Fun with Procreate

A had a little fun working in Procreate.  This portrait was created on a gray background,  I used simple strokes and crosshatching in both black and white to create the shadows and highlights.  Its a simple technique that produces good results.

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So far, traditional (pen & paper) techniques have been a direct transfer to digital media.  I suppose this should be expected given the simple nature of my art.  Sketches are just that, sketches, nothing too complicated.  But, that’s what I enjoy.

I will probably begin to post more digital work in the future.  I have recently acquired some new toys on the digital front.  I hope to have some new work to share soon.

Thanks for reading and have a great day – Mike

Fish-Eyed Refection

While walking Katie yesterday we passed by a newly installed barber poll.  This little barbershop opened for business on our street a little over a month ago.  He seems to be doing well so far.

While walking past I noticed the fish-eyed reflection at the bottom of the poll.  I pulled out my phone for a quick snap.

A little bit of editing in Snapseed + quick bit of erasing in Procreate = a little snap to share
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If you look closely you can see me, my son, & Katie in the reflection.

Have a great week!
Mike

Chimpanzee Portrait

I have been wanting a sketchbook with black paper for a while.  I finally purchased one in early January along with a 3 pack of white Sakura Gelly Roll pens in white.  The pens came in 3 weights 10, 08, & 05.  The portrait below was sketched with the 05 and 10 weight pens.

The sketchbook is a Canson 7″ x 10″ (17.8 cm x 25.4 cm).  It’s 40 pages of 92 lb. (150 g) paper.  The pages are perforated so drawings can easily be removed (if worthy, haha).

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This was a fun sketch but, you have to remember to focus on sketching the highlights, instead of the shadows.  I had to constantly remind myself of this fact.  I am so used to sketching the shadows.  Starting off light and working my way into the darkest areas of the subject is my usual approach.  This sketch was the complete opposite of that usual technique, plus I was using the Gelly Pens which is a very opaque medium so I had to be very conscious of my strokes.

Still, it was a good exercise and I look forward to creating more sketches within the covers of this book.

Have a great day, Mike

I Sketched a Portrait of Maine

I follow a number of blogs and interests here on WordPress.  Photographers, Artist, Writers…all of them are talented individuals that are putting their work out into the world for others to enjoy and perhaps gain some inspiration from.

One of those fellow bloggers is photographer John Ames.  I follow John’s blog Frog Pond Journal,  the blog focuses mainly on street photography and John shares some great images.

Recently, one of those images caught my eye and I knew I would create a sketch of his subject.  Check out John’s post “A Portrait of Maine” to see the photo that inspired this sketch.

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This sketch was created in my sketchbook/journal and may appear a little rough as I was trying to capture his likeness while keeping the sketch fairly loose.  Personally, I’m pleased with the outcome.

In case any of you guys are wondering.  I reached out to John to ask his permission before writing this post.  He immediately gave his permission allowing me to use his photo as a reference.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day!

Mike

Random Photo & Thoughts

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are now living downtown.  Our dog, Katie, is an older lady of 13 years.  She stays indoors with us and we walk her about a block and a half a few times a day so she can fertilizer the vacant lot (turned city park) down the street.

As mentioned, she is older, so her pace is not exactly swift and like most mature beings she prefers to take her time and not be rushed as she sniffs out the ideal spot to make her contribution to soil enrichment.

The other day while patiently waiting for her to determine the epicenter for her next event I noticed the evidence of a former doorway in the building adjacent to the park.  I wondered about what had been there in the past, what use or contribution to society the building may have served in a past life.  I noticed the contrast of the old facade next to a wooden post that now served as a power distribution point for park events.  I decided to pull out my phone for a bit of #iPhoneography.

img_0099 If you look closely, you can still make out the oak timbers that framed the opening.

Have a great day…perhaps I will notice more on a future outing with Katie.

Mike

New Year, New Digs, Less Distraction

Hello, remember me?

I’m still here…I know I’ve been silent for a while.  Life was chaotic towards the end of 2019.  We sold our home and moved into a new place, in a new setting, with more to offer.

We are now living a more relaxed lifestyle.  We purchased and moved into a historic building in the downtown area of our small hometown.  It was constructed in 1925 and we live in the second-floor apartment.  Our building includes a street-level shop that we intend to offer for lease later this year.

For now, we are busy making our new digs a home and things are coming together.  Jennifer (my wife) and I share a small room that we use as an office and studio space.  My drawing desk occupies a corner of the room.  I have a window adjacent to me that allows for natural light and a limited view of the town.

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This year, I plan to focus more on drawing and further developing my artistic interest.  I’m thankful for all who read my blog and encourage me along life’s journey.  I’m looking forward to this new year, the opportunities that it holds, & new life experiences.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

Mike

A purely joyful expression

Pure, adjective:
        not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material
Joy, noun:

a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

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Pure Joy…That’s how I would describe this man’s expression.  It is what drew me to him as a sketch subject.  Just looking at his expression puts a smile on my face.

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The reference photo for this sketch was found online.  I apologize but, I do not know who the photographer was who captured this wonderful moment.

