March 29, 2012

Wave Swimmer….Complete



After 58 pictures of this “Wave Swimmer” sketch-in-progress, I’d have to say THIS is my favorite shot.  And it’s not because the picture composition is all that great.  It’s because I’m doing my favorite part.  Outlining with my Copic 0.05 gray multi-liner permanent pen.  It’s at this point that the image starts to round out.  Starts to show dimension…substance….3D-edness. 



Had to take the picture outdoors.  I was getting way too many shadows inside.

Amanda22

Ok, here’s what I learned:
  1. Kids (under 11) tend to have a rounder belly….which I did not make.  She’s pretty lean.
  2. Kids (under 11) have a bit larger heads.  Not so insanely out of proportion like an infant.  I  have made her all-in-proportion.
  3. Her features are just a bit smaller than the original.  (Boy did I go back and forth with those eyes… big eyes…erase…small eyes…erase.)  And the more I erase and apply lead…the more I abuse that paper.  No matter what, the paper will not go back to it’s “ true white” after all these attempts.  So…the really good artists see things as they should be much earlier.
  4. How in the world did anyone learn how to draw before digital camera’s and computer monitors?  What wonderful tools these are!
I’m still in need of much practice.  I’m just grateful I was given such a sweet subject to sketch.  It’ll be hard to part with this sketch….but I’m running out of room to display these sketches in my house.

March 27, 2012

Age Progression Sketch



This is going to sound a little sick….but I think I’d be a better sketcher for the milk carton kids.  You know, the ones that have been kidnapped (majority by the non-custodial parent).  I seem to have a way of adding on years to my kids.  Probably because by the time I start a sketch and then finish it…it’s been a few years!  Well….feels like it anyway.



I probably need to apologize to my friend now…because I think this is as good as it’s going to get.  The paper is not as forgiving now (weeks later) as it was when I first started.



Ahh….but just look at her smile!!  It makes me smile Smile

She’s not complete yet.  I’ll be fussing around with her a bit still.   I haven’t gone in with my permanent marker to add that pop that I so love yet, either.  I’ll be grounding her as well with a semi circle or something.

March 26, 2012

A Sketch with a Thousand Faces



One face in a million!  That’s what I’m trying to accomplish.  Even though they say with the 6 billion people on the planet, that we have a twin out there somewhere!  I have yet to find mine. 

Amanda14

Here’s the scoop.  
  1. The last picture in the previous post.
  2. Changed up those eyes, they were a little too wide or open.  First the right eye.
  3. Now the left eye.
  4. The mouth was too big (I can sure relate to that)
  5. All over the face here….the eyes AGAIN, the chin, the mouth, the nose.  A little spastic.
  6. Coming together somewhat.


I can see another place I need to narrow…..the right side of her head…..just straighten that whole head a bit.

Such a pretty girl.  I really hope I can keep her that way!

March 22, 2012

The Three Faces of Eve



I’m thinking I could have drawn 13 more faces and it would’ve been the 16 personalities of Sybil.  But these aren’t really Eve’s or Sybil’s faces.  They’re mine.  I came across this picture of a blind contour mirror drawing and it looked easy enough.  The rules were:
  1. Look at yourself in the mirror while you draw
  2. Don’t lift your pen from the paper
  3. Don’t look at the paper.


Well, I broke all the rules!  This was not as easy as I thought it would be.  Number one, When I drew my first figure (red), I couldn’t believe how small she turned out.  I thought I was using the whole page.



I think I like this green girl the best….even though she is shedding some tears.  That cheek was calling for something.



Not quite sure what nightmare this blue guy came from.  He’s barely human looking.  Possibly related to Picasso.



This one looks like a Carol Burnett caricature.  Love that chin!



After I got done, the faces were just kind of hanging there….I looked again and  they reminded me of Mardi Gras masks… so that’s how they got their black strap.

This was a fun exercise to let me play with color.  Used those wonderful watercolor pencils to get that variety of color.  Then I just went in and doodled with black, green, red, blue and white markers.  Another simple fun piece.

