Sketch Sunday: Caricature

For this Sunday Sketch I drew a caricature style figure and again looked at various shading and hatching techniques.


For this sketch I used the following:-

  • Different grades of graphite pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B
  • Strathmore Windpower Drawing Sketchbook
  • a kneaded eraser
  • pencil sharpener

First of all draw a square on your sketchpad as a border. This will help contain the drawing area and make it easier to keep the proportions aligned well for your caricature to sit and to help you shade the background easier.

Next with an HB pencil lightly sketch the outline of the hair. Add outlines to show the position of the ears. At the midway point add eyebrows and eyes.

Lightly sketch in the nose and mouth.

Outline the neck, the collar of the shirt and the shirt.

Before continuing check that you are happy with the position of all elements and amend anything using the eraser.

Now it’s time to add the shading using various pencils, such as HB, 2B, and 4B. For example, an HB makes lighter lines than 2B or 4B.

find out how next

Sketch Sunday: Funny Frog

As part of my new feature series, Sketch Sunday, I will sketch a new drawing and explain how I made it. My first sketch is a comical looking frog.


For this sketch I used the following:-

  • Different grades of graphite pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B
  • Strathmore Windpower Drawing Sketchbook
  • a kneaded eraser
  • pencil sharpener
  • Q-tip

First I drew a square box on the paper to help contain the proportions of my sketch. I then drew a dividing line down the center as an aid to get the symmetry of the frog on either side.

I then drew the top half of his face and body and a couple of lines to mark where the legs and feet would go.

Roughly sketch the outline of the frog using a H pencil.
Roughly sketch the outline of the frog using a H pencil.

Two ovals become eyes. A slight curved line becomes a mouth with a couple of goofy teeth. I then erased all the guide lines and center marks so I was left with a plain frog sketch.

Next I used a 2B pencil to make some neat thin dark lines around the eyes, mouth and teeth. I then added some circles of different sizes that would become warts over his body. I finished off marking up the rest of the drawing with thin dark lines.

With a 2B pencil define the frog outline with a nice dark edge.
With a 2B pencil define the frog outline with a nice dark edge and add some different size circles to make warts on his upper body.

Next up is shading. First of all I used a HB pencil and added light shading to the frogs eyes, body, legs and feet. As I was shading I followed the contours of the lines, for example the curves in the eyelids. I continued in the same manner across the body and the legs with the darker shadows on the left and the lighter shadows on the right.

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The Key

 

An intricate drawing of a special key
An intricate drawing of a special key

The Key – a drawing in response to this weeks Sketching Fire Sketchbook Challenge – Key

I used the application Artrage on my iPad to draw the key with my Ja Ja stylus. You can find out more about which stylus I use here.


If you liked this drawing you may like to check out Drawings and Doodles on Tumblr

 

 

Sketching in the Wolfsonian

Each month The Wolfsonian Museum open their doors to budding artists wishing to practice their drawing skills.

My husband and I attended our first session at the end of February. I haven’t used a pencil and paper in a while but they provided the tools and we were ready to pick a subject to draw. I didn’t want to draw just anything so I wandered around for a while looking for something that looked interesting.

My first sketch attempt going back to using pencil and paper.
My first sketch attempt going back to using pencil and paper.

The drawing is from a painting depicting the Battle of La Marne Verdun in the current exhibition ‘Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture’. The painting was large but I focused on one small section which had amazing light flooding the scene.

It was a completely different experience. I’ve been so used to drawing on tablet devices that it felt strange to use a real pencil. Not only that, as the museum was open to the public I felt a little self conscious drawing as people wandered around. Occasionally they would look over my shoulder and I wanted to say, “I’m not a real artist. Focus on that painting on the wall by someone who knew what they were doing”. I decided not to be distracted by what I thought people were thinking and just concentrated on what I was doing.

It’s an unfinished drawing but it was a good test piece. The proportions are not quite right – his hand is too big, his jacket is too short, but for a first attempt (and my first foray into public drawing) I was happy that it actually looked like a person if not a completely true representation of the original. I’m looking forward to exploring using pencil and paper again and hopefully improving my technique.

A painting depecting the Battle of La Marne
The original – a painting depicting the Battle of La Marne

The session inspired us so much that we ended up visiting our local art shop for supplies. I’m looking forward to seeing improvements in my drawings and Sketching in the Wolfsonian again at the end of March.

Windpower Drawing Sketchbook
Strathmore Windpower Drawing Sketchbook

The sketchbook I selected was a Strathmore Wind power Drawing Pad. This line of artist papers has been made with 100% wind power – a pollution free renewable energy resource. Strathmore is the first (and only) manufacturer in the United States to make paper entirely from wind generated electricity. This heavyweight drawing paper is perfect for finished works of art. The bright white paper is ideal for working with pencil pen charcoal or pastel.

