Sketchbook Month: Day 31

Sketchbook Month is over, and I did it! I actually completed one new sketch every weekday for the entire month in addition to all my regular client work and other life responsibilities. It feels great, and I know I benefited from it. It may not be obvious to anyone else but I can look back over the past month and already see improvements in my drawing and my thinking as an artist. Now I’ve just got to keep that discipline going.

I want to say a special thank you to all the other artists who joined in on the Sketchbook Month blog. Over 750 sketches were posted and we received almost 15,000 page views. By submitting so much terrific artwork every day they were pushing me, inspiring me, and keeping me accountable. I also owe a *huge* thank you to my lovely wife for the countless hours she spent uploading everyone’s art onto the blog. Honey, you’re the best! What would I do without you?

I feel very blessed to be able to make my living doing something that I enjoy, where I get to start every day by going back to the drawing board.

Sketchbook Month: Day 30

Sketchbook Month is almost over! Only one more day to go.

Today’s sketch is a study based on a screen shot I took a while back from an old b&w gangster movie. I don’t remember anything about the specific movie or even the title (wish I did so I could assign the proper credit), but I liked this guy’s face so I made a screen grab for later sketching. If anyone happens to recognize it please let me know in the Comments.


Sketchbook Month: Day 25

Not just one but three deadlines today (!) necessitating that I wake up at 3am to meet them all. To get the juices flowing I banged out this warm-up sketch of Jeff Bridges ala Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent memory. If you haven’t seen it yet Google your local discount theater. Chances are good you can still catch a screening at a cheap price. I finally saw Grit last weekend for only $3. As a bonus the theater was packed which made the experience even more enjoyable. People tend to laugh and scream and ooh and aah a bit more when it’s a full house.

Here’s the clip from which I made the above sketch. Try to ignore the YouTube ads that pop up (don’t you just hate those?):

Sketchbook Month: Day 24

Today was a pretty stressful day. Fortunately I was able to unwind with a 90-minute sketch/painting based on a movie still from Ben Hur. I’ve submitted it as today’s Sketchbook Month entry.

Lately I’ve been challenged to think more about form in my drawings instead of just contour and shape. Attempting to sculpt with light and color definitely helps me with that kind of thinking.

Sketchbook Month: Day 23

Today’s Sketchbook Month submission is a warm-up sketch, loosely based on an old snapshot I took of myself a few years ago using one of the facial distortion modes in iChat.

I also thought it would be fun to try do draw something on toned paper. The idea is to let the color of the paper represent the middle tones of the drawing, leaving the artist to shade in only the very dark and very light areas. Some artists get terrific results with this method. Personally I have a hard time “letting go” and allowing the toned paper to work for me. My tendency is still to over-render everything myself instead of letting the background tone do its job.

That’s the whole point of a sketchbook, isn’t it? To keep practicing and improving so as to strengthen areas where I tend to be a little weak.