Paper Face (Part One)

Tempera paint sticks and paper – work-in-process

Have you ever tried tempera paint sticks? They’re what I used to sketch this face. It’s the foundation for what will be covered with bits of torn (and cut) paper. I love tearing pieces of paper then assembling them into something else. At this point I don’t know how much of the tempera face will show through the paper or how much I’ll leave uncovered. Everything depends on how the paper pieces and the paint react with the glue. It’s an exciting process! 

It’s in the Cards: Free “Palette Knives” (Almost)

No palette knife? The edge of an old plastic “gift card” worked as well, in this acrylic painting.
Yay!! An almost endless supply of “paint movers!”

If you like to spread paint, slice paint, twist paint, apply paint in globs, and generally push paint around you probably use palette knives/spatulas. They can be expensive, though. Thanks to a tip from AMAZING artist and wonderful person, Cindy Schnackel (, I don’t worry about palette knives anymore. Why? Because of those free plastic cards that arrive in the mail. Companies send them as part of their promotional activities. Expired gift and credit cards are good, too. These plastic cards have fine edges, are firm but bendable, and come in all sizes. Also, if you repurpose them they won’t end up in a landfill or the ocean. Wonderful! Thank you, Cindy!! 

All the Grass

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

This week is half over and I have to get back to work. I plan to paint and to work on a collage that will eventually be part of a tradigital piece. You can see details from both of them above. They don’t seem to have much in common, do they? Well, OK. Eyes! Both have eyes. Otherwise, the two activities aren’t very similar.

But that may be the point.

When I’m painting I “really” want to be working with mixed media (mostly paper) to make collages. When I’m snipping bits of paper I “really” want to be making gooey paint marks on canvas. Is that a failing? Or it is a natural extension of a curious mind? Or maybe it’s what happens when there’s surfeit of options but a dearth of self-control. Dunno. 

What I do know is that I love all the grass, green or greener, or even crispy brown. It’s all good in its time.

“My Imaginary Selfie”

“My Imaginary Selfie” ©️Robin King

Imaginary? Not entirely. It looks sort of how like I looked twenty years ago. It would’ve been imaginary then, too, but less so.

I’m envious of people who are comfortable sharing “selfies” frequently, or allowing pictures to be taken of them at all. When I see a camera near me I turn away or hide my face or leave the area fast.

How do you feel about having your picture taken?

(“My Imaginary Selfie” is a tradigital piece made from two photos, one digital painting, and one acrylic sketch – compiled, painted, and edited within Autodesk Sketchbook and Photoshop Elements.)

Because I’ve already been massively careless this morning…

©️Robin King

…this will be a very short post.

See that face up there? For years I used it as my avatar. It’s half of a larger piece. I don’t like the other half of the image AT ALL. Blecch. I didn’t like it when I made it. I like it less now, which is why I’m not sharing it here. But they “need” to be together and I don’t know why. That’s today’s mystery to solve. Wish me luck! 

Online Sketching with Pixels: Sketchpad

Made online using Sketchpad

A few months ago I re-discovered the online sketching app Sketchpad. It was fun to use years ago and seems to be even better now. They’ve added features! The last time I tried it I was using my desktop computer. “Mousing” to draw is challenging. Fortunately, Sketchpad worked well with my graphics pen/tablet. These days it responds beautifully on a tablet when I draw with my fingers. Will sketching online replace the oh-so-satisfying tactile experience of moving a pencil or brush across toothy paper? Probably not. But it’s endlessly eager to do what you want, when and where you want to. 

Sketchpad is online, here:

Here’s the User Guide:

LOL – I didn’t know about the User Guide until a few minutes ago. Although Sketchpad is easy to figure out (REALLY!!) the User Guide is probably helpful.

“Mike When He Had That Bright Idea”

This piece is one of my personal favorites. I based it on the face of a boy I met in junior high school. His face showed every emotion he felt and when he had an idea – especially a good one – EVERYONE knew. He’s still alive so I suppose his face is distorted by wrinkles like mine is. I hope his emotions still shine through!

Here’s to Mike, the most talented choral accompanist (and best giggler) I ever met: