Category Archives: ink and watercolor


I learned of a call for entries for an art show which will be on display from October 26th through November 17th, 2017 at the Coburn Art Gallery at Ashland University. The show is called Mail Art. It consists of 4″ x 6″ cards made to fit the theme “Strength in Connection-Thy Neighbor”.  My entry, “Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and White” using 185lb watercolor paper, a Zig memory system writer, inktense pencils, and a clever brush that has water in the handle.Entries must be mailed to the show without an enclosing envelope. It will be interesting to see if my watercolor entry arrives undamaged.




My latest project was assigned to me rather than chosen by me: an ink drawing of a very boxy building. I was supposed to make it look inviting, and I had a short deadline. The creation process instigated a lively dialogue within my head and allowed opportunity for me to practice all the stress reduction techniques that I know. Here is what I learned:
(1) Neither procrastination nor complaining help.
(2) Having good source material does help. I was able to get additional reference photos by asking and e-mail.
(3) Reminding myself how completion of the project benefits others does help. Completion helps the person who assigned the project and a charity.
(4) Approaching the assignment as a learning experience helps. I reviewed all that I knew about linear perspective and discovered the book “Painting Portraits of Homes in Pen,Ink & Watercolor” by Helen J. Haberstroh.
(5) Having the right tool when you need it would have helped. I found my fine line “Won’t Bleed through Paper” Sharpie when I was 98% through with the drawing. Having a good drafting table set up, a less absorbent drawing surface, and a better variety of thin to thick line drawing tools would have helped, but time constraints precluded these. This entire project could have been done on the computer with CS5 programs, but money and time would be needed for that to happen.
In summary, with almost any project one can see ways to make it better, but finished is better than perfect.

Beacon House drawing

Street Fair


My community has been hosting a delightful annual five-day street fair for over one hundred years. I went to this event this morning and spent a couple hours sketching some livestock with a fine line permanent black marker on watercolor paper. I use a few light watercolor washes to finish these small works. I did three, but my favorite of this session is “Fair Pigs”. I thought about adding a few more ink lines, but I try to avoid fiddling too much with drawings from life as it can kill the spontaneous feel.

"Fair Pigs"