Saturday, January 4, 2020

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

ARTIST: Santi Sallés, Spain

ARTIST STATEMENT: Drawing made with graphite pencil with oil base and painted with watercolors and topped with colored pencils. Drawn in soft cover notebook Stillman & Birn Beta series. 270 GSM, size 20.3×25.4 cm.

MEDIA: Oil-based pencils, watercolor, colored pencils
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Santi Sallés is an urban artist, illustrator and graphic designer. He lives in Barcelona and works for advertising agencies, companies, magazines and newspapers. He has published several drawing books and has participated in different international travel notebook festivals. He usually teaches urban drawing workshops and conferences.

Instagram: @santisalles

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A House with a Story to Tell

ARTIST: Andrew Banks, United States

ARTIST STATEMENT: This urban sketch was drawn from my car while parked on the side of the road in the Uptown neighborhood on Chicago’s north side. I enjoy exploring my surrounding neighborhoods for interesting scenes and architecture to sketch. I usually gravitate towards sketching larger, more well-known buildings and scenes, however on this particular day I wanted to focus on a more common, and typical scene for this area of town.

I was recently inspired to pare down my travel sketch kit so all I had with me was a ballpoint pen and this 3”x5” Epsilon Series sketchbook. A limited sketch kit allows me to focus more on the subject rather than spending tons of time deciding which combination of media to use.

This particular house and scene stood out to me because of the way the tree branches appear to hang over the house and serve as a framing device and compositional element on this sketchbook spread. The house was well taken care of, however it was also evidently older. It seemed like it had a story to tell. I not only wanted this sketch to focus on the house, but also to give a peak into its context; a tree lined street full of other vernacular architecture. The dark green color of the house provided a nice opportunity to incorporate darker values which contrasted with the bright sky and bare trees in the background. The ballpoint pen is a versatile medium, which allows for a range of values depending on the level of pressure you draw with and works perfectly on the smooth Epsilon paper.

I am a member of the Urban Sketchers Chicago Chapter. Minutes after posting this sketch to our Facebook group, a friend and fellow sketcher within the group saw my sketch and messaged me because he recognized the house and confirmed its exact address. The house happened to be owned by his family members. It turns out he had incredible childhood memories at the house and it brought him joy to see it in my sketch.

The house and my friend had many stories to tell. I am glad it caught my eye and that I decided to sketch it.

MEDIA: Ballpoint pen
SURFACE: Epsilon Series – Heavyweight – 150gsm – White – Smooth Surface

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Andrew Banks is a Chicago based artist, illustrator and owner of Andrew Banks Illustration. Andrew has a Master of Architecture degree and works primarily in watercolor, ink and graphite. He specializes in illustrating architectural subjects and makes use of a variety of techniques from stippling and cross-hatching in ink to precise wash rendering and glazing methods in watercolor. He has created commercial art and illustrations for a client base including businesses, realtors, universities, and non-profit organizations. Other clients include individuals seeking to commission original art such as home portraits or purchasing one of his Chicago themed prints. When Andrew isn’t drawing or painting in his studio, he enjoys sketching the city on location in his sketchbooks, riding his bike along Lake Michigan and spending time with his wife, son and chocolate lab.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Town Square – Vence, France

ARTIST: Iain Stewart, United States

ARTIST STATEMENT: I enjoyed this one done in Vence. Walking with my friend Adrienne in town, we noticed another group painting and working in their sketchbooks. We just sat down amongst them and began to work. With so much going on in the buildings, I decided to keep the people and shadows as more of a graphic. Punchy color here and there too. As the other group realized we were not in competition or weirdos, a couple of conversations sprung up and while paint dried the other instructor and I had a nice chat about teaching abroad et al. Good times.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Iain Stewart is an award winning watercolor artist and a signature member of the American and National Watercolor Societies among other state and international entities. He has also recently been inducted into the Whiskey Painters of America. His work has received numerous awards in international competition and hangs in many corporate and private collections. Most recently his watercolor “Oh to be back in the Land of Coca~Cola” won the Marge Saroka Memorial award at the 152nd American Watercolor Exhibition. Iain is a sought after watercolor instructor and juror and has been published in numerous books and periodicals. He also has a 3 DVD set and is currently working on his first book which will be published in 2020. Iain maintains a studio in Opelika, Alabama, and in addition to gallery work, is an Architectural Illustrator with an international clientele and teaches watercolor and design drawing at Auburn University.

