Saturday, January 31, 2009

Skewed Smile Portrait

OK, so I decided that I am going to dedicate a series of days to portraits. The book on drawing talks about how a face is really composed of the spaces between the features, or that is to say, eyes, nose, lips, chin, etc...

It is interesting to think of the number and diversity of faces out there.

Here is my first try at a portrait. The shading defines more shape than I expected. The smile is a little skewed.

Portrait sketch with a skewed smile

Friday, January 30, 2009

Measuring Tape

Drawing, like most things in life, goes a lot better if you relax, don't take it so seriously, and just have fun.

Here is a measuring tape.

sketch of a measuring tape

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mortar and Pestle

Today I drew a wooden mortar and pestle. I tried to capture the grain of the wood, and this came out most in the pestle. Otherwise, it was again a shading problem to try create show the round shape.

Sketch of a wooden mortar and pestle

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sable Statue

Today I drew a wooden statue of a Sable(an antelope in Africa).

It was difficult to even get the shape right, the perspective on the chest and shoulder was more tricky than I had thought. Still a fun drawing, and I think it turned out OK.

Sable Statue

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today I drew a cafetera, which is a kind of old school espresso maker. I think the shading worked pretty well to show the metal, I could have done better on the symmetry and the perspective.

sketch of an old school cafetera

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blood Cells

I don't know if it is because I am reading about cells right now, but I decided to try draw them from a microscopic photo. Basically they look like round tires, but they are completely solid. It was difficult to create this rounded perspective with all the dimension of cells, a good shading challenge I will try again.

Sketch of Blood Cells

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Old Pair of Shoes

Today I decided to draw shoes. I drew the shoe on the right first and it shows in terms of detail and shading. Attaining symmetry between the two shoes was a challenge, of course, but I don't think it turned out too badly.

Sketch of an old pair of shoes

I've been
Drifting along
in the same
stay old shoes

loose ends
tying the noose
in the back
of my mind

if you thought
that you were making your way
to where the puzzles and pagans lay
put it together,
it's a strange invitation

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Candle Stick Holder

Today I drew a candle stick holder. My sister in law was over and helped me with the shading on the metal and to leave places white for shiny spots. She also gave me a good tip to shade with the shape of the object. So I shaded horizontally to help convey the rounded nature of the holder. Overall I am happy with the drawing, I could have done more work on the candle, but that only occurred to me later...

Sketch of a candle stick holder with an unlit candle

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spaced out Grouper

Today I drew an image of grouper that looks like it is on drugs, or watching Disney Chanel, or something.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I have learned to start drawings by doing a rough sketch of the outer lines of the image. Another thing I have learned is to take a step back after I have progressed a certain amount in a drawing. The perspective helps to see places that need to be emphasized and how the shading is working.

Sketch of a spaced out grouper

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boquet of Roses

Today I drew a bouquet of roses. I notice now that when I start a drawing I tend to do a rough sketch of the outer edges and then try to draw in the darkest lines. I think it is something that has just fallen out from practice and doing this every day.

Sketch of a boquet of roses

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sketch of Curry Leaves

Sticking with the theme of drawing detailed images of plants, I drew a branch of the Curry plant. I really like capturing the detail of nature like this.

Sketch of a Branch of Curry Leaves

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two Stems of Wheat

Inspired by the drawings of Robert Hooke in his book Micrographia I decided to draw stems of wheat in detail. I drew only two stems because it gave the composition more space and a feeling of calm.

Sketch of stems of wheat

Monday, January 19, 2009

Honey the Boston Terrier mit Hat

My brother is over today and he brought his dog, Honey, who is a Boston Terrier. I decided to try draw Honey, and because I like the idea of a Terrier with a Bowler Hat, I drew one in.

Honey has a kind of melancholy in her eyes and a kind of dignity in her face, and I didn't manage to capture either, but one day...

A Sketch of a Boston Terrier wearing a hat

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A small cooking pot

Today I drew a small cooking pot. I worked to try draw the potions of the pot that gleamed with reflected light. I tried to accomplish this mainly with heavy shading. I think a better way would be to shade around the bright spot and leave the bright spot white.

a small cooking pot

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Bunch of Grapes

Today I decided to do a sketch of a bunch of grapes that were sitting on my table. As always, it is better to work from a live model. The challenge here was in composition, how to make the shape of the grapes, where to put the vine, and how to make grapes appear behind other grapes.

Sketch of a bunch of grapes

Friday, January 16, 2009

Deck of Cards

Today I tried to sketch a deck of cards which I spilled across the table and then turned the ace of hearts face up to end the pile.

Sketch of a deck of cards

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Desk Still Life

Today I did a still life of a desk scene. The scene consists of a flower in a vase, and a small bowl with a letter on top. I am pretty pleased with the results. I think I have become more relaxed with drawing and less afraid of making mistakes. I experimented with shading a lot in this drawing and it adds a lot to the picture. In general, I think shading is one of the best techniques to master.

A drawing of a desk scene with a letter, small bowl, and a flower

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Drawing of Lake Johnson in Raleigh North Carolina

This is a drawing of Lake Johnson from the Dam. The forest was very dark in silhouette. I found creating the vanishing point and the composition of the drawing to be difficult, as was trying to create contrast between the dark shades of the water and the forest.

A drawing of Lake Johnson from the dam

Some rays of sun fell across the drawing as I photographed it, I like the effect.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nautilus Shell

My drawing on the nautilus shell, a form of biological beauty. Trying to get the shading to reflect spherical depth was the challenge of this drawing.

Drawing of a Nautilus Shell

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is my first attempt at a large scale drawing as opposed to a simple object. It is of a train arriving at a platform. The front of the train has a sheet coverring it with Chinese characters written on it. The scene is set in Tibet, therefore we see mountains in the background.

The difficulty in this drawing was to create a proper vanishing point and to give the train and the platform proper perspective.

It more fun that I expected to try and capture the detail and emotion of a full scene. A train arriving at a platform is at once amazing and mundane.

Drawing of a Train arriving on a platform

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Webkinz Pink Pegasus

My niece was over today and so we spent some time drawing. Here is my take of her Webkinz Pink Pegasus that had a long shiny silver mane.

Drawing of a Webkinz Pink Pegasus

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Statue of Liberty

I got my 1040 tax forms today (what a special feeling), anyway, I saw the statue of liberty there on the front, and new I had to draw it. Here are the results of my humble attempt:

sketch of the statue of liberty

It really was quite a special feeling trying to draw the statue. I hadn't realized all the detail and expression in it before. There really is a lot to the face. It was inspiring, made me wish I could draw better.

I remember reading in the book that drawings can be created using shading alone, with no outline, and well, this is also my first drawing with that technique.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Flying Pugs with Bowlers

Not the greatest picture but I like the concept of flying pugs with bowlers. I will take another try at this later.

a drawing of flying pugs with bowlers

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pint Glass

This is my first attempt draw a glass object and it is a pint glass. The book has a lot of good tips on how you have to draw the reflection and the refraction with glass. It isn't so much about the glass, but how it distorts the objects behind the glass. In any case, I think I mostly failed, but that is OK for a first try, or any try really, and I will be taking another crack at this.

A coca-cola pint glass

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bamboo Branch behind a Window

There is a bamboo plant sitting in front of a window in my music room. I saw it and was inspired to try sketch the branch behind the window. It is a peaceful perspective. I like how the window panes add a sense of framing and abstraction.

branch behind a window

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An Umbrella

Today was a rainy day and so I was inspired to do a drawing of an umbrella.

a drawing of an umbrella

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Bunch of Bananas

Today I drew a sketch of a bunch of bananas using a real bunch as a model. It was so refreshing to draw something from a live model and not from a sketch in the book. I think I did an alright job, but could have done better with the shading to show which bananas were in front and which were in the background.

Sketch of A Bunch of Bananas

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Shell

Today is another day in the series of drawing shells and trying to understand/practice the skill of soft shading to define the subtle round shapes and lines. The part at the bottom is a shadow.

shell defined by soft shading

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another Conch Shell

Today's lesson was to draw a conch shell with a different shape. It was really difficult to show the curve with shading alone, though the idea was to use shading to define the shape. I think it would have been easier if there was a live model available.

A conch shell demonstrating shading techniques

Friday, January 2, 2009

Conch Shells With Soft Shading

The book had some lessons on using color, but I skipped them for now and jumped ahead to soft shading. I drew this conch shell, which could have more defined shading, but it is the best I can do at this point in time...

Conch Shells With Soft Shading

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Round Up Bubble Gum Box

I love the graphics on this candy box and decided to try sketch it.

Drawing of a round up bubble gum box