Mustachioed Man

Usually I sit off to the side of my subject when I sketch. I was face-to-face with the gentleman whose portrait I sketched for this post. I was careful not to stare. This technique required me to glance up, memorize features, sketch, and peek again for a reality check. The inset is a pencil sketch […]

Man with the Arms

I found a process I like for sketching people. I use pencil first… not even a drawing pencil. I use a mechanical pencil with soft lead. As my subject shifts, I sketch the limbs in their changed position. Sometimes this happens several times.  I use pen and ink to emphasize the strong lines and leave […]

Cactus in February

Today, I take a break from February’s small watercolored sketches. The past couple have been sub par. Here is a photo of the last remaining plant in a cactus garden that I started shortly after moving west.  It seems to be flourishing, just as I hope to be in the coming year.

Dumb or Brave

As it happens, there were two of us taking a break at the same time. There was nothing inanimate to draw, so I made a portrait of my work buddy. We chatted as I sketched away. I am usually not brave enough to draw a portrait with that person aware of it. I expect the […]

Looking at Old Pictures

To peruse old photographs in the 21st century is to pry up the laptop lid, open the files on the disk (that one of the techie relatives made from the original paper photographs), and scrub through them on the screen. Below is a watercolored pencil sketch of just such an occasion.

Frame Shop

My last break of January at the frame shop. I thought I would create a visual memory of the shop by hand, not that I’m going anywhere.  I am pleased that I returned to sketching this past month. Although I think I’m tuned into my environment, sketching forces me to recreate the appropriate spatial relationships […]

Bum Leg

When I was an active photographer, it was very difficult taking candid shots of people at close range. I did not wish my subjects to be aware of my presence. It is much easier being invisible with a sketch pad than a camera, although I am careful not to stare. Sketching is more stealthy to […]

Early Break

I’m using my coffee breaks to sketch. Since my breaks are 15 minutes, I must be quick. I want to capture the spirit of the scene as well as the important physical features, to make it recognizable. Much can change in 15 minutes in a cafe. In the scene below, the lady standing at the […]