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Sketching In Public

I have always been interested in sketching on site.  But I have never felt very comfortable. Now there seems to be more and more people involved in this on line. "Urban sketchers" is a great site to see the rough and loose style of capturing the moment.  I love the level of indication and quick gestures.  I LOVE THAT IT'S BEAUTY COMES FROM NOT BEING PERFECT.  I used a fine line marker for initial sketches, then a brush pen for the darks. I blended with a simple water brush pen all on a moleskin pad.  

I did these with my son at the local library and later at our coffee shop on the way home. We had a really good time together.  Away from TV and Computers just sharing some food and talking. Listening to others around us, and paying attention to our surroundings. Just focusing on the moment...very nice.  Well time for bed. Hope you like these.

Ethan in his coat, as I tried to ask him about school or reading...conversation with a 7th grader can be challenging :)

Some of the students at the library were learning about the legal system from our neighbor. She is a lawyer and works with high school students.  So busy with Ethan and sketching I didn't even notice her until she came over to say hello.  Later at the coffee house a guy in headphones and a women with long dark hair on their computers.  Each sketch was only a few minutes but I am loving the ink brush pens and simple lines.

Facing Your Dragon

Sketching creatures is always fun. You can do almost anything and make it work because the subject matter is suppose to be unrealistic, fun and exaggerated.  This is a favorite topic for me to bring into the classroom.  The more outlandish the better, and it teaches the kids to use their own imagination, not just draw something they see on TV.  

This sketch started from thick line thumbnail sketches to just get an idea and gesture in place.  I like the inking and line work detail of the process.  With a flick of the wrist and a calligraphy pen you can get an evil grin, or expressive eyebrows.  The thick and thin is and randomness of the line is what I like about this style.  Some of my preliminary sketches are more expressive even in rough stages.  The trick is to add detail without losing the energy of the line in the early preliminary work.  Keep sketching!

The final image....

Initial color

Sketching Birds with simple shapes

Just a short tutorial of the type of work I bring into the classroom.   Visiting the K-5 level classes I try to encourage a quick sketch technique based on using simple shapes and line. I always start with a warm up session before we begin.  In these examples I am using Manga Studio and a calligraphy pen tool for thick and think lines. In class I will use a broad tip marker, or a brush pen, on newsprint .  For the under drawing I use a prismacolor blue pencil or any soft lead.  

The hardest concept to convey seems to be the rough experimentation.  I want the kids to fill the page with gestures, eyes or feather studies.  Often this is the hardest part, as they like to darken lines, erase and get detailed a little to soon.  I try to encourage small studies on a single page.  Often I will draw lightly and messy, just to show how I am playing with options before picking what I like and going back to darken the lines.  They really seem surprised to see me scribble over a drawing or draw an "x" over parts.  Then they see how the under drawing really disappears as the marker comes out and the dark lines become dominant. 

Have fun and keep sketching....

Simple studies on details.  

 

Break down the key elements of the character and practice a variety of options.  

 

Often your first idea can be improved upon and even simplified for a better effect.  

 

Just play with shapes and see where is leads. Have fun.

Viking Inktober

A quick Inktober Viking sketch before bed....Thinking about creating a sketchbook - ebook of this type of content, maybe a coloring book?  We will see....

First bike ride

Remembering the early days and his first bike ride...Actually Natalie rode first and he came along a few weeks later.  

Gesture sketches

A few sketches with a brush pen...

Life with Maple

Been on a sabbatical for the summer as work in the office picked up and my wife was out with eye surgery ...hope to resume with more posting soon

With a new dog comes some interesting challenges....we recently added a new member to the family.  Maple the Black and Tan coonhound.  She was a rescue dog, but very well behaved. Great around the house, but she is a hunting dog with a strong prey instinct.  When she get the scent of something she is interested in ....well she does just what you would expect.  We are working on getting a little more control without ruining her fun.  It is what she is bred to do...but some days....