Instagram- @iainstew7
Facebook- Iain Stewart Watercolors
Twitter- @iainstew71

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sumatran Tiger

ARTIST: Alyssa Johnson, Australia
ARTIST STATEMENT: Animals of all kinds have always been a love of mine, but nothing compares to the majesty of the big cats. My training runs more towards animation and sculpture, but sketching was my first love. I spent a couple of hours putting the Sumatran Tiger sketch together one morning to test out my new Stillman & Birn Nova grey sketchbook. I find mid-toned paper is more satisfying to work with, allowing you to pick up both highlights and shadows more actively than with black or white surfaces. Alcohol based inks are less damaging to paper than water-based, so layering and blending is a breeze. I use the 6×8 size for easier transport.

MEDIA: Copic markers, fine liners, Posca paint markers
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Grey – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Alyssa Johnson is an Australian artist and animator specializing in figurine sculpting and 2D animation. She graduated from the Australian National University’s School of Art in 2013 and then worked on a 2D animated television show as a story artist before returning to Canberra. In her free time, she likes to make figurines of characters, creatures and people and dabble in digital art and drawing. Scientific illustration is another interest using mixed media including ink and gouache. Her social media platform of choice is Instagram (@derrison), but can be found on twitter as well under the same handle.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Portrait of Kennedy McMann

ARTIST: Justin Maas, Canada
MEDIA: Pencil, white charcoal
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Beige – Medium Grain Finish

ARTIST STATEMENT: As a portrait artist, I do a lot of different types of work – from very loose sketches, to my finished commissioned pieces. This drawing of Kennedy falls somewhere in the middle – about an hour and a half sketch, done in my hotel room in Vancouver. I drew it in my Stillman and Birn Nova beige sketchbook, which I love for these types of pieces as they accept light and dark media equally well. This one was done with graphite (mostly mechanical pencils) and white charcoal (Generals) in my 9 x 12 book.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Justin Maas is a portrait and commercial artist living in British Columbia, Canada with his wife and two daughters. Justin works primarily in dry media (graphite, charcoal and pastel) and is known around the globe for his long-standing series of celebrity portraits. Justin’s work may be found on Instagram and Youtube ( and Facebook (Justin Maas Artist) or look for his book at your local bookstore, “Drawing Realistic Pencil Portraits Step by Step” published by Penguin Random House.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Roofs of Kaluga

ARTIST: Alex Gimein, Russia
MEDIA: Fountain pen, ink, acrylic, paint markers
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Beige – Medium Grain Finish

ARTIST STATEMENT: This picture was drawn in the beautiful old Russian city of Kaluga that I visited this summer with a group of sketchers. I was always fascinated by the roof lines and I was absolutely amazed by this view with various roof shapes, materials, and church domes in the background. All of the line work was made on location with a fountain pen and permanent ink, and colored later with Molotow One4all acrylic markers and Uni POSCA paint markers. I have been using Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbooks for more than a year and at the moment this is my favorite surface; colors of paint markers shine on this paper and it can hold a lot of acrylic ink layers. This particular picture was drawn on a Nova Trio sketchbook, which is perfect for traveling, thanks to its three paper colors.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Alex Gimein is an amateur artist and urban sketcher from Moscow, Russia. His favorite theme is the streets of old Moscow. He is inspired by the urban environment with all its attributes – courtyards, alleys, brick walls, drain pipes, & air ducts. His favorite techniques are pen & ink and mixed media. He has participated in several exhibitions and teaches workshops on urban sketching.

Instagram: @omally13art

Friday, October 25, 2019

Hands on Creativity – Plaza Art Nashville – 10/26 & 10/27

Calling all artists, art makers, craftsman and kids! Stillman & Birn is thrilled to partner with Plaza Art Nashville for their 9th annual Hands on Creativity event on October 26th & 27th. Join us for this two day creative festival and preview all the latest products from Stillman & Birn. Visit the event on their page for details.

