Tag: drawing

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! 😀✏️

Pasta and a Sketch

"Homemade Pasta" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Homemade Pasta” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight Mariko and her friend made pasta from scratch using our Kitchen-Aid mixer with the pasta attachment. In the photo above, you can see the pasta hanging on an old laundry rack. 😂 The pasta was yummy and had a really nice texture. It was a nice change of pace from the store bought dry pasta, that’s for sure! 🍝

After dinner, I sat down and sketched another small portrait. This time I started with the face shape and then filled in the features using a technique of dividing up a circle and creating rectangles to get the proportions for the eyes. I like how it turned out, but I think the mouth and nose need to be brought up a tiny bit.

One thing I spent a lot of time on was the hair. I tried to give it a little more shape and I think I was successful. But we’ll see if I feel the same way tomorrow when I look at it again with fresh eyes.

"After-dinner Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“After-dinner Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice weekend!


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!


Memory Box

"Round" Cedar Park, 2017

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

こんばんは。How’s it going?

The other day I was searching for a palette knife for my son, and I checked an old wicker storage chest that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I keep a lot of old things in there, including some art supplies. I didn’t find the palette knife in there, but I did get lost for a half hour looking through the contents of the chest.

I have used this chest to keep a bunch of personal “memorabilia” safe for so many years. It holds my high school diploma, achievement awards, old photos, maps, plane and train tickets, old baseball and concert tickets, and letters.

The letters were what interested me most, specifically letters from a pen pal that I had in high school. For maybe a year, I exchanged letters with another high school student who lived in Paris. It was so much fun to receive letters from Sophie! I remember every day wondering if I’d get a nice surprise in the mailbox. And I would dream of someday traveling to Paris to meet my pen pal.

I eventually did travel to Paris, but by that time, I was no longer in contact with my pen pal. I wonder what kind of life she is living now… I think I’d rather not know, but be happy keeping it a mystery.

Anyways, tonight’s photo is of a drawing I worked on. I tried to shorten the face but I think it may be too round? I actually like the shape, though. I also tried to blacken the hair using pencil, and I thought that it wouldn’t come out looking nice, but I’d give it a go anyways just to know for sure. やっぱり。。。I don’t think I’ll do that again.  ☺️ But I am glad I found out.

I hope you had a nice Wednesday!


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!


A Monday

"August 7 Practice" Cedar Park, 2017

“August 7 Practice” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going? Did you survive another Monday? 😀

I don’t have much to say tonight. Actually, I do want to write about my frustrations with setting up our Windows network, but I’ll save that for another time. I’m pretty tired and I want to read before I fall asleep.

But I did want to share another drawing I did a few minutes ago. I think I should keep drawing faces from straight on for a while so I can memorize the proportions I like. I like tonight’s drawing, but it might be a little long? I don’t know. Anyways, I am learning to erase quickly instead of trying to draw more to fix mistakes. And I am getting better at controlling the pencil. Sounds funny to say that, but I can feel that I am slowly gaining a little more skill. ☺️

Ok, enough for tonight. See you tomorrow!


Trees, and a Face

"Shading Practice" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Shading Practice” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。Good evening!

Today I practiced a bit with my watercolors. As you can see from these photos, it was all about trees! 🌲🌳 I watched a couple Youtube tutorials on adding dark shading to wet areas of the painting and decided to give it a go. The photo above is my second sketch after I watched the tutorial, and the photo below is before I watched the video. I think the photo below is pretty fun, but the one above is a little more tree-like. I really need to work on the trunks, though!

For the color in the top painting, I used mainly Sap Green for the lighter color, then a mix of Sap Green and Pthalo Green for the dark color.

"Lollipop Trees" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Lollipop Trees” Cedar Park, 2017

Later in the evening I practiced drawing a face, which I find is quite a challenge. I may have mentioned that one of the big problems I have is getting the facial feature more or less symmetrical. I watched another tutorial (isn’t Youtube amazingly useful?) and it explained a good way to divide up the face so that it is easier to match the size of the eyes. I think it helped my drawing quite a bit!

The technique of dividing up geometric shapes is easy to follow, but difficult for me to memorize, so more practice is needed. And of course, this is just a straight ahead angle. I think a three-quarter angle will be a lot more challenging!

Onward and upward!

"Face Practice" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Face Practice” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice Sunday!


Eye Practice

"Eye Practice" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Eye Practice” Cedar Park, 2017


Tonight’s photo is of some sketches of eyes. I’ve been trying to draw faces better, and it’s a challenge. There are many tutorials on Youtube and they are all just a bit different in their systems for drawing faces, and I am trying a few from the artists whose drawing style I like. It’s fun, and so encouraging when I see my drawings improve. But, it really takes a lot of practice (for me at least) to get better.

Drawing a single eye isn’t too difficult but drawing a matching eye is tough. Really tough!

In other news, I bought a few different ink samples from Goulet Pens last week, and I’ve decided to use a new color for each month’s worth of journal entries. Since the new month began today, I replaced the Iroshizuku Ama-iro blue with Iroshizuku Tsutsuji azalea in my LAMY Safari. Tsutsuji is a really bright ink. I love it and am looking forward to using it this month! FYI, my daily journal entries are simple lists with stuff like the meals I ate, and other daily happenings.

I hope you had a nice Tuesday!


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