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This is the first sketch that I have completed recently and it felt really good to lay down some graphite again.  I have relocated my studio to our basement until the house sells.  There’s not much natural light but I have at least three times the space!  Plenty of room to spread out.

I am thinking of branching out and trying some new subject matter.  I am also thinking of seriously increasing the scale of my work.  We’ll have to wait and see where the muse points me next.

Thanks for visiting, I hope you guys have a great day!

 

Snarling Wolf

Hello everyone,  Work around the house has slowed a bit, so I now have a little more free time.

I wanted to share this drawing with you that I created back in August.  This is a graphite drawing of a snarling wolf.  My intention was to leave a significant amount of negative space around the subject and only concentrate on the main features necessary to bring out the wolf’s face.

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This drawing is significantly larger than most of my sketches.  Typically I create sketches in either a small 5.5″ x 8″ sketchbook or occasionally I may draw in an 8.5″ x 11″ sketchbook.  This drawing was created on an 18″ x 24″ (45.7 x 61 cm) piece of newsprint.  I realize newsprint is typically reserved for practice but, I wanted to try something a little larger and it was the largest paper I had available at the time.

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Newsprint isn’t really that difficult to work with you just have to be careful.  It is more delicate than other papers so you need to go lightly with the eraser.  The paper also has a tendency to get a little wavy in areas of heavy graphite.

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Below is a photo of the completed sketch.  This was completed using a range of graphite pencils.  There are also a few strategically placed lines of white gelly pen for highlights.

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Thanks for viewing my work.  I hope everyone has a great week – Mike

 

Life has been getting in the way (of art)

Hello followers and fellow blog stars!

I wanted to share with you the reason for the unpredictable and seldom frequency of my post of late. We have been preparing our home to be placed for sale. We have finally made it to the point where we have listed our home with a real estate agent in hopes of a quick sale.

These preparations have temporarily knocked art of the priority list. Most days, after arriving home from work, I am met with a list of tasks that need to be completed, or at least started that evening. By the time that list has been addressed, I am simply too tired to create. Not to mention that my mind is functioning somewhere south of half capacity.

Anyway, I wanted to reach out to you guys, let you know that I truly value your likes & comments and to let you know that I hope to get back up to speed on this blog soon.

Thank you for your patience.

Mike

Gorilla Portrait

Another primate portrait.  I really enjoy drawing primates, it seems there is so much thought and emotion behind their eyes.  I also find the wrinkles and patterns of their faces interesting to draw.

This portrait was finished just a few days ago.  It was created in my sketchbook using a 0.9mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead.  The black background was created using charcoal powder applied with a brush.

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The look of determination

Another older gentleman with an expression that I could pass up.

I do enjoy sketching the older faces.  There’s just so much life written into their skin.  This man’s expression seems to convey concentration and pure determination.

Based, on his expression I don’t believe I would want to get in his way.

 

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5.5″ x 8″, 0.9mm mechanical pencil, 2B lead

 

Thanks for visiting, I hope everyone has a great day. – Mike

Come again?

Greetings,  today I am sharing another portrait from my sketchbook.  This was created in July of this year.  I came across a photo of an older gentleman cupping his hand to his ear in an apparent effort to increase his ability to hear.  I found the act and his facial expression to be so characteristic of an elderly gentleman.  I can imagine that this is a scene that plays out over and over in his daily life.

I fully expect to one day be in the same situation, as a matter of fact, I am already guilty of this exact maneuver.  Too much loud music in my youth… I imagine.

Progress shot with the outlined sketch and beginning stages of flushing out the face and form.  This sketch was created using a 0.9mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead.

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and now the completed sketch.

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Recently, a spider constructed a magnificent site,
just outside of my studio window.

It undulates in the cool breeze,
it shimmers in the morning light.

It brings a smile to my face,
and a feeling of delight. – MDL

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I hope everyone has a wonderful week!  Cheers

Silent Peaceful Solitude

Good morning all.

I am the only one stirring so far this morning.  I enjoy the peaceful reassuring silence of the house on these early weekend mornings.

I do, however, share the silence with our loyal 4 legged girl, Katie.  She is old, quiet, and all so content, to simply be.  Laying on the floor of my study blissfully sleeping away the hours.

This morning I thought I would share a sketch I created back in July.  This was created using a 0.9mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead.  I enjoy the simplicity of using a single pencil, never having to break concentration or rhythm to pick up a different pencil to vary the tones.

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I would like to thank all of you for following along with me on this blog.  I know that my posting frequency has been sporadic and there really hasn’t been any set schedule for regular post.

Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking of ways to improve the value of this blog for my followers.  I would like to begin introducing content that goes beyond the sharing of my art.  I am still trying to sort things out, so please be patient.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Cheers – Mike

Portrait on Toned Paper

I created this sketch portrait back in April, but, I never posted it here.  So…I thought, why not share it here as well!

It’s Friday night in my little corner of the world.  I’m looking forward to a great weekend.  I hope everyone else is as well.

Cheers, Mike

 

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