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

Got that loose style? Not yet, but I’m working on it

Vera Sketch Featured Image

feeling like an old dog trying to learn a new trick

I admit it, I’m envious of artists that are able to create expressive works of art.  The type of art that convinces the viewer that the lines, shapes, & colors just bled straight out of the artist soul and onto the canvas.

Now, I realize, from the artist point of view, that just doesn’t happen.  It takes a lot of time and work to develop the required skills.  I am trying to get there.  Half the battle for me is just letting go and allowing myself to relax and go with the flow.

Perhaps it’s just me, but, I think some of my work comes across a little rigid.  I really work at trying to produce the most realistic drawings that my current skill set will allow.  Sometimes that hyper-focused, narrow-minded, mindset can take over and crush any creative expression that may be lying just below the surface, waiting to spring forth.

So, for the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to loosen up, and to be honest, it’s freakishly difficult.  I will work towards rendering a realistic drawing.  I will get certain areas rendered to a level that is acceptable to me.  Then I think “Ok, that’s great, now what?”  Then comes the hard part.  Trying to figure out how to blend or fade the realistic portions into a loose, seemingly unplanned, somewhat chaotic background.  That’s when I become really unsure of myself and how to proceed.

But, I am working on it.  I seem to feel a little freer each time I attempt this. I think if I continue in this direction I will eventually discover a more confident and expressive artist.  Which, of course, is the goal.

Thanks for putting up with my rambling words.  Now, I will get on with showing you my latest portrait.


This is Vera, from Sktchy

I have been moving back towards toned paper lately, so, I was searching for a reference image with a lot of strong contrast. I like using toned paper so I can bring out the highlights, as well as, the shadows.

This image on Sktchy checked all the boxes. The image had a strong amount of contrast and harsh lighting.

I focused most of my effort on her face and hand and then let the drawing become more sketch-like as I worked my way out.

I used a charcoal pencil and brush applied charcoal powder for the background. I think there may be too much contrast between charcoal and graphite. In the future, I may try to stay with graphite for the background.

I have also been considering other mediums altogether but, really haven’t zeroed in on anything yet.

As always, a sincere thank you for viewing my work, I hope you have a great day. – Mike

Why So Serious?

Joker Featured Image

I’m Just Joking Around

So, I have seen a lot of really impressive art based on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker character from Batman in the 2008 movie The Dark Knight.  Mr. Legder’s portrayal of the Joker is considered one of the best performances of his unfortunately short career.

I decided to give the character a go myself.  I used a still image taken from the movie as a reference.

I created this sketch in my Strathmore Toned Tan Sketchbook (5.5″ x 8.5″), using 2H, HB, 6H, Charcoal Powder, Tombow Mono Zero Eraser, & a white colored pencil.

Something I’ve been trying lately for large areas of shading is charcoal powder.  I create the powder by rubbing a soft piece of vine charcoal on sandpaper.  This produces a fine powder, I then use a cosmetic brush to spread the powder onto the paper and gradually rub the powder into the paper.  This produces a consistent tone with soft edges.   This method may be fairly common, but, it’s new to me.

Joker Sketch

Thanks for visiting – Mike

Meet Charlie

Charlie Featured Image

There’s nothing like good company…

As promised in my previous post, I would like to introduce Charlie.

Like many of my recent sketch subjects, I met Charlie on Pinterest.  At first, I didn’t realize he had a name at all, but, the more time I spent with him, a persona started to emerge or was I actually projecting my own hidden persona onto him.  Who really knows.

Seriously though, the reference image I used for this sketch is the creation of Alex Vasin, an extremely talented 3d artist from Ukraine.

This sketch was created using 2H, HB, 6B pencils, and a Tombow Mono Zero eraser.

Charlie Sketch

 


I wasn’t planning on bringing this subject up initially, however, I would appreciate your feedback.  If you follow my blog you may have noticed that I have been going to Pinterest quite often lately for reference images.  Nearly all of my sketches are a close copy of the reference image with very little deviation.  I typically choose a reference image that is either a photograph or sculpture (digital or real).  I do this so I am not making a direct copy of someone’s work in the same medium.  I always do my best to give credit to the original artist whenever possible and never try to claim the work as an original of my own creation.

What I would like your opinions on is whether I am crossing or blurring the lines of any eithical boundaries.  My sketches are only posted here and occasionally on Instagram.  I sketch for my own pleasure, and never intend to profit from these sketches.

I would appreciate any thoughts you would like to share.


Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day – Mike

Creature Feature

I’ve been drawing the creepy’s again

So, yeah, I’ve drawing the creepy stuff again.  Just to draw something a bit out of the norm.  I’m not even sure what this guy is supposed to be…a vampire, I guess.

He appears to be a little aggressive, even angry, but this guy is a picture of health compared to my current work in progress.  I should be posting “Charlie” (as I’ve begun to refer to him) in the next few days.

I used a photo of a sculpture that I found on Pinterest as a reference.  Unfortunately, the pin I used did not lead to a valid URL so I’m not sure who the original artist is.

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

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Thanks for viewing my art – Mike

Sinister Monkey?

Sinister Monkey Featured Image

I just couldn’t resist sketching this guy

So, one of the blogs I follow posted a photo of this monkey with a subtle, yet unusual, expression recently.

The monkey’s expression had a slight “I’m going to take over the world” look and I knew I wanted to capture his expression in a sketch.  So, I reached out to the photographer and asked permission to use his photo as a reference for this sketch.  He was very willing to give me permission, and I was very appreciative of his generosity.

The photographer that “got the shot” is Rabirius.  He is a digital artist and photographer.  He is certainly talented and I simply insist that you pay his site a visit, you won’t be disappointed.  Click here to view the original photo.

This sketch was created on Strathmore Toned Tan paper using 2H, HB, 4B, 6B, & a white colored pencil.  I also used a bit of charcoal powder.

Sinister Monkey Sketch

Have a delightful day!

Mike L.

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.

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.

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

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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.

Getting back to my old habits…

It’s been a while since I posted anything drawing related.  To be honest with everyone I actually put my pens and pencils away for a bit in order to concentrate on other things.  Lately, I have been feeling an urge to pick up my pencils and draw again.

I must admit that I have missed drawing, I have missed the therapeutic feeling of just zoning out and drawing, to get lost in the details of a sketch, to truly observe your subject.  When drawing, your mind tends to become hyper-focused on the task at hand and that allows the outside world, and it’s distractions, to disappear for a while.  It is a nice break!

In the past, I have used the app Sktchy for a lot of my portraits and naturally, I went back to my old habits.  The reference photo for this portrait can be found here.  Below is my sketch, I hope you like it.

Lukiss Sketch Image

I think there will be more drawing content in 2019!

Thank you for visiting!  As always, it is sincerely appreciated.