Stillman and Birn
     
Art Paper Gallery
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two Red Peppers

Artist: Stacy Egan, United States
Artist statement: I believe that sketching everyday objects is wonderful to incorporate into a daily art practice. It allows me to document my life and sketch consistently to develop my own artistic style. I love the Alpha Series books for my everyday sketching because there are plenty of pages in each book and the paper is robust enough to handle my sometimes very wet watercolor washes. In this case I am celebrating the wonderful haul from our local produce source, On Wheels Without Waste, one of the benefits of living so close to the Mexican border.

I set up a couple of the red bell peppers onto white paper as a mini still life. After quickly blocking out the shapes in pencil I drew the outlines in ink with a brush pen and a fountain pen, then enjoyed loosely painting the watercolor washes to communicate the beautiful red tones of the peppers.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Stacy Egan is an ink and watercolor artist who lives in Tucson, Arizona. She is active in two local sketching groups, The Sketchbook Artistry Guild and Old Pueblo Urban Sketchers, and is an art instructor at Tucson’s Art Verve Academy. No subject is safe from her love of sketching.
http://stacycreates.blogspot.com
Instagram: @stacyegan

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Friday, April 21, 2017

National Garlic Day (April 19)

Artist: Suhita Shirodkar, United States
Artist Statement: It’s National Garlic Day today! I’m going to say I celebrated, because I was in Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, today… I did this little piece for Gilroy a few years ago. Painted on Stillman & Birn Beta paper. Watercolor and ink

Ed note: Gilroy, California is 30 miles south of San Jose. Its hot, Mediterranean climate and rich soil make it particularly suitable for garlic cultivation.

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

 

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Matisse Cut-Outs: The Audacity of Simplicity

MATISSE CUT-OUTS: THE AUDACITY OF SIMPLICITY
This is in an excellent video about Matisse and his development of the cut-out art form. The 30-minute video was produced by the BBC to coincide with the landmark 2014 exhibition of cut-outs at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s MoMA. Shown here: Icarus (1943 -1944)

“In 1941, after a near-fatal operation, Matisse decided to give up painting and sought a new way of drawing in color. Scissors replaced a paintbrush and with the unique skill of a tailor, he set about creating his now famous cut-outs, which have yet to be rivaled for their originality and daring.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4NHDpaQW9s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some examples of the influences of Matisse’s Icarus:

 

 

 

 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Paris Street Scene

Artist: Iain Stewart, United States
Artist Statement: This is a watercolor sketchbook page I painted last week at a workshop hosted by the Potomac Valley Watercolorists. The subject is a bustling street in the St. Martin Canal district in Paris created from a reference photo.

I start with a fairly strong pencil drawing. I rely on a dull point on my pencil to avoid overworking detail and explain to my students that we first look for large shapes and gesture before thinking of detail. I particularly enjoy how the Alpha Series paper reacts to wet media. The paper holds up wonderfully to multiple washes. The pigment stays on the surface which allows me to mix color on the paper and let it mingle.

My watercolor sketches are generally done in three major washes with a last pass to add detail and touches of opaque white where needed. All the washes are done wet on dry and then I drop in color or use clear water to fade in color and direct the eye to my center of focus. I will then keep working wet in wet until I have the depth I desire. I use an atomizer to keep the paper moist to avoid uneven drying and prolong the time I can continue to work. After each major wash I let the paper dry completely. I build layers looking mainly at tonal value and keeping the washes from looking too flat. I will work in water and lift pigment when I see things becoming homogeneous. At all costs I try and keep my washes from looking like a screen print. They should have character, lost and found edges, and most of all varied tone. I use a couple of pieces of artist’s tape to hold the page to the sketchbook and this keeps the paper from warping quite well.

MEDIA: Watercolor and gouache
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Iain Stewart is an award winning watercolor artist and a signature member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS) and the National Watercolor Society (NWS) as well as other state and international societies. He has received numerous awards in international competitions. His works were included in the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition and his watercolor “Apse End Notre Dame” will be on exhibition at the NWS/China small works exchange. His paintings have been published in numerous magazines, among others in the Watercolor Artist Magazine, Splash 15 and 16, and the French publication Pratique des Arts. Iain maintains a studio in Opelika, AL and is also an Architectural Illustrator with an international clientele, teaches watercolor and design drawing at Auburn University.
Website: http://stewartwatercolors.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @iainstew71
Instagram: @iainstew7

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tropical Days

Artist: Janine Weiss, United States
Artist Statement: As a fashion designer, owning my own business, I had gotten away from taking the time to just sit, draw, paint and doodle for my personal self. I got hooked on Instagram and the many different artists I found there, each so inspirational in their own way. I picked up a Stillman & Birn small sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5, Zeta Series, along with pigment pens and a small travel watercolor set. I started carrying them everywhere. Now I’m out of control, sketching, doodling and creating everyday….and posting. Each day I start it with a sketch, then I check my email. I love the challenge of using a small travel sketchbook and turning out a quick piece of art in under ten minutes.

