I’ve started taking around graphite and torn-up sheets of paper around with me wherever I go tucked into my day-planner. The other day, headed to a talented young friend’s gallery show I sketched this out of some trees in Washington Park (Albany, NY)
Graphite on paper.
Today, when I took my son to the library, I did a little sketching with graphite the Molotow Acrylic Paint Markers. The paint markers were part of a recent donation of supplies I received. I have enjoyed using them, and I am learning a bit how to get the most out of them. I know a few artists who use acrylic paint markers heavily in their work, so I have been playing and experimenting with them.
Both images from the book “Digital Photography Masterclass” by Tom Ang. The book itself is a wonderful and comprehensive text for learning digital photography. I gravitate to it because it is full of exceptionally good photography and makes for good sketches and studies.
6.28.16, last sketch in this sketchbook, Form a book of National Geographic Photos, Yemeni Women in a line to Vote, photo by Steve McCurry
From a photo by Steve McCurry, Yemen Women at an Election, Graphite on paper, from a book put out by National Geographic.
A couple more sketches from when I was in the park with my son today.
Study, Tree, Washington Park, Albany, N.Y.. Graphite on paper.
Study, Corning Tower, veiwed From Washington Park. Graphite on paper.
As the weather has gotten nicer, I have been taking a sketchbook with me to nearby Washington Park, here in Albany. The other day, I did a couple quick images of things I saw. (Graphite on paper, all)
I decided to do some sketching out of library books. On Wednesdays, I am always bringing my son to the library, –so, I either catch up on e-mail and web-surf, or I draw for an hour or so.
Today I did the latter
Been doing a bit more sketching while I help my son with his home work. This is again from Tom Ang’s book (see below for full source info)
Older man, from Ang’s book, Digital Photography Masterclass, pencil on paper.
The next several images are from a books on local history including “Heldeberg Hilltowns,” (by Eberfeld & McLean).
Schenectady Dayline trolley car, pencil on paper, From the book “Adirondak Trail,” by Donalf R. Williams. It is a reproduction of a photographic image.
One-room school house, Rennsylaerville, NY, pencil on paper.
Old Snyder Sawmill, Westerlo, pencil on paper.
The last image caught my fancy, because prior to going into a business of landscaping and selling Christmas trees, my grandfather ran a sawmill, and when I was younger, I remember when that building stood on the property of the business my father –then– ran.
The first piece was drawn from the book “Digital Photography Masterclass” by Tom Ang. It’s a book about digital photography, butI love to draw from it because Ang’s photos are really good. The really lovely part of this sketch is the model’s face is almost entirely black in the photograph (illustrates using a distant room flash). The sketch was a lot of shading. And I do mean a lot.
I switched between a 2b and 4b to get the shading right. A challenge but fun.
Portrait, Pencil on paper, from Tom Ang’s book “Digital Photography Masterclass”
The second image is from the same book. Admittedly, I have only had occasion to draw a person’s pet once. I have not drawn animals frequently. So, of course, I took it on myself to practice with another image from the book:
Dog, pencil on paper, from the mentioned book.
In the photo, the dog is looking around a corner through a door frame, which is why he/she seems to be missing an ear. Not a great first go, but this is why sketching is important. I have been making more from commissions lately. I’d rather not pass on a commission because I wasn’t comfortable with the work. It is important to vary your work and keep working at those areas that are weaker.
Lastly, I had ten minutes left before it was time to take my son home. I pulled a local history book off the shelves and based this mage off a 1909 sketch by S. Hollyer of Henry Hudson’s ship –that Halfmoon– arriving at the current location of my home-city, Albany NY.
The Halfmoon, pencil on paper, based on an image by S. Hollyer.
The sketch is very whimsical and very loose. This brings me to an important point: experiment stylistically!!! If you are really tight, do something very quick and loose and with a few lines. If your work is busy, –try something minimalist. For my students that are very young: you are still discovering how you like to create. Experimenting allows you to find your style, to find your own unique artistic voice. There is never just one way to create an arresting image. Goof off. Work fast. But always, always experiment.
A recent sketch I did waiting for my class to start. (6/2015)
Quick sketch before class. Rear of Buffalo State Psychiatric Center (Richardson-Olmstead complex)
pencil on paper.
Update, 4/10/15 I take my son to the library a couple days a week. He lives with his mother. Between helping him with long division and fractions I sometimes sketch from photography books in the library. These sketches are from a book by Tom Ang that I have drawn from before. Pencil on paper: … Update: 3/22/15 Prior to the beginning of class, I did these three studies of people walking in the hall. … Update: 2/28/15 I am adding some more sketches from my sketch book. First some simple studies:
Basil plant, (left) pencil, and brown banana, pencil and charcoal.
