Trying out a 4 color Bic

Just a bit of sketchbook experimentation

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I have seen other artists create portraits using a 4 color Bic pen and I wanted to give a shot as well.  It was a nice experience seeing some color on the page for a change.

I have a bit of ink bleedthrough from some handwritten notes on the back of the page.  But, that can happen sometimes.

Just a bit of fun and experimentation.

Have a great week. – Mike

 

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

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

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.

Wolf Sketch

Thanks for viewing my work.  I hope everyone has a great week – 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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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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Back at it

Hello all,  I’m have returned from my self-imposed leave.  After the passing of my father I just needed to take some time to regroup and recenter.  I’m truly grateful for your patience as I transitioned through this season in my life.

I’m currently sitting in my home office/studio space.  The house is quiet as my beautiful bride and son are still in bed.  I cherish my morning solitude as it gives me the opportunity to collect my thoughts and provides time for much-needed retrospection.  I believe that everyone can benefit from such time spent alone without distraction.

I have made a few minor tweaks to this blog, an updated about page, & a new minimal theme with full-width image display.  I have made the decision to remove the photographer focus from this blog and focus solely on my art.  Art is something that I truly enjoy,  it removes me from my environment for a while as I focus solely on the work in front of me.  It brings me inner peace and is an activity that can be practiced virtually anywhere I go.

Even though I have been absent from this blog for a few weeks I have been posting somewhat regularly on Instagram.  I have decided that IG is where I will post my day to day activities and works in progress.

I will leave you with a portrait that was created during my break from the blog.  For this particular sketch, I was able to reach out to the photographer of the reference photo I was working from and was able to obtain permission to use his image as a reference.  The photographer is Thorbjorn Fessel, a talented photographer to say the least.

This sketch was created with a 2b mechanical pencil and a 6b pencil for the darker areas.  The sketch lives in my current ‘go-to’ sketchbook.

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An Honored Request

Recently, one of the readers of this blog requested a portrait from me.  The subject was his late father who past away earlier this year.

The individual who made the request is a fellow blogger.  We originally started following one another due to our common interest in woodworking.  We quickly became good acquaintances via WordPress and now, even though we have never met in person, I consider Ron one of my friends.

So when he asked if I would consider creating a portrait of his father I was extremely honored that he thought enough of my art to make this request of me.  I gladly accepted the challenge.

With Ron’s permission, I am sharing his father’s portrait in this post.

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Now, I’ll admit I was a touch nervous about drawing this portrait.  I have never created a portrait by request before.  The fact that it was Ron’s father made it all the more important that I did my best.  So, I began making marks, hesitantly at first, but, I gained confidence as I continued to develop the drawing.   I had to remind myself a few times to just relax and draw as I normally would.  Eventually the apprehension fell away and I found my groove.

Ron is a knowledgeable and skilled craftsman who creates his wooden wares with nothing more than human-powered tools in his “unplugged” workshop.  His creations are adorned with intricately carved patterns.  Please visit his blog at  An Unplugged Woodworker to see his skill and craftsmanship for yourself.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a great day! – Mike

 

Reality & Tactile Feedback

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Back to the Real Feel…

Lately, I have been spending a good amount of time creating digital sketches with my iPad.  I really like the convenience and tons of media options.

However, I was missing the sound of marks on paper, creating with real tools, and the lack of an undo button.

I haven’t created a pen & ink sketch in a while so I thought I would dust off my pens and get to sketching.  Here are the results!

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Thank for visiting, I hope everyone has a wonderful day.  Feel free to comment!

Bleeding Ink & Negative Space

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Pen & Ink Style with Procreate?

I’ve been wanting to explore the inking brushes in Procreate, in particular, I have been wanting to create a drawing with the Ink Bleed Brush.

I have seen others use the Ink Bleed Brush within Procreate to create some very cool art.  I have been wanting to create a pen & ink portrait in Procreate for a while now, so, I decided to give it a go with my latest sketch.

I received positive feedback with my last sketch where I tried to keep the style loose and minimal.  I enjoyed sketching in that loose style and I also really enjoyed the process of determining what areas to include or exclude within the drawing.  So I knew that I wanted to repeat that style with this sketch as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment!

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Thanks for visiting – Mike

Trying to let go and just have fun

Keeping it quick & loose

This sketch was inspired by a Lee Jeffries portrait.  I am a big fan of his work.  I find his images so raw and powerful.  I just can’t resist sketching them!

The goal with this sketch was just to keep it simple, try to capture the main features of the subject, and most of all keep the sketch loose.

I think I came closer with this one than I have with my previous attempts.

I believe trying to work a little quicker and more loosely will help me to produce more work, which equals more enjoyment.  I am trying to teach myself to let go a bit.

I am still in the mindset that I need to keep my sketches neat and each one should be as good or better than the previous work.  I am now beginning to see that this mindset can do more harm than good.

By thinking that each work should be as good as the previous works you put unnecessary pressure on yourself to produce quality work.  This self-imposed pressure leads to a decrease in enjoyment.  Sometimes you may completely psych yourself out to the point that you don’t even attempt a sketch because your worried your quality will suffer.

This is certainly not the way to maintain confidence, grow as an artist, or ensure that sketching remains an enjoyable activity.

I plan to produce more work like this, sketches that are loose and free.

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Thanks for visiting – Mike

Tarana, Inspiration via Sktchy

Thank you, Tarana for the inspiration.

This is Tarana,  I found her inspiration photo on the app Sktchy.  Her unique look and bold ear jewelry caught my eye.

This sketch was created in Procreate.  I’m really enjoying sketching digitally, but, I’m going to have to force myself to put it down and spend some time with my traditional sketchbook and pencils.

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The image below actually shows the completed sketch.  I brought forward the blue undersketch and added blue highlights to her face.  I am not sure if I like this version or the plain version above best, so I thought I would post both.

What about you, which do you prefer?

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I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Thanks for visiting – Mike

More Procreate!

Another Lee Jeffries inspired portrait

Continuing with the theme of my last portrait, here is another portrait featuring hands on the subject’s face.

This was drawn in Procreate and is based in a photograph by Lee Jeffries.  I took a slightly different approach to the finished portrait this time by adding a touch of color.

I always start each Procreate piece with an undersketch.  If I’m drawing a portrait that will be on a mid-tone or dark background I will usually create my undersketch with white lines.  Then I can adjust the transparency of the undersketch layer so that the lines become faint, this becomes a guide while creating the main sketch.  I took the same approach with this piece but, once the main sketch was complete I decided to bring the undersketch layer to the top and adjust the transparency once again for some visual interest.   This effect is mainly apparent on the fingers.  I liked the way that it loosened up the final presentation.

I hope everyone has a great Monday!  Thanks for visiting – Mike

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I Can See You…

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Something a little different…

This is a little different I guess, at least it’s not a full portrait.

This sketch is based on a reference photo I found online.  I liked how the hand partially obstructed the face, the dark shadows added even more depth and mystery.

I may continue with this theme and produce a series of sketches featuring hands and faces.  I like the emotive quality.

The medium is graphite, powdered charcoal, & white pencil on toned tan paper.

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

I can see you