India ink and surface alteration on paper – 2016. 10.5″ x 14″


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Hey ya –


I couldn’t resist showing you these drawings, done yesterday!


After having finished well over 300 cat pictures, I’ve begun to notice mannerisms in my mark making – moves and method I tend to fall back on. That’s not altogether bad, I am me of course, and how I draw is wrapped up in who I am. However, habits can become crutches and that’s something to keep an eye on . . . OR NOT!


Starting about a week ago, and for an hour at the beginning of each ink slinging day, I’ve decided to do cats with my eye’s closed. Well mostly closed – I cheat on things like whiskers and sometimes a finishing detail or two. Also, I have to blink now and then to check and make sure my brush still has ink in it! Actually, I’m drawing a lot with brushes that have really become sticks. I must tell you more about that soon.


The results of my little experiment are intriguing – and thrilling. These drawings have a lot of character and are very lively. I think this means that when I draw with eyes open I sometimes get in my own way, probably by thinking too much. While I often have to proceed thoughtfully if I’m working on a really involved picture (like the one in my last post), for drawings like these, the less affected and more spontaneous I am, the better. What’s thrilling is that forcing myself to work blind also forces me to depend upon feel and a sense of motion. Odd as it may seem, it’s a far more engaged effort.


I’m certain that if I keep this up, my eyes will become better team players!


Your Buddy Bill





MT HAYNES 3-1-16


Hey There Gang –


My other chores are finished, and this morning I started in again on my ever-continuing twigs and branches. It was a really good day! The trees on the right may have gone as far as I’m going to take ’em. I still have a little room for fussing, and I’m considering a round of blind texturing, but I won’t decide whether or not I’ll do any more until the rest of my picture is finished.


Next up is a single tree, that will be sanded and ground into the gray, textured area on the left. I think it ought to be bit brighter, so it looks like it’s a little more in the foreground.


I’ll try to post my next update on this picture either Saturday or Sunday evening.


See you then!


Your Buddy Bill



PS: this is just a so-so detail shot (it’s a little blurry across the bottom), but it might still give you some sense of what I’ve been noodling on for so long!






Ink on paper – 2016. 10.5″ x 14″


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Ink on paper – 2015. 10.5″ x 14″


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Ink on paper – 2014. 8″ x 12″


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Ink and surface alteration on paper – 2015. 8″ x 13″


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Ink and surface alteration on paper – 2014. 8″ x 13″


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Ink and on paper – 2014. 8″ x 13″


Get a good look – click READ FULL ARTICLE below!

Good Morning All!


I must take a break from the studio for a couple days to write and photograph a quick magazine piece, but before I go, I thought you might like to see how things are coming along with my current Mt. Haynes picture.


Twigs, twigs, twigs – I’m back in the middle of the same pictorial paradox I keep falling into, in which I’m trying to make a suggestive, almost abstract picture while at the same time throwing in realistic (probably obsesseive) detail. I’m uncertain whether my trees even fit with the rest of this painting! It’s probably still too early to tell though. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m certainly headed that way!


Look for my next update early to mid next week –


Your Buddy Bill


mt haynes14 latest trees


What you can’t see in these quick photos is the true degree of texture and physicality in the surface – which I’m still trying to keep light and spectral. Some of what I’m doing can’t even be captured in a photo now. My trees are half painted and/or pressed into the sheet, and half sanded/ground in. I may even add a little granular texture at the end to break up the surface even more  – that is if my sheet can actually take it! Here’s a closer look:


Mt Haynes 14 latest tree detail


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Ink and on paper – 2015. 10.5″ x 14″


Get a good look – click READ FULL ARTICLE below!




Ink and surface alteration on paper – 2015. 10.5″ x 14″


Make him bigger if you dare! Click READ FULL ARTICLE below!




Ink and on paper – 2016. 10.5″ x 14″


Get a good look – click READ FULL ARTICLE below!

Good Evening All!


As promised yesterday, here is more on how my new Mt. Haynes picture is coming along. I’ve already shown you how I’m incising/embossing many of the smaller branches and foliage masses, so they are raised and can be sanded back to lighter gray and even white. What you haven’t seen, is my method for doing the big tree trunks and branches.


Once I had a working sketch of how the trees should look (see Sneak Peaks #3 – Feb. 20th), I transferred it to a sheet of the same kind of paper my painting is on. Then I cut it out, as seen below.


Mt Haynes trees cutout1


Next, I taped the cutout down on the back of my actual picture in the exact position I wanted my trees to be in on front.


Mt Haynes 14 trees cutout2


The rest was simple – do you know how you can make a copy of a textured surface by laying a sheet of paper over it and rubbing that with crayons, or a pencil or charcoal? I basically did the same thing in reverse! When I began to ever so carefully sand the area that lay on top of where my tree cutout was positioned, the slightly raised surface the cutout caused was abraded first – and WOW – Ghostly trees began to appear! Just look at those trunks and branches in the photo below – nice, right?