Maple's "Real World" Advice

We picked out Maple 4 months ago from the rescue.  Like my nephew Steven, Maple is also a summer Graduate and would like to share what she has learned over his many hours of higher education.

Guilty Faces

Last panel of the page...

     The end of the day, just remember to save some hot dogs and marshmallows for mom and dad.  Especially if we are getting the tent ready for bed.  The best camping spots for us are up towards the bridge in upper Michigan.  We went to Porcupine Mountains last year, much farther north.  Very beautiful but to many bugs.  Camping next to the big lakes, a little away from the larger campers, in a "walk to" spot seems best.  

   Capturing a few of these moments in sketches, gives me something to look back on.  Also good storytelling practice.  Even if I embellish a little.  A dad can do this....

Hot Dogs and Stars

    My  favorite part of camping.  Eating outside under the stars.  Warm fire and yes, franks and beans.  Two items I usually don't eat at home.  But for some reason, they seem to be perfect for camping out.  Afterward, we usually go for some marshmallows and chocolate.  A lot of nights spent watching the fire.  The kids are young enough to not object yet.  I am sure this will be "boring" soon enough.  But until then....

Dinner time camping

This is the first panel of a single page.

     Camping is fun but with pre-teen kids sometimes the obvious is not so obvious.   Often our lunch or dinner had a few lines like this.  As the kids sat surrounded by the unloaded supplies from the car. The lazy question was bound to pop up.  I don't imagine we are alone with this.  I just think it funny, sometimes it feels like a reflex question more than anything.

     The answer, "turn around and look" or we say " No, we weren't planning on feed you both until we got home....is that a problem?..hehehehe

Bed Time story

The bed time story, late at night after the campfire is dying out.  It is always one of the best parts of camping.  If you are not to tired out of course.  Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep my eyes open.  Natalie is always the first to fall, but Ethan, seems to only get more awake. Finally they are all asleep.  Everyone but me.....

Tenting

We always work together to set up the tents. It takes a bit of practice to get it all set up before dark.  We are still working out the bugs in the system....

We bought new sleeping bags this year.  They couldn't wait to test them out. From outside the tent I heard the yell "Worm Wars!"...They were flopping about in the bags on the air mattress.  They didn't sleep much....

After Dark - the trail

I never get lost in the woods.  I always know where I am ...wink wink. Its the trail that moves.  Like fish in a stream the "Trail Trout"  swimming through the dirt and the well worn trails.  Every so often they change direction and take the trail with them.  

And the "Mudd Bears" that lie on ground sleeping all day.  If you happen to walk on them while on the trail, they let out this crazy sound.  Its the Mudd Bear, always the Mudd Bear....never Dad....

homework

Just a quick sketch while the boy was busy with math homework.  Done in Magna studio on my tablet. l am considering a new Surface pro or Ipad Pro.  Took the Ipad out for a test drive with its new pencil. It was nice but without Manga studio to test I was a little skeptical.  Surface pro seemed better to me as the pencil had more of a textured drag or resistance on the screen.  The apple felt like drawing on slick glass instead of paper. 

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It's Been A While...

Been out of my head for a while and found it difficult to write, sketch or post. I am sure this happens to many.  Not sure where to go next.

My last project had to do with our summer camping trips.  We spend time in Northern Michigan along the big lakes.  It is very beautiful and allows for great quiet getaways. We spend time with the kids, tenting and hiking in the woods.  I think I like the cookouts the best.  Hot dogs, beans and s'mores are all better outside under the stars.  

Last year we went out in the woods and Nat asked about the animals.  We made up a few of our own.... hope to show more of these in the coming days.  

InkTober

Looking at a fun tall guy pirate for another Pager on body types for Oct 20th and the Pirate sketchbook

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The Singing Pirates

I am playing with different pens and liking the variation in size.  The line work is more like a fine point felt marker and the darks are more of a brush pen.  This was done, as usual, in Manga Studio 5EX.

Pirates new pen.JPG
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