I am not giving up. Now the drawing is sitting on my mantle so I can obsess over it from a distance every time I walk past. I am adding and subtracting as I check on it every few minutes. Here we are now:


It’s looking better. I’ve shaved quite a bit off the chin/cheek as well as the hair around back. I pulled in the jawline, darkened the hairline in order to define it, and enlarged the eyes slightly. Rather than resize the eyes altogether, I will resize everything- just a bit.

Now for the 8b pencil.

He’s really much cuter than this.


Here I have a portrait of my baby in progress. It’s funny how you get working on something for hours and put the blinders on about how the overall proportions are. Even when I step back, I see it’s fine. I check the angles and distances against the photo reference, and it all checks out. Though I have this feeling I’m not capturing the necessary level of cuteness.

Then, I take a photo. Ahhhhhh. I see the problem. Damn.

photo (1)Either the eyes are too small or everything else is too big. He looks like Jay Leno. Well, I may just scrap it altogether now.

Maybe it can be fixed. The question is, is it better to fix the eyes, which are the real problem? Or the rest, which is not in quite as dark yet? Hmmm. I really liked that ear.

Note to self: Take a photo after the rough sketch next time!

It’s beauts! :)

Pencil, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I decided to pick up Randy from work last Friday in San Francisco so that we could all enjoy a lovely afternoon in the City together. Then I realized as I crossed the beautiful brand new Bay Bridge that it is Friday and we will have to leave in 30 minutes if we want to avoid the hellscape that is Friday afternoon traffic heading out of San Francisco.

So, we hung out at Chrissy Field for five minutes then loaded everybody back into the van to at least cross the Golden Gate before it got real bad. We got out again at Fort Baker and delighted at the views of the bridge, the bay and the city. I drew this picture of what you see if you turn your back on all those iconic subjects and face North. Then a pack of some 20 something girls parked their car in front of me and, while commenting how “beauts” the day/scenery was, went for a nice walk down by the marina. “Whatevs,” I said. “I was almost done anyway.”

Image (13)

Take two.


Today I revisited a drawing of my little boy that I finished for the first time at some point in 2012. I’ve always liked the proportions and detail of this drawing, but the value was off. It looked good close up, but as you got a couple feet away, it was hard to see details because there just wasn’t enough contrast. I started today by darkening the values of the shirt and background and adding crisper, darker lines around the face and in the hair. My son has VERY light yellow hair, so I’ve struggled to represent it well in pencil portraits. How do you draw white?? In any case,  I love that I can come back to pencil drawings a year later to improve on them.



Pencil, Sketches

I decided to get some inspiration from one of my many art books the other day and came across an assignment that was pretty easy: copy a sketch from a master in order to practice their sketching style. I chose a Degas sketch from the book because I happened to be holding the right tool for the job at the time.

Here’s my sketch on toned paper:

Image (60)

Here’s the sketch from the book:

Edgar Degas, La Chanson du Chien
Edgar Degas, La Chanson du Chien