Thursday, September 18, 2014

Me Vs. the Sotheby's Catalog

Being married to an art historian has numerous advantages, one of which is the constant presence of numerous books of old master drawings just lying around the house. In this case I happened upon a Sotheby's catalog full of some really amazing images, so I felt inclined to pick up my pens and try my hand at them. Close examination of the originals would reveal numerous errors in both of these, but such is the way with an ink drawing.

The one on top is "A Man Seated Smoking at Table" by Jan Josef Hormans the Elder (note that I hope to someday live long enough to be referred to as "the elder," although I'm more likely to be referred to as "that odd man who lives across the street and shouts at the pigeons. Don't make eye contact."). The one below it is taken from "The Prophet Isaiah Reading From a Scroll" by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Not Extinct

Yes, I am still here. I had every intention of continuing to draw and post over the past few months but, well, sometimes life interrupts. For my triumphant return, I have taken pencil and sketchbook to a photo from the New York Times of a carrier pigeon. Sadly, the pigeon in this photo is of the taxidermied variety, because we humans decided that the planet would be better off without this particular species. We seem to do a lot of that.

Friday, February 28, 2014

How They Roll in Zagreb

This is an ink drawing done in the always-beloved oatmeal sketchbook from a photo a friend of mine took during his travels in Croatia. I like images of crusty old guys. I have high hopes that I might live long enough to one day join their ranks.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Portrait Party Entry

And the portrait party just keeps going. The original thread with the photo I drew this from is available here. Thanks, as always, to the mighty Julia Kay for putting together one of my favorite things on the internet.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Leaf Frog is Watching You

Behold, the mighty leaf frog. This was done in charcoal pencil from a photo on the National Geographic web site. I should note, with apologies to any batrachiologists who might be reading this, that "leaf frog" seems like kind of a lazy thing to name such a peculiar creature. How about "High Priest of All Things Frog-Like"? "Bug-Eyed Harbinger of Doom"? Come on people, we can do better than this.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Self Portrait

We've come to the end of another year, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a self portrait? OK, there probably are better ways, but not too many that can be accomplished using only my bathroom mirror and a set of pencils. If you're reading this, I hope 2014 is good to you.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Please Do Not Eat the Butterflies

This is an ink drawing of a crocodile with a mouth full of butterflies, taken from a photo in the Nature Conservancy calendar. Why the crocodile isn't just chowing down on the butterflies is a mystery to me. They eat pretty much anything, right? I certainly would if I were a crocodile. I suppose it's a good thing for the butterflies of this world that I was born to a species that prefers beer and nachos.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coal Sifting Plant

This is an ink drawing of an abandoned coal sifting plant from a great set of photos I found on Flickr of old machine shops. The original photo is still up at if anyone is interested in doing a comparison and pointing out all of the inaccuracies. I've been doing a lot of figure drawing lately and it was interesting to step away for that and draw something with straight lines.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Me vs. Michelangelo

This is a detail from a panel in the Sistine Chapel called "The Sacrifice of Noah." I did this with charcoal pencil in the trusty oatmeal sketchbook. Yeah, Michelangelo was pretty good.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bill Nye the Science Guy

This is Bill Nye, drawn in charcoal pencil from a photo in Seattle Met magazine. I have a warm spot in my heart for people who bring science into popular culture. I think our country could use a lot more of that to stave off the superstition and ignorance that makes me want to hang my head and weep every time I hear someone on Fox News talking about global warming. This image is also dedicated to Congressman Paul "Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell" Broun. Man, I'm really on my soapbox today. It's getting slippery up here with all this soap and outrage, so I'll step down now and get back to drawing, coffee-drinking, and voting for people who don't want to shut down the government.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Short poses at Art Not Terminal

I went back to the life drawing session at Art Not Terminal yesterday and, as usual, the model was great and there was a room full of people who were doing really amazing work. These were shorter poses, starting with five minutes and going up to 20. I think it did me a lot of good to try to work more quickly and focus on gesture. The images above were from a 12 minute pose and a 20 minute pose, done with charcoal pencil on newsprint.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Greek Sculpture at the Seattle Art Museum

I went back to the Seattle Art Museum last weekend to pay a visit to the little room upstairs with the Greek sculpture. According to the wall text, this is the head of a woman from a grave site, dating around 350 BC. This was done with charcoal pencil on oatmeal paper.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Sheep Isn't Taking Any of Your Guff

I saw this sheep in a nature magazine and thought, there's a sheep with serious things on its mind. I'm not sure what those things are, but I feel like they must be serious. Perhaps things along the lines of "please do not turn me into a plate of mutton." We'll never know for sure what, if anything, is going through this sheep's tiny brain, but that piercing stare makes it the Lee Marvin of the barnyard.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Life Drawing at Art Not Terminal

Another rainy Saturday in Seattle spent with the good people at the Art Not Terminal gallery. This was a longer pose that I worked on for the better part of two hours. Honestly, I don't think it looks all that different from the poses I work on for 40 minutes, although I did get into a bit more detail on the hands and feet.

A side note - I realize that this image is a little blurry and a little on the yellow side. This is because I took a photo in my apartment with overhead light on a dark, rainy afternoon using the camera on my iPhone. I cleaned it up as best I could in Photoshop, but it still looks a little rough. Any suggestions on how I can get better photos of my work, short of investing in a better camera or some fancy studio lights, would be much appreciated.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Party Time Again

In the immortal words of the Jazz Butcher: it's party time, better than a cold bath with someone you dislike. The party in question is, of course, Julia Kay's Portait Party. It's been a few weeks since I've checked in there, and what better way than with a sketch of a lovely woman with truly spectacular eyebrows. I hope I've done them justice.