Drawing inspiration

You’ve heard the recommendation to draw studies from the work of folks who inspire you, to get a sense for their craft, right? I’d add that it also helps you appreciate their work on an entirely different level. Take these sketches I did from Rembrandt the other day. I love the intense darks and smoky sepia tones in his work, but it took sketching from him to realize just how subtle and mischievous the facial expressions of his subjects are. For anyone who’s painted or drawn from a live model, you’ll realize what a challenge this is–over very long sitting periods both artist and model tend to settle into a grim and rigid expression. The number of quick sketches he did for these must have been extensive.

Rembrandt sketches

The look of bemusement on the man in the gorget’s face–I’m imagining that this is a ridiculous outfit even for the wealthy of 17th century Holland. Or the sly and considering look of the woman in the door, her wedding ring just peeking over the top of her blouse. You can really see why his work is so enduring.

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Beastly

A sketchbook spread using the idea of ‘beauty and the beast’ as a stepping off point.

Beauty and the Beast

I’m working on a number of things that can’t really be shared until the projects launch, so this is all I have to show for myself at the moment. Enjoy?
(You can click it for a full view, since my blog’s format wasn’t wide enough for it. Any suggestions for stock wordpress themes that are more accommodating to art?)

(Oh, and it’s ebony pencil in a moleskine sketchbook, for anyone curious)

The freelance mindset

One of the dangers of setting your own schedule: it’s really easy to allow weeks to slip by without noticing. I’ve been pretty loose with scheduling lately, as a follow-up to a contract that had me pretty rigidly locked in for a few weeks, and it has not done good things for my timeliness.

For one, I forgot to blog a mention about my guest post over at Inkpunks, which outlines some basics of website design (applicable even to lazy folks like me who rely upon blogs and premade themes to do the bulk of our work).

Today Evan’s guest post went live on Inkpunks, in which he talks about his struggles in finding a comfortable space he can feel creative in, even in cramped living situations.

And this past weekend, my little brother graduated from JMU! In an outdoor stadium, in the pouring rain! Congrats Warren! I’m so proud of you. I hope your celebratory 3 day, 50-mile canoe and camping trip in the pouring rain still manages to be extremely enjoyable despite everything.

And just for fun, something new from my sketchbook:

Wizard + cat

Happy agenda management, everyone!

Oh look what I found

I was cleaning my desk cubbies yesterday, and found these.

Dragon and BirdsMoth monster

The moth creature I remember abandoning, because I realized that I’d accidentally used water-soluble walnut ink on a piece I’d intended to watercolor. The dragon I remember drawing (it was around the same time as this piece), but I can’t for the life of me recall why I put it down.

Artist secret: we give up on a lot of things. Though now that I’ve found these, who knows. I might clean them up and use them for digital coloring practice.

In other news, I recently revived my Dribbble account. If you’re a member, be sure to drop by and say hello! I need more folks to follow.

 

Outdoor drawing days

Spring, waiting just around the corner all winter long, has truly sprung on us here in the Mid-Atlantic. We’ve had highs above 70°F for most of the week which — while troubling in what it might mean for the coming summer — makes for good outdoor sketching weather.

So here… some sketches!

Bald cardinal

This poor be-mited chap's been getting progressively more pathetic looking every time he visits our feeder. He's doing good otherwise, though. Has a mate, is king cardinal of the territory. Just... has a tonsure.

Bird dragon

I've been noodling around with this image for weeks now, playing with colored pencil shading and blending techniques.

Seal person

Was considering possible mermaid types while sitting and watching Evan fix the weather stripping on his old volvo. Doodled this in the process.

If you’d like more art, go take a peek at my website. I just updated it. :)

Rest up

Is what the orthodontic surgeon told me to do. But since it’s never so hard to take it easy as when you’ve been commanded to do it, well… here are those ink sketches I posted yesterday. But colored.

Llama deer person... in color!Cheshire Cinnamon, coloredNow I’m going to go lie down, because the painkillers are making me dizzy and tired. But I’ll probably make more art tomorrow.