Currently browsing Posts Published September 2011

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Can You Tell Me How to Get to Della Street?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Hey, I kinda like it. Now I think I’ll go look out the window…

Burr It’s Chilly

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Alright, I had to have a do-over on Ironside, aka Mr. Thorwald from Rear Window. This one was done in Photoshop; I started with a black canvas and gradually added lighter shades.

Just in case you couldn’t get enough of this guy, tomorrow I’m going to refine the B&W painting, then add some color. I’ve done something similar with old photos, so I’m curious to see how well it will work with a drawing.

Perry Mason is not pleased

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Likewise, I’m not too happy with this sketch (still trying to relearn these strange wooden sticks–where do I put the batteries?), but I like the site I found tonight, which has basically every shot from every Hitchcock movie.

Cousin Mike

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Disclaimer: This looks nothing like my Cousin Mike. But it DOES look like a dude with a face. So, go me.

Jeepers Creepers

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Thought I’d try to focus on one body part for my late night sketch. Here’s a celebrity eye. If you can guess who it belongs to, I’ll draw your portrait next. Drawn on iPad with Procreate.

A Coupla Sketchy Characters

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I had so much fun with my first painting that I spent a drizzly day inside doing another one. I immediately found this one to be far more challenging than the first one, and not just because there’s two people. The cracker pic had lots of dark shadows, and it didn’t take much to make it pop off the page. With this one, the contrast was a lot more subtle, and for most of the day the pic felt really flat. Ultimately I think I ended up with a bit of a 3rd dimension.  But anyway, on to the next one!

I took a few screenshots of the process:









Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

My pal Jason suggested I draw myself as someone else. Naturally, I chose Richard Nixon.

Cracker Part 2

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Well, here it is. My first painting…ever? Eye spacing issues aside, I was pleasantly surprised with the result. I mainly used the technique described in this hour-long YouTube video, starting with one base color for the whole image, then painting large swaths of tone over that, then blending using the color picker with a brush at low opacity. Photoshop CS5 actually has brushes that simulate wet paint, but I didn’t use those.

I did use Georgiann’s suggestion of “Brady Bunch squares” by placing a grid over both the photo and my canvas when drawing my initial sketch.

In the video above, the artist makes an observation that really helped me. She used to use tons of layers so she could go back and undo her mistakes, but then she realized that it made a lot more sense to think like an oil painter. “Just paint over it, duh!”

Here’s the source photo:


And just for fun, here’s how it looked about halfway through.


Cracker Part 1

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


I watched a few tutorials tonight on digital painting, so I thought I’d give it a shot. This will probably take a couple evenings. Here’s the first step; the sketch that I’ll paint over. As you can see, it’s me eating a cracker, which I’m sure is something Van Gogh would have painted if he hadn’t come up with the whole hacking off the ear thing.

Sneak peek at my progress as I hang it up for the night:


Wow, I’d look creepy without eyebrows.

Mommy, why is my right arm off the page?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

One of my biggest problems right now is misjudging how much space I need on a page, even with a photograph in front of me. Drawing from life is even harder; I guess I’ll have to adopt that stereotypical thumb-forefinger window until I improve. Drawn on newsprint with a soft wax crayon.