Monday, June 24, 2019

Pencil Portrait and Video

For sometime I have been doing gouache sketches on my lunch hour at work. Just recently I decided to change things up and do a pencil drawing and record my progress.

I was really unprepared to do the type of drawing I did with the materials at hand, a couple of mechanical pencils and my sketchpad. Some wooden pencil would have been better and I might have finished the drawing in one lunch hour instead of two (could've been two and a half). The drawing is what I felt like doing that day so that's what I did.

I edited the videos I created and posted it on Gumroad as a real time tutorial in two parts. The video bellow is a condensed version of the tutorial.

The video is available for purchase on Gumroad
Or you can view it as a Patreon member at the $3. tier

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Digital Pastel Painting

Back on Rebelle again.
This software produces the most satisfying images because the look is so much closer to traditional media than any of the other software I've used. While there are other software that successfully mimic traditional media Rebelle manages to do so with a minimal amount of adjustment to brush properties or any technical stuff. It not only looks like traditional media it's almost as intuitive as picking up a brush or stick of pastel and painting with it. Almost. It is still software after all but with a not too steep a learning curve.

Below is a video I posted on YouTube in which I create the image posted on top of this page.

Links referred to in the video:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Gouache Portrait Step By Step

I started with a pencil sketch just to indicate proportions and placement on the page. I then cover the whole page with a semi thin layer of paint. I am only looking to lay in a very general representation of light and dark shapes and color.

I continue to develop the large shapes, refining them and letting the larger shape lead me into smaller and smaller ones within the shape. In this way the details begin to emerge, not by trying to define the details right off but by letting the bigger outer shapes lead me to them.

As the shapes become more and more refined and the details begin to emerge I make sure to develop the background at the same time. I choose the color because of the blues and purples that are reflected in her face and hands. There was a blue curtain in the room where I took the photo reference and the light shining through the blue from those curtains and maybe bouncing up  from the jacket added the cool colors reflected on her face.

Here is the final painting. Throughout the process I placed my brushstrokes representing my best guesses at color, value and drawing and I continued in each step to make corrections until I arrived at my finish. My strategy is work from the general to the particular but only emphasize what is important.

If you want to explore the gouache medium further I have an instructional video available on Gumroad which you can purchase at the following link

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Starting My New Gouache Sketchbook

On the left is the first gouache sketch in my new sketchbook. I have been keeping a sketchbook dedicated to working in gouache on my lunch hour at work.

I wanted to grow in my painting and drawing skills as well as having a better understanding of the medium. This is now my second gouache sketchbook having started the first one sometime in February and finished it in late May. The first entry begins the challenge of striving to make the next painting better than the last. Looking back at the first sketchbook I like how I that by comparing the last and the first paintings I managed to be able to handle the paint a bit better and improve on what I am able to do with the medium. I hope to repeat the experience in my new sketchbook.

Below is a video tour of that first sketchbook.

if you are interested in the gouache instructional that I mentioned you can purchase it at Gumroad using the following link... 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Why Should You Paint Self-Portraits?

There are several reasons why I paint self portraits. Most are very practical.

First of all is the convenience of having an ever ready model. I am always available.

Then there is also the ability to practice different techniques, styles, expressions, mediums, etc.

I have also painted myself as an old pirate or used my portrait to represent a character in an illustration. Those were fun to do but I usually am more serious about doing self portraits. Even as I use the painting to practice any one of the things I mentioned I also try to inject honesty in how I view myself or I may want to give a hint of something in my character that I try to communicate to the viewer.

Below is a video from my YouTube channel in which I discuss painting self portraits as I paint the image above.

For more instructive videos you can check out my Gumroad page

For my Patreon Page mentioned in the video you can click on this link

Friday, May 10, 2019

Drawing As Playtime

I remember when I was a kid and got a brand new box of crayons the first thing I would do would be to open the box and stare at all the colors that I had to choose from. I wasn't thinking of all the big things I could create, I had no masterpiece in mind. It was more about how I could play with all these colors. I wanted to make something with it but it was more about experiencing the act of creation, of watching an image form from under my hands as I use these wonderful, colorful materials.

I don't use crayons anymore but I still get that feeling when I buy new art supplies or when I begin to sketch using digital media. Although physically I just have a tablet and a stylus there are loads of digital brushes which either mimic traditional media or have a very unique look to them. That feeling of what I could do with such tools is pretty much the same especially when I am sketching with no other purpose in mind but to broaden my skills or become more familiar with the media I am using.

