More Procreate!

Another Lee Jeffries inspired portrait

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

img_0037

I Can See You…

I can see you featured image

Something a little different…

This is a little different I guess, at least it’s not a full portrait.

This sketch is based on a reference photo I found online.  I liked how the hand partially obstructed the face, the dark shadows added even more depth and mystery.

I may continue with this theme and produce a series of sketches featuring hands and faces.  I like the emotive quality.

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

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike

I can see you

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

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

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.

Photo Mar 20, 10 48 07 PM

Thanks for viewing my art – Mike

The Morning Marks Continue

Faces 031619 Featured Image

This past week was a good week for sketching.  I’m still making good use of my morning’s and putting marks on paper.  Starting the day with such a focused activity seems to “jump start” my creativity and center my mind.

I have been trying to loosen my sketching “style “.  Style may be a strong word as I feel that I haven’t actually discovered my style yet, but, I’m enjoying the process.  I hope to one day get to the point were my sketches convey more energy and movement.  For now, though, I am pleased with my progress.  I’m taking a “no pressure” attitude and approach to my art.

Today, I’m sharing a page from my everyday sketchbook/journal.  On this page, I simply drew a few faces from reference.  The layout is a bit haphazard and perhaps not the best composition but, I was simply making marks at the time.

Faces 031619

Thank you for reading my words and 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.