Figure studies, club dancers, pencil
Edgar, skeleton decoration, w/sash. to the right, Sif the cat, my friend Seamus’ cat.
study, figures at a bar
study, park bench with balloon.
Finally, I began earlier in the month drawing images from the book “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from the State Hospital Attic.” It’s been a book I have returned to again and again, some of the photos are archived photos of patients from the New York State Department of Health, and some are photos done for this book by photographer Lisa Rinsler. The photos make exceptional studies, and since I do peer work in psychiatric hospitals, and have been in and out of psychiatric care for much of my adult life, the subject is a meaningful one to me personally. I did these studies (of patients who lived in Willard State Hospital during the twentieth century) with what I hope is a great deal of sensitivity. Also, I hope I am not miss-attributing any images that I have used as source material in these sketches: All sketches are pencil on paper: A better image of Lawrence, who was a patient and Willard hospital’s long-time grave digger. Another patient, Dymitre, an artist who painted images of his home village while at Willard. Sister Marie, who was a nun before coming into psychiatric care. Ethel, at an advanced age by the time this picture was taken. All of the first names used in the book were the patient’s actual names, the last names used in the book were pseudonyms to protect the confidentiality of the patients. This last image is a study of a window in an endangered historic building, in Hudson, NY. This is a window in the First Presbyterian Church, on Warren Street –Hudson’s main commercial thoroughfare. The sketch is in charcoal and pencil:
First Presbyterian Church, Hudson, New York. Charcoal and pencil on paper.
[…] Update: 2-9-15 I have been doing a lot of sketching over the last couple days. Most of these are simple studies which I am developing for small works. This sketch though, is one of the more complete renderings i have done over the last couple days.
Pencil on paper, Lawrence Marek, Willard Psychiatric Hospital’s (Willard Lunatic Asylum/Hospital for Incurables) long-time grave-digger. photo credit Lisa Rinsler
The image comes from the book “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from the State Hospital Attic” by Darby Penny and Peter Statsny (photographs by Lisa Rinsler). It was a museum exhibit based on the compiled information in this book that launched my interest in State Psychiatric Hospitals and the patients that lived there. I periodically borrow this book from my local library to read it again. The image here is Lawrence Marek, who was a patient and worked in the hospital’s cemetery from 1937 until his death in 1968 at age 90. This blog by John Crispin talk more about the suitcase project: http://joncrispinposts.com/ After this sketch, I am, of course, working on new works for myself, and for the small paintings I have been doing. I wanted to share this sketch though, as well as it’s excellent source material (worth checking out –very much– on its own). Sorry that the image is not the best quality, but I am still without a proper digital camera to take pictures of new works. Hoping some of the work I have currently exhibited sells, so I have an opportunity to replace my digital. Because, there rally are a lot of new works lately. […] Lately, I have been feeling slightly barren of ideas for new works. So, I have returned to sketching a few ideas out in my sketchbook. Two ideas I am developing, today: I am fortunate enough to have my own still model. At times when she is not too busy, she’s offered to pose for me, and I haven’t taken advantage of that nearly so much as I should. In the past she has done art modeling and still modeling. I have just done a simple line drawing. I needed to make sure I can capture the pose. The main struggle here is getting the line of the spine correct when the body is reclined to the side, and since the legs are brought forward, they must be fore-shortened. It is possible I have foreshortened them too much here. I am going to keep working with this pose, there’s probably a larger work coming out of this in acrylic or oil. The other piece is a simple sketch of an old church in Hudson. The church is currently endangered and there is a strong sentiment in the city to restore and preserve the church. So far as I know, the work is ongoing, both to raise the funds needed, and do stabilization work. There were several other pieces I have done in my sketch book. This first one is of a church that –quite regrettably– met with the wrecking ball locally. This is an image of St. Patrick’s Church, which was recently demolished to make for a new grocery store in Watervliet, NY. There’s a lot of smaller sketches I have been doing, usually during my down times at work. (Get time to sketch when you can take it, is fantastic advice –applies here). A lot of the sketching I have been doing at lately, I have been doing at work while I’m waiting for the class to start. The sketches tend to be of plants in the common areas. There’s also a sketch in here from a book I took out of the library on digital photography, “Digital Photography Masterclass” by Tom Ang.