For “Tropical Days”, I started with a very light quick sketch to get proportion with a 4H pencil. I then put the black line using a basic ballpoint pen. I applied layers of watercolor for the final touch.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Janine Weiss is an American Artist, Fashion Designer and Textile Designer. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design with a BFA degree. She was a professor at Parsons for 18 years teaching Fashion Design and Illustration. She owns her own company for 24 years, SNOSKINS. Her clothing is proudly manufactured in the USA.
Follow SNOSKINS on Facebook
Instagram: @witchypowr

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Play Day in Pasadena

ARTIST: Brenda Swenson, United States
MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Brenda Swenson is a renowned watercolorist, author and instructor. She teaches at her private studio, The STUDIO in South Pasadena and at art workshops around the world.
www.BrendaSwenson.blogspot.com
www.SwensonsArt.net

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Koru

Artist: Guillem Marí, Spain
Artist Statement: My vision in creating the artwork: I just love painting portraits and to experiment different approaches and media applied to portraiture. One of the things I enjoy most is to combine it with abstract and geometrical shapes, stains, drippings and splatter. I use my sketchbook to just experiment with those elements in a playful way, without giving it too much thought. And that’s what this sketchbook page is all about.

Techniques/Media: In this case I used mostly watercolors, with some details in gouache and color fineliners. I initially draw a loose sketch with a mechanical pencil, and then just play around with the paints. The drippings, spatter and geometrical elements are pretty much improvised along the way.

MEDIA: Watercolor, gouache, ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Guillem Marí is a Spanish freelance illustrator, painter and designer currently based in Ibiza. Guillem studied illustration and graphic design at the Joso Art School in Barcelona. After that, he worked in the animation industry for a while, but soon started his own path as a freelancer in comics and illustration, working for several international clients, including Marvel Comics (US), Image Comics (US), Schibsted Publishing Co. (Sweden/Norway/Denmark), Uitgeverij de Boemerang (Belgium) and Editorial Vicens-Vives (Spain), Tyche Books (Canada), amongst many others.

Although painting and drawing are his main passions he also enjoys playing guitar, writing, contemplating and hiking in nature, as well as travelling and being hugged.

Guillem is always open and happy to discuss all kinds of new projects and commissions, and can be contacted at contact@guillemmari.studio
Twitter: @guillembe
Instagram: @guillem_mari

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Things on the Breakfast Table

Artist: Koosje Koene, The Netherlands
Artist Statement: I like using sketchbooks as my personal illustrated journals. They give me the opportunity to try new techniques, experiment and explore, and collect memories in drawings. Doing daily drawings in my sketchbooks means that I carve out time (even if it’s just a five minute drawing) to draw anything that appeals to me then and there, and the pages build up to a document of my life. The drawings tell stories (big and small), keep memories alive, and capture so much more than a photo could ever do. I love how very mundane things can become interesting when you draw them – as soon as you start drawing them. Like: the random stuff that’s right in front of you at the breakfast table. This drawing reminds me of the lazy Sunday morning when I made this, right after finishing breakfast.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Koosje Koene is an artist and entrepreneur from Amsterdam. She founded an online art school called Sketchbook Skool, together with Danny Gregory.
Websites: SketchbookSkool.com, KoosjeKoene.nl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/koosjekoene/
Instagram: @koosjekoene
Twitter: @koosjekoene

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Thrill of the Race

Artist: Colleen McCafferty, Australia
Artist Statement: Sailing played a large part in my life for many years when my three children were young. They all learnt how to sail and every Sunday was spent at the local yacht club racing dinghies. There was always much excitement after the racing and many hours spent recounting the events of the day, which often included the occasional spill into the water and drenchings. It was great fun. My son went on to join the Navy and other family members either have been or are still in the Navy and own or have owned boats. So we have a lot of the ‘sea’ in our blood and I truly love painting boats and trying to capture the movement of the boats and action of the sea.

My method is to firstly draw it out in pencil – roughly for the water but more accurately for the boat. I then do line work in ink over parts of the boat, but not all. I never start the watercolour until I know that I have a few hours free. Not because it takes me that long to paint it, but I can’t stop in the middle of a wash. The sea is mostly painted in one go with a lot of water and I just go for it. Once that is done, the rest is much easier. I prefer translucent colours and if I need to go over it all again with a glaze to intensify the colours, then I carefully do so. For me, the longest part of the exercise is the thinking beforehand as I try to go through the painting exercise mentally before I start. The smooth heavy paper in the Stillman & Birn Zeta series journal is excellent for the way that I paint.

