Wednesday Sketching

"Elf Cat" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Elf Cat” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Last night before sleeping, I made a quick sketch (above) which turned out looking like an elf. I guess it’s because Koa and I recently have had conversations about The Hobbit, which he is reading over the summer. The sketch was fun to do and I tried to make it kind of exaggerated, with big eyes and a short triangular face shape. Then the mouth looks cat-like and reminds me of the main character in The Cat Returns after she enters the Cat Kingdom.

Tonight I made two more small sketches on the same page to try drawing a face at an angle. It’s pretty difficult, but the sketches are good to do because I can identify the parts I really need to work on. In this instance, I realize that I have no idea how to draw the more distant eye. Also, the edge of the face is something I don’t know how to draw. I was pretty much just winging it here!

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

For my last sketch, I drew it larger and looked at a couple reference drawings to try to get the more distant eye shape correct. I think it turned out okay, although I had to erase a lot. In the photo below, I saw that something looked a bit off, and I realized the eyebrow on the left is too thin. So I erased it and re-drew it with the same thickness as the closer brow. I think it looks a lot better!

"Almost OK" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Almost OK” Cedar Park, 2017

I enjoyed working on this one and learned a bit more about eye shape. I also like line-drawings but I also like watercolor shading and it’s something I’d like to do later on when I get better at drawing faces. My goal is to be able to draw faces that look natural, even if they aren’t very realistic. I have a long way to go still, because my drawings so far don’t look very natural.

I hope you had a nice Wednesday!

おやすみ

August 13th Sketch

"Sketch and Eraser" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Sketch and Eraser” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。Today’s sketch was one I made to try out a new expression. I had a lot of fun playing with the eye-shape, and the exaggerated triangle face. Also, I learned that I have no idea how to render hair. 😮 I need to work on that!

I also used a new eraser today. The Sakura Arch foam eraser is really great. It’s so soft but lifts up the pencil marks like magic. I love it!

Below is the finished sketch. I could work on it some more, but I’d rather keep it as is so I know what I need to work on.

"Today's Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/105 sec, ISO6400
“Today’s Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice weekend!

おやすみ

Sketch from a Photo

"Nounen Rina Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
“Nounen Rina Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

Here’s a sketch I did while looking at a photo of Japanese actress/model, Rina Nounen. The past few sketches have been portraits from straight ahead, so I wanted to draw a slightly different angle. I think I learned some of the differences in angles, such as ear placement and face shape. But I think I need a ton more practice. Luckily, even the practice is pretty fun!

BTW, I have started a Flickr album for all my sketching efforts. Check it out if you have some free time.

My Typical Day

"Pork Donburi" Cedar Park 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Pork Donburi” Cedar Park 2017

Dinner, dishes, and drawing. That’s a typical evening for me lately. I am enjoying life!

The pork donburi with shishito peppers and eggs was delicious, and then while doing the dishes, I enjoyed the pretty clouds as they floated by. 🌥

"View from the Sink" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/600 sec, ISO200
“View from the Sink” Cedar Park, 2017

Tonight’s drawing is actually a copy of a previous drawing, which I scanned, printed, and then applied ink with a brush. It was difficult to control (the brush was too long and soft) but fun to try something new. I think I prefer the line portraits right now.

"Inkling" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Inkling” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a good Thursday!

おやすみ

Evening Routine

"Three Amigos" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Three Amigos” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve settled into a nice evening routine, which I am enjoying quite a bit. It’s funny, but the things I used to think of as “chores” are now part of a routine that I don’t give too much thought to, and they don’t really cause any stress.

Each night I will clean the cat litter box, which only takes a minute, but I would visualize how awful a job it is and fill my mind with negative thoughts like, “why am I the one who has to do this?”. 🐱 But these days, I just do it and my mind is thinking about things other than the cat poop. Does that make sense? It’s like I am on auto-pilot and since I don’t think about the chore that I am doing, it doesn’t affect my frame of mind negatively. My body might be scooping poop, but my mind is enjoying talking with my family, thinking about drawing, or listening to the baseball game that’s on the tv in the living room.

Another task that I do almost every night is washing the dishes. This is less of an “auto-pilot activity”, but I look at it as an opportunity to chat with the family in a relaxed environment (just after dinner, everyone is usually in a good mood). Or, if everyone has left the kitchen area, I can catch up on some podcasts. So, it’s a productive time of my day.

The same goes for brushing my teeth in the evening. I admit I used to often skip the nighttime brushing 😇. But for the past couple years this important task also has become an “auto-pilot activity” and I will listen to a podcast while I do it.

So those are my “tasks” that I do every evening. I also have a few other routines that are on the fun side, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Tonight’s photo at the top of this post is of my three watches that I like to wear. My Seiko SKX007 (on the right) is what I wear every day, my Timex weekender is a watch I sometimes wear to bed. It’s so light and the band is so soft that I don’t even realize I am wearing it. But I find the audible ticking noise to be relaxing and helps me sleep. The watch in the center is my Seiko 5 SNK809, which I don’t wear as often, but once in a while, I will throw it on. What’s nice about the automatic watches like the Seikos I own is that they don’t use batteries. Just a few shakes to get them going and then they will power up by just regular body movement. I love that!

Lastly, the photo below is my latest practice sketch. I tried drawing it without referencing the proportions video that I needed to watch for the previous sketch. I guess it turned out OK, but I’m still not very happy with it. It’s a little “off”. Still, it’s good to practice.

"Practice Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Practice Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice Tuesday!

おやすみ

Internet up, a New Color, and More Dorama

"Current Palette" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO320
“Current Palette” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Well, this morning was a busy one, in which I (with the help of a friend) figured out how to get the new ISP service to work concurrently with our existing television service. Basically, it involved putting the new router on its own cable circuit and keeping it separate from the television. So, we are up and running with a super-fast and strong connection! Yay!

With that solved, I took Bay to Jerry’s Artarama to buy a new brush and palette knife. The store was having a big sale, so I took advantage and bought a new tube of watercolor for myself. The new Pthalo Green rounds out my palette, which you can see in the photo at the top of this post. I think it will be useful to create dark shadows in trees. 🌳

On the way home, we stopped by Fry’s to buy a USB Wi-fi adapter, then stopped at the hardware store to pick up a flapper to fix the toilet, and finally returned home to finish setting up the network. And fix the toilet. 😀

And to finish the day, I had a glass of wine and watched a couple more episodes of Tsubaki Stationery Store. I really like it.

"Tsubaki Stationery Store" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Tsubaki Stationery Store” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice Saturday!

おやすみ

Eyes are Difficult

"Pens & Brushes vs. Kitty" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Pens & Brushes vs. Kitty” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I practiced a bit of digital sketching using our Wacom tablet and a free software program called Krita. I have also been using Photoshop to draw, but Krita is more fun for a beginner like me. It’s lightweight, responsive, and the stock drawing tools are really nice! I just started and it’s difficult to create anything that looks decent yet, but it’s still fun.

On paper, I practiced drawing eyes from different angles. I am getting better, I think, but it still takes a lot of erasing to get something that I am happy with. And then if I like one eye, then the other eye has to match. Then add in the proper position of the eyebrows, nose, and mouth and so much can go wrong! 🐷

"Eye Practice" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Eye Practice” Cedar Park, 2017

Anyways, I enjoy sketching, and I know that even bad drawings are helping to improve my technique. Just gotta keep at it!

The photo at the top of this post is of a little kitty figurine that Mariko and Bay bought for me in Japan. The tail can actually fit over the lip of a glass, but it also stands up nicely.

I hope you had a nice Tuesday.

またね~

Old Notes

"Art History Notes" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“College Notes” Cedar Park, 2017″Art History Notes” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

So I was going through some old sketchbooks and found a couple that I used during college. Some pages have notes from lectures, others have sketches for painting ideas, and there are a few that combine sketches with notes. I did this a lot in my art history classes, where it made complete sense to do so. Plus it was fun, good practice, and kept me awake! 😆 Speaking of school, I’ve always said that I never want to go back to school, but you know, it might be fun to take some classes again. I really hate doing homework and studying, but the lectures were for the most part interesting.

Also, going through my old notes, I came across some words that were written in the color ink that I really like. It’s a bit of a mystery why I wrote only a couple words using it, but just seeing these was enough to get me to order a few ink samples, including a similar color.

"College Notes" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“College Notes” Cedar Park, 2017

These days I write every night in a notebook about what happened during the day (just short lists) and I think I might change the ink color every month or so. Gotta keep things fun, right?

I hope you had a nice Monday (as nice as a Monday could be, at least)!

またね~