Monday, December 24, 2007

Double A

Here's my current pastel painting. I'm trying to work a bit looser than normal.
I have this idea to do a series of pastels showing how people gather together, and how often, it's not the actual event that draws them together. But, rather just the companionship.
This is from Canal Park in Akron (thus the "Double A" name). I went to a game when my father was in town, and I got bored. So, I started to snap photos of the crowd. I found this pretty interesting. I've taken some elements out that I thought weren't working compositionally, or when I rendered them loose, they didn't make much sense.

I hope to have this done in the next week.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Ornament

I have the tree up, lights in the window, and presents wrapped. But, I don't really feel into it this year. In fact, on Sunday, I had an inner debate for hours before I actually put up the tree.

I always hate putting the tree up, because I usually put those loose snowflakes on it. So, when I pull it out, I get flakes everywhere.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lemurs Everywhere

More lemur practice. I'm really trying to catch some personality in their faces. But, I want to know generally if these are looking like illustrations in childrens' books. It's hard to tell when I look at them myself. These are a little rough, but I want to know if the general style seems right to you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Tried to draw John Mellencamp since he was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday, but this didn't work out all that well. I overworked it to the point where I almost went through the paper.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Lemurs

Here are more lemurs. I like how the one with the blue background looks very evil. He just looks like he's up to convincing someone to do something really bad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fire Truck

This is a commission piece that I just shipped off. I hope they like it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I'm going to be doing a lot of lemur practice over the next few weeks for a project that I have in mind.
I love how this lemur has an expression where he looks like he thinks very highly of himself.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Final Class Tonight

Tonight is my last class. This is the project we're turning in tonight. I'm curious to see what everyone came up with, because I didn't go to class last Wednesday.
I was worried about painting the smoky part, but I think it turned out okay. It isn't exactly like how I'd pictured it in my head, but I kind of figured that I wouldn't be able to get acrylic paint to duplicate what I'd had in mind. But, I got the feel and idea that I'd thought of.
My next project is this idea I came up with right before I fell asleep last night. I had to get up and write myself a note so that I wouldn't forget. Every have ideas like that? A great idea, and you think, "I wont forget that by morning." And, 3 days later, you think, "Wasn't there something I wanted to do that that I'd had an idea for?"
So, today I'm going to print up a bunch of reference photos. Then, get started on some quick sketches for it. But, before I get into that too much, I have to polish off a car picture by Thursday.
It felt like I had way too much to do a few days ago, but it's getting done. I did get sick yesterday and lost a lot of time to just lying around, but I feel better today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Update of School Project

Here is an update on the project with the shapes cut out from magazines. It has to be done in complimentary colors, and I'm going to use blue and orange.
Now, I just have to paint it to look like this.
It's going to be a long week, because I have a lot to get done for class. And, I didn't think about it, but I scheduled myself on Sunday at the store to do a mat cutting event.
It's snowing today, but it's probably not going to do a whole lot around here. Maybe by morning.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Eastman Reading Garden part 2

Here's another little character from the Eastman Reading Garden. This little lady is holding up a post for the bronze gate. Her little companion was pants-less, but I didn't get a good picture of him. I'll draw him when the weather is nice in the spring.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Soldiers & Sailors

For this month's sketchcrawl, we were supposed to spend the morning at Tower City, but we took a sidetrip to the Soldiers & Sailors monument before going over. There was a guide inside who gave a lot of information. He believes that this is the largest monument dedicated to solely the Civil War.
He told the story about how they set off the canon once for a ceremony, and they had no idea how many pigeons were around until that scared them.
Also, the figure at the very top of the monument was modeled after the artist's wife. And, either she's up there immortailized forever, or he knew how many pigeons would perch on her over the years.
This is a sketch of one of the windows in the monument. It's not a Tiffany window, but the guide told us that Tiffany had trained a lot of people in this area, so it's possible that the person who made the windows had studied with him.

Eastman Reading Garden

This was from a photo that I took yesterday. It was way too cold to sit outside and draw at the reading garden next to the library. While in the garden, there was a squirrel that went right up to this woman who was sitting outside and almost climbed into her backpack.
I tried to find information on the artist who made these little creatures, but all I could find was his name. I was curious about what his other work looked like. His name is Tom O'tterness.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Last Candy Bar

You know, if you're following my sketch blog, you probably figure that I'm preoccupied with two things. . . . Candy and Christmas. Well, perhaps. . . . Anyhow, here is a shot of a drawing of the last candy bar from the ones that my friend, Ally, sent me from Singapore.

