

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Prickles and Petals

Artist: Laura Capuano, Italy
Artist Statement: For this piece I wanted something fresh. I was so used to tulips and peonies, so I needed something different. I loved the idea of succulents: they look “friendly”, in a way, even with all these prickles. So what better than flowers?

The contrast between the petals and the prickles goes along with the contrast between colours: bold, complementary, contrasting, yet so harmonious green and red shades. I started with a very rough idea of what I wanted, lightly sketched it with a watercolour pencil, then built it up layer by layer. I loved that I could get really interesting granulating effects even on this smooth, hot pressed paper, that allows me to achieve very fine details as well.

MEDIA: Watercolor and watercolor pencils
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavy Weight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Laura Capuano is a 24 years old, self-taught watercolorist who lives in Naples, Italy. She often describes herself as living a double life: she graduated from Uni in 2016, and currently works as a pharmacist.

In the meantime, she has recently re-discovered her passion for arts, spending her free time on drawing, painting and illustrating, mainly focusing on watercolor and gouache techniques, but also experimenting with digital and acrylics. Laura absolutely loves her brights and full-on contrasts, but frequently combines them with pastel colors for more subtle, delicate and fairy-tale atmospheres.
You can follow her on:
Instagram: at @alioth_93
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pg/alioth93/

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Morning Light in Redwood Forest

Artist: Kris Mordecai, United States
Artist Statement: This black and white drawing shows the morning light filtering through the trees and onto a small cabin in Monte Rio, California, perched on the side of a mountain and nestled into the ancient redwoods. Ink and water brush were used to depict the cool, damp air and the lushness of the surroundings. This drawing was made only a week before many of the nearby communities were devastated by the Northern California wildfires in October 2017.

MEDIA: Pen and water-soluble ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kris Mordecai is a nonprofit manager and artist living in New York, NY. He started sketching in March of 2017 with the goal of growing as an artist and maintaining a regular mindfulness practice. Kris believes that to sketch is to be truly in the moment, immersed in one’s surroundings and in one’s process. In his eight months of sketching, Kris has become focused on the process of growth and experimentation and less on product and output.
Instagram: @krismordecai

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Nova Series Sample Pack Giveaway Winners Announced

These are the 100 winners of our Nova Series sample paper packet giveaway. Congratulations to all. Please look for our annual Holiday Giveaway coming next week.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Nova Series Sample Paper Giveaway

We’re giving away 100 sample packs of Stillman & Birn’s new Nova Series mixed media toned paper. The 5” x 7” packs contain 15 sheets, 5 of each of the three Nova Series shades: beige, grey and black.

Nova Series toned art papers support mixed media artwork. These papers are suitable for: colored pencil, ink, gel pens, paint markers, watercolor, gouache, chalk pastels, oil pastels, water-soluble graphite, charcoal, Conté crayon, colored dry pigments, watercolor pencil, soapstone pencil, etc. Nova Series sketchbooks are available in softcover and wirebound formats, as well as in 22” x 30” loose sheets.

———————–

TO ENTER CONTEST:
Simply email us with your name to: contest@stillmanandbirn.com. We will automatically enter you. You will receive an email reply confirming your entry within 48 hours. Entry to this contest closes November 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

NOTIFICATION:
Winners will be picked at random on November 26, 2017 and will be announced on our blog and social media sites that day. We will naturally respect any winner’s instructions to remain unnamed.

RESTRICTIONS:
You must be over the age of 18 in order to enter. No purchase required. No geographical limitations.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Thelma

Artist: Carrie LeBlanc, United States
Artist Statement: I was very excited about the release of the Nova Series and wanted to take full advantage of what this new paper had to offer. I wanted to experiment with using the paper as a mid tone, so I had used acrylic gouache both as a transparent and opaque medium. My cat, Thelma, who is a grey tabby would be the purrfect subject to use. I used a limited palette with similar values of the paper in order to create the form of her fur. I had thinned the black acrylic gouache so that it could be used in as a transparent paint in order for the paper to show through and create different values. Using opaque white really makes the lighter areas give more depth against the paper. Finally, I used the acrylic gouache’s opaque attributes for her eyes in addition to using saturated hues to really make a stark contrast with the rest of the image. I had a lot of fun with this piece, and I’m excited to try out the Nova Series in new and different ways.

