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.

Wolf Sketch

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

 

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

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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Happy Monday

Hello everyone,  It’s a new week, full of opportunity.

Below is a sketch that I created back in June.  This was created using a reference photo, unfortunately, I do not know the name of the photographer in order to give proper credit.

This man’s face spoke of joy, experience, and even though he obviously has lived a long life, his face and expression still has a sense of child-like innocence.

I truly enjoy drawing portraits of the more “experienced” people of the world.  Their faces possess endless amounts of character and wear, each wrinkle earned.

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I hope each of you have a wonderful week.  There will be more posts on the way soon.

– Mike

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

 

Back to Basics…

Just keeping it simple

Just a fairly quick portrait I did a few nights ago.  For this one I went back to one of my smaller sketchbooks, this sketch is on 5.5″ x 8″ dotted paper.   The medium is graphite with just a touch of white gel pen to bring out the highlights on the glasses.

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Thanks for viewing, I hope everyone has a creative day!

Meet Charlie

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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?

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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.

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Have a delightful day!

Mike L.

Tattoos and Artistic Freedom

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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

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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.