Thursday, August 17, 2017

ArtRage Pastel Brush Painting and Video Demo

Decided to try the pastel brush in the ArtRage application. I really enjoyed it and am going to use this brush again.

Below is a video I posted on my YouTube channel of the painting in progress.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017


All through my school years I remember drawing in the margins of my notebooks or on some scrap paper I had hidden under my notebook. I would cover the paper up with the back cover of my loose leaf notebook when the teacher was looking. As soon as the teacher turned to write on the black board I would pull up the cover and continue to work on my drawing.

It was always a doodle of some favorite comic book character or a character from some story I was reading.

This habit of doodling stuff continues today on my job. Every free chance I get I would grab a sheet of paper and doodle at my desk. Sometimes trying to be careful not to get caught, sometimes not caring. Most of these doodles wind up in the trash. Others are thumbnail sketches for something I intend to paint or draw later. Others are just a bunch of fun doodles like what I am posting here and I can't decide whether to keep them or just throw them out. So I hold on to them for a while and some get filed away while others do eventually wind up in the trash.

Anyway these are saved from the trash for now.
All of these are done just for the fun of it and to pass the time at work.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Oil Portrait In ArtRage

I've purchased a few different digital painting software over the years and have not fully exploited them all. I keep returning to Sketchbook Pro because it is easy to use but there are others that while they may not be as easy to use offer a lot in the way of mimicking traditional media. Two favorites that come to mind are ArtRage and Rebelle.

Before I write anymore let may say that two major considerations for me are cost (both of these programs are under $100.) as well as being able to use the software without getting to technical. I want to be able to pick a brush and not have to play around with the presets too much. I not only want the look to be like traditional media, I want the experience as well.

 This painting was done in ArtRage. On the close up at right you can see how much like oil the final image looks.

Below is a YouTube video I posted on my channel showing this image being painted,

Monday, August 7, 2017

Watercolor Wash Drawings

These are some of the sketches I've been making on my lunch break at work. Working with a watercolor wash I can make a quicker statement and use as much or as little detail as needed to carry the image. Because I'm just making decisions about value and not color I can work a little faster and get more done in that hour.

It's more like drawing with a brush.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Recent Watercolor

It's been some time since I've used transparent watercolor for something more than a quick sketch.

 I did do a couple of sketches of this woman in a watercolor wash using only black. I had posted them earlier and am re-posting here for comparison.

I think I lost some of the freshness of the sketch in the face though her clothing looks loosely painted. Sometimes I have to put away the painting for a little while and look at it again to determine how I feel about it.

Often I have one of two feelings. Either I am  disappointed with the finish or I am satisfied that it is the best that I can do at the time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Watercolor Wash Sketches

One lunch hour is not a lot of time to do more than a quick sketch or a bunch of doodles. But when I take my lunch one hour is all I have and of course I need to subtract some time for the hastily gobbled up sandwich or what ever I'm having that day. If I want to take my time and develop an image it will take some days or if I want to do some quick sketches that are fairly resolved I can choose a medium that lends itself to that like a watercolor wash.

The most time I would spend on these is in the beginning when I do a pencil drawing where I try to be as correct as possible outlining and measuring, anticipating the values,etc. Then the wash is quickly placed on top of the outline. The drawing of the man on the above sketch was done more hastily but the head of the woman on the upper left corner was sketched the day before and the wash was applied on the next day during my lunch hour.

You can see the pencil outline on the left and the finished wash drawing on the right.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Sketchbook, Drawing From Imagination And Memory

Drawing from imagination, comic book characters and cartoons when I was a kid was how I began to draw. The older I got the more realism I strove for without any training in drawing from life. But when I finally began learning how to draw and paint from life I began to distrust my imagination/ memory more and more. This was a mistake. Drawing from imagination or memory should be just as important in my opinion as drawing from life.

What I learn in drawing from life can feed information into my drawings from memory and imagination and the same can be said for the reverse. I find that it helps especially when I am doing an illustration and can't find the reference for what I want or can only find partial reference. The only thing to do is to rely on memory and imagination.

Sometimes I might be working on an illustration and just sketch out some of the characters in the story. I also like to try and recall the faces of my fellow passengers on the train and sketch those out when I get home and sometimes I just make up a story or a situation and I sketch that. It's just a lot of fun to do and drawing should be fun.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Progression Of A Gouache Painting

Above is a progression of a gouache painting I did in my sketchbook.
I started out with a pencil outline of the portrait then I painted spots of color trying to be conscious of value and temperature. I did the pencil under drawing on my lunch break at work which took about 45 minutes. the first lay in of colors took about an hour and a half to two hours- done before just before going to sleep at night.

