Friday, August 31, 2012

Waiting for the Runway

While watching this week's Project Runway episode on the net, I was sketching away on a reply envelope I had nearby. Quick sketches, which belie my formative years: the sketches are so 80s! Thank goodness they're really just quick doodles.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Illustration Sorbet

I didn't want to tackle anything involved, after drawing three projects with so much intention over the last few weeks. I just wanted to do something mindless. Today I met with a designer about his upcoming SS 2013 show, and I rather liked what he was wearing, so I played with the sable brush setting in Painter Essentials 2, also partially inspired by David Downton's use of blacks...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shape 9

I was really happy with my drawing the other day. I thought it was pretty much done, save for maybe a few refinements here and there. Then I looked at my shadows and realized, my light sources weren't consistent. Yikes! I rationalized that I had a some sort of fill light on his face, but it was just too strong and distinct, and completely at odds with how I 'lit' his suit. Ugh, I'm such a moron sometimes. So I had to make a choice which element to follow, his suit or his face, and I went with the suit. I really worked on the suit without an actual direct reference, so it's really me drawing almost completely from memory, but culling a fold here, a shape there, and then adjusting it to my pose and style.

So this is me correcting the face (as well as slimming the suit to match the Raf Simons one it was based on). I'm certainly not done, I'm not happy with how his head is lit, but it's moving to more consistency...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Framed 6

I suppose one of the good things about having multiple projects happening concurrently is that when you don't feel like the style of one that you're working on, you can shift to the other. Even I concede that it's fun to see someone shift radically between styles. From the watercolors of the menswear fashion series I was doing over the past week, to yesterday's redux of the Raf Simons suit shape, to today's digital pencil (sharp graphite no less) portrait of my friend.

Fun factoid: the background color is Dark Dust (formerly called Dark Shadow?), in CMYK values Rick OWens himself described in a recent article for Matter magazine (where I got the inspiration for my Shape drawing).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shape 8

I've been trying to make a composition I saw in my head, using two images blended together, but every time I got closer to where I thought it should go, it looked reeeeally dated. Like, clip art dated, and not in an ironically bad way. So I took off the second figure and ended up really liking the strength of the first one, which was all about the clean lines so you could focus on the shape, hence the name Shape for this series of posts about the ongoing creation of this particular piece. I quite like it, although I will still have to go in and refine my shadows, since I'm making them up as I go.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Primitive Pencils

I wondered what the pencil tool looked like in my old Painter Essentials 2 program, and after sorting through numerous brush settings in Photoshop this past week, I found Painter Essential's array of all of two pencil brushes rather quaint. Plus the line is rather waxy, like it was a semi-soft grade with a bit too much coverage and not necessarily enough texture.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Accessory Vignette

I'm making components for a layout, and I always wanted to include some inanimate object as

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fitting, Finessed

I wanted the sketch to look rough, but not necessarily THAT rough, so this is somewhat refined a bit with more defined details. I quite like how easy and immediate this is, yet still has a lot of the tighter elements here and there (like a semblance of the people, as opposed to full-on portraiture).


I had a date that ran late last night (no, didn't sleep with him), so I didn't make it home in time to upload a drawing before midnight. I thought briefly about uploading one of a few drawings I did a few days ago that I didn't upload here (the other day I think I did three separate ones), but I wanted to do another one of the series of drawings I'd been doing this past week, without any watercolors added. I thought about doing it more refined but I think it's nice to see the more immediate contour strokes as I lay in a sketch before I render it out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steven and his friend Heron

Steven and his friend Heron were a bit disappointed that their day at the beach was so overcast, but on the plus side: fantastic rock formations!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Robby, Ruminating

I don't normally do situation sketches - usually you see my figures just posing. So this is fun for me - it harks back to my comic book days when I wanted to know how to draw people just being people, looking/expressing/acting like everyday people, and believably. And while I painted this from a photo, I did take some liberties so that it wasn't so much a portrait as it was more like one of those sketches you see at trials (why can't they photograph those court sessions anyhow?).

Monday, August 20, 2012


Well, trying to at least. After yesterday's somewhat disastrous setback (which shall go unnamed), I had no desire to do much of anything, but life goes on... as do deadlines. And I needed to do these fashion sketches, but I haven't quite worked out how I will approach a larger portrait, as opposed to the smaller renders on the faces of the fuller figures...

edit: I couldn't stop tinkering, and I came up with a version I much prefer. I'm getting a bit more of a hang of how to mix the colors and brushes to make it appear like a wet-on-wet stroke. Now I'd like to know is how to make the colors blend more randomly, but I think this second version is a much more where I want to take this series.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bad News?

Woke up this morning to a really disturbing, but inconclusive, occurrence, and it basically killed my whole day. I cancelled my drawing meetup, I didn't go to the gym, I just stayed home. Did laundry. August so far has been a very trying month.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stylist Style

I live in a very fashion-y building in NYC: many of my neighbors are and have been in the fashion and creative industries. One of my neighbors, Linda, is a striking, silver-haired lady who has a definitive style, and is always smartly put together. Yesterday I saw her on the avenue wearing a navy and white striped top and bright fuchsia lips, which looked great against her hair and complexion. She's an older lady, so my drawing is merely to mark out her color story and isn't necessarily a portrait.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dragging On

Because I've been toying with watercolor techniques in Photoshop, I suddenly had the inspiration to revisit an ooooold drawing I had planned sometime about 2004, and while I started the drawing, I hadn't really done anything on it since a year ago. I had planned on doing an Antonio-esque fashion illustration (directly inspired by his portraits of mail models in makeup back in the 80s), but I wasn't completely sure how to handle it digitally. Now I just want to do it my watercolor style, so it was worth revisiting after this week's fauxtercolor pieces. Yes, it's a man in semi-drag. With a twist (once I finish it, that is).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spring Stripes

Continuing with the other sketches in this Fauxtercolor series. I'm finding my style is evolving a bit as I work with the new tools, but I was so excited and just working that I think I did what I normally would do, but I think I need something looser and fresher (and also wetter looking- there's a very strong dry brush emerging here). I'm wondering if this looks a bit downscale and/or dated in the rendering style.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fauxtercolor 2

I was so happy with the sketch last night that I showed it to my friend on his iPhone... except that when I looked at it reduced in sized, I freaked out internally wondering, "what happened to his legs??" I had made his legs and feet disproportionately large compared to his head. Granted, they were done in fashion proportions, but with the rendering the way it turned out, that realistic-ish face didn't go with the proportions, so I spent some time retooling it.

I also tried to replicate some of the effects I got last night, because I had so many new brushes I couldn't recall what I did! This is clearly going to take some more practice!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


More painting in Photoshop, but after downloading a few brushes, I think I'm getting a look I really like. Now if only I can remember how to do this!

I spent the evening putting down lines and color, and then taking them out again. I really want this to be reductive in a more fashion-y style, but I'm fighting it because there are some details I want to put in but I can't decide what is better - the details or the drawing. I seem to be erring on teh drawing. Maybe I'll add a shoe.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brushing Up Even More 4

The more I explore the techniques for watercolor, the more I want to know! I experimented with a few new brushes and the settings. I really need time to sit down and really process everything.

I thought these brushes did a good job of mimicking a really loaded, saturated stroke with both bleed and control. I may need to go in with the mixer brush to blend things up a bit more..

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brushing Up Even More 3

Now I kinda need to apply the watercolor effects more effectively. I have a tendency to lay in color without really paying attention to tone and shadows, relying on the 'natural-ness' of it all to look nice. Gonna try and paint (albeit digitally) more conscientiously.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Welcome to my life

One of my biggest clients right now has projects that involve tweaking old, naively graphics with matching graphics so they look updated for printing in new products. The problem is, I'm reeeeally good at aping the old styles - hell, I've been asked to knock off a style or three in my day. It's easy money, but man is it mindless. I mean, this banner is barely a scribble, but it's absolutely perfect for the job I'm doing. Le sigh. This is what I'm doing with my talents...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Joanne and her friend Heron

Joanne and her friend Heron were both really excited about the new iPad, but when Heron's overzealous pecking nearly broke the touch screen, it was decided he needed to have a little Time Out.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Penciled In

Trying to get all my collage components in, so I started sketching two different parts of it, but decided to combine them for tonight's post.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Today was a bad day. I got some bad news yesterday and it didn't really hit me til today. I could function, even crack a few jokes, but when I was alone, it was pretty hard. Here's hoping it will just get better...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Brushing Up Even More 2

I tried the pen techniques on Painter, and strangely, it looks super thick and heavy when I was doing it, but after I brought it into Photoshop it was extremely light! I don't understand. If the brushes don't perform accordingly, then it might be better to just stick with Photoshop.

I cleaned up a few layers and resaved this in Painter itself, and that turned out a bit better, as seen above. Below is the original I was complaining about:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Brushing Up Even More

Because painter was so spazzy, I'm trying to see if there are brushes I could create in Photoshop. I wish Photoshop was easier on the natural media simulation. I'm not sure where to start to create nice ink brushes. This was my attempt to simulate a bleeding watercolor application.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brushing Up More

I had a very clear idea in my head how I wanted to render these sketches. I think in a way it's a bit more studied but with the effect of spontaneity: how's that for a conundrum? The key was getting a really nice, variable brush line to seem more immediate, and I love the results I'm finding thus far with the new Painter 12. What I am NOT amused by is it spinning that effing beach ball for 10 minutes while it tries to resolve itself. Painter has always been a RAM hog, and this was excruciating. It always made me NOT buy Painter in the end, which is why I've been using a reeeeally old free version that came with my original first generation Intuous pad!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Brushing Up

Trying to figure out what style I will be using for these sketchy drawings I'm planning on doing. Part of me wants to determine that beforehand, but the other part of me knows it will happen on its own, organically, if I just play. So here me be, playing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Framed 5

The slow, inexorable continuation of this rather labor intensively-rendered sketch. Although I like the intent, I'm liking the elements of roughly rendered elements with the much more precise parts. I might just develop the sketch with these contrasts.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bevel Cut

I was designing invitation designs all day today, and while I was waiting for some stalling program to stabilize I would pick up an envelope that was lying down next to my desk and just doodle. This geometric beveled haircut gal was today's result.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Wednesday was a busy day, and when I sat down to draw, I found I had no energy nor inclination. Some days are like that, although with all my multiple drawing projects, you'd think I'd be inclined to do them, what with the pile up and all.

Anyhow, this is a sketch of a guy from my gym. He was training with a personal trainer and stopped after a set to chat with his trainer. He was very tall and lanky, and I really liked the relaxed feel of his stance, so I made a mental note to try and draw it. It's something I have already drawn many times but it's nice to have a reference I actually witnessed.