Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Bustle

If you're like me, you're probably just trying to keep your head above water with all of the holidays coming up. Honestly speaking, it's not really because of the shopping, but more because of the traditions that I am so busy.

I was also trying to take on some side projects this last couple months that were keeping me occupied and away from my Blogger-posting bliss. So to make up for that, here are a few sketches that I worked on and a more finished version of the ink painting in the previous post.

The ink painting wasn't co-operating very well when scanned, and unfortunately, I am not too happy with my photography setup as one of my lamps bit the dust. The sketches came out well of course. ^_^

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have a book on Chinese painting that has been sitting around in my library that I rediscovered recently. Tonight a read a few pages of techniques and scanned some interesting examples quickly before heading to the drawing board. The below pictures are some in-progress shots of an ink painting that I started while under the influence of some of these new ideas. The finished piece would be classified as spontaneous, detailed style. However, it's still in the works (not pictured here). Right now, I would call this a very spontaneous painting! ^_^

I've always enjoyed the splashy and free style achieved in the spontaneous Chinese and Japanese ink paintings. In my opinion, it's pretty hard to get one or two blobs of ink to say, "That's a fox!" It's a challenge that I enjoy while fulfilling my personal aesthetic by keeping things clean, simple and energetic.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Here are some more character studies. One is a redesign from a project I did in college. I've posted a test sketch I did of this character in Photoshop earlier in the year. The other is a more familiar face (Wizlewaud).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exciting Speech Bubbles

...and here you see some in use. I was doodling the character I developed, Cropall, when I decided experiment with non-typical stances. They still need a little work, but I'm happy with the surprise in the facial expression. I also updated her outfit from the dress I typically draw her in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Cleaning

Well, it's getting cooler around here and I can't wait for the fall to finally come into full swing! Who can resist all the fun festivals going on during the fall? Everything from caber tossing to candied apples!

So before fall officially starts, I'd like to get out a few sketches/thumbnails that have been sitting around from earlier in the year. Perhaps they'll make a comeback this fall in a larger form.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Animal Studies

So I had a few animal studies laying around... Oh, look. It's a fox! With schizophrenia...

And here's a turtle... Of the two of them, I think he's a little more emotionally stable. ^_~

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Working Over the Dust

Here are a few sketches from various times in the last year. The "samurai" inspired sketch was a fun leftover from a watercolor experiment, while the pen sketch below was something I drew to keep in practice with draping cloth, mostly recreated from memory.

Nothing fancy today!

In the meantime, I'm trying to put some more energy into making getting to a finished piece. Sketches are great, and you can't really ever underestimate their value, but it's important to remember to move past that point, too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Themed Like 100°!

Here are some themed sketches in light of the recent heat wave in my area! It has been a longer heat wave than most of us are used to here. When you get into your car which has been parked in an exposed, sunny parking lot for eight hours and you feel no discernible change in temperature from open air to car, you know it's hot. I went for a short walk the same day in near 100° temperatures (which is not typical for this region) for the heck of it. When am I going to get a chance to walk outside in wind that is the same temperature as the asphalt? Yes, it was very hot (there were heat advisories), but my companion brought water and we partook of that along the way. Safety first kids.

In light of that, here's some refreshing water:

And a critter who could probably use a little of it:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Safari in a Box

I recently visited the zoo in my area, which is not a large affair, but it is most gratifying in it's selection of beasties which includes a pair of hyenas and rhinos among other things. I took my sketchbook with me and managed to grab a few quick sketches.

I thought the rhinos had some of the prettiest eyes and feet. A strange thing to say about a rhino, but that was my impression at the time!

And then I did a few sketches a day or so later off of the inspiration I got from seeing all of the exotic animals.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Blue Full-Stop in Digital

I am working on becoming familiar with my tablet at the moment. It's a challenge to achieve the effects that I would normally go for in a traditional painting, but since I'm using digital media, I don't feel too heart broken about switching up my style. If you are using acrylic or pastel, you probably have your reasons, one of which might be style. I feel the same is true of digital "painting" or "sketching."

Here I have converted a line drawing into Vector artwork and then imported it into Photoshop for a little color treatment. You can see the original sketch in the image at the bottom as part of a whole character study sheet. Coloring the sketch digitally was a refreshing experience. I limited myself to a few shades of blue just to get a feel for the different tones required.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Deer Mood

Oh, deer! :D

Well, I started in the classic English way, by drawing left to right. So the buck came first and then I liked the concept so much I kept going into the second page with the doe and faun to make this sketch a fun diptych. I enjoyed making a closed environment via the trees and using heavy shading to make the deer and bushes in the foreground stand out. The anatomy of the deer still leaves something to be desired, but as a quick sketch with no reference, this will serve nicely for the foundation of a future painting. It even has most of the shading "discovered" as well, a very important part of setting mood in any painting/drawing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Boom Boom Wall

Here's a couple sketches with stone walls. I drew them within a couple weeks of each other (I think) so I was probably working off the same line of thought. Not much to say about them, though, except that I enjoyed drawing the stone effect and exercising different perspectives.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spooky Sketch

