The shapes created by the spaces between things

watercolor painting of poppies in sunlight
Poppies in sunlight (watercolor)

One of the reasons I enjoy poetry is because it comprises all of my favorite ways of making. It’s creating images with words, yes; a kind of storytelling. But it’s about so much more than just the correct or precise words —more than denotation or connotation— it’s also about design.

It’s about how the words interact with the space around them; make a composition, make aural and visual rhythms; remainders as important as omissions.

As in any kind of composition, the negative space is crucial.

watercolor painting: fraternal twins
Fraternal twins (watercolor)

The flapper!

Here is a glimpse at number three in the ongoing series of illustrations for a book. Finger waves on a flapper.

Observations in ink

Sketchbook anthropology during a birthday gathering in a crowded bar.

Silenced is not Equal: #BlackLivesMatter

Silenced Is Not Equal: #BlackLivesMatter
ere is the latest in my “Don’t See Don’t Speak” (or the Red Hand of Shut It) series— something more topical in response to the tragic and avoidable events of last week. Please feel free to share this widely and repost (as is).

Below are some progress scans of the pencilling. One again, I forgot to do process while painting.

Layers of pencil beginning with HB and working up to 2B then 4B (softer, darker shades from the medium grey HB) using woodless pencils and workable fixative in between to avoid smudges and to compound the layers. Same basic technique with the watercolor.

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New sketchbook

There were many more people, but everyone kept moving so this was all I managed to catch.

A couple of drawings from the new Moleskine. My last book took three months to fill, which is rather long. I’d like to put in more consistent drawing hours this time.

This is a study from a cabinet card portrait; rather odd, without drawing the whole face, but it’s just a study after all.

Aaaaaand, I’m putting this photo here to show you how a print of the first in my Red Hand series looks in a frame (super!), and to serve as a shameless plug to remind you that you can buy both original artworks and prints at my Etsy shop.

(This is a 5″ x 7″ print, which was just a test. There are 8″ x 10″ prints at the shop, a more satisfying scale, and more negative space, which is nice.)

Red Hand No.3

Red Hand No.3
The third in a new series. Above is the finished version; this one is on 9″ x 12″ bristol paper. (The two previous were done in my moleskin, 5″ x 8″.)

(These were shot on my iPhone, so not nearly as crisp or clean as the final, which was scanned.)

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