Chimpanzee Portrait

I have been wanting a sketchbook with black paper for a while.  I finally purchased one in early January along with a 3 pack of white Sakura Gelly Roll pens in white.  The pens came in 3 weights 10, 08, & 05.  The portrait below was sketched with the 05 and 10 weight pens.

The sketchbook is a Canson 7″ x 10″ (17.8 cm x 25.4 cm).  It’s 40 pages of 92 lb. (150 g) paper.  The pages are perforated so drawings can easily be removed (if worthy, haha).

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This was a fun sketch but, you have to remember to focus on sketching the highlights, instead of the shadows.  I had to constantly remind myself of this fact.  I am so used to sketching the shadows.  Starting off light and working my way into the darkest areas of the subject is my usual approach.  This sketch was the complete opposite of that usual technique, plus I was using the Gelly Pens which is a very opaque medium so I had to be very conscious of my strokes.

Still, it was a good exercise and I look forward to creating more sketches within the covers of this book.

Have a great day, Mike

I Sketched a Portrait of Maine

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.

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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.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day!

Mike

Gorilla Portrait

Another primate portrait.  I really enjoy drawing primates, it seems there is so much thought and emotion behind their eyes.  I also find the wrinkles and patterns of their faces interesting to draw.

This portrait was finished just a few days ago.  It was created in my sketchbook using a 0.9mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead.  The black background was created using charcoal powder applied with a brush.

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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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Reality & Tactile Feedback

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Back to the Real Feel…

Lately, I have been spending a good amount of time creating digital sketches with my iPad.  I really like the convenience and tons of media options.

However, I was missing the sound of marks on paper, creating with real tools, and the lack of an undo button.

I haven’t created a pen & ink sketch in a while so I thought I would dust off my pens and get to sketching.  Here are the results!

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Thank for visiting, I hope everyone has a wonderful day.  Feel free to comment!

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!

I Can See You…

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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

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

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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

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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

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Got that loose style? Not yet, but I’m working on it

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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