Sketch from Reference Photo

"All Black" 2018
“All Black” 2018

Last week I finished this sketch, but I hadn’t posted about it until today. It started off from a reference photo that I drew from, then I brought it into Illustrator to outline and refine. The pose started off just like the original photo, but I ended up changing it up a bit, also the facial features are different, as well as the hairstyle. I have been thinking about how “original” it has to be to be called your own artwork. I guess it’s a different medium, I’ve altered the pose so it might be enough. Anyways, these are more for practice and not for profit, so I’m not so worried about it. However, I’d like to not use other people’s photos except for practice.

I’ve been adding a little more detail to the eyes while keeping similar shapes as my previous sketches. I guess I like to keep things that work for me and build off of that.

"Eye Work" 2018
“Eye Work” 2018

And here’s the sketch that I started from:

"Evening Sketch" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Evening Sketch” Cedar Park, 2018

Next up is a sketch based off of a photo that I took, so I can have a completely clear conscience when I finish it. ☺️

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

またね~

Process Adjustments

"Evening Sketch" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Evening Sketch” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I worked on this sketch, which was based on a photo I found on Flickr. The first sketch I did was not very good, so I got a little bit discouraged and went straight into Illustrator to trace over the photo. I know that eventually, this will become a digital drawing, so I thought “Why not cheat a bit and get the proportions perfect?” But, the lines I drew looked even worse than the pencil sketch! 😭

So I went back to my original sketch and used my favorite tool, the mighty eraser. 😄 After drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, etc. I finally finished with what you see in the photo above. I know it will need more adjustment in Illustrator, but I’m pleased that I have a good base to work with.

A came up with a couple of takeaways from this simple experience.

First, when I get stuck on a sketch, I should not be afraid to erase and redo certain parts. In my mind, it has always seemed like a waste in that I spent effort on the first attempt, and that erasing it would remove it forever. But if I think objectively, then why shouldn’t I erase/delete the parts that are not good enough? It’s all part of the longer process to get to a better place. I should really keep that in mind. The eraser is my friend!

I also learned that the pencil sketch is necessary for any new project of mine. It’s fast, and feedback is immediate. The “shortcut” straight to digital is not a shortcut at all (for me at least). It was good to give it a try, though, and see how awful it turned out for me. I know other people can go straight to the computer, but it’s not something I can do. Good to know!

Finally, the experience reinforced the idea that it’s necessary to step back from a sketch, take a little breather, and then continue with some fresh eyes. And also, looking at the same sketch from a different perspective, angle, or even distance/size can help pinpoint problem areas. For instance, I took a photo of the sketch when I thought it was done, but then looking on the small camera display, it didn’t look right. So I worked on it some more until it was good enough for this step in the process.

Anyways, I am planning to work on this some more on the computer this weekend, but I think I have a good basis to start!

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/albums/72157684772726464″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>”My Sketching Journey”</a>, or my Instagram account <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/barron.sketches/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>barron.sketches</a> which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a nice Friday!

またね~

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Haircut, Shopping, Sketching, etc.

"Haircut" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/30 sec, ISO100
“Haircut” Austin, 2018

Hey there! Today was just Koa and I, but it was a busy busy day. Here it is in list form:

  • Finished my China travel visa application and dropped it off at the post office, along with a couple other packages
  • Took Koa to get his haircut before dropping him off at the mall to hang out with his friends
  • Got my own haircut
  • Picked up Koa from the mall and went to another store to buy him some nice pants and tie for his band camp
  • Dinner at a Mexican restaurant
  • Laundry and helping Koa pack for band camp
  • Evening sketching

Tonight’s sketch is from a photo from 1996 when I first met Mariko. It was a fun sketch to create!

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a nice Saturday!

またね~

"Sangria Margarita" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO6400
“Sangria Margarita” Cedar Park, 2018
"1996" 2018
“1996” 2018

Inspiration

"Inspirational" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Inspirational” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

A couple weeks ago I bought Step by Eguchi Hisashi and it has been super-inspirational. I just love his style, and I’ve done a couple more drawings based on his style. I feel like I am also finding my own way of creating drawings that work for me. I watched a couple videos of artists’ advice, and one was to buy art books and study them. It’s important to have the physical book, and not just view the images online, and I have to agree that this makes a huge difference! You get to really examine all the line work and colors in a much more direct way. It’s great. I highly recommend it.

