Monday, December 19, 2016

My Sketchbook Habit

What do I try to accomplish in my sketchbook besides trying to make better drawings? I try different styles, different marks. I flesh out characters from a story I will illustrate or a story I am reading or have read.

The sketchbook is a place to think, to play, to resolve fundamental things about putting a picture together or about drawing in general. Its for resolving how to draw an ear, how to construct a head from life, photos or imagination.

It is a place, a real place where I go to everyday.

 These sketches from my sketchbook are my daily sketches done on my lunch hour at work and time spent at the end of the day before I turn in for bed, Sometimes they are made early in the morning before taking off for work.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Book- Sketches, Drawings and Paintings 2016

Collection of my work from 2016 (and some earlier stuff) Includes InkTober 2016, Watercolors and Gouache as well as digital work.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Painting With A Limited Palette In Gouache

Been a little while since I picked up a brush to paint. I had spent the last two months doing pen and ink drawings and sketches and thinking about how much I wanted to paint.

I decided that I would spend this weekend painting with gouache. The painting on the left was done with a limited palette. I used Lamp Black, Permanent Scarlet, Yellow Ochre and White. Based on the Zorn Palette, but not the exact same colors he used- he used Ivory Black (a blueish black), Cadmium Red Medium, Yellow Ochre and White.

It was a new thing for me to paint with a limited palette. At first I wanted to add ultramarine Blue because it would've been easier to add cooler colors but I decided to stick to the limited palette. It turned out to be a good decision because one of the challenges I have with introducing some of the other colors is that I find it harder to control the values. Colors like Ultramarine Blue when I apply them appear darker when wet but when they dry they appear too high key even when mixed with other colors. I keep having to go back into the color to mute it.

I will try this limited palette again but next time I will use the exact colors Zorn did.

The other painting (which was actually done first) Was done using the palette I would normally use.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Post InkTober Pen and Ink Sketches

I try to keep busy on my lunch hour at work and by busy I mean I don't let the hour go by without sketching something. Usually I use some sort of reference that either I photographed myself or got from the internet. If I don't have anything that I think is interesting then of course I rely on my imagination.

The thing is that I make the hour a sacred time in which drawing is like meditation. A quick bite to eat only subtracts about 10 minutes from the hour and I may go a little bit past the hour (what my boss doesn't know won't hurt him).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Adding A Bit Of Digital Color To Some InkTober Drawings

I took a few of the drawings I did for InkTober 2016 and added color using Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.

It was just a fun way to kill a lazy Sunday

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Some Pen, Brush and Ink Sketches

3 things I am shooting for in these drawings from my sketchbook.

1) Trying to make a better drawing

2) Trying to get comfortable with the tools- a Pentel Pocket Brush and some Micron Pens

3) Trying to come up with different ways of making marks, not looking for a style, just doing something different so that I can have as many ways of approaching an ink drawing

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sketches From My Lunch Hour Brake

Taking advantage of every spare moment I close the door to my office, have a quick bite and then I pull out my sketchbook.

Using my imagination or some photo reference or both, I spend the rest of the hour making these sketches. Best part of my work day.

Keeping it simple I use a mechanical pencil and a Pentel Pocket Brush and a 01 Micron pen.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reworked and Unposted InkTober Drawings

So far InkTober has been both fun and a bit frustrating. The thing that makes it frustrating is that I am not always comfortable with posting the drawings because I am trying really hard to come up with something interesting while deciding how to approach the drawing stylistically. Do I use a brush, pen? What kind of pen? Do I use dry brush, hatching, cross hatching? How complicated or simple do I want to make this drawing?

Once the drawing is uploaded on social media there is no
taking it back so I try to do the best I could with it. Sometimes I wind up doing more than one drawing on a day though for the most part I only post one. Then there are drawings that I rework as well as drawings that I never post.

Posted here are some of these drawings that were reworked or not posted.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Books On Pen and Ink Drawing

I have been buying art books since High School. My wife complains every time I purchase a new book because there is no more room.

With Inktober a day away I thought I might start to share some of my books I have on pen and ink drawings.

I believe any list about pen and ink artist should start with these three (the first two anyway).

Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtsmen by Joseph Pennell. I bought this book when I was in college. It is a great survey of pen and ink artist in Europe and America and is easily the best book I ever purchased on ink work. The writer can come across as very opinionated although he is also a master of the medium. However whether one agrees with him or not it doesn't take away from the beautiful illustrations in the book.

Ink Drawing Techniques by Henry C Pitz ( a well known illustrator who worked in pen and ink) was given to me by my sister when I was in high school. I loved this book which also had great examples of ink works by many different artists as well as being very instructive in the tools and techniques of the medium.

Treasury of American Pen & Ink Illustration 1881-1938 by Fridolf Johnson. This last book may not be as impressive as the first two but this very inexpensive book has a nice sampling of pen and ink work by many early American illustrators. It also has a very interesting introduction with a brief history on pen work for reproduction.

I think that the only one of these books that is out of print is the one by Henry C Pitz but all three can be easily found on Amazon. I have included a link for each of these books bellow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Warming Up For InkTober

With InkTober three days away I start to sketch in pen and ink on my lunch hour. I do this to warm up and get used to the tools. The main tools I plan to use will be Micron pens, Steel pen nibs and sable brushes.