MEDIA: Watercolor, gouache, pen and ink
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavy Weight – 270 gsm – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Colleen McCafferty is an Australian artist who is feels herself fortunate to have the opportunity to frequently travel around her beautiful country and particularly into the Outback. She is retired and has been painting on and off for over 30 years. Her preferred medium by far is watercolor, but she also loves sketching in pen and ink. More of Colleen’s work can be found on her website www.colleenmccafferty.com and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/colleen.mccafferty.art

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Children at Play

ARTIST: André Mangabeira, Brazil
ARTIST STATEMENT: Quite often I like to play with dark colors more focused on mood and atmosphere. I am passionate about my sketchbooks which provide me opportunity to explore new approaches in my daily creative process. Every time I want to draw people in my sketches or paintings, I have this natural tendency to portray them in movement or doing something. I don’t know exactly why, but I do like it because it makes the task more challenging. Also, in this particular sketch I relied on some childhood memories to help me create the composition. Memories that I hope will never fade.

Regarding my sketchbook process, the very first step usually starts in my mind when something triggers the interest and that can happen in several situations, like during my commute to work, during my lunch time and so on. Later in my studio, I start work in using a very light and soft pencil. The next step is the black ink, applied mostly with a worn out brush using dry brush technique and not fully loaded. Then is time to apply watercolor pigments in two washes at most. The main rule here is be loose and let the colors flow enough to create nice effects. Sometimes I tilt the sketchbook in order to achieve the goal. To create white lines, I pretty much use a rigger brush loaded with Chinese White or when I want something stronger I go to my awesome Gelly gel pen which has a pure and strong white color.

MEDIA: Pencil, ink, watercolor
SURFACE: Gamma Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Ivory – Medium Grain Finish
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
André Mangabeira is a Brazilian artist and illustrator. He is self-taught and a lover of traditional media technique, especially ink and watercolor. You can see more of André’s work on his blog here: https://mangabeirainkblog.wordpress.com/

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Hummingbird Study

Artist: Laura Sepulveda, Australia
Artist Statement: I’ve always used art as a lifeline to make sense of the world externally and internally. I know all my art has a touch of the macabre, expressed through elements of nature. Using a variety of mediums, my favourite ink, I try and capture the snapshots in my head as a way of freeing up space, momentarily achieving a sense of peace. I dabble in both abstract and realism, but I aspire more to realistic, classical renderings.

I always sketch out my concept in mechanical pencil, as I can establish detail easier, then I use pigmented fountain ink or most lately, paint markers, to finalise my artwork. I find using these two mediums provide a bold, graphic effect that makes the work leap from the page in an emotionally intense manner.

MEDIA: Graphite, Acrylic (paint markers), Ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Laura Sepulveda is a 23 year old graphic design student, working and studying in Sydney. She works in a variety of media, mostly ink, but also graphite, acrylic, carbon, pencil and watercolour.
lsepillustration@gmail.com
Instagram: @laurasepulvedaillustrations

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Cacophony of Color

Artist: Leslie Fehling, United States
Artist Statement: When I was in Florida a few weeks ago, my friend Judy and I spent a few hours at the Village of the Arts in Bradenton. We had a great lunch and strolled through the neighborhood filled with brightly colored historic cottages. Many of them house galleries, art studios, restaurants, and specialty shops. The little cottages were so cute that I couldn’t wait to sketch them. I decided to do a two-page spread in my Stillman & Birn Zeta Series softcover sketchbook. The sketch would feature four different cottages plus the hand-painted street sign in the center.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

Leslie Fehling provides a step by step description of her techniques in creating this artwork on her blog here:  http://www.lesliefehling.com/2017/02/a-cacophony-of-color.html 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Load of Rope

Congratulations to British artist Felicity Flutter, whose painting “Load of Rope” has been selected by the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours for display at their Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries this April.

MEDIA: Pencil and watercolors
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lapis Necklace

Artist: Jody Marx, United States
Artist Statement: On this day, my two co-workers and I went to my favourite vintage store. All three of us spent quite a bit of money. The owner surprised me by gifting me an Afghani necklace and thanking me for introducing her store to so many of my family and friends over the years.

Technique: I start my page with a pencil sketch and trace over it with a black Micron pen. I may or may not erase the pencil lines, depending on the look that I want. I did erase them here. Then I start layering my watercolor paint.

The watercolor technique that I use in my journal is “dry brush using a water brush.” I build up lighter layers of mostly transparent paint to create darker masses. Keeping my light source in mind is very important to create a 3D effect. When the paint is dry, I go back over my illustration with the Micron pen and Staedtler fine line paint markers to crosshatch in more mid-tones and shadows where needed. In this instance, I use an opaque bronze (created with a base of Daniel Smith Buff Titanium with touches of Burnt Sienna) at the end to give it the bronzy color to portray the pyrite flecks in the Lapis lazuli.