The result may not be a masterpiece but it certainly was fun and helped me to consider new approaches in how I draw something or how I use the material.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Pages From My Sketchbooks

For a little over a year now I have been working each month on making enough sketches to produce a downloadable PDF Sketchbook for my Patrons on Patreon.

I constantly challenge myself to make the next one better than the last and I think that has helped me to stay disciplined and to improve. I look forward to collecting the drawings and posting them.

These are some pages from some of the sketchbooks that I post monthly on my Patreon Page. The sketches include some digital drawings that I created in some of my drawing videos for  YouTube and Patreon. Sketchbooks, Hi-Res images and exclusive videos are available to view on my Patreon page for those who care to join, but there are also a great deal of public images that non members can view.

This is the cover to my most recent Sketchbook

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Drawing Male Characters Part 2

I am continuing to work on a video series of drawing male characters. It's a lot of fun drawing the more extreme characters. There's just a lot more you can do with the less heroic characters. They're just more interesting to draw.

The first video in the series can be viewed on YouTube the others I am posting on my Patreon page and eventually making the entire series available on GumRoad.

Below are the drawings for part two which is posted on my Patreon page.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Drawing Male Characters Chap 1 Head Structure

Drawing faces from imagination involves more than knowing how to draw that generic head where you place all the features according to a structure or particular method. Of course whatever method you choose to use is important to start but how do you go from there to develop a character. You have to exaggerate and distort the underlying structure to create something unique and breathe life into the image.

This is part of the fun of sketching from imagination and even changing what you see if you use reference so that it will more closely communicate your idea or story, a skill very important to illustrators and story tellers.

I am starting a video series based on exploring drawing faces with character from imagination. The first video in the series (below) will begin with drawing a generic head. Although there are many excellent videos on drawing according to the Loomis Method or the Riley Method I thought it was necessary to start off with this as a foundation for developing character in the faces of people that are drawn from imagination.

 The other videos in this series will be available on my Patreon page and when I complete the series I will also post it on Gumroad to stream or purchase.


 Gumroad (although this series is not on Gumroad yet there are still a number of instructional video ready to stream or purchase)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Gouache Sketchbook

It seems as though the best work that I can do is a balance between some progress and a lot of things I have to work on.
I wish I could get to the point of a lot of progress and some things I have to work on.

I've been keeping up with my gouache sketchbook in which I paint on my lunch hour at work. Sometimes it takes me 2 to 3 lunch hours to complete the sketch. I think that I've been going more slowly and not trying to rush to get everything done with in that hour. I have also come back to a sketch days later or even weeks later to make corrections.

These images were sketches I came back to to make corrections.

The two images below show how much I reworked an image. I think when I started the painting I really didn't feel up to it at the time but I decided to fight to be disciplined enough to maintain my routine. I came back to the sketch about a week later to correct the image. I got to a point where I couldn't make any more changes because the paint had gotten too thick and I was concerned that the paint would start to crack if I layered anymore. I still was not satisfied with the sketch but thought at least looked better than the initial sketch.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


  I think that if I had the time to do anything I wanted all day long I would just sketch.
Sketch as many different things from life and imagination as I wanted. Sketch in as many different ways I can think of, with as many different mediums as I can think of trying. Watermedia, pencil, charcoal, ink, oil, digital, etc.

  If I sketch long enough it usually leads me to be more ambitious and I will begin to think of doing something more finished. Larger works usually follow but between finished paintings are many, many sketches and between the time I spend sketching are hours of working a 9 to 5 to pay the bills. Life would be perfect if I just got paid to sketch.




Thursday, February 28, 2019

Gouache Portrait Sketch

Lunch hour gouache sketches done in my new gouache sketchbook 7" X 10" Stillman and Birn Beta Series.

The pages in this sketchbook are thicker (270 gsm) than the one I used before . It buckles less so I am able to apply more paint and water.

I also purchased a palette with an air tight lid which keeps the paint from drying to quickly. So far they have stayed fairly moist for about two weeks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lunch Hour Gouache Sketches

I have been making good use of my lunch hour at work doing these gouache sketches.

I've been doing these for a while now and am far from being bored but I do need to collect more reference to paint from. I am also wondering what I can do solely from imagination or maybe a combination of reference and imagination. I must be careful not to get too ambitious because I only have that hour to work in. The more involved work I can save for home. Still I am wondering about trying different mediums or adding something more. I will think about it further.

