EDM #16: Draw a favorite tool

This drawing is a little dull. Sometimes a square page is helpful for one’s composition. In this case not so much. I tried to tart things up with a profusion of crosshatching and stippling but the shape of the scooper and its reflective properties didn’t give me much to work with. And I regret adding that crescent of white paint around the rim.

Sorry to be so self-critical today. Maybe my blood sugar is just low.

EDM #15: Draw a tree or trees, leaves or branches

This was a lovely drawing experience. At about 7:15 this morning, I strolled to the park with my dogs  and a snifter of iced coffee,  sketchbook under my arm . The heat had not yet risen, the birds and squirrels were at play, and the homeless guys were still asleep on the lawn. I sat on a bench by the playground to draw the old dead tree that seems to have been left by the grounds crew because it is so picturesque.

I drew with the usual Lamy Safaris, alternating back and forth between bold and thin, while my hounds bayed at big dogs lumbering by. After half an hour of drawing, I came home, made my breakfast, and added some sum-i ink tone and a few droplets of watercolor that was dried up in one of the cups of my palette.

It reminds me of the feeling of one of my favorite illustrators, Ernest Shepard.


Oh, and I saw the pair of Red-Tailed Hawks and their fledglings all together in the Park today. Very dramatic to see them swoop about.

One of them insisted on sitting in a mud puddle on the lawn for a very long time. I hope it’s okay.

EDM Challenge #14: Draw what you see in the morning when you get up

I did this painting fairly quickly, first in Dr. Martin’s washes and then added gouache and some white paint to simulate  a bleary, early morning, shallow depth of field. As is my wont, I worked quickly, nay hastily, and then scrawled a note along the bottom with a dip pen in Tiger Yellow watercolor.

For some reason, disaster struck:

The paper decided to turn my lines into spidery muck. Thinking I could repair matters, I tried a different nib and a darker ink. Matters went further down hill. Finally I pulled out my fountain pen and made a irreversibly botched job of it. I even slathered on some white-out to mitigate the damage and … ah, hell, that’s why Photoshop has a cropping tool.


Turn the page, on to the next challenge.

EDM Challenge #13: Draw your telephone (land line, cell, old-fashioned?)

For some reason, our phone follows the aesthetic of the Sony Sports Walkman from the early 1990s. That’s probably around the time when innovation in landline phone design was frozen too.

I laid down a bright coat of Dr. Martins Tiger yellow, then when it dried completely, I drew the phone with my extra bold Lamy Safari. Then I used my Lamy fine point to add details and to cross hatch. Finally I used a white pencil, a white charcoal pencil and a couple of other colored pencils to add more details and dimension. This took 15 or so minutes.

Then I took a picture of the whole damned thing with my cel phone.

BTW, some people have wondered what book I am drawing in these days. Well, most of these challenges have been done in the same book, a 7″ square wire-bound number made by Stillman and Birn. It’s one of their Delta Series with cold press Extra Heavyweight Ivory paper (180 lb.) and a rough surface. I like the paper in this book but am no longer a big fan of wire-bound books so I have been waiting for an opportunity to use it. If you are okay with this sort of binding, I think their books are the best being made today. I see they make hardbound books today and I’ll definitely give them a try sometime soon.

EDM Challenge #12: Draw what you ate for dinner

Obviously I couldn’t do this drawing before breakfast. In fact I couldn’t do it at all. My dinner turned out to be a bacchanalia with friends at a fantastic restaurant so instead I have regurgitated a dinner I made earlier. I drew this on very soft paper (Strathmore Aquarius) in a book made for me by Roz and it has a tendency to suck up guache and give it a certain dustiness that’s quite appealing.

EDM #10: Draw your hand or hands (or someone else’s if you like)

I was initially a little hampered by the fact that I just drew my hand, or at least my forearm, in Challenge # 8 a couple of days ago and wanted to do something different. My colored pencils have been gathering dust so I brought them out for this challenge. A few years ago, I spend a month or two filling a book just with colored pencil drawings but never really loved the experience. As you can see, I tend to cross hatch rather than blend with them so I decided that I might as well be using ink which is brighter and tighter.

While I was drawing, I kept thinking about a book I loved as a teenager and, once the Shrek version was done, I hauled it out: Burne Hogarth’s Dynamic Anatomy. Hogarth, who was an art teacher (he helped found the School of Visual Arts)  but also worked on Tarzan comics, had an extraordinary style and his knowledge of anatomy is infectious. It’s worth spending time at his website.

My visit to Dynamic Anatomy inspired me to copy one of Hogarth’s drawings and think about everything that goes on beyond the surface. Look at that cobra-like thumb!