Here's a rough I did last month (as you can see) with night lighting. Painting night scenes is challenge for me because they use a different set of colors than what you would use for mid-day or even twilight scenes. I felt I wanted to practice just the basic lighting before I even thought about color and ta-DA! Here it is:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Red Wings on Blackbirds and Wetland Wonders

I have happily succeeded in getting out and about in nature this week after work with a very talented artist friend (featured below in one of my sketches). As is usually the course when we go a hunting for sketches, we have a great time, and usually bag a few hapless scenes and objects in our sketchbooks before the evening is over (please note, we are unarmed, unless you want to count witty retort as a weapon...). We usually try to go out to a park when we have time to do wart together and this time was no exception; thankfully, the trail we chose was not so water logged that it was impassable and we were able to make our way to a favorite haunt: a small board walk over the neck of a little outlet from a large pond to a little pond. I have featured this spot in part in previous drawings and paintings.

It's a nice marshy area with lots of water, reeds, and very wet, swampy-smelling earth. As we paused there, we a good chance to observe some of the habits of Red-Wing Blackbirds as they flew around over the smaller pond we were facing and hopped amongst the stiffer, dry reeds and cattails. They have a distinctive call that I find soothing in it's familiarity. They did not deign to sit still long enough for me to catch one in a sketch, though, so this description will have to do.

We didn't have a lot of daylight since we had to walk a fair distance to get to our destination and still plan enough time to get back to the car before the sun went down, but below are the two sketches I managed to run off quickly while we were there.

The above sketch is a view from the boardwalk into the smaller pond. The water was high, so it rushed under the boardwalk/bridge with gusto!

A quick sketch of Kristy sketching! I really like how it turned out. ^_^

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh, Mr. Rain, please hold on in the sky a little longer...

It's a rainy day in my locale as well as cold. However, having lived here for most of my life, I'm used to it and the gloom doesn't get me down. Too much. You learn to live in it. Not that we are all full of angst and depression around here, but you get up, take your daily Vitamin D and move on to the next task (usually in something waterproof). It can be charming though; I especially like listening to thunder and rain in the evening. To me, it's soothing. Now, my cats don't share this perspective, but when I start to gripe about how little average sunlight we've have around here in the last month, etc, I remember that there are places in the world where people don't get full sunlight for six months or other places where it never stops raining for the whole season.

Sure! the grass is greener on the other side, but it could also be infested with locust and The Plague. Who needs that? I'm happy here, thanks.

Speaking of rain, here is a tropical themed sketch:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's Spring: Get the Lawn Mower Out!

It's May 1st! Enjoy some Spring themed sketches:

No ramble today! Have a good week. ^_^

Friday, April 15, 2011

Go Fly a Kite

It's definitely Spring out! Signs I have seen/heard lately would include the following: crocuses, daffodils, grass, sun (a rare occurrence in my neck of the woods), mocking birds singing for the ladies, frogs, construction and people out in shorts. That last one might be a little premature, and the second to last one is definitely premature in my opinion. Of course, my long commute has created a strong bias. Anyway, Spring, hurray!!! ^_^

See how long ago I've been waiting for Spring? It's tough when you live in a place that is 2/3rd's winter and 1/3rd construction.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nothing Hare-ing About It!

I while back I found A Polar Bear's Tale and thought that it was quite an interesting blog. This blogger posted about an artist who had made a felted sculpture of a pair of hares, which at the time, was something that I was researching for a painting I was sketching out.

I am continuing the trend of putting jewelry on animals after the manner of my fox painting. For this next one, I was partly inspired by the way horses are dressed up for parades or how camels are hilariously adorned (I am supposing to attract potential buyers or to show off wealth). It's a slow process for me right now, but I am enjoying putting frivolous jewelry on creatures that have no use for them. The idea is to be purely pretty. It also has an irony to it that I find pleasing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am a fan of the idea of a good walkabout, especially, in relation to art; it's easy to get drawn into a pat set of rules and do the same things over and over again until they get tired, but it's important to step back and look at what you liked about art to begin with. Maybe that's a little deep. Maybe that's your thing. Either way, it means I spend some time looking at things that attract me visually as an artist, whether it's a beautiful bird, a star constellation, a muddy puddle or maybe some abstract art. It freshens the proverbial slate and provides a new landscape of inspiration from which to draw.

Since I have recently done one acrylic piece, I suddenly have an urge to do many, many watercolor works. I believe the appeal is that they are fast; the effects that I enjoy the most come from a little skill and a little understanding about letting the dye/watercolors do what they want (a never-ending process of learning). I am still quite happy with using Dr. Martins even if it means they might have a tendency to fade quickly. Unfortunately, selling originals won't work very well, but I'll be happy to keep a print for display and hide the original in a safe, light-free place.

Here's one I did this weekend.  I was aiming for a mysterious description of the dress by way of watercolor puddles, but the dress's skirt isn't as well defined as I would like.


Full view.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blow Dryer Bliss

I finally got around to finishing a painting that has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. The sketch was actually posted here about a year ago and was left to sit around in the creative recesses of my mind until half a year ago I started it and then tonight finished it. Well, as finished as anything ever is! I may go back and try to make some darker areas on the figure in order push out lighter areas, but at this point I'm concerned about overworking it.

And here is a fun wet into wet watercolor I started in an intermediate stage. The "final" is shown at the very bottom.

This was meant to be a warm up; sometimes I need to muck about with no real goal in mind to get myself into the mood to actually paint between the lines for something else.  Unfortunately, the picture below does not do it justice as it was executed in Dr. Martin's Concentrated Watercolors and is extremely luminous in person. I painted wet into wet and then used a blow dryer between the red and blue layers. After that things got a little crazy and very puddle like. The ringed effect was created by the rapid drying of the blow dryer. I quite like it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Promised Dinosaur

So I promised a dinosaur that I drew on "Draw A Dinosaur Day" and here it is! Just a quick little doodle, not very anatomically correct, but I enjoy the stylized swoop of the wings and body. I had one other, but I was taking notes in church and wrote all over him! Alas, I have not liberated him from my chicken scratch, so this one will have to suffice.

And here is a quick watercolor I did while playing around with some quill tipped calligraphy pens the other day. The quill tips are fun, but I never spend very much time with them. I always enjoy the variety a liner brush can give me so easily as opposed to the scratchy sharp lines on a calligraphy quill tip. I know I am not using them appropriately in some instances, so that may contribute to my lack of enthusiasm for them. However, I do enjoy experimenting with them every once in a while. ^_^

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Scenic Inspiration

So no dinosaurs yet because I haven't scanned them yet, but I will make an effort to do so in the near future since I promised at least one. ^_~

I used to enjoy drawing human figures almost exclusively, but now I find that I am enjoying animals and scenery quite a bit. It's possible that I feel a need to expand my knowledge of these subjects as I lack familiarity with them. Here are a couple sketches I did recently, just off the cuff, to practice.

I still enjoy stylizing the scenery. I doubt I will ever be the type to paint a pasture with complete accuracy for the sake of the painting; I might do that to practice, but as a final product I find much more enjoyment in having a stylized scene since photography can often do a much better job at capturing detail much more quickly than I can!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Refreshing a Thought

Here is a study I did of Cropall recently. Yes, she and her sister, Wizelwaud, are still floating around out there in the aether. I do still draw them to keep myself "familiar" with how they look.

It also happens to be Draw A Dinosaur Day, so if you want to draw a dinosaur get on board! I may not actually submit mine to the website, but I thought it would be a fun thing to participate in at least on a personal level. I don't have anything I want to show yet, but there will be a dinosaur upcoming!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Winter Wonderland that wants to kill your car...

So I've had my fair share of car trouble in the past couple of winters. Now that I drive nearly a half hour (in good weather) to reach my regular day job, I've discovered that a lot of things can go wrong along the way, especially if you like to take the expressway as I do. Everything from slipping off the road in snowy conditions to loosing your exhaust. I even found that one of my tires had almost completely deflated just as I was about to leave from work! I limped home with the dummy tire on only to find that another tire was nearly flat the next morning (depicted below).

There's no doubt about it folks: if you're going to drive in the snow you will experience some sort of trial, whether it's your own car getting old and quitting on you or another driver experiencing their own difficulty. But I'm here to tell you that while it may initially be a frustrating, even frightening experience (i.e. Crashing), as long as no one got hurt, you mine as well make the best of the situation. For example, I had to replace my exhaust a while back because it practically fell out on my way to work in the morning. I could have been ticked that I had to spend exorbitant amounts of money to replace almost the whole thing, but I preferred to look on the bright side, namely, that I got to experience something new (trying to exit off the expressway as soon as possibly accompanied by the sound cacophonous sound of scraping metal and an un-muffled exhausted) and I got a memorable picture out of it, too (thank you smart phone).

So enjoy this sketch, humorously retelling one of my many car troubles experienced this winter. A couple versions have been drawn for added hilarity.

I think I will have to bribe my car with more oil changes and Armor All wipes in order to avoid so many unfortuante... incidences.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Here are a few sketches I did of cats in the last month or so. I was trying to experiment with some funny expressions on some of them while on others I was mostly interested in making a sinuous form. I was also trying to see how much detail I could be rid of before the shape stopped looking like a cat. I think I could have gone farther with this concept.

Cats are very good at making fun curly cues with their bodies; as always, it's a delight to draw the graceful form of a cat! 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unusual Mermaid Kind

Tired of busty, Disney-inspired mermaids? Yeah, me too. Hopefully, this chain-mail wearing, skip-jack tuna inspired mermaid will help to clear that up. I know I've done chain mail before, but this could be considered more of a scale armor instead...

While I'm OK with (and even enjoy) Disney's "The Little Mermaid," I've become a little bored with the usual portrayal of mermaids as siren-like Barbies. It's nice to switch things up a bit, which is why I started looking around for some inspiration a little while back and drew my own version of a fish person.

Granted, she's a little Barbie like in her own right, but all in all I feel it's a nice departure from the norm. Looking at strange and unusual fish might be an exercise I will continue; it might be nice to see how many types of mer-people I could come up with.