Monday, February 20, 2017

Nothing Lasts Forever

I've been posting to this blog since 2008 and I have enjoyed it immensely, but the internet seems to have moved on to other modes of communication. I really appreciate everyone who has come here to look at and comment on my drawings. You are all welcome to follow me on Instagram at Revenge of the Pencil signing off.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

30 Drawings in 30 Days

The amazing people at the Seattle Artist League ran a daily drawing exercise throughout the month of January. Much to my own surprise, I did stick with it and did all 30. I wasn't always happy with the results, but I did learn something from all of them and I am very grateful to the good people at SAL for putting it all together. Here are a few selections:
Day 1: 15-minute self-portrait
Day 3: Automatic Drawing - Put pen to paper and watch what happens
Day 12: Combine features from different species and invent a new animal
Day 15: Draw the body as a vessel
Day 23: Draw something that completes an existing scene
Day 27: Draw a self portrait with something fabulously distracting on your head
Day 28: Draw a rooster, for New Year

Saturday, December 31, 2016


I've been spending a lot of time lately on sktchy (, an iPhone/iPad app that works a lot like the Julia's Portrait Party group on flickr. It's a really vibrant group of artists and I would encourage anyone with even a passing interest in drawing and painting portraits to have a look. These are a couple of my recent entries.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gasworks Park

We are enjoying the last gasp of sunshine here in Seattle before clouds and rain set in for a few months of the grey drizzle for which we are so rightly famous. What better way to spend the morning than sitting in Gasworks Park with the oatmeal sketchbook?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

This was drawn from a photo in a calendar put out by the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, which one of my co-workers was kind enough to share with me. It seems to me that the owl in the middle is probably the boss, but I can't help feeling like the one on the left has big plans to knock him off the top of the heap as soon as he lets his guard down. He and the other owl probably laugh at Boss Owl behind his back as they hatch all sorts of plans for hilarious owl-pranks involving rubber mice.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Emu: Livestock of the Future

A million years ago (well, the 1990s) I took a road trip to Oregon with a couple of my roommates. Oregon is really beautiful and we saw all sorts of stunning natural wonders, but I think I speak for everyone involved when I say that the highlight of the whole trip was the billboard outside of the emu farm declaring it to be the "livestock of the future." It would appear that the emu-dominated future hasn't quite arrived yet, but I'm sure it's just around the corner.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Birthday Sketching at the Museum of Flight

Today is my birthday and I decided to spend a good chunk of it running around the Seattle Museum of Flight drawing the airplanes. It was all kinds of fun and I really recommend this place to anyone who has a chance to see it. These drawings are all dedicated to my dad, who loved airplanes his entire life and who I really wish I could have shared this with.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lokapala at the Seattle Asian Art Museum

This pencil drawing was done in a couple of sittings at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The sculpture is labeled as a lokapala from the 8th/9th century. Yeah, I didn't know what a lokapala was either but, according to Wikipedia, it is a guardian of the world and one of the "Four Heavenly Kings." It also makes for an imposing figure as it stares down at you from the museum wall.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

I recently went to see the National Theater Live production of Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale" with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench. The performances were amazing and I really enjoyed the play, especially when they got to the part featuring the greatest stage direction ever written: "Exit, pursued by a bear." I've been thinking a lot about bears ever since, so I decided to dip back into the endless treasure trove that is the National Geographic web site and try my hand at a bear drawing. Here's hoping I never find myself pursued by one.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Return to the Portrait Party

Ah, Julia Kay's Portait Party. Still one of the best things on the internet. This is a dump of a few of my drawings over the past couple of months that have been collecting dust as I have been too lazy to pull the scanner down off the shelf. In my defense, it is kind of a high shelf and there's been a lot of football on TV.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Helen Mirren is Unspeakably Cool

This photo of Helen Mirren riding the New York subway with perfect grace and style made the rounds of the internet a while back and I just couldn't resist giving it a try. My hope is to one day be 1/116th as cool as she is.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Return of the Lunchtime Sketch

When I lived in New Orleans, I would often head out on my lunch break to do a bit of drawing. This was sometimes a bit limiting since I spent most of my time working out in the suburbs, where the amazing architecture that has made New Orleans famous is replaced by strip malls and grim industrial buildings. Still it made for a nice break. I've done a lot less of that since I've lived in Seattle, but I have high hopes that I might get back into it. Here's my first attempt in a while, a house a few blocks from from my workplace in the First Hill neighborhood. This was done in ink over two short sessions that left me just enough time to get back to my desk and eat my sandwich.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Oily Experiments

One of the most exciting things about my new place in Seattle was an extra bedroom with good ventilation that my wife and I planned to use as a combined office/studio. We are now approaching the one-year anniversary of our move into the aforementioned "new" place and I have only just gotten around to setting up the easel and dusting off the box of oil paint that has been sitting in my closet for longer than I care to admit. The glacial pace of my studio set-up should come as a surprise to exactly 0% of all of the people who have ever met me.

For my first attempt, I decided to head over to Julia Kay's Portrait Party for source material (the original post is here). This is my first ever attempt at a portrait in oil. I'll be the first to admit that I totally missed the tilt of the head, but I like to think I managed to capture a bit of the life of the original photo. It was also lots of fun to play around with, so there may be more of these.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Welcome Back, Adam

This drawing was done in compressed charcoal and is based on a photo in the New York Times from an article published a couple of months ago about a statue of Adam by Tullio Lombardo. The statue was smashed to pieces in an accident at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is still something of a mystery (one of the conservators says that he suspects "foul play"). The museum spent about a decade putting it back together and restoring it to something very close to its original state. The article itself (read it here) is a really fascinating account of a restoration effort that would not have been possible without some impressive technological advances and an incredibly dedicated group of people. I look forward to seeing it in person the next time I make it to New York.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Baptist Church, Seattle

Every now and then, the sun does actually come out in Seattle. This is especially rare in the month of February, so when it happens all of us Seattle-ites rush outside in a desperate attempt to acquire a little Vitamin D. It also provides an opportunity to draw on location, so I took my skecthbook a few blocks down the hill and tried my hand at the First Baptist Church. I do wish I had set up the composition in such a way that the entire steeple had fit on the page, but other than that I'm pretty happy with how things came out. I look forward to doing more of this when summer rolls around.