Tattoos and Artistic Freedom

Tattooed Girl Featured Image

When I finished this portrait..it just didn’t feel complete

This portrait is based on a reference photo I saved over a year ago.  For some reason, I just kept on skipping over it when I would search my saved images for a photo reference.

Then I began to have an interest in doing a sketch with a blue colored pencil.  I’m not sure why it just appealed to me.  So, I thought this would be the perfect time to dust off the neglected reference and put it to use.

To be honest, I was initially disappointed with this sketch,  I felt like the proportions were off (and they are) but, that is also what prompted me to continue to experiment, and I’m glad I did.  I felt like it needed something…something distinctive, unique, edgy.  So, I added the tattoos.

It’s just more sketchbook experimentation really.  I occasionally catch myself starting to value my sketchbook too much…like it’s something precious that can only contain “quality” work.  So, I have to remind myself how that type of thinking is really a detriment to my development as an artist.

I have to remind myself…My Sketchbook = Artistic Freedom

Tattooed Girl

Thanks for viewing my work.  Have a great day!

Mike L.

One Eyed Zombie

Zombie Featured Image

It’s getting a little creepy around here

I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I get it.  But, sometimes I just need a break from the norm and want to draw something that’s a little on the creepy side.

It’s funny, I’m not a horror fan, I don’t like horror movies or mindless gore.  But, occasionally I just want to draw something like this, maybe I’m just weird.

This was sketched over the weekend, I used a photo of a clay model that I found on Pinterest as a reference.  Unfortunately, I didn’t save the pin and now I am unable to find it to give credit to the original artist.  I do apologize.

2H, HB, & 4B pencils were used to create this sketch.

Zombie Sketch

Have a nice day!

Mike L.

Sunday Snap 03.03.19

Sunday Snap 03-03-19 Featured Image

Too cold for a swim…

I took this shot of my 8-year-old son this past December while visiting Sulivan’s Island, SC

We were actually staying in Charleston, SC and took a short drive to Mount Pleasant, Sulivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms.  The air temperatures where pleasant for December, but, way to cool to actually get wet.

We had walked out onto the beach, just exploring a bit.  I noticed the sea foam on the shore and sat my camera on the sand to get the photo with my son at looking out towards the ocean.

I realize you can’t see his face or even know that it’s him.  But, that’s one of the things about the photo that appeals to me.  I think it captures a bit of that childhood curiosity and the explorer’s spirit as he stands there looking out towards such a big world.

Sunday Snap 03-03-19

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Daily Sketching Update

I’m continuing to sketch each morning…and sometimes evenings too!

I am thankful that I have pickup up my pens and pencils and began making marks again.  There is something about this nearly meditative activity that I find so relaxing.  Once I get into the “flow state” time seems to pass unnoticed, my mind releases any retained stress and I focus solely on the subject.

This past week I was introduced to the work of Ahmed Aldoori.  He is the artist behind the 100 Heads Challenge.  This is a challenge to draw 100 heads in 10 days.  I’m not participating in the challenge, but, researching the challenge led me to his Pinterest where he has a board of reference images dedicated to the challenge.  The selected images are wonderful references and I would recommend any of my readers to check it out if they are interested.

The sketch below is from one of his reference images, I will definitely be doing more!

This sketch was created using 2H, HB, 4B, Tombow Mono Zero eraser, & kneaded eraser.

Graphite Portrait Sketch

Thanks for visiting!

Mike L.

Pen & Ink Portrait of Ras

The inspiration for this portrait came from the iOS app Sktchy.  I was drawn to his overall look, the short dreadlocks, glasses, and facial hair, etc.

I tried to keep the sketch fairly loose and have fun with it.

Have a great day, Mike

Ras Sketch

This sketch was created using Micron 005, Micron Brush Pen, Gelly Roll 08, & a bit of ink wash.

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

Sunday Snap 02.24.19 Featured Image

Visiting my favorite coffee shop…

One of my more savory guilty pleasures is visiting Talia Espresso on a Saturday afternoon.  It’s a family-owned coffee shop in my hometown, serving a nice variety of coffee drinks and baked treats. 

My family and I like to visit on the weekends, it’s a beautiful shop in a historic building downtown.  The walls are lined with bookcases filled with books and art.  The books are provided for customers and the art is by local artist and many of the pieces are available for purchase. 

We visited yesterday, while there I enjoyed a vanilla latte and a cinnamon coffee cake, I also snapped this photo with my phone.

Sunday Snap 02.24.19

I started Sunday Snap a few weeks ago as a way to ensure that I maintained a balance between drawings and photography.  My weekly schedule is usually full and that limits my time to get out with a camera and shoot.  I wanted a way to create regular photography content between “real” outings with my camera.  Now, I’m thinking about using Sunday Snap as a way to share more about my life outside of this blog. 

I would love to hear your feedback.  Comments are welcome.

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Gorilla Sketch

Gorilla Featured Image

Back to pen & ink for this one. 

I started out sketching a Gorilla portrait, but…I’m not sure if that’s what I ended with?

I just don’t feel that I really captured the gorilla the way I intended to.  Something seems a little off to me.  Perhaps the lower portion of the face it a bit too narrow or the jawline is too square.  I’m not sure what it is…

None the less, he was fun to draw.  He kept my pen moving and my mind focused for a while.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this sketch.

