Showing posts from 2017

More Lunch Hour Sketches

I hesitate to post these because these are sketches made on either my lunch hour at work or at some point in the work day where there was very little activity. Most of these are done quickly, some with photo reference and others done from imagination. None of these are meant to be anything but an effort to keep my hand moving because there is very little time in my day to work for long on a finished piece.

So I guess these may not look great but they are a lot of fun to do and a way of staying creative and disciplined in my craft as well as passing the time.

Bunch of Sketches

It's been a while since I've posted both here and on my YouTube channel. Work and family life has kept me busy. By work I mean more than my 9 to 5. For some reason more illustration assignments come at the end of the year and I get caught up in meeting deadlines.

I just finished the first of three illustrations for Guide magazine. Its a three part story.

The sketches I'm posting here are the ones I usually do on my lunch hour at my 9 to 5 job. The first three are sketches done for the second illustration.The rest are just what I do while watching a video. Sometimes I use reference and do a watercolor sketch but most of the time I'm just sketching from imagination.

New Painting Application Review (Leonardo) Part 2

Leonardo is a very promising painting software that came out in it's Beta version in 2017.
While I do like it, like anything else there are pros and cons.

Actually there is only one con worth mentioning but it's a big one. It has to do with the canvas resolution.

You can set the physical size of the canvas to increase the over all size of your painting but the resolution remains at 72 pixels per inch. There doesn't seem to be any menu options where you can set your preferences for the canvas resolution or any other preference. You would have to adjust what you can every time you open the app.

That's the worse thing I can say about the app and it's a big deal. However the application is still in it's Beta stage and it is only months old so with everything else being a plus it remains very promising, especially when you read that the developer has definite plans on improving the application.

From the website, "More brushes, paint bucket tool and PSD-support…

Leonardo, New Digital Painting Software

It was suggested to me by a friend on Facebook that I should try this great new software called Leonardo.

I downloaded the 14 day free trail and so far it looks good. Its like a cross between Mischief and Sketchbook Pro.

It has that infinite canvas like Mischief and it also similar to Sketchbook Pro in that it is simple and easy to use.

My one reservation was that I did not seem to be able to change the resolution of the canvas. I wrote to the makers of the program and was told that in the canvas tab I could change the settings for the canvas resolution. I was not able to find that under that tab however I'm guessing that it's because I'm running their trail version. It is a fun enough application with plenty of potential so when I do get around to downloading the full version I will post an update. In the mean time please watch the video bellow about my first look at this software.

How I Use The Layer Editor In Sketchbook


Exploring Autodesk Sketchbook and Going from Traditional to Digital

For a long time I resisted going from my paid version of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to the subscription version which is called Sketchbook. Unfortunately the only way of keeping up to date with the software would be to go with the subscription version. What is fortunate is that Autodesk does not charge a whole lot for the subscription. $29.99 for the year I can deal with and the software will always be up to date.

In the video below I talk about exploring the new brushes in the subscription version, which are terrific by the way.

I also discuss going from traditional media to digital and how I think that Sketchbook is an ideal software to start with. Of course there would be some other things needed, namely a decent tablet.

Here are some links to the software and tablets that won't break your wallet (bare in mind the price of a Wacom Cintiq "21 pen dispaly is $1,699.95 and the "22 MonoPrice is $489.99 or $517.48).......

Autodesk Sketchbook…

Some Inspirational Quotes On Drawing

Below are some quotes by famous artist on drawing and below these quotes is a video in which I talk about the quotes as I draw in Mischief.

Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality.
(Edgar Degas)

Draw everywhere and all the time. An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached.
 (Irwin Greenberg)

Keep a bad drawing until by study you have found out why it is bad.
 (Robert Henri)

One must keep right on drawing; draw with your eyes when you cannot draw with a pencil.
(Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres)

"Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist."
(Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres)

Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure.

Draw, Antonio, draw – draw and don't waste time!

It is only by drawing often, …

Starting A Painting

The start of a painting is probably the most important part of executing it. Everything that happens after fails or succeeds based upon the strength of the structure underneath.

All the thought and care that's put into the start will make the rest of the work a lot easier. More often than not I fall into the trap of thinking ahead to the finish before I consider all the work
that needs to be done in the beginning.

It's impossible to overstate how important the start is. Not that changes aren't made as one goes along to the finish but there is a great deal of assessment made from the very start.

Below is a video of a painting that I started in Autodesk Sketchbook as well as a list of books about different artist and their approaches to painting.

James Gurney....
Burt Silverman...
Harvey Dinnerstein...
Richard Schmid...

Fun Exercise Using Photo Reference

As artist we should never fall victim to the trap of just going in to copy machine mode when using reference photos. We should always keep in mind that what we are trying to translate is what makes the material (whether a photo or from life) interesting to us and in that lies ones unique interpretation of the source.