Funnily enough, when I was in art school, I never looked at books of artists I admired. I was too into just working on my own. But now that I am older, I realize that it is invaluable to look at other work and learn from them as much as possible.

The other day, I made this image, using fashion models as references for the pose, but since the Dodgers have been playing well lately, I decided to go with the baseball theme. I’m pleased with how it turned out, but I think it is lacking in dynamism – it’s very stiff. Something to work on in the future!

"Peace. Love, and Dodgers" Cedar Park, 2018
“Peace. Love, and Dodgers” Cedar Park, 2018

This evening I started a new picture, and my progress is below. Just for kicks, I applied some of Adobe’s charcoal and other brushes to the strokes to see how they looked. I think it’s pretty fun!

"Brushes" Cedar Park, 2018
“Brushes” Cedar Park, 2018

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a good Wednesday!

またね~

New Illustrator Discoveries

"Summer" Cedar Park, 2018
“Summer” Cedar Park, 2018

As mentioned in last night’s post, I worked on a new illustration, this one was a combination of many sources. Sort of like sampling from different songs to make a new one I guess? The face is based on my previous illustration, for the body and clothes, I looked at some models at Old Navy’s website. The torso and legs are from two different models because the photo of the first model was cropped at her thighs so I found another full body photo from a different model and I think they matched up well.

I learned a couple new Illustrator techniques which will help not only with these illustrations, but in my professional work as well. The knife tool is handy for cutting shapes for shading and the blob brush is excellent for laying down solid color (actually creating shapes quickly using the stylus). A technique that I enjoyed was to use the pencil and smooth tools to create nice lines on one layer, then use the blob brush and eraser to create color fills on a layer below. It’s fast, clean, and can be very precise! And separating the stroke from the fill gives a lot more options for the stroke layer.

Lastly, I spent some time learning how to create custom fill patterns. The illustration above has a super-simple polka-dot pattern, which seems like it will be an important step to creating more interesting illustrations.

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

Sketch Day

"Desk Setup" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO500
“Desk Setup” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。Today was a sketching day for me as I took inspiration from the Eguchi Hisashi book I bought yesterday. I decided to draw from a photo so I found a pic of one of my favorite actresses, Tao Tsuchiya, and started sketching on paper. When I had the outlines done, I scanned it into the computer and traced it out in Adobe Illustrator.

I learned a bunch of new techniques in Illustrator, including the pencil tool, the smoothing tool, and how to save and reuse variable widths for strokes. That makes things so much easier! It’s pretty quick to create art using the Wacom tablet and the pencil tool, which you can adjust to make super-smooth strokes, and this technique is a lot more fun than using the old pen tool and mouse combination. I guess old dogs (like me) can learn new tricks! 😀

I like how the sketch turned out. Although the drawing started out as Tao-chan, I kind of just adjusted it how I saw fit while looking at the Eguchi book for reference. I really love his art style, especially the simplicity and flat colors. I feel like I want to draw more like that in the future. It’s a lot of fun too!

"Finished Drawing" Cedar Park, 2018
“Finished Drawing” Cedar Park, 2018

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a good Sunday!

おやすみ!

Little Notebook

"No..." Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“No…” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going today?

So I’ve been using my Passport-size Traveler’s Notebook for almost a year now, and I still enjoy it, but I realize that it’s a little limiting. Basically, it’s great for taking notes, but it’s a bit small for sketching. I think it’s difficult because the pages don’t lie as flat as I’d like.

However, I don’t like big, thick sketchbooks either. My preferred size is A5, with spiral binding, and no more than a centimeter thick. The Muji notebooks I bought a few years ago are perfect. I use the dot-grid version for general note-taking both for personal stuff and for work stuff (I have one notebook for each). The paper is smooth and fountain pen ink looks great on it. It’s also nice for sketching!

I’m pretty excited because we’re going to the Muji store in NYC this summer so I can stock up!

I’ve been looking at that Roterfaden A5 notebook and it seems like a perfect solution, but I can’t justify spending that much money on it. I’m sure there’s a cheaper A5 alternative out there that I can use. I just need to do some research! In the meantime, I’ll use my Muji notebooks.

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Today’s photo is a sketch I did in my Traveler’s Notebook. I just drew on an old page that I had written on before. Can you guess what those words mean?

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a great day!

またね~