Gorilla Sketch
This sketch was created using Micron 005, 08, brush pen, ink wash, Gelly Roll 08 for highlights, & just a touch of color from an orange Sharpie.

 

As always, thanks for visiting!

Mike L.

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

Sunday Snap 02.17.19 Featured Image

For this Sunday Snap, I traveled back to 2015…

This photo was taken back in September of 2015 when I was just becoming interested in photography.  I shot this image with a Canon PowerShot SX400 IS which is a point and shoot camera.  I originally purchased this camera to document hiking trips.  That is what spurred my interest in photography.  I still have this camera and enjoy using it on occasion.

The camera lacks the ability to manually set aperture or shutter speed, it doesn’t even have a proper viewfinder, just a screen.  But, I like it none the less!

The subject of today’s snap is an abandoned building about one mile from my home.  It fronts on the same highway that I travel each day during my daily commute.  I wish I knew the history of this building but unfortunately, I don’t.  To me, it has the look of an old country store.  I can imagine a single family running the store on the ground level while living on the second floor above.

Abandoned buildings like this always make me wonder what happened.

How did this building fall into ruins?

Who is the owner?

Why has it been left to be consumed and reclaimed by nature?

Sunday Snap 02.17.19

“Ruins are more beautiful than adorned castles, for ruins are the cathedrals of time.” – Ben Caesar

Thanks for viewing, I hope you have a great day!

Mike L.

Stong and Proud

Lion Sketch Featured Image

I’m continuing to sketch daily, my mornings this past week were spent working on this lion portrait.

I used a reference photo from Pixabay, I was drawn to the confidence and strength that could be sensed in this lion’s gaze.  I began with a light pencil underdrawing and then continued to develop this sketch using pencils.

I have noticed that my choice of media tends to fluctuate between graphite and ink.  Currently, I seem to be in a graphite mood.  Sometimes I just simply enjoy the additional tones that can be achieved with graphite vs. ink.

Truthfully, I don’t know if my next sketch will be with graphite or ink.  I usually don’t decide until after to underdrawing is complete whether I will switch over to ink pens or continue using pencils.  It’s just whatever strikes me at the time.

This sketch was created using 2H, 4B, 6B, & a Tombow Mono Zero Eraser.

Lyon Sketch

Of all animals, the outward form of the Lion is the most striking ; his look is bold and confident; his gait proud; and his voice terrible ; and from his great strength and agility, is usually styled the king of beasts.

WILLIAM PINNOCK

Thanks for visiting!

Mike L.

Ford F100 Sketch

Ford F100 Featured Image

More marks on the page…

The subject of this sketch was previously featured as a  photography post.  Some of you may remember The Green and Grungy Monster that I published a few months ago.  At the time of posting the original photography, one of my longtime followers suggested that it would make a good drawing and I agreed.

So in an effort to try something different I sketched my favorite shot of this old pickup.  To me, the styling on the front of this truck is what makes it an interesting subject.

I must admit that sketching a man-made object, for me at least, is more difficult than sketching a portrait or a natural object.  In my opinon, a portrait or natural object can be more forgiving as far as geometry, symmetry, or straight lines are concerned.  When sketching an automobile or structure you have to be very aware of symmetry, perspective, etc.  If not, a sketch can turn to rubbish in a hurry!

I’ll stop rambling…and just present the sketch.

 

Ford F100 Sketch

As always, thanks for visiting!

Mike L.

Chimpanzee Sketch

chimpanzee featured image
Another sketch from this week… this one was a real blast to create!

My original intent was for this sketch to be created with pen and ink.  However, once I completed the pencil outline I was really liking the direction the sketch was taking.  So, I decided to stick with pencil and continue to develop the sketch.

This sketch was created using 6H, 4B, 9xxB, Tombow Mono Zero Eraser, kneaded eraser, & a white Gelly Roll pen for eye highlights.

chimpanzee sketch

Thanks for visiting!

Mike L.

Hornet Sketch

Hornet Featured Image

Another page from my sketchbook.

My sketching habit is becoming more integrated into my daily routine.  Quite often I not only sketch in the early morning hours but try to sneak a little time in the evenings as well.

Putting the pen or pencil to paper is such a therapeutic experience.  It’s so calming for me, to focus purely on the creation of a sketch.  To see a sketch take form beneath the pen is a satisfying and pure experience that serves to ground me and allow me to let go of the outside world, if only for a short period of time.  This exercise is now becoming an essential part of my day.

For this sketch, I started with a light pencil outline to get the proportions correct.  Once I was satisfied, I began laying down the ink with a Micron 005 and continued with ink until all the base linework and hatching was established.  Then I used Copic markers to add color and some amount of shadow.  Lastly, I use a white colored pencil and a white gel pen to create limited highlights.

Hornet Sketch

Thank for viewing my work!

Mike L.

Creature Sketch – Cave Troll

Cave Troll Featured Image

A little something different went into my sketchbook this week.

A creature.

This one, in particular, is based on a cave troll from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  You can view the actual scene here if interested.

This cave troll was a blast to create.  I spent a bit more time on this than I have on some of my recent sketches and  I also used a few more tools to create this sketch.

 

Cave Troll Sketch
Tools used: Pigma Micron 005 / Pigma Brush / Sharpie King Size / Copic Sketch C1, C5, & C9 / White Gelly Roll 08

 

As always, thanks for visiting!

Mike L.