Mike-Related Watercolor: Abstracted Mike (2016)

The past couple of years have enveloped me in a strange web: loss of a loved one; COVID isolation; loss of place, having relocated twice; and change in self identity as I am about to enter my 7th decade. I show the image below as one of a series of abstract portraits of Mike, who, […]

Sketch Book Series: Tonal Value Practice (September 2008)

Ideally, one should create a tonal-value strip before each sketch. The range of darkest darks to lightest light tones would thereby be established. This should be done for pencil as well as pen and ink drawings. Pen and ink values are achieved by different cross hatching strokes, whereas pencil tonal values are achieved by strokes […]

Cup of Water (September 2010)

It is complicated drawing the myriad reflections of light through a clear glass of water. To be precise, one has to take the time to figure out the tonal values of overlapping reflections, refractions and shadows. If drawing outside, one can’t take too long, or the sun will move and tonal variations will change.

Sketch Book Series: Sketch vs. Real Life (September 2010)

My notes tell what I was trying to portray in the sketch on the opposite page. I didn’t quite achieve the ‘pop’-i-ness that I saw in real life. I’m not sure that I could have accomplished this with the tools I had at the time. Perhaps if I separated the trees with a white value […]

Sketch Book Series: Shading Practice (August 2010)

My annotations on this sketch remind me of the surfaces I was trying to render. I captured the matte finish of the rim of the flower pot; I’m not so sure about the shiny white enamel of the base. Neither the matte nor the shiny surfaces show much tonal variation. I could have added white […]

Sketch Book Series: Leaf Practice (July 2010)

I was trying to find the key to getting the highest contrast between leaf surfaces and the space between them. Complimentary colors are supposed to provide maximal contrast at their interface, so I tried it (see below). I wasn’t too happy with it although, in fairness, I should have done a whole hedge to see […]

Sketch Book Series: Blue Car (July 2010)

I used this particular parking lot quite a bit (both for parking and sketching). I spent what seemed like hours on the leafy hedge, at first trying to render each leaf, later settling for overall texture. The trees, far and near, were also a challenge. My cars come out cartoony, but I like them. I […]