Category: Sketching

Pencil to Digital

"Digital Paint" Cedar Park, 2017

“Digital Paint” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。Tonight’s post if of a digital painting I did, which started out from a pencil sketch. I wanted to practice drawing portraits from a 3/4 view angle, so I watched a few video tutorials and then gave it a go. The first sketch (see bottom photo) was okay, but had my typical “mannequin” style. And I was not thrilled about the hairstyle either, even though my favorite is short hair “bob” cuts.

My second attempt at a 3/4 pose turned out better. I’m still trying to figure out how my process was different, but I guess when I drew the second one, I was a little freer drawing the underlining structure, I drew the features larger and gave the face a little more shape. And I really like the long hairstyle with bangs.

After I did the pencil sketch, I scanned it and did some coloring in Photoshop. I wanted to do it quickly, but got into it and took a few hours. I guess I could work on it more, but I’ll leave it at this.

I’m not so great at drawing smooth curves in Photoshop, but I love using the pen tool and create vector paths to fill and erase. It’s really fun, and I kind of get the look I want. I’m excited to do more of this. In fact, I am going to go even more vector and work in Illustrator to create the shapes for the next one.

"Pencil Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017

“Pencil Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

"3/4" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“3/4” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみ

Mannequin Tonight?

"Different Angle" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Different Angle” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going? Tonight’s sketch (above) is one I am happy with, and got me back on track! Last night, I sketched a portrait (below) in which I went full mechanical, and measured out each element… but wow, it looks so wrong:

"Not Working" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Not Working” Cedar Park, 2017

I mean, it looks extremely unnatural, doesn’t it? This is actually how most of my old drawings looked. Vaguely mannequin-like. In fact, I was thinking that my portraits could be rated on how mannequin-like they look. I don’t know… maybe it’s the plastic hair, or the glassy eyes, or the weird eyebrows, or the shape of the face which reminds me of an upside-down onigiri. 🍙

Well, tonight I decided to draw another portrait, but from a slightly different angle. I didn’t measure as much as last night, and I think it turned out pretty good! I used the compass to draw a circle, divided it into quarters, then a couple more horizontal lines so I could keep things level, and voila!

It’s weird, but in drawing these basic portraits, I sometimes revert to my old style (the mannequin) and sometimes sketch with the new style. Happily, the more I practice, the fewer times the mannequins come out to play. 😆

I hope you had a nice Thursday!

おやすみ

Erasing and Re-Drawing

"Sketch Practice" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Sketch Practice” Cedar Park, 2017

Last night I made a sketch using the same technique as the night before: create a perfect circle using the compass, divide it using a straight-edge, and then add the features. It’s funny because I measured out pretty accurately where the eyes, nose, and mouth sit within the circle, and also measured the chin, but the ensuing sketch was way off! It looked very compressed. So I erased the nose, mouth, and chin, and lowered those by a millimeter or two, and redrew them. I think it turned out a lot better!

I thought the face shape was still a little too short, so I brought the sketch into Photoshop and lengthened the face even more. However, when I did that, although it looked perhaps more proportionately ideal, the face lost a lot of its character. At least that’s how it seemed to me.

Anyways, I was thinking about how I sketched out the nose and mouth the first time, and while those two features looked good to me, the position was off. I used to be hesitant to erase elements that I put some effort into thinking that it was a shame and a waste. But now, I am getting faster at re-drawing, so it’s not such a big deal to erase.

I watch a lot of speed drawing videos, and used to be surprised that an artist could spend a lot of time working on one portion of their drawing, and then later, just totally change or erase it! I was like “dang, but that was good!” But now I think I understand. I mean, they have probably drawn/painted these things hundreds of times, so the little elements that I find so precious are not anything special to them. They could re-draw it in less than a minute, after all, whereas I would spend a half an hour drawing, tweaking, erasing a bit, re-drawing, until I think it is good enough. (and many times, the next day I look at the drawing and think it is horrible!)

So I think I am making progress in my sketching in that I don’t feel any regrets about erasing. It’s part of the process, isn’t it?

Happy sketching! 😀✏️

More Sketching Study

"2017.09.18 Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“2017.09.18 Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How was your Monday?

Tonight I decided to do a little research into how people sketch out facial proportions, but my first attempt at following the directions turned out horrible… so I adjusted the system and I really like the results. Basically, I shortened the face a bit which is a bit more unrealistic, but it’s kind of the style of drawing that I like to see others do.

