Studio Intentions with the New Ensō Collection from Pilot Pen

(Thank you to Pilot Pen for kindly sponsoring this post! All opinions are honest & completely my own. I never work with a sponsor or product that I don’t love. <3 )

On most days I can be found working to balance multiple painting projects, a commission or two, website updates, art event planning, house remodeling adventures… things can get a little chaotic here relatively quickly. To combat the pull of the messy, paint-y abyss I keep a studio planner and strictly manage my time, but that only covers the physical, actionable parts of the tasks and goals I have set.

EH Sherman for Pilot Pen

One of my goals for 2019 was to work on visualizing the emotional, bigger picture, intangible and abstract responses to the day as well.  In the same way I would brainstorm and examine how to tackle a project, brainstorm and examine my hopes and plans for my painting practice.

So I started recording my studio-intentions.

EH Sherman Pilot Pen Studio Intentions

I mean ‘intention’ here in the way a yoga instructor might; these non-concrete thoughts that embody the ideals for the day, week, year or beyond with essences that I can reach for and visualize. These serve as a reminder that though there are physical steps to complete projects, frame of mind is just as important. Some are solitary words, some are short sentences. What matters is how I connect with and reference them throughout the day.

So when Pilot Pen reached out to me about working together, I knew exactly how I would use their new Ensō Collection of Watercolor Brush Pens.

EH Sherman Art using Pilot Pen.jpg

The kit features 7 super vivid and precise felt tipped pens (black, brown, red, orange, blue, pink, green) and a black pen with a very long brush tip for sweeping lines and shapes. Using these with varying amounts of pressure I can create a number of different lines, exploring and defining the nature of the word, learning from it and emblazoning it on my practice for the day. I’m able to just play and create knowing the pen is going to give me amazing control and beautiful color.

EHSherman Studio Intentions.jpg

The pens write beautifully and effortlessly, letting me focus on the design and nature of the word. I record these in a number of different sketchbooks; scribbled on top of old paintings, hidden in the margins, wrapped around sketches and the rich, vibrant ink allows the words to stand out in the chaos. The fine-tip allows me to be precise when I want to create fine lines, while applying a bit of pressure helps to create bold, broad lines.

Using the Watercolor Brush Pens as my tools for these intentions has become a little bit of a ritual at this point. Get into the studio, make coffee, find a good sunbeam (or comfortable spot by a plant) and use the Ensō Collection Watercolor Brush Pens to design the intangible goals for the day.


Again, big thanks to Pilot Pen for sponsoring this post, these new pens were fast favorites of mine. Do you have a practice of recording your studio intentions? Do you also love writing out words with really beautiful pens? Leave me a message, I’d love to see how you work these into your practice.

EH Sherman using Pilot Pens

Opening Night at Miss Kim

Today’s the day!

I’ve been planning, painting and prepping for this show since October and I’m so excited the the opening night at Miss Kim is finally here.

My list for the morning’s preparations….

My list for the morning’s preparations….

Here we go!

Here we go!

EH Sherman_ Opening NIght.jpg
Water Anthem in it’s new home for the month.

Water Anthem in it’s new home for the month.

Hand-crafted cocktail from the bar to match ‘Blush Response’

Hand-crafted cocktail from the bar to match ‘Blush Response’

It was an amazing night. I was so grateful to be able to meet so many new people, talk with old friends and see my family surrounded by paintings that are very close to my heart.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out and made it as magical as it was <3

My work will be up throughout the month with sold pieces rotating out for new paintings - so if you haven’t stopped by make sure to check it out!

Testing out Viviva Colorsheets

(( This is not a sponsored review, this is just me making a few color swatches and sharing the info <3 ))

EH Sherman testing Viviva color sheets

I make a lot of work while on the go. Whether that’s an adventure abroad, or a coffee shop down the street I paint a fair amount outside the confines of my little studio and need small(ish) supplies to be able to do so.

And so, I am constantly on the look out for materials that will travel with me; tucked away inside a backpack or in a back pocket.

I had seen a few ads for these watercolor colorsheets from Viviva and found myself intrigued - but cautious. I’ve tried a few portable-themed watercolor paints that seemed great in theory, but didn’t really perform up to my standards, so I wasn’t overtly hopeful as I placed my order.

The colorsheets shipped from India and so took a little while to arrive (so keep that in mind if you order a pack for yourself!) but when they did I found myself getting more excited about trying these out. Slightly larger than a business card, these could bypass my backpack storage and go straight to my pencil case. That was an interesting thought.

EH Sherman Art Review - Viviva Colorsheets
How pretty is this rectangle of Viridian?

How pretty is this rectangle of Viridian?

EH Sherman Art Supply review - colorsheets

On trying them out, I was surprised. I expected patchy color, or a LOT of water application to loosen the pigments. Not the case. The brush glided across the surface and picked up SO. MUCH. PAINT.

In between each sheet is a page of wax paper, this is to keep the wet colors from sticking together (though it is recommended to allow each to dry before closing the book) and really enjoyed flipping through the pages. Some of the colors are so different from how they appear on the brush due to their concentration, it’s a bit magical to watch.

I made my swatches, noting how often I had to refresh my water due to the potency of the pigment. Definitely not what I was expecting.

EH Sherman Art supply review - Viviva Colorsheets

I don’t know how long they will last, though I will continue to use these sheets and update here when I run out of a color. I also don’t know much about the archivability of the pigment, I wonder if a bit of added of water might make them run off the paper once painted? But for a small set to sketch with, these work really well. And the fact I can keep them in my pencil case and not even need an additional bag - even better!

EH Sherman sketching with watercolor sheets

What do you think of these? If you try them out I’d love to know how they work for you!

Sketchbook Workshop at Teaspressa (1/13/19)

That first blank page can be an absolute doozy.

EH Sherman Sketchbook - blank page

It sits there, beautiful in it’s emptiness, complete as a book dedicated to the texture of the fibers, the tone of the paper.

And we intend to mess it up, to mar those beautiful pages with our marks and thoughts. This is one of the hurdles just high enough that it can keep artists and non-artists alike from truly committing to a sketchbook practice and from developing a discipline to connect regularly with our creative selves.

I’ve been there and it is incredibly uncomfortable.

EH Sherman Sketchbook Workshop

Which is why I decided to put together this workshop!

Join me on January 13th at Teaspressa in Ann Arbor at 1pm for an afternoon of sketching, discussion, material exploration and of course, delicious tea beverages.


Who is this for?

Artists! Non-Artists! Anyone who wants to take a few hours out of your day to sit with a sketchbook, learn about my methods for sketching and engage in a few creative exercises designed to help you dig deeper into your sketching practice. Even if you’ve never held a pencil to a blank page before, but you are interested in exploring your creativity, there’s something for everyone on each step of their journey.

What is provided?

Materials that I use and love particularly for working small format and on the go. Feel free to bring your own supplies as well! The $45 ticket also includes a sketchbook if you’d like to start from scratch. We’ll be filling at least 4 pages in the books, so if you bring your own consider how many pages you have left.

Is this ONLY in person at the location?

For now, yes. I have plans for an online offering, but for now - this is only accessed by attending the workshop in person.

EH Sherman - Sketchbook

Head over to the RSVP page to sign up, I’d love to see you there!