This rough sketch actually represents two new things for me: First, I’ve joined Ustream and have my own channel which I’m calling “SketchyCam Live!”. I started this drawing during tonight’s inaugural broadcast. I’m still experimenting with Ustream so it’s nothing fancy. Just me turning on the camera whenever the mood strikes, which hopefully will be at least once a week. There are still a lot of kinks to work out (audio problems for one) and I don’t have a formal schedule. But if you follow my studio on Facebook or Twitter you’ll see me announce whenever I’m flipping the camera on. Feel free to tune in and join the chat while I sketch.

Second, I thought I’d use this sketch to try a new coloring technique. Instead of going straight to color I painted the whole thing in grayscale and then laid some light color washes over the top. It’s an old painting technique that goes back hundreds of years but one that I haven’t dabbled in since college. One advantage of this method is that its much easier to figure out your value range (lights and darks) without color getting in the way. The danger is that either the colors will get muddy if you lay them in too lightly, or if you lay them in to opaquely they’ll completely obliterate the value scheme underneath. I’m sure there’s a way to avoid both problems in Photoshop which I just haven’t figured out yet. Either way its just refreshing to do something painterly for a change.

Sketchbook Month: Day 14

Thought I’d try something a little different today for Sketchbook Month. I was thumbing through a drawing book by Andrew Loomis and was utterly amazed at what he was able to do with just a pencil and a little shading. I’ve also really enjoyed my friend Tim Hodge’s recent gorilla sketches. So I combined the two—I did a Google image search for “gorilla” and found this photo, and then tried to sketch it ala Loomis. Then I slapped in some color in Photoshop with a low-opacity brush to suggest a hint of watercolor. It made for a really fun break from the cartoony doodles I’ve been doing lately.

A Treat From Sam Nielson


Recently artist Sam Nielson ran a contest of sorts on his blog. He wanted to practice some digital coloring/painting but didn’t feel like drawing anything, so he asked for submissions. Two winners would then be chosen to have their sketches colored by him. Cool!

On a lark I submitted some concept sketches (above) from a “buffalo wings” project I had done a while ago for a client. As sometimes happens the project never evolved beyond the concept stage and so I never got around to finishing the illustrations. I did, however, retain all rights to the sketches.

I was honored to that Sam chose one of my flying bison to paint (see the other winner here). He did a beautiful job! Zip on over to his blog to view the final painting.

A Quick Doodle


Took a break during an all-nighter to do this doodle. I liked how it turned out so I colored it. I may look at it in the sober light of day and decide it’s not that great, but at the moment I like it. Don’t ask me what that sheet of paper is he’s holding, it just came out of the pencil that way.

Illustration Friday: Baby

This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is “Baby”. This is an old doodle from my files, I just added a quick splash of color. It’s part of a concept piece I did for a client project last year that never got off the ground. At the time our sweet, adorable daughter Anna was only four months old so I was drawing from personal experience.

Speaking of babies, I should also mention that a few weeks ago my wife and I learned we are expecting baby #2 in January. We learned Jennie was pregnant with Anna on Easter Sunday, with the due date falling on Christmas Eve.  This time we learned we were pregnant on Mother’s Day. Insert your own Hallmark joke here.

Illustration Friday is free and anyone can take part. Check out their website for more info or to see what other artists are doing with each week’s topic.

Sketchbook Update


I’ve just come off of a long, crazy stretch of freelance projects, so today was the first time in a long time I was able to kick back and enjoy noodling around in the ol’ sketchbook. The top sketches are warm-up doodles and the bottom three are sketches from magazine photos.

Ideally I’d like to spend at least a half hour every day doing warm-up drawings. It feels good to do some relaxed drawings just for fun, without thinking about a client’s requirements. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy working on client projects and I like the challenge of finding a solution to a visual problem—but every once in a while it’s nice to be able to loosen up and do something for myself, with no structure or agenda.

Here’s hoping I can keep this up every day. Although if I suddenly get a full load of client projects again, that would be nice too (hint to art directors). As a freelancer the lull’s are always a bit nerve wracking, but I’ve been at this long enough to know something will be coming down the pipe soon. Better enjoy the light load while I can.

Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends


Copyright © Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

I would have posted this on Friday but I wanted Ask Mr. Artist Guy to be front-and-center all weekend. A big “thank you” to everyone who’s submitted questions so far.

Illustration Friday is a fun website for artists. Each week a topic is posted, and any artist who wants to (regardless of skill level) can submit a sketch or illustration created for that topic. The more creative and original you can be, the better. It’s a great way to sharpen your conceptual skills as an illustrator. (Someone who really has a lot of fun with it is Guy Francis.)

Unfortunately I usually don’t have time in my schedule to participate but this time I can squeak something in. This week’s topic is “Tales and Legends”. By coincidence I was going through some old sketches and happened upon this dragon drawing. It fits with the topic (albeit with a bizarre twist), so I thought I’d post it.

Participation in Illustration Friday is free. Just sign up on their website and each week’s topic will be automatically emailed to you.