Hands On Creativity – Event Information Flyer:


Friday, October 11, 2019

Clairefontaine Rhodia Acquires Stillman & Birn

Sillman & Birn’s management team announces the acquisition of our company by Clairefontaine Rhodia. We are pleased that our unique mixed media sketchbook system will be nurtured in the future by this renowned and highly respected French paper company. Our connection to the Clairfontaine organization is not new: Stillman & Birn’s paper has always been manufactured by Clairefontaine’s, Schut Paper division. So there will be absolutely no change in our sketchbooks’ paper or in our sketchbook bindings. We thank our customers for your past support and look forward to continue building the Stillman & Birn brand as we become part of the Clairefontaine Rhodia family of products.




Exaclair is pleased to announce that Clairefontaine Rhodia, a subsidiary of the French corporate group Exacompta Clairefontaine SA, has acquired Stillman & Birn LLC, a U.S. brand of sketchbooks.
The Stillman & Birn brand has been a key player in the fine arts materials industry in the U.S. for
decades. Its founder was an esteemed Viennese bookbinder and craftsman, Philip Birn (1911 – 2004),
who pioneered the concept of the black hardbound sketchbook from his small plant on Lafayette
Street, Manhattan in 1958.

The Stillman & Birn collection offers artists a unique system of premium sketchbooks designed to
support mixed media, allowing them to choose the paper weight, shade and surface that is best suited
for their media and techniques. The sketchbooks are made with robust, high-performance Schut paper
and are bound in the U.S.

In 1998, Clairefontaine Rhodia acquired Schut Papier, B.V. as a subsidiary of Exacompta
Clairefontaine. The Schut mill has been manufacturing fine paper in the Netherlands since 1618.
Centuries after serving as Rembrandt’s supplier, the mill now works with Clairefontaine to continue to be at the forefront of papermaking, preserving the quality and care that has made them a favorite
among artists and students for almost half a millennium.

Likewise, Stillman & Birn’s corporate culture embraces a tradition of uncompromising quality. It’s a
natural fit for Clairefontaine to add Stillman & Birn to its fine art lines. This acquisition will support a dynamic product development program and a synergy of growth between the three fine art brands, functionally and geographically.

Clairefontaine Rhodia has entrusted Exaclair, Inc., the group’s U.S. distributor since 1984, with the
sales and logistics integration of Stillman & Birn’s operations in North America.



Saturday, October 5, 2019

Café Goodluck

ARTIST: Niloufer Wadia, India
ARTIST STATEMENT: This sketch was done on location at the very busy Fergusson College Road, Pune. Café Goodluck has been situated at that crossing since 1935, an iconic eatery open 7am through 11.30pm, serving no frills Indian tea, snacks and meals, and always overfull. As a group, the Urban Sketchers Pune chapter, we’ve sketched in front of it often, but this was my first time on toned paper.

I was using the Stillman & Birn lovely Nova Trio 7.5 x 7.5 inch sketchbook, experimenting because I’ve almost never used toned paper. I began drawing with a Sailor Fude pen with 55 degree angled nib, then added watercolor, white gouache, went to town with a white Uniball pen, Posca pens and some more details in black pen. Basically, for someone who works mostly on a white background, rearranging one’s brain to see the paper as a middle tone rather than a highlight was an invigorating challenge.

MEDIA: Ink, watercolor, gouache, acrylic
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Gray – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Niloufer Wadia is from Pune, India. She had worked in advertising for 20 years before quitting to follow her first love, illustration – mostly for children’s books, and fine art. Urban Sketching is another huge passion. She works in watercolor, acrylics, and digitally. Her work is visible at @niloufer.sketches & @niloufer.artist


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Garden of the Gods in July

ARTIST: Josue Salazar, United States

ARTIST STATEMENT: This painting is of the unique rock formation found in the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado. It was made with gouache paint, and I wanted to capture the brightness of the day so I did not hold back on using my brightest greens for the foreground of the picture. I used multiple layers of gouache paint in order to capture the textures of the rocks. Overall, this was a very fulfilling painting and I’m quite happy with it.

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Josue Salazar is an educator and artist based in Northern California. Inspired by his past experiences and the world around him, he endeavors to communicate the way he understands creation and the different forces that control it. He uses a variety of mediums that allow him to expand the way he creates his art. You can follow his art on Instagram @josue.with.context as well as his website


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cordoba Av. and 25 de Mayo Street Crossing

ARTIST: Fede Tessa, Argentina
ARTIST STATEMENT: Sketched on location. For this particular sketch, I drew it on Saturday because on weekdays the area is too crowded! I chose my Alpha Series hardbound A4 sketchbook and drew across the two pages, so the sketch is an A3 size. I started drawing the Splendor Hotel (classical building on the right), first tracing the basic shapes with a 0.3 mechanical pencil and continued with 0.5 and 0.7 adding more and more details. Then I sketched the rest of the environment, adding a focus with the vanishing point on the street, as opposed to the almost facade-like drawing of the Hotel. Later, from reference photos, I completed the sketch with watercolors, some strokes with color pencils, and white gel pen.

MEDIA: Watercolor, Pencil, Ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series — Heavyweight — 150 gsm — White — Medium Grain Surface

ABOUT THE ARTIST: I’m an architect born and living in Buenos Aires. I’ve been drawing since I can remember. During my last university year, I started drawing with computers and quickly it became my main tool. Later on, around 2013, I started to feel the need to do something by hand. Searching the web, I discovered urban sketching groups and since then, I have made it an almost daily practice.

All my sketches are hand drawn on location and I use various media such as fine liners, mechanical pencils, fountain pens, and watercolors. Now, I’m focused on capturing urban scenes in my wonderful city. My preferred subjects are old or classical buildings, old and rusted cars, trucks and machinery.

Most of my sketches are drawn in sketchbooks. I always have a sketchbook in my backpack, and when I have any spare time, I sketch. The most relevant thing I have learned is to focus on the process, not the end result. Sketching on location, concentrating on the subject, enjoying being outdoors while sketching: it’s really a wonderful moment!




Friday, September 13, 2019

Stillman & Birn Delta Series

If your next source of inspiration needs a little extra warmth, then look no further than the Stillman & Birn Delta Series! This robust, ivory-toned paper allows you to use heavy washes of your favorite watercolors, gouache, acrylics, inks, and more, all while giving your art a warm glow! This paper series weighs in at 270 gsm, perfect for heavy washes, and our double-sizing allows you to paint on both sides of the page, making every inch of this paper usable for your next flash of inspiration. Available in a variety of sketchbook bindings and sizes, as well as 22 x 30 inch sheets, the Stillman & Birn Delta Series is a must have item for every urban sketcher capturing a sunset or portrait artist needing to add a glow to their next model.

Visit our website to learn more:


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Das Klinger-Haus

ARTIST: Max Richter @sketchermax, Germany

ARTIST STATEMENT:The Klinger House in Leipzig, Germany, belonged to the family of the Artist Max Klinger (1857-1920), and was built where his birth home used to stand. The man with walking stick and top hat and his wife where probably the last guests of a big festival in Leipzig, strolling through the city’s centre but they reminded me how people would have looked like back in the time when Max Klinger was born here, so I included them.

MEDIA: Watercolor, Fountain Pen
SURFACE: Alpha Series — Heavyweight — 150 gsm — White — Medium Grain Surface

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Max Richter is an artist living in Leipzig, Germany. He loves to draw on location from observation mainly in pen, ink and watercolour. Max says, “Drawing on location is my way of exploring places, stories and people!“ He also explores printmaking and other media while also works as an artist’s counselor, believing “What fills the heart, creates the hand.“


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Stillman & Birn Hardcover Sketchbooks

Stillman & Birn Hardcover sketchbooks are classic in design and extraordinarily robust in their construction. They have tough, extra heavyweight covers on the outside and our renowned mixed media art papers on the inside. Choose from any of our original six paper series (Alpha through Zeta) with for a sketchbook that will not only last through your next plein air outing, but will last a lifetime as an art piece in your studio! With a flexible spine that lays down flat when open, you can maximize your canvas by creating across the pages or treating the pages as separate windows for your artwork. Available in a variety of sizes, Stillman & Birn hardbound sketchbooks are made to make every art adventure memorable, in a package that will last a lifetime.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Beautiful Hollyhocks

Artist: Regina Sielk, Germany
Artist Statement: This summer, gorgeous hollyhocks were almost everywhere and I wanted to capture the beauty. Thewarmth of the Stillman & Birn Nova beige paper makes the watercolors and coloured pencils contrast so intensively, perfect for bright hollyhocks.

