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.
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.
not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness
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.
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.
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!
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.
and now the completed sketch.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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?
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for visiting – Mike
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.
Thanks for viewing, I hope everyone has a creative day!
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