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.
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.
I am remaining dedicated to my daily sketching routine. I believe I have been focusing on faces simply because it’s so easy to find reference images and the fact that it is somewhat familiar territory for me.
However, in the future, I would like to start sketching more from life. I typically work using a reference image. I think I need to begin sketching in nature or in public places in order to capture the environment I find myself in.
Of course, I think given my work hours and other weekday responsibilities this opportunity for Plein Air sketching would only present itself on the weekends.
I’m not making any promises I am only saying that this is something I am working towards and something that I need.
Anyway, enough rambling, time to get to the sketches!
I decided to try a new sketching tool this past week. I purchased a water brush and filled it with Higgins Eternal Ink. The ink is diluted with water to create a wash. This is a totally new tool for me. I think my ink to water ratio may need to be adjusted to create a more diluted effect.
The sketch below is my first attempt to use the ink wash. My original intention was to use a pen for the necessary linework only and then use the wash to convey all of the shadows. I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work (at least not this time). So I began to build up the darker areas with hatching and then tried to soften those areas using the wash. It seems to me that I went a little overboard with the inks and ended up with a sketch that is dark and splotchy.
The portraits below were sketched this past weekend. You will find that these are not as carefully drawn as some of my previous work. Truth is, all 3 were rushed just a bit. I’m not sure why I think it may be somewhat due to being created on a weekend and being outside of my usual early morning zen routine.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter. When I decided to start sketching again I promised myself that I would not overvalue my sketchbook. I’ll allow myself the freedom to create as I see fit in the moment, and that is exactly what I am doing. So some of my sketches may turn out a bit rough and some may be wonderful. I think it is all part of the creative process.
Giving yourself the freedom to experiment, the freedom to create a mess, I think this will lead to greater creativity and skill.
This is another drawing from my morning sketch practice. This time I chose to create a sketch of a pine comb using a photo reference.
I am certainly enjoying my new found dedication to sketching. It is amazing how much calmer and focused my mornings are now that I have began sketching again.
Once I am awake, showered, and dressed I take a seat at my drawing table with a fresh cup of coffee next to me. I open Pandora and select my favorite classical station, then turn the volume down so it is just loud enough to provide some low background music. I then pick up my pen and sketch for 30-40 mins. The act of “no pressure” casual sketching relaxes me and calms my mood. This seems to set the tone for the remainder of the morning and gets me off to a good start.
Thanks for stopping by!
PS, I managed to squeeze in a bit of photography during an ice storm this past weekend. I hope to publish those photos in a day or two.