I used my new Inktense pencils for this. Wanted to break them in before the sketchcrawl.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Classwork project

Here is the latest project sketch for my class.
It's a landscape based around shapes we cut out of a magazine. My shapes were tall skinny things with rounded tops and round things with ridges.
So, the buildings are based on a tall zippo lighter, an eyeshadow pencil, microphone stand, fence post, shovel, and the top of a gazebo. The spaceshipy part is based on a overhead shot of a botanical garden, and the landscape behind is based on a muffin top.
We'll see how this goes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Craft Booth

This one is from the booth across the aisle from me at a weekend craft show. I was selling my small wooden frames, but the lady across the aisle was selling these floral/santa lighted arrangements.
I had to work quickly, because I was worried that she'd sell the one I was working on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

End Mummy

Here is the end result of the Mummy drawing and then the Abstracting the Mummy.
In the original abstract, it looked a lot like hair. I didn't blend the colors so tht it has a more graphic feel.

There's a slight sheen from where I used the flash, but the colors are very close. It's monochromatic, working from yellow ochre.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The annual visit to Petitti's garden center is more than enough to put me in the holiday spirit. The set-ups always look different. But, I was especially fond of this one with the gumdrop snowmen.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Playhouse Square

Finally did something with the sketch I did at Playhouse square last weekend during the sketchcrawl. First of all, I actually had forgotten a sketchbook, and the only thing I could find was blank letter writing paper at CVS.

So, I redrew it in my sketchbook, and then used the photo I took as a color reference to do the watercoloring.

Now, I have to tend to the 55 gallon fish tank for the weekly water change. One of the fish is acting peculiar this morning. It's "Piggy," which is an orange platy with black spots on her snout (thus the name, "Piggy"). I'd move her to the 30 gallon tank, but I have a betta in there, and I hear bettas will tear into any reddish fish.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gotta love friends and candy!
Now if I can just muster some willpower in order to not eat them all.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Class Theme Project

This is from the class project that I'd mentioned yesterday. This is a xerox of my sketch, because the scanner wouldn't pick up the original which was done with a hard pencil on tracing paper.
My theme was Christmas, and I had to think of 25 words about it. Then, I had to pick random sets of 6 words and work them around another theme for a sketch. I was once again told not to go "cute" with my work. She said that I had to find something to say about Christmas; to make a point or statement.

My first sketch was with a Santa devouring cookies. I elaborated on it to have him all wide-eyed and crazed over a plate of sweets, and even did one with his belt buckle undone. But, this ones seemed more like a poster and less like a cartoon.
So, I started to think of all of the waste after the holidays. The strings of lights that no longer work, the toys that get broken quickly, smashed glass balls, wrapping paper, unfinished candy canes (I have a theory that nobody eats a whole candy cane), and dead pieces of evergreen or dead Christmas trees.
This is what I have so far. We're supposed to get very realistic about it, but when we paint it, we're supposed to use analogous colors, which means that I can't use both red and green in this. I also can't use brown at all.
As a side note, I had no idea why news helicopters have hovered over the area all morning. I just looked out the window and see where fireman are up on high ladders spray water all over a smoking warehouse a few blocks away. I know that we just drove by the warehouse fire near Superior last week, and that took a very long time to get under control.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I think I made his one eye too big,b ut I think you can look at this and kind of tell it's him, which I guess is an accomplishment.

The article had this great quote, and I wanted to keep it to look back on. I worry an awful lot, and I have t say, after I did this sketch this morning, I launched into a huge fit of worrying that started to make me physically ill. I've moved past it, but I'll be home all day for these worries to nag at me.

I'll probably be posting what I did last night in class soon. We were supposed to pick a theme, and then do our design based on a combination of words that describe that theme. I kind of got an early idea which may work. I picked Christmas, but the teacher is forever trying to stop me from doing "cute" things. So, I had to make some kind of statement about what I was going to draw. I'll post it later and you guys can comment or send an email like usual.