After I sketched it, I erased a lot of the guidelines and then realized that I should probably keep them for reference. Whoops! Anyways, I went back in with my ruler and measured out some of the distances. It’s not as easy to remember or calculate as the systems I found on Youtube but I am going to try to replicate it if I can.

Also, you can see in the photo that I used a compass. That was to draw the first circle, but what is more interesting is that this compass belongs to a set which I borrowed from my Dad when I was in high school and kind of kept it all these years. It is kept in an old leather case which smells so nice. Kind of old metal, lubricating oil, and felt… I don’t know, but it’s a smell that takes me back to when I was a kid.

Lastly, here’s a photo of my workspace, which I rearranged a bit by putting the scanner in the corner after we moved our printer to another room. It looks a bit cluttered, but normally the desk surface is clear. 

"Workspace" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/120 sec, ISO6400
“Workspace” Cedar Park, 2017

おやすみ and take care!

Chauffeuring and Sketching

"Journal" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Journal” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening was a busy one for me. I dropped my son and his friend off at a concert downtown, which meant a lot of driving! They had to be at the venue at 6:30 pm for a VIP meet-n-greet, then, of course, the concert lasted until after midnight, so I made a second trip to pick them up. But, the kids got to meet the band, saw the show from right in front of the stage, and had a great time. An hour and a half of chauffeuring is a small price to pay to give them a nice memory that will last a lifetime.

After I dropped them off, I stopped by BookPeople again and bought a few more small notebooks. I am planning on using them for my daily journaling. I started using a larger notebook recently for the journal, but since I decided to switch to the small notebooks, I cut out the two days I wrote in the large one and taped into the small one. It’s not pretty, but who cares? ☺️

"Ink Doodling" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Ink Doodling” Cedar Park, 2017

Back at home, I did some quick sketching using my LAMY Safari broad nib and Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink. It’s fun, although I don’t think I like any of the faces except the two in the bottom-left corner. But at least I did work on some eyebrows, and practice is good, right?

I also did a sketch looking at a reference sketch by @cyarine, who is an amazing artist. I love her work! I think drawing from reference photos is fun and helpful. It’s almost like getting into the mind of someone else… maybe not that much, but something like that. I guess?

"Reference Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Reference Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice evening!

おやすみ

🐱 Toast

"Cat on Toast' Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/50 sec, ISO6400
“Cat on Toast’ Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight’s photo is yet another one of our cats. But this one is a little different because Yuzu is relaxing on a giant piece of toast! It’s actually a really soft pillow but the illusion is really convincing, isn’t it?

This evening I spent some time working on a drawing on the computer. Specifically, I concentrated on using the pen tool in Photoshop to make smooth selections, then filled them with black. And then I had a little fun by making the skin a bright pink.

"Pink' Cedar Park, 2017

“Pink’ Cedar Park, 2017

The original sketch is one I did a few weeks ago, so if it looks familiar, that’s why. 😀

I hope you had a nice Thursday!

おやすみ

Pencil to Digital

"Pencil to Digital" Cedar Park, 2017

“Pencil to Digital” Cedar Park, 2017

I’m getting more comfortable using the Wacom tablet in Photoshop. For this one, I scanned the pencil sketch, then brought it into Photoshop, set the sketch as a top layer, with the Transparency Mode set to Multiply, and locked it. That let me see the lines on top as I painted on layers below.

I also used a technique for picking colors, which is to basically create your swatches on the canvas (like a traditional paint palette) instead of using the color picker or swatches window. It’s fast and keeps the overall palette consistent. Not that I have a lot of experience yet, but it’s a neat technique that I think I’ll keep using.

I only used color for this digital sketch, and left the existing pencil lines. My intention was to just practice with shading and using the tablet, and I spent maybe 40 minutes on it, but I like this look. And it’s fun to try new things!

First One Done

"Digital Studio" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO1000
“Digital Studio” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight I finished my first Digital Painting in a long, long time. I believe the last one I did was back in 1998. So, almost 20 years! I actually think it is more incredible that I had a Wacom tablet back then, as I do today. 🙃

I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. As with most things, you can keep working on it to refine it, but you gotta call it done at some point! And for a first try after a long time, I think this will do just fine.

I created a little slideshow so you can see the progress and some changes over time. It is really fun to use the Wacom drawing tablet and Photoshop. Very satisfying! I hope to continue it for the rest of my life, as well as sketching on paper. It’s fun to combine the analog and digital.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here’s the finished piece, with my signature seal applied.

Hair work and final color adjustments. All done!

I hope you had a nice Thursday!

おやすみ

%d bloggers like this: