Saturday, November 29, 2014


Figured it was time to start adding some color to this blog, but I made the mistake of coloring this without layers, and by the time I realized it, I could not go back in the history to adjust it. Oh well, came out pretty good regardless.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More kids...

Hair is one of my bigger challenges, so I took some time today to work on it. Like with everything else, I have not drawn enough hair to have a memory bank to pull from. However, I think these came out really well, my favorite being the top right (that most likely due to the fact that I used a different size and color brush to outline the rest of the kids. The guy in the middle is my attempt at an adult. It is ok, but needs work.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fishing - Sketch of the day...

...late or early, depending on what time I hold myself to!

Friday, November 21, 2014


One of my all time favorite stories is Leo Tolstoy's "Where Love is, God Is". The first time I heard it was Reba McIntire's version on the radio. Much shorter than the original, but still had impact. There are other versions, and it was even made into a claymation movie many years ago. Publishing a picture book version of this story, or perhaps a bit longer book, has been my goal for many years, and will most likely be on the radar until it happens.

Below are 2 attempts at character sketches. The first is my "blind" attempt (using no reference). Not good, but I think it is fun to see how someone develops their art, so I am sharing as well. The other is my second attempt after looking at some men sitting, and studying older men briefly. I also used Photoshops 3D primitives to work out his posture, which you can tell I was having trouble with in the first image. Overall I like how it turned out,but the face and hair need work as it does not have the "old troubled cobbler" look I envision. But a good first (second) attempt.


As I have been working on this for the past fews days, I cannot recall the inspiration for the sketch below. It comes from an idea I had for PiBoIdMo. For reference, I drew the goose below the sketch. Came out a lot better than I thought it would as I was working.

I wanted to add an antagonist to the geese sketch, but I need to do a bit more research on them as all my attempts looked weird. I am excited about how well my sketches are turning out. My fear is that I will not be able to take any to final product in my effort to develop a portfolio. However, the self-defeating, complaining blogger of the past is no more. With God's help, I will have a portfolio done in the next year, hopefully sooner.

Monday, November 17, 2014

PiBoIdMo & SkADaMo & ballerina's, oh my!

Life has a funny way of tripping you up when you establish a goal for yourself. While I have managed to keep up with my output of ideas for PiBoIdMo, my sketching of those ideas, along with doing a daily sketch has been a bit harder. With running my son to rehearsals, my daughter's science project (shudder), and my work obligations, finding time to draw has been hard this weekend. I did get the below sketches done while waiting during one of the rehearsals, but that was Sat. :P Anyway, I am not necessarily complaining as I have done more drawing in the past couple months than I have over the past 2 years since I went "offline" from this blog.

I have a request... if you find yourself here looking around, leave me a comment. This is 1. a test to make sure that the page views I see in my stats are not just bots, but humans; and 2. to hopefully begin to develop new connections thru this blog. I miss the community of illustrator (and writer) friends that passed by. Where has everyone gone?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Process of learning...

 When I draw, I usually try to create the sketch first without reference. Probably not the most productive, and will most likely change as I get better, but for sketching it works ok. One example is today's sketch. The image below shows my initial sketch of a little girl screaming, working from memory and assumptions on how I thought she should be posed. What I ended up with was a little monkey faced girl attempting to take a bite some whatever might be out of frame. (Ok, it is not that bad, but obviously could be better!) Also shown are my further attempts to get her mouth right.

I have been going thru my copy of Drawn to Life: Vol 1 and came across some tips on using angles in your images. When I started the image above, I knew to balance herself, the girl would have her arms back as she leaned forward. After looking thru the text and further examining the image above, I knew her legs also needed to be angled to help with balance (and the dynamics of the image).

Not happy with the mouth either, I looked up some images of kids screaming, and found one of a little girl screaming at her sister (posed stock photo). I quickly sketched her to get a feel for the angles, and how her mouth was shaped. Thus the second sketch below.

Much more dynamic. Using this knowledge, I sketched the image below.

Still a work in progress, but much better than the first! I am also learning to simplify in the beginning to get the pose correct with shapes before I begin adding details, which helps a great deal as well.

If you don't have a copy of Drawn to Life (there are 2 volumes), grab one. There is a wealth of info there to help improve your drawing.

I will end this post by saying to any aspiring illustrators who happen by, don't allow "bad" drawings or "lack of skill" or "lack of progress" to discourage you into giving up like I did. I lost over 2 years of work because I did not have my priorities straight of what I wanted to do and the skills I had deep inside. Improvement takes time, sometimes years. And you have to do it a lot. I mean a lot. Keep your eye on the destination, but enjoy the ride as well. I have a quote on a sticky note some to that effect. Will have to dig it out so I can share it. And if you are looking for some good illustration information, Will Terry has a host of tutorial and advice videos and classes thru his YouTube channel, blog, and online school.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Little dog found...

Another quick 3am sketch...

Monday, November 10, 2014

PiBoIdMo - Day 10

Took some time off from the day job to get a few things done around the house that I keep having to put off. As a result, that left little time to draw. Winding down now and took a few minutes to sketch this.

No one in my immediate family has seen snow. My wife and I experienced a small bit back in 1989, but nothing like covers the ground up north. My daughter's comments about wanting to see "real" snow prompted this sketch, and an idea for a picture book.

Friday, November 7, 2014

PiBoIdMo - Day 6

Not sure why, but ducks were on my mind to draw tonight. Added mama duck, but she needs a tad more work.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Making time for art

Sometimes 3am is my time to draw (or at least do a rough sketch).

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

PiBoIdMo ~ Day 4 sketches

So far, being a part of the PiBoIdMo group is proving fruitful, at least as far as ideas go. Only day 4 and I have 6 ideas down. Granted, the first 2 have been in my head for quite a while. Below are some sketches of 2 of the ideas I wrote down yesterday and today.

I have always had a love of trains, and these two ideas spring from that love.

It is quite amazing how your brain works when you have committed to something. Enjoying the ride so far.

Monday, November 3, 2014


PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) officially started this past Saturday. I joined for a few reasons: 1. to give myself a needed reason to think outside the box/get my creative juices flowing, 2. to get the ideas in my head down on paper finally, and 3. just because it seemed like fun. While I am not actively pursuing becoming an author, there is that "bucket list" goal of publishing a book at some point in my life.

To help keep me on track with both PiBoIdMo and my daily drawing goal, I am going to do my best to draw an illustration that goes along with each idea I put down. My first idea is already illustrated here (second one) and Sunday's idea was illustrated a while back (third one down). The challenge is on!