The last photo also shows where my trees are as of this evening. They’re much more focused than expected, and the area in the lower right is not at all what I had planned. I wanted the branches/twigs there to be so light they began to fade into the white of the sheet. As you can see, that’s not happening. Instead, there’s a whole lot of character and textural interplay going on, but is it too much? I don’t think I want to steer things back, yet I don’t quite know how to steer forward either. Tomorrow I’ll ignore my confusion entirely and work on the upper and left side of my silly trees instead!


Mt Haynes 14 Trees so far


I hope I’ll have a good deal more done by tomorrow evening. If I do, I’ll post a new photo.


Your Buddy Bill



PS: To enlarge the view, click READ FULL ARTICLE immediately below!



Hey ya –


I had hoped for some good show-n-tell for you this evening – but it just didn’t work out. Tomorrow evening though, I’ll have a really fine update for you – guaranteed!


See you then –


Your Buddy Bill






Ink and on paper – 2016. 10.5″ x 14″


Kick back and take a good look – click READ FULL ARTICLE below!




Ink and on paper – 2016. 10.5″ x 14″


Get a good look – click READ FULL ARTICLE below!


Here’s something a bit different – it’s the title page I made for the 36 cats I’m going to bind into a volume for my Sweetie.


title page catBLOG



Ink, inked collage and laser printed text on paper – 2015. 8″ x 13.5″


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Good Evening All –


Progress was made again today but it was comprised of lots of little moves that while making a difference, don’t really show up well in a point-n-shoot view. So it has occurred to me that we ought to chat about the involved prep required after I decided to head in a different direction.


First however, the photo below shows what the drawing looked like before I started back in. It was a really aggressive, mark-driven image I liked a lot. My thought was to have a whole forest of dead, standing tree trunks, almost phantom like in appearance, that marched down the mountain’s slopes into the foreground. I felt they ought to be highly suggestive, so I used a knife blade to scrape them in – thus creating a broad area of vertical, raised scars. These could be accentuated here and there if I dragged an almost dry brush over them. You can see where I did it in the lower center (the horizontal brush swipe in the white area that has grainy, upright lines in it).


While this was all pretty good thinking, I began to feel something wasn’t quite right about the picture and my plan. So I turned to other things and months went by.


Sans trees blog


One day, I decided to play with my picture on the computer, so I photographed and imported it into Photoshop. Then I went onto the web and snapshotted some woodblock prints by a Japanese artist who was named Joichi Hoshi. He did GREAT trees that I’ve always admired. I’m a good thief – these are the trees I purloined:




Screen shot 2016-02-19 at 7.42.57 PM


And this is what they looked like after I messed with them in Photoshop and dropped ’em on top of my own picture:


MT HAYNES working rough


Now I had something really, really interesting: it was an odd combination of detail and realism in big, powerful foreground trees that ghosted right over the far less realized mountain behind. Too cool. But there was a big problem: the steely, cool-toned gray of the mountain was achieved by literally driving black ink clear through the sheet while it was wet. It’s a wonderful, strange effect, but it meant there was no underlying white paper left to scrape or sand my trees back into. I had to have a fresh area to work in. So, it was time to lay it in.


Mt Haynes 14 working 2blog


In the view above, the gray and textured underpainting for the tree at left is done, and I’ve prepared a patch in two parts to go over some of the mountain on the right. You can see the pieces of the patch laying on my worktable, and in the next photo (below) you can see them in place. The irregular edges will help camouflage the patches – you won’t be able to see (or even feel) where they are once the trees are done.


mt haynes 14working 4blog


The final step in my prep was to figure out just how my own version of these trees would look. While I was quite content to borrow some of the sensibility of Mr. Hoshi’s trees, I couldn’t actually copy ’em now, could I? And besides, I need pine trees in there, so I had to do some working drawings. They were enough to get me started – and so on I trundle. When you see the end result, you’ll be surprised by how far I’ve moved away from the trees I stole to start with!


haynes working 1 blog


I’m not going to get much done on my picture tomorrow – gotta visit the accountant (it’s tax time again). And there are other chores. I’ll be back in the studio on sunday though, so hopefully you’ll see my next update that evening.




Your Buddy Bill


To make all of these images larger, click READ FULL ARTICLE immediately below.


Fly Tyer Spring


Hey ya –


I have a brand new article out about fending off insect pests (as in the little menaces that eat fishing flies and what they’re made of).


Fly Tyer Magazine is the only one of its kind, so it created and has kept its niche. That said, I think it’s the best fly fishing related publication going. It’s well produced, informative and down to business, yet has it’s fair share of fun too. I enjoy working with the Editor, Dave Klausmeyer, who’s always enthusiastic. I’ve lost track of how many articles I’ve written, photographed and illustrated for him over the years. Recently, I’ve begun doing an occasional column as well.


If you want to learn more about Fly Tyer, you can visit their website:


I’m dreaming of spring and trout fishing tonight!


Your Buddy Bill



PS: For a better look, click READ FULL ARTICLE in the grey bar below!