MEDIA: Watercolors, Colored Pencils, Acrylic
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Beige – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Regina Sielk is an amateur artist living with her family near Hamburg, Germany. Sketchbooks give her the freedom to draw and paint almost everywhere and anytime, plein air and at home. Regina’s favourite art supplies are watercolors, coloured pencils and fountain pens. She also creates watercolor paintings.

Facebook: Regina Sielk
Instagram: reginasielk


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Windmill of Damme

ARTIST: Brenda Swenson, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: Being a painter is more than mastery of techniques. It’s the desire to express how I feel about my world and my response to it. To put simply…to communicate. My tools are that of a painter: brush, paint, paper and ink. I sketch and paint outdoors constantly. Working en plein air has taught me to be observant to the effects of light and atmosphere. I take this knowledge with me into the studio. Being an artist is an endless journey…always struggling to achieve one’s best work. The struggle keeps my work honest and direct.

The Windmill of Damme was created during my visit to Belgium, in June. I was there to teach two workshops and stayed in the Brugge region. The day I saw the windmill for the first time my heart leaped! Everything was perfect (this rarely happens in plein air). The day was bright and sunny but not too hot. I had a cool breeze on my back and the windmill blades were rotating against the blue sky and large billowing clouds. I’m always on the look-out for interesting shadows. Imagine my delight when I saw the blade of the windmill wrapping the tower. It begged to be painted!

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook
(Finalist, Award of Excellence) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. Her artwork has been featured in Splash (11,12,14,19 & 20), An Illustrated Journey, Creative Freedom, Complete Guide to Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications. She has two instructional DVD’s on painting and sketching techniques. 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 judge shows, demonstrate, and teach workshops to groups nationwide and abroad.

Below you’ll find my links to social media……


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Okunoin Cemetery, Koyasan, Japan

ARTIST: Doug Russell, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: About twelve days into a recent month-long trip in Japan, I sat down to sketch two tombstones in the Okunoin Cemetery on Mount Koya. The nearly two kilometer long cemetery is home to the graves of over 200,000 Buddhist monks – and just a short distance from the Buddhist monastery I stayed at for a night. I drew this sketch in about an hour during my long and winding hike through this magical environment. I initially sketched the basic composition in graphite and then moved into the ink work, accenting the drawing with colored pencil to finish.

For me, drawing on location is a way to be a witness of a place, a fleeting moment, a specific space in time. In that moment I am fully focused and present. It is truly one of the joys of travel and of drawing. In this instance in the mossy and shady cemetery I can still remember the swarm of curiously non-aggressive gnats and mosquitoes surrounding me the entire time, the Buddhist monks passing by silently on the path below, and the birds flying through the towering thousand-year-old cedar trees.

Overall the trip to Japan was a great experience and very rewarding in terms of drawing on site. I happily completed twenty-six drawings while traveling through Nagasaki, Kurokawa Onsen, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Osaka, Koyasan, Takayama, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shibu Onsen, and Tokyo. It was a great way to recharge my creative energies – and start my summer.

MEDIA: Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Beige – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Doug Russell is a visual artist and urban sketcher who lives and works in Laramie, Wyoming. Nearly every year he travels and draws for a month. Over the past several years his trips have included Japan, Peru, Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey, and Italy. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Missoula Art Museum, the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in Bozeman, MT, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work is in several permanent collections, including The Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. His work was recently included a group drawing show at the William Havu Gallery in Denver, Colorado – and in a large solo exhibition at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming. He currently holds the position of Professor of Art at the University of Wyoming where he is coordinator of the drawing program.

