Currently browsing Posts Published June 2012

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Sketchy Skyline

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


The novelty of painting with the iPad still hasn’t worn off for me. Not a very interesting composition; I got bored and forewent adding people (although this has the feel of an animation background).

Moo Dat

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I wonder what would happen if, during my painting class in Florence, I decided to go rogue and just start painting cartoon cows.

“You got my tuition, I’ll paint what I want! You don’t know me! You don’t know me!”

Kernel Fury

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Twice a week, Matt Kohr of posts short tutorials and tips that are helpful for both analog and digital artists. Today’s sketch is based on one of his recent videos, in whic he suggests doing gesture drawings from movie freeze frames. You can use these gestures as practice, or as future reference for your own characters.

Here I used Charles Foster Kane going bananas over a girl or a sled or something.

Groucho by Grouchy

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I don’t know why I’m such a couch potato lately. Conserving energy for the big trip in 2 weeks? Here’s what my hand did while I concentrated on Captain Spaulding.

Late Night Lines

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

A couple of my typical “slightly off” caricature sketches while watching TV.


Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

This is me after several hours of trying to set up a WordPress blog. My current blogging platform, Posterous, is probably going away at some point (they were bought out by Twitter and seem to be coasting), so I’m gearing up to make a switch.

I’ve had a few WordPress blogs, and I see myself falling into the same trap as always. Because WordPress is so configurable, I end up spending more time under the hood than actually creating content. It’s 50% OCD and 50% diagnosing strange PHP and style sheet problems.

That’s why Posterous was perfect for me; I could only do so much monkeying. I accepted its limitations, came up with a halfway decent variation on an existing theme, and never looked back.

So, I may have to go for tumblr instead. The problem is it’s much harder to migrate all my old posts there.

And hey, if you’ve gotten this far into the post, congratuations, your eyes are now as glazed over as mine!

Brush With Nature

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

My latest kick, inspired by¬†this guy’s blog, is sketching with a brush pen, which literally has bristles instead of a felt tip or a nib. Up until this year, actually, I had always associated sketching with pencils, and was surprised to find ink, in various forms, provides a more pleasurable sketching experience. And of all the implements I’ve used recently, I think the brush tops them all.

I think what it comes down to is that when you sketch with pencil, you run the risk of being too “precious,” as my drawing teacher says. In other words, you get caught up in refining little details until you’ve sucked most of the spontaneity out of the drawing. With something as indelible and hard to control as a brush, you have to live with what you’ve slapped on the page.

Since there’s no “undo,” as with a computer or a pencil, I can’t dive right into these loose sketches. I have to measure, and really think about my composition before I start drawing. After laying down a few conservative strokes, I measure once more. It may seem to contradict the notion of spontaneity, but really it’s about setting the stage for the next phase, where I let my eyes and hand have at it, and my brain checks out.

I’m not very skilled with the brush yet, but I can say that these drawings in pencil would have taken longer, would have resulted in more frustration than meditation, and wouldn’t be as fun to look at afterward.

Eventually, I plan to dive back into a comic strip, and although I’ll probably ink it digitally, I’m toying with the idea of using the brush pen for background art. I’m always amazed at how artists like Walt Kelly and Milton Caniff were able to render things like foliage with a few well-placed strokes of the brush.


Sideways White Female

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

50s insurance guy is quite flustered at the sight of a reclining nude from today’s class.

I’ve been using ink instead of charcoal for the past few weeks, but this is the first one that wasn’t riddled with mistakes and re-dos, which equals a frustrated jumbly mess of scratched-out indelible lines. Either I need to bring white-out, or start doing more decent (heh) ones like this.

Gee, I Think You’re Swell

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

This week’s assignment: A portrait in nature. Since I usually give my bevy of models Fridays off, I walked down the block to this statue of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on the edge of Riverside Park. Drew this with Copic sketch markers and a Kuretake brush pen.

Here’s the same statue in real life:


Wild and Sketchy Guy

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Watching L.A. Story and attempting to sketch Steve Martin.