Sunday Sketchbook #24 – Free pizza!

The other day, my girlfriend, our friend and I ordered take-out pizzas at a nearby pizza-place. After phoning in the order, I started sketching this little character while we waited for 20 minutes before going to get our pizzas.

As we arrived at the pizza place about half an hour after ordering, which was when they said it would be ready, there were already a lot of people waiting for their take-out. It was a very busy afternoon, and the staff seemed a bit stressed out. We ended up waiting for another half an hour, and when we finally recieved our order, they said it was free! In fact, several other people got their orders for free because they all had to wait for so long.

So, we got two pizzas for free, which was excellent! But I felt sorry for the people working there for not having enough production capacity. Anyhow, I finished this drawing the following day, and thought it would be fitting for a “Sketchbook Sunday”. What do you think? Should I color it traditionally with markers, or should I practice digital coloring? If you have got any suggestions, please leave them in the comments section!

Sunday Sketchbook #23 – Illustrating for print

Due to some traveling last weekend (and partly because of my own laziness), I didn’t get around to updating the blog last Sunday. However, I feel that I’ve made up for it a little by being a lot more productive this week.

For those of you who don’t know, I work part-time at a newspaper company, doing layout, photo editing and the like. On Monday I was approached by one of the journalists with a suggestion that I could make an illustration for a feature article. He had seen this blog, and decided to give me a chance at making something for print. I started working on a few sketches on the same day, and on Tuesday I finalized the illustration during the evening hours. It looks something like this, and goes together with an article about how grandparents are a great help for their kids and grandchildren:

As I’ve previously mentioned, my scanner sucks at it’s job, but I’ve tried to tweak the colors to the best of my abilities. Updated: I swapped the image with the one scanned it at work. I’ll update this post when I get the chance to take a picture of the final product, i.e. the double page spread of the newspaper article.

Sunday Sketchbook #22 – Dual styles

Here are two inked portraits from my sketchbook, and also some quick pencil sketches of a few different expressions (though barely visible). It’s funny how I enjoy drawing in both styles; the manga-esque to the left and the slightly more detailed style one to the right. Speaking of the latter, I tend to draw the more realistic faces with more or less the same facial expression. Note to self: try drawing realistic people that are laughing, showing anger or are annoyed etc. Below is a version where I’ve “indicated” (Mark Crilley, anyone?) some shading with grey Promarkers. The inking was done with my Platinum Carbon Pen.

On a side note, I’ve had some trouble coming up with something to show every time I update because a) I’ve not kept practicing as much as I would like, and b) when I do update, it’s with a drawing/sketch I’ve deliberately worked on with Sunday Sketchbook in mind.

Especially when I spend all Sunday procrastinating, and only start working on an update late in the evening (like I’ve done today), I feel that I haven’t drawn anything useful and that I could’ve done better. I guess thoughts like that are just me wanting to become more effective. Got any tips for keeping up with practice and staying productive? Leave a comment, I’ll definitely reply and thank you for your feedback =)

Sunday Sketchbook #21 – Self-portrait

I got a new pen this week, so obviously I had to make a self-portrait like this. The pen is a Platinum Carbon Fountain Pen, recommended as “the perfect pen” in this blogpost by Sarah Glidden. In short, the selling point for me was the waterproof ink. It should work great for watercolor practice, and I’m looking forward to test it out properly.

As for the self portrait, at first I only intended for it to be B&W, but decided to add some colors really quickly. I’m not very happy about my skills at coloring digitally, but I guess I just need some more practice. Also, I never know what I should do with the background, so I just leave it white. Anyway, so much to learn, so little time! Leave a comment if you’ve got thoughts on art supplies, self-portraits or just want to say hi!

Sunday Sketchbook #20 – Pose sketches

I’m a little bit late, but here’s my update for last week (I’m sorry it’s not as big of an update as I kind of promised to do). I repurposed a big sketchbook I hadn’t used in years by ripping out the few pages I had sketched on, leaving me with a “new” book with lots and lots of blank pages. My intention for making this sketchbook was to have a designated sketchbook for anatomy studies. I’ve started sketching full body poses using a few of my old photos as resources, which in this case were photos of a friend of mine learning to play with poi.

Totally unrelated to my artistic endeavors, I’m a bit sick at the moment, suffering the sore throat and clogged sinuses of a spring cold. As if that wasn’t enough, I also got one of my wisdom teeth extracted today, so I’m not feeling as productive as I could’ve been. However, I’m going to try something new and hopefully have another post up within this week, which is going to be sort of a review of a Ghibli movie.

Sketchbook Sunday #19 – Coffee violin

I decided to experiment with coffee as a painting medium. It resulted in this little piece of a girl playing the violin. For those interested, there are a few tips about painting with coffee in this tutorial I stumbled upon on Deviantart. I didn’t have any instant coffee on hand so I used a small amount of water and a lot of coffee grounds which I let sit in a French press for a while. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the color as dark as I wanted, so I had to boost the saturation and contrast quite a lot after scanning it. It’s actually kind of sad, because this version looks a lot better than the original, which appears faded and dull in comparison. I also fixed a few other mistakes in “post-production”. That being said, my critical eyes can spot a lot of things which could have been drawn better (her left elbow, for example… yikes!)

I had to use reference for the pose and violin, and I found a lot of useful images by searching for “violin” and “woman” on iStockphoto.com. However, I changed the pose, hairstyle and clothing as I went along, so the reference was used just to get the basic idea for the kind of drawing I wanted. I used Sakura Micron pens for the black outline, and a smooth and almost glossy kind of paper called Fabriano Tecnico 240g/m². I’m sure I could’ve gotten better results If I had used watercolor paper…