March 20, 2012

Figuring out Flat Faces…



Yes, the whole trick to sketching is figuring out how to make the 3D figure flat (2D)…That’s the crux of the matter….  That’s it in a nutshell….That’s really all we have to do!!….haha

Amanda11

Yea…Yea….I know…you’re all tired of hearing me belly-ache about how hard faces are…but THEY are!! And if I’m to go forward with this sketching it’s time I took up the challenge…..(why must I always be challenging myself?)

  1. Obviously a pretty poor rendition of this lovely young ladies face…but my faces always start out a little scarry!
  2. Erased it all away…and redrew that mouth.
  3. Turned the image upside down, and tried again in that contour way.
  4. Still trying
  5. Right eye too low, adjusted up.  Nose too long, shortened.
  6. Mouth a little small, enlarged
  7. Face narrowed a little and minor markings applied
Amanda12


WOW!…now I can see so much!  I can see the errors, the flaws, the work I have left to do!

If I didn’t frequent my blog too, I wouldn’t be showing this….but I need to get familiar with the two images side by side.  The eyes are too open…the nose still too long… the lips too full!  It’s like you guys are the teacher, and I’m the student! 

Thanks again Smile

March 16, 2012

Colorful Contours



Needed to step back from my sketch that I’m working on and get some COLOR in.



So, I thought I’d have some fun with contour drawing.  For me, the first step is to get that contour down.



I used watercolor pencils for coloring in the clothes.



It was time for markers in the background.  There’s no better way to fill up that white space than with some definitive pattern…..which I get to color in.



I love those little thought bubbles.  I knew what I wanted to say in the right one.  Wasn’t so sure what to say in the left one….I debated with “I like people that can cook” with “I like people that make me laugh”…and then I thought I’d use “I like people who don’t take themselves too seriously”….but nothing stuck so I’ll leave it blank for now.

I’d love to hear your ideas for what that second thought bubble should say Open-mouthed smile

March 13, 2012

Over Here…three



Roughed in the hand.  My-oh-my there are lots of little itty bitty lines that go into those hands! 



Shaded more around the legs, arms and suit.  Outlined the emblem and added what lines I could see to the hand.  More tweaking needs to be done.  At least it’s taking shape now and that’s what I like. Smile

March 12, 2012

Look at me Mom….two



So, I’m sketching along….ever so merrily….then I step back and see that I’ve made the arm too short.



Started erasing….and elongating!  Ahh…much better!

Amanda6

I avoided this as long as I could….I was getting a tad bit bored shading, even though that’s what I really wanted to do.  But the picture wasn’t progressing…so I had to contour draw some more.  Hands!  Ugh!  Contemplated putting her in mittens but… well…that just wouldn’t have been proper.



Passable enough!  Since I’ve got momentum….I might as well go on up there and start that wave.

March 11, 2012

Hi Mom…..one



It’s so nice when the kids notice us in the stands!  Just made my heart warm to see how much fun my kids had when they were off doing their thing.



This is a child of a friend.  An adorable child… with an adorable smile.  Which I did not capture here.   I have to erase faces like a HUNDRED times before I get it right.  Please look at this comparison (below) from my first sketch of me as a child.

Friends21

I am unbelievably proud of this first sketch…and it’s really not that good!  Yep, doesn’t take much to keep me happy!



I haven’t sketched in the suits previously (I didn’t feel comfortable with my graphite gradients)….but this time I will Darn It…I will!

March 8, 2012

Cartoon Creation



I was tempted to call this post Manga Mama…but it’s a little too slangy for me!



I was wanting to sketch, but in a colorful way… not in a gray way!



While in Florida last month we came upon a bunch of vendors as we made our way to the beer tent.   This cover-up caught my eye!  Must’ve been the bling!  The booth peddler was kind enough to let me try this on.   The skirt appeals to the gypsy in me!   I think my friend would’ve bought one for her grand-daughter if she only had her wallet with her.



