Procreate Portrait of Mr. Pegg

I’m really starting to get comfortable with Procreate…

This is Simon Pegg, English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.  I came across a wonderful photo of him that I found intriguing.  I decided to create his portrait digitally using Procreate. I apologize but I do not know the name of the photographer.  So I am unable to provide photo credit.

Currently, I am alternating between traditional and digital means of sketching.  The overall feel of digital sketching is very different.  There is no permanence to any line or mark you make.  If you don’t like the results you can simply hit the undo button.  This is wonderful for experimentation but I think it can become a crutch quickly.

I believe I must continue to sketch traditionally in order to keep my skill level sharp.  I think it is beneficial to the artist to work with a medium where there is some amount of permanence to each stroke made.  Sure, you can always erase a pencil mark but if that mark is in an area of shading you can also destroy the good marks.  So you have to be adaptive and that’s were finesse and technique come into play.  The permanence forces one to deal with what is on the page.

I plan to continue with both forms of creation.  I find both forms of creating extremely enjoyable and relaxing.

This sketch was created in Procreate, using the 6B pencil brush.

img_0026

Thank for stopping by, I hope you have a great week – Mike

Imitation = Flattery, Right?

Drawn to Unique People…

Whenever I go looking for an interesting face to draw, I seem to gravitate towards those individuals who exist on the outskirts of society.  I prefer to draw an individual whose face is unique, tells a story, or gives an indication of the life lived.

This portrait, like all my works, is based on a reference image.  The original photographer is Lee Jeffries.  He and his work are well known, Mr. Jeffries is a street photographer based in the UK.  I found one of his images on Pinterest and couldn’t resist the urge to draw a portrait based on his photo.

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

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

img_0020

More Fun with Procreate

Jonathon Featured Image

and what fun it is…

This is Jonathon, he is another face from my Sktchy Queue.

Jonothan has been in my queue for a very long time.  He’s been waiting on me to purchase some black paper so I can create a proper sketch of this wonderful inspiration photo.  I still haven’t purchased any black paper…but, if I sketch him digitally, I don’t have to.

I’ve been itching to create another digital portrait so, I thought this would be a great opportunity to capitalize on the ability to choose the background and media color.

This sketch was created in Procreate using the 6B pencil brush.  I kept this sketch simple, more keeping with my usual style.

Digital Sketch Jonathon

Thank for stopping by, I hope you have a great week – Mike

Whitling down the Sktchy Queue

One down,  lots more to go…

I am slowly working my way through my saved Sktchy references.  This particular reference has been in my queue for an extremely long time.  I’m glad I finally got around to creating this portrait.

I think she has a unique look.  I liked the messy hair and the contrast of light and shadow.  This one was a blast to create and actually went fairly quickly.

Medium is graphite, powdered charcoal, & white ink on toned tan paper.

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

img_0010

Going Digital?

Thoughts on something new and exciting!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough for my employer to provide me with a new iPad and Apple Pencil.  I call already see the benefits of such a device in the workplace, but, I had to ask myself, why place limitations?  These newly acquired accouterments of the modern age can be beneficial in my creative life as well!

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the app Procreate.  So, I gladly forked over my $9.99 to give this a try.  I figured at such a cheap price (less than most sketchbooks) why not give it a shot.

I experimented with it over the weekend and I must say, the experience is quite natural.  Of course, with it being a new tool, I may have gone overboard a little experimenting with the different brushes and abilities.

I’m looking forward to adding this new medium into my regular weekly sketch practice.  In no way do I plan to abandon real mark making on paper.  But, I must say I can see this being extremely convenient and so unlimited in what you can create.  The base version comes with a multitude of tools that mimic several mediums.  Which, may lead to more creative works!

I created the sketch below using a reference image that I admittedly imported into Procreate and traced the primary facial features.  I wanted to get a feel for the application before trying to establish facial features by eye.  So, I may have cheated a bit on this one, but, just keep it between us, Thanks.

Photo Apr 21, 8 39 23 AM

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

Lost in Thought

More Sktchy Inspired Goodness

Good morning, today’s post is a graphite portrait of a gentleman that I found on Sktchy.  I have had this guy in my queue of saved inspiration photos for a few months so, I finally got around to sketching his portrait.

I intentionally used cross-hatching to indicate areas of shadow with minimal use of a white colored pencil to bring out the brightest highlights.  I used powdered charcoal to create the background.  This portrait is on Strathmore Toned Tan paper.

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

img_0008

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

Trying to loosen up

William Featured Image

Experimentation…

This is William, I found him on Sktchy.

With this sketch, I simply wanted to loosen up a bit, not be so rigid, and try to let myself go and have a little fun with the sketch.  I’m not sure that I achieved the look I wanted, but, any attempt is better than no attempt at all.

I really want to get to the point where I am able to convey movement and energy within a sketch.  I am trying to work towards a more interpretive result rather than a strict attempt to copy only what the eye physically sees.  I want to be able to produce art that  conveys artistic expression as well.

So, please bear with me…I may experience some growing pains along the way, but, it should be fun!

This sketch was created on 9″x12″ Strathmore Toned Tan paper using 2H, HB, 6B, white colored pencil, Tombow Mono Zero Eraser.

William Sketch

Thanks for viewing my work, I hope you have a great day! – Mike

Laughter or Anquish?

Old Man Sketch Featured Image

It’s supposed to be laughter…

I feel that I missed fully coveying this gentleman’s laughter.  Somehow I have rendered him somewhere between laughter and anguish.  The reference photo clearly conveys laughter, so, I do apologize for failing to convey this gentleman’s full emotion.

None the less, this was a fun sketch.  The photo reference I used is by photographer Mary Isabelle.  More of her fantastic work can be found on her 500px profile page.

Old Man Sketch

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day – Mike

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.

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.

Pen & Ink Portrait of Ras

The inspiration for this portrait came from the iOS app Sktchy.  I was drawn to his overall look, the short dreadlocks, glasses, and facial hair, etc.

I tried to keep the sketch fairly loose and have fun with it.

Have a great day, Mike

Ras Sketch

This sketch was created using Micron 005, Micron Brush Pen, Gelly Roll 08, & a bit of ink wash.

Gorilla Sketch

Gorilla Featured Image

Back to pen & ink for this one. 

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.

Gorilla Sketch
This sketch was created using Micron 005, 08, brush pen, ink wash, Gelly Roll 08 for highlights, & just a touch of color from an orange Sharpie.

 

As always, 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.

More faces from last week’s sketches

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!

photo jan 24, 6 47 16 am
I used a high key photo as a reference for this sketch.  The lighting, from the right, was so brilliant that it obscured all detail on the right side of the photo.

 

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.

All well, one does have to learn.

photo jan 27, 11 40 56 am

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!

Mike L.