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New Sketches: At the Park & Cafe

May 23, 2016

Here are a couple recent pencil sketches I made over the weekend wandering around Austin: some old folks on a park bench, and later watching people on their phones at a cafe.

parkbench_washsquare
cafe_phones

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New Sketches: Brunch Tables

May 17, 2016

Last weekend I waited to meet up with a friend for brunch in Austin, and bided my time with a couple of pencil sketches.

woman-table-torchys muslim-women_table

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New Sketches: At the Tire Store

May 13, 2016

I had to get some new car tires yesterday, so I made a few sketches while waiting. These two ladies were catching up on the TV news.

tirestore-wait02
tirestore-wait01

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Framing Tip: Cutting Acrylic on a Tablesaw

May 8, 2016

One of the unique tricks to building a frame for a drawing is cutting the acrylic glazing sheet. The tool most often recommended for this procedure is a special hooked knife designed just for this, but I can’t comfortably tell you the number of times that has gone wrong for me. You have to score the acrylic in several passes, it’s hard to keep a straight line on the smooth sheet, and it almost never snaps cleanly. Fortunately, I’ve discovered it’s much easier to do this with a tablesaw. Acrylic will not cut like wood, however. If you try to cut all the way through, the blade will just destroy the sheet. Here’s how I do it.

acrylic_tabelsaw1

First, I’ve cut some cardboard to the size of the frame interior to use as a guide, taping it to the edges of the acrylic. I’ve also taped some newspaper to the front to protect the acrylic from getting scratched while pushing it on the table.

acrylic_tabelsaw2

Set the blade depth to cut no more than halfway through the acrylic. Just like using a knife, you only want to score the sheet, not cut all the way through in one pass.

acrylic_tabelsaw3

The acrylic snaps off easily. There will be a few rough burs along the edge, but that will scrape off easily with a utility knife, and get smooth with some sand paper. You can also flip the sheet over, and carefully saw off any excess on that side.

acrylic_tabelsaw4

Here the sheet is placed in the back of the frame. By the way, that’s my new frame I bought the other day all glued together. I just need to insert the artwork and fix the backing.

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Framing4Yourself Material Arrived

May 7, 2016

Well, that was quick. The order I made of cut frame pieces was delivered by FedEx today, just 2 days from Illinois to Texas by ground service. They were packed in a cardboard box (I was expecting a mailing tube) wrapped and stuffed in brown paper.

frame4urself1

I’ve just roughly dry fit the pieces together to see how it looks, and the edges are sharp and clean. I may want to go with a wider trim than these now that I see it better, but I’ll go ahead an glue it to get a better idea.

frame4urself3

Here it is in my strap clamp, and you can see that the corners fit very well. So far, I’m very pleased with Framing4Yourself, and would recommend them for custom framing material.

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Ordering Supplies from Framing4Yourself

May 6, 2016

I’m getting some art ready for an upcoming show, and I wanted to include the recent portrait I drew in the submission. It’s a non-standard size, so I could take it to a local shop for framing, or make it myself. Instead I thought I’d try out an online store a friend recommended called Framing4Yourself.

frame4yourself

They offer all the materials you need to make a frame, from cutting the molding to your measurements, to all the tools you need to put it together. I already have everything else, so I just ordered the pre-cut molding. The cost was reasonable and comparable to hunting down the molding or getting the frame built locally. It should arrive in a few days, and I’ll give a review then.

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Uni-Ball Pen Refill Cartridges Arrived

April 30, 2016

uniball_cartridges

I ordered some refill cartridges for my Uni-Ball Signo pen, and they arrived in the mail today. I was complaining that it looked like it was cheaper to buy a whole pen than the cartridge by itself, but searching deeper through Amazon I found a good deal. The trick was to use the name “Mitsubishi” in the search, which is the parent company of Uni-Ball. I had to go all the way to Japan for the order, but they didn’t charge for shipping. The estimated delivery time was stated to be a month, but wound up being only 12 days. The pens I have are .38mm, and these cartridges are .28, but they fit fine in the pen, and there’s no noticeable difference in the line.

(Note: It looks like they raised the price a little. My order was only $10.36 – still cheaper than 10 whole pens which cost $16 + shipping.)

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