I spotted this picture on flickr that I had to replicate!  Just plain fun!



I opted out of coloring in the background the manual way and instead used photoshop to render some clouds.  A little more appealing without all that stark white.  I used watercolor pencils for the hair, skirt and frame.  My favorite markers for the rest.

Again….can’t seem to tilt heads today!  Ahhh well, I wasn’t aiming for perfection anyway!

Happy Thursday everyone :)

March 3, 2012

Danaus plexippus…aka….Butterfly



Since I’ve always been fond of butterflies and I really, really wanted to draw one and not “screw it up”. 



I pulled out my watercolor pencil set.  Ahhh, these pencils are just fun!    I didn’t think I could pull off a realistic type of fly.  So I decided to color outside of the box.



Originally I had wanted to make the latin name pop out in white.

Danaus6


Aren’t these guys just the prettiest creatures?  As a kid,  I witnessed a huge monarch butterfly swarm on a Saturday morning right outside my bedroom window.  So, I did the logical thing and ran after them.  I was able to catch two.  I released them into my room and had 2 pet butterflies for a day.  I think my Dad found out and convinced me to release the butterflies before they died.  Possibly if I had butterfly food at home I could’ve kept them!  Haha



I saw a very creative journal page on flickr that inspired the background for this page.   Because plain ‘ole white just wasn’t doing it for me.



I really enjoy drawing this way….you know where you take a real image and then whimsy-size it! 

March 1, 2012

Early Art Journal Pages and…



And a free e-book link!  I stop over at Jeff Goins writing blog when I’m in writer-mode and I’m always glad I did.  He writes posts that make me wish I wrote more.  Posts that get me excited to journal.  Posts that remind me why I journal.  Is it because it gives my thoughts a sense of order?  Of clarity?  He’s so excited about his writing and it will rub off on you too as you read his words.

He directed us to amazon.com where one of his writer buds has just released an e-book.   The book is written by Paul Jun titled “Building an Empire with Words”.  It is OUTSTANDING!  I took over 4 pages of notes (I do that sometimes when I’m inspired).  It’s a quick read and took me maybe 30 minutes to read.  Well worth my time Open-mouthed smile




I came across these pages last night then this morning I read the free ebook.  That’s when I knew my little “where’s my books” bird had a purpose!

This bird above was drawn in ‘09, One of my first birds.  I was trying to make each bird a little different.  Cuz that’s the fun part...Dressing… Them…Up.



Had to have my color back then too.  Drawn with bold markers.  I realize I didn't use the ROY G BIV formula.  Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet.  Probably didn’t use the formula because I didn’t know it then.  Haha.



This must have been a summer page.



Best advice ever.  And if something’s too good to be true, there’s usually a reason.



Since these are older…I’ve distanced myself from them.  I don’t cringe so much.  At the same time I can witness the practice and the things that have stuck with me that I like.



I’ve learned a lot about paper quality since I drew these.  This paper was not the best for markers and erasing.  I also see that I tried out a few stickers.  But journal ephemera just isn’t my thing. 

Do you enjoy looking back at your old art journal pages?  Do you cringe too?
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By day...I work in the Healthcare field, where every .. i.. has to be dotted and every ..t.. has to be crossed. This blog is the place where I can let myself go and have some fun. I am on a journey. A journey I started a long time ago, but it has been a bit sidetracked with Navy Wife relocations and raising kids. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have got some time for me. No, I will not be one of those moms walking around the house with Empty Nest Syndrome, I have got way too much to do, to learn, to create. Sure, once the kids are gone I will miss them....but hey, there is always the phone, the email, the texting and the Plane tickets! I love my life and my family and It is fun moving into this new stage. I am into Digital Scrapbooking, photography, journaling, Art Journaling and Drawing. I am a do-it-yourselfer and I am trying to teach myself to draw. I am finding that it takes a lot of patience, lots of practice and a good eraser! And if you're really curious there's a 3 part Interview by Eileen: HERE All the best, Eden