MEDIA: Pencil, ink, watercolors, paint markers
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jody Marx is a graphic designer for the School of Education at University of Washington. She also has a certificate in Natural Science Illustration from UW. Jody needs to multi-task as much as possible (Life is short!), so works on her sketchbook while watching TV series with her husband. She is looking forward to her art show featuring her sketchbooks at Elizabeth C. Miller Library at University of Washington Botanic Gardens in August, 2017.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarxNaturalScienceIllustration/

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Old Shop Façade

Artist: Reham Moniem, Egypt
Artist statement: Sketching architecture, especially old buildings, interests me and as an interior designer my architectural background helped me. That’s why every sketchbook I have is filed with lots and lots of old building sketches. This one is not a particular shop I saw and then sketched; rather, it’s a combination of several I have seen. I then visualized this one and in drawing it on paper I tried to add more vibrant color than the usual earthy colors we usually see in old buildings.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Reham Moniem is an Egyptian artist and interior designer and an assistant professor of architecture. She commutes between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and is interested in drawing and painting. Reham works in a variety of media including acrylic, gouache, oil, pastel, charcoal but mostly watercolor and ink.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Toddler’s Reaction to Moonlight Sonata

Words unnecessary, the images in this video say it all. We humans are blessed to be sensitive to the power of art and that sensitivity can obviously begin at a very early age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHUnLY1_PvM

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year – 新年快乐

To all our friends who celebrate, we wish you a year of good luck and good fortune in the Year of the Rooster

​A​rtist: Leonie Cheetham, Australia
Media: Watercolo​r and ​​ink​
Surface: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 – gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Eastwood Estate

Artist: Zack Easley, United States
Artist Statement: I am a retired fourth-generation mason and a self-taught artist. As early as five years old, I was drawing and entering art contests in school. Since then, I have won awards for my drawing and illustration work.

I draw my inspiration from my experience in working with brick and stone, with an extensive background in building and architecture. Even with inspiration from architecture, my art comes solely from my imagination. Unique and intricate is how my work has been frequently described. Anomalous, in the sense that my style is unique and can’t be easily categorized. I hope that when my people view my work they can see a place I have envisioned and brought to life through my artwork.
Facebook: Brick Artist Zack Easley
Instagram: @brickartistzack

MEDIA: Pen & ink and pastel
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Rabbit Children from the Garden Clan

Artist: Chuck Grieb, United States
Artist Statement: The Garden Clan is a world of magic and tiny faeries, inspired by the world outside, the garden in my yard, and a love for legends, fairytales, myth, and tales of adventure. Casein is my preferred medium and I find the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks provide the ideal support (Casein becomes brittle when dry and a stiff support is important). I also enjoy sketching in pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache and find the Delta and Beta series handles all my explorations with aplomb. I recently filled a Delta series sketchbook which had proved a preferred tool when exploring the world around me or imagining the design of the characters with which I populate the Garden Clan world (though I have also enjoyed drawing with pencil in my Alpha Series and working with ink and wash on the smoother surface of the Zeta Series).

When creating my illustrations, I usually begin with a colored pencil sketch (brown), over which I paint a single hue value wash, using Raw Umber casein. Once dry, I glaze on the color, building up the opacity. Often, I varnish the finished illustration. This image of a couple of the rabbit children from my Garden Clan stories was painted on the first page of a Beta series sketchbook in which I have just started working.

MEDIA: Colored pencil, Casein
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Chuck Grieb is an animation artist, illustrator, and animation professor of animation at Cal State Fullerton who lives in Southern California. Chuck loves exploring various media, traditional and digital; finding particular satisfaction in creating illustrative work using watercolor, casein, gouache, and ink.
Website: http://chuckgrieb.com/
Tumblr: https://chuckimation.tumblr.com
Instagram: @chuck_grieb
Email: chuck@chuckgrieb.com
Blog: http://chuckgriebstoryboards.blogspot.com/
Vimeo Page: https://vimeo.com/chuckgrieb

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wolves in Plain Sight

Artist: Vin Ganapathy, United States
Artist Statement: I used a red ink induced water brush and to create a background. When it dried, I drew over it with white ink, Japanese Brush pens and gouache to create the image. The piece was my reaction to society’s willingness to accept masks and facades, complacency with what’s bad and ultimately dangerous.

MEDIA: Ink and gouache
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Vin is an artist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. He draws on multiple influences that inform his imagery and work. Mixing pen, pencil and paint, Vin’s illustrations are marked by fine, almost-frail line work and sudden bursts of color. Taking slice-of-life inspiration from the city around him, his drawings are strangely kinetic and eerily true-to-life.
vinganapathy.com
Instagram: @vinganapathy

Wolves

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