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Monday, September 25, 2017

Lobstermen Reflections, Crail Harbour – Scotland

Artist: Iain Stewart, United States
Media: Watercolors
Surface: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish
Iain Stewart is a watercolor artist / illustrator and a signature member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies. His work has received numerous awards in international competition and he is a sought after juror and workshop instructor. He is also an architectural illustrator with an international clientele – a business he has run for the last 20 years. Iain maintains a studio in Opelika, Alabama.

Website: http://iainstew.fineartstudioonline.com/
Blog: http://stewartwatercolors.blogspot.com/

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Mixed Media Portrait

Artist: Sebastian Tinajero, United States
Artist Statement: This piece began as a pencil sketch inside my sketchbook during one of my routine visits at my favorite coffee shop where I often go to draw and paint. I usually visualize colors according to the sense of mood I’m feeling while working on a project. For this piece I was feeling hues of pinks, reds, and violets, which is what the entire portrait consists of. After the sketch was done I decided I wanted to develop the drawing further and turn it into a finished, complete portrait. So I outlined it using my India ink brush pen. The tiny crosshatching lines were drawn using Micron ink pens; I used a wash of watercolor for the face and body and then gouache for the hair and background.

One of the techniques I use very often is laying down some values with crosshatching and then utilizing watercolor as almost a glaze over the ink. I find that this helps give values a greater sense of depth. I carry my sketchbooks everywhere I go and this portrait was done in my Zeta Series sketchbook. I love the smoothness of the paper since it allows for nice fine lines and the paper can support quite a great amount of wet media.

MEDIA: Ink, watercolor, gouache
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

Instagram – @sebliminal_artist

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Det Stride Band (see editor’s note for translation)

Artist: Tomas Björnsson, Denmark
Artist Statement: I was asked to do a poster illustration of a band playing crazy lyric folk style music for kids. I thought that an ink and watercolour drawing would fit the three guys and their sound. Traditional media for a traditional sounding band. I chose to do caricatures of the band members and to enhance the whimsy of their personalities.

Every drawing starts in a sketchbook, this one too. The finished drawing was done on a single sheet of drawing paper, which was then transferred to a sheet of Alpha Series paper, because this paper is smooth enough for pen drawings and still accepts watercolours. The lines are drawn with a fine point fountain pen loaded with waterproof ink and watercolours were added. I used coloured pencils to enhance a few of the highlights. The finished drawing was scanned and digitally hand drawn type was added.

MEDIA: Ink, watercolours, coloured pencil
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Tomas Björnsson is a Danish illustrator living in Copenhagen. He works with a broad range of clients, from international publishing houses to local youth clubs, with jobs ranging from book covers and editorials to posters and graphic recordings. He works with pixels or pigments depending on the job.
Blog: “Inking Copenhagen “ http://copenhagenink.blogspot.dk/
Website: www.tomasbjornsson.dk

EDITOR’S NOTE:
The title “Det Stride Band” (literally The Strid Band) refers to Jakob Martin Strid, a Danish satirist, cartoonist and children’s book writer.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Delta Series

DELTA SERIES
Extra Heavyweight: 270 gsm
Shade: Ivory
Surface: Cold Press Finish
Media: Dry & wet media, watercolor, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/delta

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Gamma Series

GAMMA SERIES
Heavyweight: 150 gsm
Shade: Ivory
Surface: Medium Grain Finish
Media: Dry media, light wash, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/gamma 

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beta Series

BETA SERIES
Extra Heavyweight: 270 gsm
Shade: White
Surface: Cold Press Finish
Media: Dry & wet media, watercolor, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/beta 

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

From Urban Sketchers Symposium 2017

Chicago Theater Marquis
By Urban Sketchers founder, Gabi Campanario
The landmark Chicago Theater on State Street, built in 1921.

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

Thank you to the Urban Sketchers organization for inviting Stillman & Birn to be a sponsor of this year’s symposium. Thank you, especially, to members of the Urban Sketchers’ Chicago Chapter for hosting this event and for treating us and the other exhibiting sponsors so well. Special mention of appreciation to Alex Zonis, Mary Ernst, Joel Berman, Barbara Weeks, Joel Winstead, and Andrew Banks.