Generals Sketching Pencil 4B
Generals Sketching Pencil 4B

We selected a few charcoal pencils, some interesting erasers and a flat 4B Sketching pencil.

The erasers were very interesting. They each have a specific use depending on what type of pencil you are using and the effect you are trying to achieve. My favorite so far is the Kneaded Eraser.

Artgum by Prismcolor
Artgum by Prismacolor

Artgum block shaped, dual purpose eraser and dry cleaner. Containing fine dry powder it cleans the drawing surface by absorbing the graphite and dirt.

Kneaded rubber
Kneaded rubber

Kneaded Eraser – this one is excellent for highlighting and cleaning chalks, charcoal, pastels and colored pencils.

Plastic Eraser – easily removes pencil marks from a range of surfaces.

The Best Stylus

The Best Stylus to buy has always been a tricky venture. Ever since iOS and Android devices have been designed with their finger friendly screens there’s always been a limitation when drawing or writing on occasions. It’s a bit of a minefield and as Apple seem to refuse to make a stylus for their own products it’s left to other manufacturers to come up with a solution.

Each one has their own special quirk and has often some alliance to one particular app, so unless you have the app the pen will work with to get the most out of the pressure sensitivity and other features you’re not going to be getting the full user experience even though you’ve paid full price!

The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect.
The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect and makes strange electrical noises

I’ve used a number of styluses from the cheap $0.99 version that feels so thin and cheap in your hands and ends up having to be dragged forcibly across your screen to the polar opposite end of the fancier pressure sensitive pens that can set quite a dent in your pocket. Which all means trying to find THE pen is extremely difficult. I don’t want you to fall for the uber cheap version but I understand you may feel wary parting with large amounts of money. Luckily I have boldly ventured forth on your behalf and can at least share my experience so far.

I’m using two different stylus or should that be styli. The main one I have been using is the JaJa Pressure Sensitive stylus from HEX3 but I’ve had some issues with connectivity and pressure sensitivity so I’m not going to recommend it here, even though I really do enjoy using it.

If I love it why am I not recommending it to you?

Well, I’m on my second pen. The first one failed to connect to the apps as promised and the button just did not work. Not to be deterred I got a replacement but this one also failed to work. The connection was better but the pressure sensitivity would not work because 90% of the time it would not come on and would make an awful electrical buzzing noise. I still have both but they are used purely as non working “insensitive” pens! Sorry HEX3 but that’s the bottom line. I really wanted to love this pen but you have ignored my emails to try and get the problem sorted but you’ve gone dark so I guess I’m on my own with broken styli!

However, not holding a grudge I’ve kept an eye on their new developments and they appear to have been working hard on some new and hopefully better models which look interesting and work across multiple devices. Maybe they’ve just been too busy developing to answer any concerns from past customers. Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding and if I venture down this route I will report my findings. I’ve been extremely disappointed by this company so I’m not too confident ordering from them again but I will showcase their new range within this article so you can make your own decision.

Continue reading The Best Stylus

Drawings and Doodles on Tumblr

The Picture Window – my adventures with an iPad, stylus and Tumblr.

I’d like to share a selection of my most recent doodles and drawings that can be found on my Tumblr account – The Picture Window. They are drawings plucked from my creative mind or inspired by surroundings or my interests.

Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks
Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks

I had been drawing some well known cartoon characters for a while that were full of bold colors and larger than life features and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture everyone’s favorite cartoon icons. It’s harder than you think!

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

I then started to explore black and white doodling. One of my favorites is Moonlight. It’s very simple but sometimes the moon really is that big and makes you feel very small.

I made the drawing using the app Paper by 53. It really does make it easy to pick up your device and start drawing. Paper by 53 is just like using an old fashioned piece of paper. There are no fancy layers or hundreds of options to delete your work. You have a selection of pens and pencils of varying strengths and thicknesses, a palette of colors with a mixer option, a great zooming in feature for all the small detail and an eraser. With only these options available it really focuses the mind just like using the real thing.

Moonlight
Moonlight

The drawing of the cat on the lined paper is not my drawing but one I found amongst the many talented artists who post their work on Tumblr.

Sneakers
Sneakers

The featured image of the sneakers I’ve used to illustrate this post was quick and easy to do. I was really pleased with the results and I hope it conveys a sense of relaxation when you look at it. Even though I didn’t define any legs I think it gives the illusion that there are actually some there. My mind seems to fill in the blanks. I’m also hoping that the actual shoe looks like it is filled with a foot so I tried not to make it look flat and lifeless.  Did it trick your mind too?

which stylus do I use…read on