packing orders & holiday deadlines

packing orders

I've been super busy making $40 drawings and packing orders like a mad man. So busy, that I just about forgot to post my shipping deadlines for the holidays.

Holiday Deadlines: So if you want something by Christmas, and you live in the USA, you need to order it today. If you live in Canada, you have until December 15. And if you live anywhere else, it's probably too late (although I've had some things get to Europe in less than a week, so you can take a chance).

Shop for originals and signed prints here:

My shipping times are not guaranteed, since everything is sent using regular mail (unless you pay extra for faster service).

You can also get things from my Society6 shop, although I don't know what their holiday cut off times are.

packing orders

I need to say this: I am forever grateful and humbled by all the orders I've received from you guys. It's amazing! Thank you! And from all over the world! I recently shipped orders to Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Canada, and to dozens of states all over the US.

Thank goodness for the internet, and thank goodness for you and your terrificness.

messy but necessary





The boards are primed, and now the experimenting begins. Some of this is stuff I was trying out a long time ago and revisiting, and some is from today. Paint. Collage. Drawing. It all needs to come out.

Maybe I'll find something new and exciting and worthwhile. Maybe it'll feel like a waste of time.

You find one way to do things, and it works, so you stick with it for a while. But eventually you feel like there are other things you want to say, other notes to play. It's messy, but necessary.


priming and prepping

I've been priming some wood panels and cardboard sheets this morning with gesso and house paint. Getting ready for a new batch of work.

I was pretty happy with the last few  pieces I did with paint, so I'm going to tackle some more. It's making me draw a bit differently, and choose subjects differently as well. It also allows me to make larger pieces, which is something I've been shooting for.

(That's our 100-year-old dining room table, which used to be my great-grandfather's. I need to be really careful!)

art materials

I often get asked about the materials I use for making drawings, so I thought I'd share them all in one post.

I start every drawing in pencil. I've had this blue mechanical pencil for at least 15 years. I go over the drawing again in pen, then I go back and erase all the pencil lines. Staedtler erasers are the best: they get pencil marks off easily without having to rub the crap out of the paper. Other white erasers seem the same, but they don't work as well.

I use Sakura Micron Pigma pens in various thicknesses. They're the only ones I've found to be truly waterproof. Here's the thing: I brush on the watercolour paint after I draw the outlines in pen . Other pen brands tend to smudge when I do this, despite their claims of being waterproof. When I need thicker lines I use Staedtler permanent pens, Fine and Medium points, like I did on this drawing.

For watercolours, I use small tubes of Winsor & Newton and Holbein. I like both brands. I don't use much paint, so some of these tubes have been with me for over 10 years. (On very rare occasions I use gouache, which I haven't included in this photo.)

These are my paint palettes. I started out with one round one, then got another, then another. I like the metal ones better. I leave the paint to dry when I'm done. That way I can reuse the colours I've mixed next time by just adding a bit of water. 

I used to use this Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Box Set all the time, back when our kids were really little and I was sleep-deprived and I needed to keep my setup ultra quick and simple. It's pretty worn out - some of the colours are just about all used up. The quality of the paints are really good - highly recommended.

I got this 24-colour 24 colour Field Sketch Set by Sakura as a replacement, and because I got greedy and wanted more colours, and because it came with this really cool brush that holds water in the handle. I never got the hang of the clever brush though, so I don't use it. Instead I have two regular cheap brushes that I sawed short so they would fit in the box.

Speaking of brushes, these are what mine look like. They're a variety of sable and other kinds. You can spend soooo much money on watercolour brushes, but I usually don't. Many of these are store brands from Opus Art Supplies, a terrific store here in Victoria or from DeSerres (also a great shop), which I picked up last time I was visiting family back in Quebec. I'm not even sure what sizes they are - most of the numbers are worn off. I think the ones I use most are #0, #3 and a #6.

Here's the most boring art supply to photograph: paper! The challenge I have is to find paper that's both good for drawing and watercolour painting. So I usually go with hot-press watercolour paper, 140lb weight, like this kind from Strathmore (hot-press is smooth, cold-press is textured which watercolorists often prefer). Most of my drawings are either 5 by 7 inches or 8 by 10 inches, so I buy large 22x30 sheets and cut them down, or (whenever possible, because cutting paper is tedious) buy packs of precut paper. If I was only using watercolour or only drawing, I would probably use something else.

Every now and then I make Post-it Note drawings, which I colour in with highlighters. I like to keep the art-with-office-supplies theme consistent. I don't pre-sketch these, and I have to block in the colours first, and then do the black lines. Why the reverse order, you ask? Because the black lines get smudged by highlighters, so the pen has to be used last.

So I think that's it. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or if there's anything else you're curious about!

large drawings

I've been experimenting with larger drawings today. These ones above are 18 x 24 inches, which is pretty big for me, since I usually make 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 inch drawings. It's very liberating to work that large, and for some reason the size inspires me to draw different content. The top two were done with marker, and the bottom two with oil pastels (with a dash of watercolour).

I put the chair in front of them so you'd get an idea of the relative size. (The basket on the right holds our kids' wooden train set). What's funny to me, as I look at these while writing this blog post, is that they look no different than my other drawings on this site. The internet makes everything the same size.

what's on my desk right now

This is what my desk (dining room table, actually) looks like this very moment. I've got a number of works in progress, some of which may never work out, others will end up in my shop later today or tomorrow. I've got some of my notebooks out, which I go through periodically to find decent ideas I jotted down ages ago but haven't explored yet. It looks a bit staged, but it's not (okay okay, I adjusted the placement of some of the drawings so you could get a better look). I like to fan everything out, so I can see what I've done so far.