I took a reference photo I found on line and did a four different drawings based on the same photo as an exercise in being faithful to the source material without slavishly copying it.

A video posted here from my YouTube channel demonstrates two of the drawings being drawn on Mischief (digital software). 

Why The 100 Drawing Challenge Might Not Work

A popular challenge is that students or aspiring artist draw 100 drawings (when I was in high school I remember the number being higher) and at the end, by their 101 drawing they would see vast improvement. While I do agree that its a great challenge I do see that artist are taking that challenge in the wrong way. Instead of struggling through each drawing they hurriedly speed through the drawings filling up sketchbooks with bad drawings. You can't learn anything without struggle. Natural gifts and talent give you a boost but at some point everyone hits a wall that they will have to go beyond in order to get to the next level.

Below is a video from my YouTube channel in which I talk about this and about a commitment to strive against mediocrity.

As promised in the video I also include here a few of the quotes that I mentioned.

 “From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the t…

Different Aproaches to Drawing the Head from Memory and Imagination

Always useful to be able to reach into your memory and imagination and be able to draw from it. Drawing from life adds to the library of information in the mind to draw from.

I love to sketch heads from imagination. To come up with different characters.

Here are some examples of heads drawn from imagination done in my sketchbook and on my computer tablet.

Below is a video demonstrating drawing the head and here are some links for books mentioned in the video,
Andrew Loomis:
Drawing the Head and Hands
Fun With A Pencil

On Being Self Critical

In my new Friday YouTube video I discuss the importance of being self critical.

I do this as I work on a drawing in the Mischief application.

The video is below. If you like the video consider subscribing to my YouTube channel where you can view many more and can expect a new video every Friday.

Some Preliminary Work For An Illustration

I loved reading Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth. As a teen I saw that world come to life in the animated Lord of the Rings movie by Bakshi. Although looking back there was much lacking in that film to my teenage eyes it was nothing short of incredible.

After watching that movie I read all the Tolkien material I could find and to this day I remain a fan.

A little while a go I decided I wanted to illustrate a scene as a promotional illustration. I chose the scene when Merry and Pippin meet Tree Beard in Fangorn Forrest.

It remains a work in progress and hopefully I can get back to it soon. Here are some of the sketches I've made in preparation for the illustration.

Forget About Style Worry About Improving Your Drawing Instead

My youngest son loves to draw but like all young (and old) artist he's frustrated with his efforts. He's not as good as he wants to be and he's hungrily searching for a distinctive style.

I made and posted this video on my YouTube channel sharing the discussion I had with him regarding this. Hopefully he will take it to heart.

After watching the video feel free to leave comments regarding your views on this. Would love to hear what artists are thinking.

Friday YouTube Video Digital Watercolor In Rebelle 2

My latest video was just posted on my YouTube channel showing how I painted the digital watercolor on the left. I used a software called Rebelle 2 that simulates watercolor brushes very accurately.

Just below the Rebelle watercolor is the same figure in a slightly different pose that I had done earlier using traditional watercolors.

The YouTube video is at the bottom. You can also link here to my channel where you can view other videos and subscribe.

Friday Video ArtRage Self Portrait Using Pastel Brush

Recently I decided that I was going to post a new video every Friday on my YouTube channel.

This self portrait done in the digital painting application ArtRage is the subject of my latest video.

On my YouTube channel I like to explore different digital painting software. Mostly ones that are either low cost or free but all of good quality. I have subscriptions to higher end software but exploring the options that these other software shows that there are also cheaper yet powerful alternatives that you don't have to spend a lot of money on. They are also a good jumping in point for those who use traditional media and want to explore digital media.

At some point when I can afford some good recording equipment I will also introduce videos using traditional media.

Below is the video from my YouTube channel. You can also access my channel here and view more videos or subscribe to my channel if you have a YouTube account.

Watercolor Wash Drawings

Some wash drawings I completed on my lunch hour. I drew as careful a pencil drawing as I could for the one on the left and applied the wash on my lunch hour the next day.

In the next drawing I drew the figure on my way to work. He was a fellow train passenger sitting across from me who kept dozing off so I started drawing him. on my lunch hour I did the quick wash drawing based on the pencil sketch. 

The very bottom wash drawing was of my son who fell asleep across from me on a train ride headed back home from Brooklyn where we were visiting relatives. I took a snap shot of him on my phone and used that for reference.

I love doing these wash drawings because they are a very quick way of completing a sketch. Helpful when I don't have a lot of time.

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.

 For those that want to follow me on my YouTube channel where I will post a new video every Friday please click here and subscribe to my channel.


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 ev…

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,

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.