MEDIA: Gouache
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Grey – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Carrie LeBlanc, also known as omanomagon, is an artist who mostly focuses on 2D illustrations. She has also been known to dabble in 3D digital sculpture and 2D animation.
Website: www.omanomagon.com
Instagram: @omanomagon
Twitter: @omanomagon

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Epsilon Series

Heavyweight: 150 gsm
Shade: White
Surface: Smooth
Media: Pen & Ink, dry media, light wash
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/epsilon
Recently described as the “fountain pen friendly sketchbook” on The Fountain Network forum.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Tiger

Artist: Edith Van der Ster, Spain
Artist Statement: This small sketch was one of my first tries with acrylic gouache. I have been using my sketchbooks to really create a habit of sketching and to improve my drawing and painting. I mainly use ink and watercolor in my Beta Series sketchbook, and I have recently started a smaller Gamma Series sketchbook, that I really like as well. Sometimes I try out things with a bigger painting in mind, but most of the time it is just for the joy of painting!!

Media: Ink and acrylic gouache
Surface: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Instagram: @edithvanderster

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Holland Hotel Courtyard

Artist: Tim Oliver, United States
Artist Statement: Sketching is a huge part of my art! Every finished watercolor piece that I do, begins its life as a sketch of some sort in my sketchbook. This is a sketch of the courtyard of the historic Holland Hotel in Alpine, Texas. It was drawn directly from observation in ink and watercolor wash was painted over in drawing. This is a typical technique that I use as I explore composition, values and color. All of my final watercolor paintings, both plein air and studio, begin with studies such as this.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
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.
www.timoliverart.com
www.tim-sketchbook.blogspot.com

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Guiness® Extra Stout

Artist: Dorrie Rifkin, United States
Artist Statement: No matter what I paint, much planning goes into it. Having been commissioned to paint a bottle of Guinness® Extra Stout – whose color is advertised as being equally as deep as its taste – made this job a bit more stressful.

I always start a painting with an underlying detailed drawing. My Two Commandments of drawing/painting type are (1) Thou shalt not run short of space and then have to squeeze in characters, and (2) Thou shalt have no typos before thee. (My love of both drawing and painting type predates the computer era, harkening to my former life as an art director.) Motto: Planning is key.

I usually begin painting with the label. If that works, all else will fall into place. The bottle proper is where the fun is. Honest, I just toss, splatter, and pray… and in the process give the paper a real beating. Watercolor paint has a mind of its own. I think it’s wiser to love the way of watercolor than to try to tighten your controls.

MEDIA: Watercolor
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
An Englewood, NJ, resident, Dorrie Rifkin paints from her passions. Thirty years’ experience as an award-winning art director ignited and cemented a life-long love affair with typography. Her other passions — music, New York City, and family – are palpable in her work. Every painting has a personal story.

Dorrie Rifkin’s paintings have won prizes in many international and national juried shows. She is a signature member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America and the Northeast Watercolor Society. Her work has been selected for both Splash 14: Light and Color and Splash 15: Creative Solutions (North Light Books) and she was profiled in Watercolor Artist magazine’s “Ones to Watch” feature.

Website: www. dorrierifkin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dorrierifkin
Instagram: @dorrierifkin

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tutorial: Establishing Perspective in Dividing the Space Between Objects

In this excellent Craftsy tutorial, Paul Heaston explains the step-by-step process of establishing perspective in drawing a row of identical objects fading into the distance. Paul makes this understandable even to the beginner. A great read:  http://craftsy.me/2hUHWd7

 

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

The M and N in Minnesota Breweries

Artist: Jeffrey Nelson, United States
Artist Statement: This M and N is made with the negative space left over from lettering every single brewery in the state of Minnesota. I did the layout and handlettering on thick and creamy sheets of Stillman & Birn Delta Series paper with a Pentel brush pen and good old Sharpie markers. This project was commissioned by The Growler magazine to be used on merchandise ranging from t-shirts to blankets.

MEDIA: Ink and (alcohol-based) markers
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jeffrey Nelson is an illustrator based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. He does business as Jephemera because 1.) his name is Jeff and the nature of his work is ephemeral, and, 2.) Do you know how many Jeff Nelsons there are in Minnesota? His areas of concentration are handlettering, murals, maps, and general illustration. His local S&B dealer is Wet Paint.

Jeff can be found at…
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jephemera/
Instagram: @jephemera
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Jephemera
Website: http://www.jephemera.com/

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas

We share the grief of the nation on this day of mourning. #LasVegas

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