Through out the time I will be working in Pen and ink I will take the time to look through the work of different pen and ink artist that I admire.
That will make the month of October inspirational and fun because there is a long list of pen and ink artist that I like and can learn a great deal from if I spend this time studying their work as I draw.

While I was working on these drawings I was looking at the works of David Levine, Sergio Toppi, Moebius, and Charles Dana Gibson.

Friday, September 23, 2016

More Lunch Hour Sketches And Looking Forward To InkTober

Looking ahead to InkTober I began sketching mostly in inks during my lunch hour breaks at work.

I look forward to InkTober like I used to look forward to Christmas as a kid. Before September is up I will have gathered my supplies and planned out what I will be sketching for the month.

Already I am thinking of choosing a different topic for each week. Portraits one week, landscapes the next. Nothing set in stone yet but by the end of this month I will have planned out what I will be doing for October. In the mean time I just kind of enjoy these warm up sketches. These have been fun to do, I hope the whole month of October goes that way.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Recent Sketches Done In Photoshop

After ignoring Photoshop for so long I've suddenly taken a liking to it. Maybe it was after looking at work done by other artist with the software that I was motivated to give it another go. Also I had purchased a bunch of Photoshop  brushes as mentioned in an earlier post.

I find it funny that what I like and I don't like about Photoshop are the same thing, it has a lot of tools. I like that it has so many options at the same time I like the simplicity of programs like Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, or Rebelle.

These two sketches were done in Photoshop recently. I've also used Photoshop and a combination of Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop for some illustration images that I will post after they are published.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Last Pages In My Sketchbook


For some reason I don't always make it to the last page in my sketchbook, I don't know why but I seem to give up and move on to another sketchbook when I get close to that last page or sometimes even just half the book.

Actually I have several sketchbooks going at once because of the different papers and mediums I use.

These are the last pages in one of my current sketchbooks' I was not crazy about the paper so I'm surprised that I continued to draw in it.

Maybe it was the stickers of sketches by some of my favorite artist I placed on the covers to inspire me. John Buscema, Milt Kahl and Norman Rockwell were the artist I picked to put on and in the book. It was always fun to look at because of those stickers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The World Does Get Busy

Faces from reference photo and life.

The month of August is almost gone and this is my first post of the month.

This is due to the fact that life has gotten both that busy and that complicated. The busy part is mostly easy to write about. Apart from working the 9 to 5 I had an illustration assignment for a magazine which included a five chapter story which required that I completed one illustration a week up until the second week in September. So yeah, that kept me busy. Then there is life in general that can throw some curves at you as it has done to me, I won't go into it here because it involves so much more than just me but it directly affects me.

I have titled this blog Art In A Busy World and that world does not just involve how it unfolds outside of me but that part of this world that comes close to home and in fact is home. The thing to do is to be disciplined enough to continue as everything else unfolds. Depending on what one is going through that can be very difficult but then again it depends how much creativity is a part of ones character. I think I have a need to draw almost as much as I have a need to breathe. It is part of my character. Maybe a better analogy would be how we communicate. We talk and write to exchange ideas and get information or learn new things. Drawing is a way of communicating how I see and think and how I respond to what I see as well as the thoughts and ideas that enter my mind. I have to do it because it is a tool as much as speaking and writing is. A tool that I use to explore, understand and communicate to the world around me and within me. I also am able to play with my imagination and escape for a while to a world of my own creation  or conjure up an image that has its roots in literature or history. Maybe it also helps me to stay afloat and not drown in my troubles. When everything clears I will still be drawing. 

All my social media activity slowed to a crawl as I continued to draw mostly imaginative sketches in my sketchbook and also work on my illustration assignment. At the point where life began to get difficult I started a self portrait in gouache. Once that was done I began on my illustration work.

Now back to work, back to life and back to untying the Gordian knot of problems that wait for me.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Testing Out Some Custom Photoshop Brushes I Recently Purchased

Finished an illustration assignment this past weekend and I thought I knew what I wanted to do afterwards but when I sat in front of my drawing board I drew a blank. Hate when that happens.

In order to not waste away the weekend I started drawing on my tablet using some custom brushes I purchased on a website. They were Photoshop brushes and I got them from a site put up by an ex Disney animator named Aaron Blaise. He has a wonderful site where there are both paid and free tutorials and you can purchase custom brushes for Photoshop.

It's been a while since I've used Photoshop. The new brushes were a nice experience.

You can check out Aaron Blaise's website here

Friday, July 15, 2016

Some Sketches In Gouache

During the work week there are two times I reserve for painting or drawing. During my lunch hour at work and the few hours I have before I go off to bed when I get home.

The timing does not always work out. Sometimes there are things to get done or other needs but it is a schedule I try to stick to.

Unfortunately that schedule (as well as limited space) has kept me from working on something more than small color sketches in watercolor, gouache, pencil or pen and ink. Would love to have the time and space to use oil paints and work on something larger. I like using the gouache medium because it is somewhere between oils and watercolor in that I can use water as a thinner like watercolors and I can also work in layers covering the paint underneath like oils. Its also quick to
clean up.