#uskchicago2017

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Update on Nova Series Product Launch

Our upcoming Nova Series sketchbooks are made with toned paper that will support mixed media artwork. There are three shades: beige, grey and black; the sketchbooks will be offered in softcover and wirebound formats. Production is proceeding on schedule and we expect to make our first shipments the week of July 31. From there, it will take two to three weeks for the sketchbooks to flow through our distribution channels and reach store shelves in North America.

Nova Series toned paper sketchbooks are great for mixed media artwork because the paper is made with both internal and surface sizing. Benefits of double sizing:
1. Exceptional wet strength.
2. Keeps pigment from penetrating deep into the paper, forcing it to remain high on the surface. As a result, pigment glows on this paper.
3. Retards penetration of wet media (bleed through). Therefore, both sides of sketchbook sheet can be used.
4. Protects surface from abrasive effects of multiple erasures.
5. Strengthens surface to allow for wide range of inking techniques without feathering.
6. Allows for blending and layering with colored pencils and pastels.

Nova Series 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.

Participants at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago this week will be the first to see this new range. Full disclosure: Stillman & Birn is a sponsor.

For advance product information: http://bit.ly/2eGi17J

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Zeta Series Sketchbook Tour

Thank you to Mark Fraley for posting this great video sketchbook tour of his recently completed Zeta sketchbook. https://youtu.be/W9J4Ti3_aSk  Shown here, “Bighorn Sheep”

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Mark Fraley is a collage and portrait artist based in Broomfield, Colorado. He creates images that inspire hope and reveal a sense of calm. His inspiration comes from three places – his work as an early childhood special education teacher, his family life with his wife and three children, and his faith. Mark is the creator of a sketchbook story, “The Creation of Calm” published by Cladach Publishing and available on Amazon.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nova Series – Coming August, 2017

Toned paper sketchbooks for mixed media artwork.
Three shades: beige, grey, black
Bindings: Softcover & wirebound
Supports multiple erasures without pilling; holds ink line without feathering
Suitable for a wide range of dry and wet media, including: colored pencil, ink, gel pens, paint markers, watercolors, water-soluble graphite, gouache, charcoal, etc.
Exceptional wet strength and surface luminescence…pigment glows on these papers!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Poble Espanyol

Artist: Brenda Swenson, United States
Artist Statement: Great memories from my workshop in Spain. The Poble Espanyol (literally, Spanish town) is an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona. Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the museum consists of 117 full-scale buildings, which recreate an Iberian village. It also contains a theater, restaurants, artisan workshops and a museum of contemporary art.

MEDIA: Ink and Watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Color Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, “Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook” (Award of Excellence Finalist) and “Steps to Success in Watercolor”. Her paintings and sketches have been featured in Splash 11, 12 & 14, Artistic Touch 4, Creative Freedom, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Wheels of Time, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications. Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, and SDWS. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She is in demand to demonstrate and teach her painting techniques to groups nationwide and abroad.
Instagram: @brenda_swenson
Website: www.swensonart.net
Blog: brendaswenson.blogspot.com

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wat Po Temple, Bangkok

Artist: Patrick Ng, Singapore
Artist Statement: This piece was done during a Southeast Asia regional Sketchwalk held in Bangkok. The atmosphere was somber because it was still during the first 100-days mourning period of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who had then recently passed on. I was blown away by the grandness of the whole palace ground, and to the west of the grand palace, was this beautiful, majestic imperial temple, Wat Po. It really signifies how central the Buddhist faith is to the Thais, and how the Thai people revere their beloved king.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Patrick Ng is an ink and watercolor artist who lives in Singapore. He is an active member, and part of the Admin Core Team of Urban Sketchers Singapore.
Instagram: @synchopat (Most of his works are on his Instagram and Facebook account.)

