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.
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!
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
ARTIST: Santi Sallés, Spain
ARTIST STATEMENT: Drawing made with graphite pencil with oil base and painted with watercolors and topped with colored pencils.
MEDIA: Pencil, watercolors, 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.
We’re giving away ten of our new 7½” x 7½” softcover sketchbooks. Winners can choose one sketchbook from the following series in which this new size is offered:
• Alpha Series
• Beta Series
• Zeta Series
• Nova Trio (toned paper – mixed sheets)
TO ENTER CONTEST:
Simply email us with your name to: email@example.com. We will automatically enter you. You will receive an email reply confirming your entry within 48 hours. Entry to this contest closes Thursday June 20, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST.
Winners will be picked at random on Friday, Jun 21, 2019. 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.
You must be over the age of 18 in order to enter; only one entry per person. No purchase required. No geographical restrictions….you can enter this contest from anywhere!
Thank you to co-founders Melanie Reim and Veronica Lawlor for featuring our new Alpha Series square sketchbook at their Life Drawing Symposium. The Symposium took place this past weekend in White Plains, NY. The annual two-day workshop is an immersive experience oriented to training artists in the techniques of drawing people. For more details and contact information please see the Symposium’s website www.lifedrawingsymposium.com
ARTIST: Shari Blaukopf, Canada
ARTIST STATEMENT: Every once in a while, I love to take my tubes of gouache out to play. I find that the process of applying opaque pigments onto toned paper is a great exercise in thinking about colour mixing.
The real challenge in this one was figuring out what to do with the transparent bottles against the dark background. In reality, when I looked at them, the only thing I could really see was the highlights on the glass and the little bits of dried hot sauce on the inside of the bottles. The bottles themselves sort of dissolved in to the background. I tried to solve the problem by painting the transparent part of each bottle slightly lighter than the background grey, and then adding a few darks and lights to each one. The most fun part was painting the brightly-coloured labels on these.
I work very much the same way for this that I do with watercolour, except for the highlights (which in watercolour are the white of the paper): big shapes and mid-tone values first, followed by colour accents, then darks and finally the highlights.
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Beige – Medium Grain
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Shari Blaukopf is a Montreal-based painter, teacher, illustrator and sketch blogger. She is the author of The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color, and you can find her online courses Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink and Watercolor and Sketching the City in Pen, Ink and Watercolor on Bluprint.com.
She spends her winters painting snow scenes and her summers outdoors, giving workshops and sharing her love of urban sketching in watercolour.
ARTIST: John Fishman, United States
ARTIST STATEMENT: I have admired the design of guitars since I began playing them as a teenager, and built a few of my own in high school and college. They are truly practical art, meant to be admired and used. In my mind, Fender Telecasters, such as this 1962 “Fiesta Red” example, epitomize mid-century American design: mass-produced, futuristic, exciting and fun! Telecasters have provided the inspiration for countless innovative musicians whom I admire across so many genres, including country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, folk, jazz, and bluegrass.
In this piece, I tried to capture not only the light, but the details that reveal this guitar’s journey: the dents and dings, the chip marks and scratches that testify to a well-loved, much-used instrument.
I was playing in my 9” x 12” Stillman & Birn Gamma sketchbook, using my Platinum Carbon fountain pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink, and some brand-new-to-me Schmincke Horadam gouache paints, plus a Uni-ball Sign pen for the highlights.
MEDIA: Ink, gouache
SURFACE: Gamma Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Ivory – Medium Grain
ABOUT THE ARTIST: John Fishman uses his sketchbook as a place of meditation to unwind from his sometimes stressful day job as a hospital chaplain. He believes that each piece of art is an act of recreation, not only of the object, but of the artist, and that making art is a form of play, in the best possible way. He tries to post daily to his Instagram account: @justrecreationing.