Monday, November 5, 2007


You aren't allowed to take pictures of things at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I wanted a photo of Eddie Van Halen's famous guitar. They've had one on display since Van Halen was inducted earlier this year.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Snowmen Everywhere

The elves have been at work in downtown Cleveland, putting up the Christmas decorations.
When I went on the Cleveland sketchcrawl, we drew inside Playhouse Square, but I snapped a photo of the snowman decoration across the street at what I think used to be the old C-tix booth.
Saturday was a good day overall. Nothing bad happened at all. I did the sketchcrawl, and then went to lunch at Fat Fish Blue. Then, went to work and it was busy. The computer crashed, but it didn't crash until we closed. And, I think 1 of my black ruby barbs is about to drop some eggs, which means baby fishies!!!
Hope the whole next week goes well for all of us.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ornament That Stayed Up All Year

I like this drawing, but when I drew the ornament laying on it's side, I forgot which way the sketchbook was going. So, when I wrote the text, it's actualy upside down.

Oh, well. . . .

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lake Erie

Told you that I would be going up to the lake to draw.

I have to admit, it was deceptively pretty out. So, I didn't grab gloves or a heavy coat. When I got up there, all of the fishermen were wearing hats and winter coats. At first, it was very pleasant, but then I got cold very quickly. I did a quick sketch and snapped a photo to do the watercolor when I would get home. Next time, I'll be more prepared for the cold. I'd just gotten fingerless gloves when I was in Ligonier,but hadn't even thought to bring them. It took a while for my hands to warm up in the car on the way home.

It is very pretty up there, though. I will definitely go up again sometime soon to draw and paint.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spent the afternoon selling my painted frames at the Grog Shop's Funk N Junk sale. It wasn't very busy, but I sold quite a few.

While I was drawing this one, I ran out of things that interestedme in the bottom left corner, and rew that really crickety chair. My favorite square is the microphone stands. It was hard to see them through the other stuff going on, and it was pretty dark in that corner, so if you are a mic expert, and they are not acurate drawings, don't blame me.

I also like the no smoking sign.

I may color this with watercolor, but I'm still smarting from watercoloring the other drawing from the Grog Shop, where I drew another lady's table. I really messed it up with the watercolor.

Tomorrow, if it's not too cold, I might go up to the lake and draw boats. Though, I did notice that most of them are covered for the winter already.

We'll see. Maybe the zoo if it's not too cold, then?

I'm going somewhere, one way or the other.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Redesigning the Mummy

Our assignment in class this week is to pull shapes out of our drawing, and use it to abstract the piece. I think that I went too literal here, so if you guys could post comments about what you think would be a good direction to go, it would help a lot.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And now, a little something for Halloween

This drawing is from an assignment in my 2D Design and Composition class at Cleveland State. It's hard to believe my first time back at college since 1991 is half over. Not that I'm really "in college," since I'm only taking on class, but it is the first time I've been in school for 16 years.

When I originally went to sign up for school and see if my old credits would transfer, I told the woman on the phone that my college credits were very old, and I wasn't sure if they'd transfer. She asked when I went, and I told her, and she was like, "Oh, that's not old. I thought you'd meant it was from the 1940s or something."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ligonier Gallery

I'm not sure I'm all that happy with this sketch. It was quick, and I think it has composition problems.

But, it's the one I have from going to Ligonier. I do have a photo of an Inn in an old house that I mght do now that I'm home. If so, I'll post it for you.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Two Night-Time Balloons

I had my camera out the other night in order to take a couple of pictures of our Halloween window display. I had to run inside to reposition a spotlight, when I'd noticed to balloons rolling around on the sidewalk. The lighting and color caught my attention, and I snapped a quick photo. I knew immediately that I would put it in my sketchbook with watercolor to emphasize the night and glowing lights.

I did make it to Ligonier yesterday, and after my exam on Monday night, I'll draw up this great gallery I had seen. I took a picture with people in front of it on purpose, but after I took the picture, a lady apologized for getting into the shot. Even though, I wanted them to be in it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quick Sketch Before Class

I've been hooked on sketching things around the house lately, but thist time I went to class early in order to sketch something around the classroom or lounge. As usualy, Meghan was at her desk working long before class was to start. It was a good warm-up, because we went on to draw during class too.

Then, I came home an played with an old set of watercolors to tone the paper.

The paper in the Moleskine journal book is slick and nice for the Rapidograph pen, and it take watercolor well. But, it's a little thin. If I went to the Moleskine sketch, I think the Rapidograph would scrape over the paper fibers.

Will be going to Ligonier, PA this Friday, and hopefully will get some time to sketch a little around that cute little town.