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Tag: sketching


Life Drawing in January

I joined my pals, Sean Lynch, Sam Hiti and Peter Wartman for a life drawing session at Sean's place on a Sunday in January. Like Sam said, you're probably gonna have a good session if your model has pink hair! It was real good to blow it out and draw like this for 2.5 hours intensely, and especially from life. I find I prefer this in general to nude models, which is obviously instructive, but practicing clothing folds and natural poses have much more to do with my daily work, both professional and personal.

We met once again since, and I hope to again...perhaps this Sunday?

lifedraw-14_A_purple     lifedraw-14_E lifedraw-14_F   lifedraw-14_H lifedraw-14_I lifedraw-14_J   lifedraw_sam-sean,jpg


Portrait of Kubrick as a Young Man



Brush Pen Sketch

Took a break from a storyboard gig for BlueCross BlueShield to do this quick sketch while on the phone.


I used a handy Zebra brush pen, absentmindedly doodling from some photo reference for the job. I'm far less interested in capturing a likeness here, and in general, instead gleaning from the photo what I can. I concentrate on simplification, line quality and variation, adding shadow if need be, while trying to convey personality. I'm conscious of what I intend with every line before I make a mark, in a trance-like state - drawing in auto-pilot. It's a cool place to be, and a tightrope walk to some extent. But no big deal if I fall - it's only a quick sketch on a scrap sheet.

Being on the phone for this kinda sketching is perfect to let yourself go a bit, and not over think. I remember what we were talking about specifically while I made certain marks...


Young Santa?

Young Santa? Another digital sketch with the Manga Studio brush. Here's a tight review of the new version of the software by comics auteur and one heckuva teacher, Eric Merced.

I used the same size setting for the brush for this one, limiting myself to that in an attempt to approximate using an actual brush. Of course, I'd have more options with a real brush, being able to push, twist, and tilt it to the side. I just didn't want to be switching brush sizes while drawing, but to execute as quickly and organically as possible. The more I draw with the Manga Studio brush tool, the less I find myself undoing marks as I go. But even when I do, it's quick with my left hand using keyboard shortcuts, and now feels like a natural part of the drawing process. Handy!


Bar Sketching

While waiting for a friend at a local bar/eatery to watch the Bears on Monday Night Football, I doodled with my brush pen... Whether on a train, bus, at the park, zoo or bar, an artist needs to sketch surreptitiously as folks catch your gaze and become self-aware. I bounce back-and-forth between sketches, or just work quickly, sometimes taking 10-15 seconds for a small sketch before the subject moves. Spilled some ink. I went too far with shadows on that head, middle-left. Should have quit before I added shadows near his mouth. On this second page, I played with Snowboy. STOP! RAAAAOOO!


Pen & Paper

Me and a pen...



10:30 last night, and I was a little pooped. Wanted to relax and watch something, but my daughter wanted us to draw. I didn't feel up to generating the mental energy, but I'm glad we did. It was easier for her as she'd napped at night and got a second wind. "I don't know why people always have to sit in front of the TV instead of doing something productive...." This after she'd watched several episodes of Parks & Recreation earlier in the day - LOL!

Anyway, it was fun to just doodle for its own sake - fill up a page with a brush, especially after like eight jobs this past week.

Doodling like this, I'm not fulfilling the needs of the client, not designing or developing a character, not practicing drawing women, not working on specific techniques. Just drawing, just 'cause. The brain works differently then. Many times I've a general idea of what I may draw and it evolves on the paper; others I just start making marks and see where it leads. When drawing with a pencil one can explore and scribble, build up a drawing. Here, with a brush I work fast but choose my marks somewhat carefully, chiseling form and shadow like a figure from clay. Sometimes it's not about choosing what mark to make, but what not to draw.

I did do a few explorations of my li'l snowboy, who I've missed drawing. And I notice the lighting by default usually comes from my upper left - gotta switch that up and do more varied light sources.


Line Game Squiggle

Can you draw something - anything using this line? You can rotate it any direction you'd like, just don't alter the original line otherwise. Join in at the new Line Game blog, hosted by artist, Carsten Bradley. Here's one I did on Tuesday: Can you make out the original line? See it and other artists' sketches, then join in and have fun!    


TothPix: Playing on Paper

Later in life, when Toth wasn't drawing comics or designing characters for animation, he continued to sketch and doodle, sometimes on postcards for friends and fans, sometimes a "thank you" drawing, but most times filling sheet after sheet of whatever came out of his head. He drew known superheroes like The Shadow, The Batman and Plastic Man, a wide variety of people of all types, periods, shapes and sizes. He'd play with graphics in a series of panels seemingly non sequitur, a visual and conceptual stream of consciousness. And he'd break down faces, bodies and expressions to their simplest lines and shapes, as if drawing like a child again, but with years of skill, experience and observation brought to bear.

These are glimpses into the workings of the mind of the artist, letting go of artifice and ego, stripping away the superfluous, finding truth, all while playing on paper.

Some of these can be found in the splendid Alex Toth Doodle Book - recommended not only for the Toth scratchings, but also his thoughts on art, tools, comics, culture, style and substance.

Now pick up your favorite marker, or try a new brush and unleash your mind - point that pencil, pirouette and play on paper!


People Watching & Mall Sketching

On Sunday, I took my daughter and her friend to the nearby mall. While they shopped, I sat and drew, pencil and Pentel Pocket Brush in hand. It was fun to people watch and surreptitiously sketch. It wasn't too crowded yet, so I had to be careful.

Not careful enough, apparently, as this guy caught me early on during my quick pencil rough. I smiled back and continued, but he got up and left. I had to finish it from my rough and memory. I saw him later sitting elsewhere, but left him alone.

I wish I caught better the gesture and body language on this lady...

Pretty good on this guy, but he was sitting still...

This little girl caught my eye, little head, big coat, skinny legs, but I had to work quickly as she walked along with her mom. I did this one in about 15-20 seconds.

I'll post the rest soon.