The next day back at work I continued to paint on my lunch hour smoothing out the paint by adding water and a bit more paint. In the third panel on the right I continued to paint at home for a couple of more hours adding more paint and smoothing the transition between values with just water on the brush.

The final painting is on the left.

I should have taken a scan of the initial pencil drawing underneath but I didn't think of it. It would have looked a lot like the drawing I included on the bottom.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pen and Ink Portrait Sketches

A few pen and ink portraits I've done using an old fashion dip pen and either Copic multiliner or Micron pens. I also use an Molotow acrylic based white marker to make corrections.

I like doing these because they don't take long. I can do these as warm ups before I do other work.

While I make these drawings the challenge is to strive for more accuracy and to work toward a loser drawing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Afternoon Gouache Sketches

I work a regular 9 to 5 job. Although I occasionally get illustration assignments I don't make enough to live off them. My lunch hours at work are a sacred time for me. A time I devote to sketching. I'm lucky enough to work in a large print room by myself so I am able to close the door for that hour and keep the rest of the world outside while I sketch away.

I keep a set of gouache paints as well as travel with brushes, pens, pencils, a small water color set and a couple of art pads. Armed also with reference material I begin to work from 1 P.M. till 2.

These two gouache sketches were made on my lunch hours this week. The top is done from a photo I took of my son after he had his hair dyed green ( I don't know, that's what the kid wanted and we obliged him). The other is from a reference photo I got from a site called Draw-This which is an resource of art reference material.

Draw-This website -

Friday, June 16, 2017

Portraits Done for a School Raffle

I attend an bi-annual Drawathon at the High School of Art and Design. I graduated from Art and Design  in 1983. I really look forward to the time of drawing and meeting up with old school friends.

A number of times a few of us were asked to contribute to the school raffle by painting a portrait of whoever won the drawing for that particular prize.

These are two of the three I've done. The top one is a watercolor of my friend Paul David Elisen. A terrific artist and art instructor.

The other is a gouache painting of Mr Marciano who teaches science at the High School.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Couple Of Quick Pencil Sketches

Couple of pencil sketches of my wife. The top one was done while she was watching Meet the Press and the bottom one was done while she slept. The bottom one was a little difficult because she moved several times. I tried to integrate what I was seeing with the memory of what the pose looked like moments ago before she moved.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Self Portraits

I've done many self portraits over the years. Sometimes I would sit in front of a mirror, sometimes I would use a photo, Sometimes I would paint a straight forward self portrait and other times I would use a bit of imagination- like portraying a pirate. Sometimes I would try and generalize more and other times I would try and put as much detail as I can.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pen and Ink Composition Process

Poe stories are a source I return to every now and then for ideas. One of the things I always wanted to do was to illustrate a collection of my favorite short stories by him. The Masque of the Red Death would be number one on my list.

I've loved the comics adoptions of Poe stories, especially the ones done in the Warren black and white magazines. I wanted to also try my hand at illustrating these stories.

As it goes I had some free time to work on this. I really agonized over the first page in the first story I choose to adapt'

I decided to work on an overall composition then I would draw the individual characters in my sketchbook and cut and paste the figures in Photoshop. I would print out the file and touch it up with brush, pen and ink and a bit of whiteout.

When I finally arrived at something I liked I would draw out the final image on bristol board and ink it. The lettering was done in Photoshop after I scanned the final image.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sketching On The Train

Simple little sketch was so much fun to do. Sitting in the train on my way back from work I saw this man dozing off and he looked like an interesting subject to draw. 

I don't know how good this sketch would seem to someone else but it was a lot of fun to do.

I like using just the ball point pen because I had to really focus on what I'm doing. Only a little room to improvise on small errors.

I used to do this kind of sketching more often.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Sketches And Doodles

Sketches and doodles. I think they're the same thing. Its that thing I do at work when no one's looking or I'm on my break and it doesn't matter who's looking. I always keep pencil or pen and paper by me  I also have become accustomed to sketching before I go to bed at night and also when I wake up in the morning. I may use photo reference or I may just sketch from imagination.

The images on this post are some of those sketches (or doodles) I did this week.