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nova Series – Coming Soon

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Alpha Series

ALPHA SERIES
Weight: 150 gsm
Shade: White
Surface: Medium Grain Finish
Media: Dry media, light wash, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/

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Monday, May 22, 2017

In Turner’s Wake

Artist: Liliya Rodnikova, Russia
Artist Statement: I like trying different styles and themes in watercolor and use my sketchbook to test the waters. This time I remembered that best way to learn something in painting is copy great artist of the past. And I made my own version of one of the works of J.M.W. Turner. And it was an awesome experience to be in touch with all this amazing colors and shapes. It was the first try and I’ll continue with it in future.

MEDIA: Watercolor
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Liliya Rodnikova is 27 year old photographer and artist. She commits all her free time to learn something new in watercolor or pastel and is a passionate lover of good art supplies.
Always open for new projects and collaborations.
Email: rodnikova@yandex.ru
Instagram: @lileinaya

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Son at Twelve

Artist: Leach Lichingheng, Singapore
Artist Statement: I was sketching my son as he sat at my studio table as he was studying for his exams. I was focused on getting a looseness into my lines and adding splashes of colors. But once I was finished, the thing that struck me most was that I had drawn a young man. Immediately and all at once I felt surprised, sentimental, proud. What started out as a casual sketch, that I might well have chuckled at, is now something of deep meaning to me.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Leach is a freelance Artist, illustrator and Art educator from Singapore. She is known for her wide breadth of style, fluid and colorful watercolours, as well as dark and intricate pen & ink work.
Blog: lichingheng.wordpress.com
Instagram: @lichingheng

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Praha – Ovocný trh (Prague – Ovocný Square)

Artist: Anna Vecherskaia, Czech Republic
Ovocný Square is a small narrow plaza in central Prague. The square has been a home to a market since the early 13th century and was a center of the fruit and vegetable trade until the early 20th century. Anna’s watercolor depicts the square as the sun is setting and as the walking pedestrians cast long shadows on the cobblestone street.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Anna Vecherskaia is a watercolor artist, illustrator and web designer based in Prague in the Czech Republic. She is a teacher of painting and collaborates with the British design firm, Oxford Designers and Illustrators Ltd (ODI). Anna’s artwork can be seen at her Behance photostream: https://www.behance.net/annavecher682a and on Instagram: @annavecherskaia

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Illuminated Manuscript

Artist: Leslie Fehling, United States
Artist Statement: I made a decision several months ago to give up the commission side of my art business. As my calendar had filled with teaching engagements and trips to far-flung places, it became more and more difficult to find time to squeeze in the labor-intensive custom artwork. But when my friend Mary approached me a few months ago about doing a very special piece for her, I couldn’t say no.
Mary’s cousin, Rita, had been her best friend since childhood. They were like sisters, always there for each other. Rita’s husband, Tim, had recently passed away, and Mary, wanting to help her friend in some way, had the idea for a very special sort of memorial. It would be a tribute in the form of a traditional illuminated manuscript, but with a modern twist. Not only would it include a formal reading from his funeral, one which had great meaning to the family, but it would also capture the essence of who he was as a man…
—–
This is the link to Leslie’s blog post in which she describes the step-by-step process she used to create this complex work of art: http://www.lesliefehling.com/2017/05/step-by-step-watercolor-modern.html

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Leslie Fehling is an American artist specializing in watercolors. She does freelance work and teaches classes across the US and in Europe. Her workshops include instruction in drawing, watercolor techniques, hand lettering, page design, and travel sketching. She and her husband live in a Victorian farmhouse perched on a windy hilltop, surrounded by the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania.
Website: http://www.lesliefehling.com/

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Iglesia del Divino Salvador, Sevilla

ARTIST: Alfonso Garcia Garcia, Spain
The baroque Salvador Church is the second largest church of Seville after its Cathedral. It was built on the site of the city’s main mosque and some of its Moorish elements are still to be found in the church’s design.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Gamma Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Ivory – Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Alfonso Garcia Garcia is a Spanish architect and urban sketcher based in Seville.
Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79614328@N07/
Instagram: @alfonsosketches

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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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