Instagram: @dougrussellart


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tree Trunks

ARTIST: Don Gore, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: I essentially always carry one or more sketchbooks on all of my daily travels. We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, NC and a simple view of the sun coming through the leaves of the trees caught my eye. The layers of the trees and the leaves as they recessed into the landscape created the scene I wanted to capture. I began by drawing the shapes between the foreground trees and let them create an almost abstract rhythm of negative space. Spotting in a few leaves to give the impression of what were literally thousands of small objects blowing in the wind. It was a pretty quick initial sketch to capture the scene. I added the simple bits of watercolor to fill in the spaces between the “tree trunks” and you see the result. I love the Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbooks for this type of sketch because they take the pen and ink so well and I don’t have to worry about adding the watercolor over the top. They can take all of the water and pigment that I want to apply. This sort of sketch is helpful for me to remember that simpler is often better. I have a tendency to get hung up on details and waste a lot of time on things that don’t really matter in telling the story or capturing the essence of what I am recording. I’m happy with the result I managed to achieve with this sketch.

MEDIA: Pen, ink and watercolor.
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: I’ve enjoyed drawing since I was a young boy. It was never really anything more though than what any kid might draw or imagine. A few years ago, I bought the book “An Illustrated Life” by Danny Gregory. I read it cover to cover that same day. I was hooked by the notion of incorporating drawing into everyday life. There is great freedom in creating without limits or guidelines and there is not a right or wrong to it. My only regret is that it took me until I was nearly 50 years old to make the discovery. Through the process of creating my drawings, it makes me take the time to really stop, see, smell and feel the places I visit. I love sharing what I do and have met so many great people who stop to see and ask what I’m doing. I am not a professional artist. I simply do what I do because it makes me happy.

INSTAGRAM: @dongore50

Saturday, July 6, 2019

She Wore Red

ARTIST: Kathryn S. Brashears, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: I’ve loved to draw people for as long as I can remember. I’ve taken various workshops with notable portrait artists in recent years, usually doing charcoal sketches and oil paintings. As of late I have been working in watercolor for the portability, clean up ease and quick project completion. To me, it’s almost like playing. For this piece, I took photos of the model on my phone to determine composition (and for later reference, if needed). A light pencil sketch was done to layout the figure, followed by a thin Micron pen with brown ink to establish the actual drawing lines. All pencil lines were removed with a kneaded eraser and layers of watercolor made the thin brown drawing almost disappear. I followed up with darker details and applied white gouache for highlights.

MEDIA: Ink, watercolor and gouache
SURFACE: Alpha Series — Heavyweight — 150 gsm — White — Medium Grain Surface

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kathryn Brashears is an artist in Nashville, TN. After giving up her day job as a licensed optician, she studied Visual Communications at the Art Institute of Atlanta and has been an artist/graphic designer ever since. She has two grown children and a pesky Jack Russell terrier. She is also the grandmother of an active three year old and looks forward to painting more when preschool begins THIS YEAR!


Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Cactus

ARTIST: Jessica Seacrest, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: I live in Southern Arizona. Lots of amazing cacti. This sketch is of a Beavertail Prickly Pear. Occasionally I’ll snap pics when I’m out walking. I like painting from photos because I don’t feel rushed, plus the temps here get high. What appealed to me the most about this image were the shapes, and the contrast between the green and the pale yellow glochids on the newly forming pads. The glochids almost seemed to glow. They look fuzzy and cute but will getcha! I love how the Nova Series beige paper lent a moody quality and made the M. Graham Bismuth Yellow pop. Other favorite pigments used were Cascade Green, Undersea Green and Moonglow by Daniel Smith. My process is more of an intuitive one where I let the image and colors happen, rather than get it exact. I like to let the colors speak. This weight of paper, also used in the Alpha and Gamma Series, is my favorite.

MEDIA: Watercolor and pencil
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm — Beige — Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jessica uses art and creativity to explore life, intuition and spirituality. She is an enthusiast of creative process in all its expressions, loves making things with her hands, and currently in a love affair with the magical medium of watercolor. She believes in the transformative power of a good old-fashioned hobby and has worked with found art sculpture, metal, clay, fiber and beads. You can find her on Instagram @jessicaseacrest