The one thing I want this daily routine to produce is ambition to do more. Especially to do more finished pieces at home.


My set up at work

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sketching In The Leonardo App

 Leonardo is a great application that is currently only available in it's BETA version. The cost for the software is only $39. until it finally launches and then the cost will be $79. However in the BETA version you would be allowed to continually upgrade all the new features and improvements as they come out.

I really enjoy sketching in this application because of the natural look of the pencil tool as well as the what in my opinion is the best ink brush outside of Clip Studio. The above sketch was done using the pencil brush. Below is a video showing how I sketched the drawing pictured above in Leonardo.
If you are interested in purchasing the program it is available here.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Gouache Painting Surfaces, Palette's and Paints

One of the great things about gouache is that there are a variety of surfaces that you can use to paint on. Apart from watercolor paper one can paint with gouache in a sketchbook or on bristol or illustration board. There are drawing pads of heavy weight mixed media paper that are great for gouache.

I usually prefer a pad with good drawing paper like Strathmore 400 series paper. It's 80 lb. weight is probably the lightest weight I would use. Working on a toned paper can be fun too. Stonehenge makes a great Kraft paper pad that is 100% cotton and weighs about 100 lb. There is a watercolor board made by Canson that is a heavy weight board with an arches watercolor paper adhered to it. I like this board especially for larger paintings and for using casein paint with gouache. Watercolor paper is great to use as well. It can be hot or cold pressed. The only two surfaces I avoid are a very rough textured paper or a very smooth plate finished paper. Rough paper would have me fighting to cover the texture of the paper and the plate finish surface would be difficult to paint in opaque layers because the paint will keep lifting off the surface. Painting is hard enough without having to fight a difficult surface to work on.

The best palettes to use are the tin pallets. I recently purchased a folding watercolor pallet made by Meeden with 12 full pans to place paint in. This is a great portable palette and the tin surface is a lot easier to mix the gouache paint on than a plastic palette. When I paint at home I use a metal butchers tray to mix my paint.

Some very good and knowledgeable artist recommend squeezing out the amount of paint you intend to use and throwing out any remaining paint.Their preference is to work with fresh paint for every painting. I don't do this for two reasons. First, the paint can be expensive. Not as costly as oil paint but it can still run some money. I do my best to build my pallet on paints that cover well so that when I add water to reactivate the paint on my pallet it would cover just as well as fresh squeezed paint. Second, it's been my habit to do this since high school and it has always worked for me.

There are any number of quality gouache brands to paint with. Brands like Windsor and Newton, Holbein, M. Graham are all great brands. My personal preference is Turner Designer gouache because I like the way the paint covers the surface. Whatever brand I buy I make sure to check the description on each tube for the colors light fastness which is always indicated on the label.

For more on painting in Gouache I have a video on Gumroad that is available to purchase either as a download for $12. or you can stream it for $2.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Gouache Painting Video On Gumroad

I posted a new tutorial on Gumroad about painting a portrait in gouache. It is the first video I posted on that page about working in Traditional media.

I love gouache. It's a medium that combines characteristics of watercolor and oils. It is very flexible and forgiving and like watercolor very portable. I carry a tin palette of gouache with me everyday and use it practically everyday.

Most of the time I am making quick sketches spending no more than an hour painting in a sketchbook. For this gouache video I take it a step further and create a fully realized painting and show and explain the process.

Below is a YouTube video of one of the gouache paintings I did in my sketchbook during an hour break at work. It also served as notice about the gouache video on Gumroad.

The video is ready for download on Gumroad-
It is also available for my Patrons on Patreon in The Artist Helper Tier

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sketchbook Pages

It's been 9 months since I started my Patreon page.
I know that because each month I give out a 16 page digital sketchbook to my patrons and the latest one is pictured at left. Number 9. For the most part it is a collection of sketches I did on that particular month in which the sketchbook was posted. Mostly pencils with some other media thrown in here and there.

Making these sketchbooks has helped me out tremendously since I had to draw everyday to make sure there was enough work to fill the sketchbook and I also think that they have gotten better over that time.

I am posting here a few sample pages from several sketchbooks. If you would like to keep up with these sketchbooks just join my Patreon page and the sketchbook is available at any tier level.