Tag Archives: Pencil

Spiderman Cowboy

Not much to show of late, unfortunately.  My mind races nearly constantly with all sorts of things from work problems to the impending birth of our twin girls in the next couple weeks.  It races so much so, that when I do have an hour to spend alone (of sorts), as in the hour I had last week waiting for my daughter to finish her tumbling practice, and with the premeditated intent of sketching in the sketchbook, I could do nothing more than stare at the blank page before me for at least five minutes without a hint of what to sketch.

So, I flipped through the images on my phone and came upon a photo of our boys dressed in their superhero outfits, and decided to draw Owen, who had the impressive combination of a Spiderman suit with a cowboy hat.  The hat was red, so it matched.  Even if it hadn’t, the combo was impressive!

Owen as a Spiderman cowboy. Pencil sketch in the Moleskine sketchbook.

Owen as a Spiderman cowboy. Pencil sketch in the Moleskine sketchbook.



I graduated a bit from the business cards.  Yesterday and today, during lunch, I did this portrait of a guy named Ralf on ACEO.

Ralf is German, but speaks very good English, although with a THICK German accent, which I think is very, very cool.

Ralf: Watercolor on ACEO

Ralf: Watercolor on ACEO

Alex Mathers

My next Sketchbook Project entry is Alex Mathers (@MoonApe on Twitter). Alex is a fantastic illustrator with quite the following.  From his website:

With a degree in geography, I am a self-taught illustrator from London, living in Tokyo and born in Copenhagen in 1984. I’m currently working with the Google+ design team, amongst other projects.

I’m a fan of volcanoes, snow monkeys, electronic music, sea creatures and outer space.

I run a site for creatives called Red Lemon Club, through which I’ve self-published four books aimed at creatives and freelancers. I also run a contemporary visual arts site called Ape on the Moon.

My previous clients have included:

Saatchi & Saatchi, NY
Wired Magazine
Smith & Foulkes
Future Cinema
United Nations Environmental Programme
Popular Mechanics Magazine
Singapore Business Times newspaper

Alex is a very talented (and busy) guy, have a look at some of his work HERE.

I’ve had my hand at different mediums throughout the sketchbook, and I didn’t want there to be a bulk of one particular style.  And as much as I want to keep my portraits in the form of the Twitter follower I am depicting, Alex’s illustrative style is just something I didn’t think I could pull off in a portrait.  It is difficult to draw and paint in other folks’ style… try it.  Anyway, I was afraid I’d do Alex a large disservice, so I opted for a simple graphite wash.  Simple, but nothing I’ve tried before in this sketchbook.  Of course, the scan doesn’t help (must get a better scanner).  It looks a bit smoother in person, believe me.  So… Alex Mathers.

Alex Mathers - Graphite wash

Alex Mathers – Graphite wash

Alex, thanks for following me on Twitter!

Johan, pt 1

This is the beginning of the second entry in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. I shouldn’t be drawing/painting Johan Lindeberg because he no longer follows me on Twitter (see THIS post). But he’s a very cool guy and I like his whole black & white thing.

Check back to see the finished product. It’ll be black & white. Duh!


Our Little Thor!

Kelly sent me a picture from her phone one day of one of our sons.  He’s SERIOUS about Thor, now.  And when he puts the helmet on and grabs his hammer, he gets this ferocious look on his face.  He.. IS.. THOOORrrrrr!

I sketched it first…

Rough sketch. Our boy, Thor!

Then, during lunch today… the paint…


This is in a large-format sketchbook Kelly got me for Christmas, and it’s the first page I’ve done anything in.  Whew!  Got that outta the way.



Mishima Station

I wrote about my mobile studio a couple posts ago, so I thought I’d show you what it looks like.

The black leather back pack, a.k.a my mobile studio, hanging on a hook in my office at work.

Contents of the mobile studio: 3 sketchbooks, 2 2x2 canvasses, 2 watercolor sets, 2 watercolor pencil sets, 1 graphite/charcoal drawing set, various brushes, pencils, and a fine-point Sharpie.

Now, my next sketchbook project…

It’s my first attempt in a while at dealing with perspective.  In 2005 I traveled to Japan for a week, and absolutely fell in love with it.  I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, but I was fascinated with their transportation system.  Trains everywhere.  What I’m attempting to recreate here is from a photo I took at the train station in Mishima .  We’re looking down-track from the platform, the Shinkansen (bullet train) is on the right of the picture, although at this stage its probably difficult to see that.  It’s a thrill to ride, very, very fast.

View from Mishima Station (the beginnings of it, at least): Pen & marker in the Moleskine sketchbook.

I’ll work on it some more during lunch and keep you posted on the progress.

Sketch & Wash

More lunch work. I’ve got a “Sketch & Wash” graphite pencil, and thought I’d give it a whirl. After brushing the original drawing with a brush and some water, I was somewhat pleased with the results. Then I had to add a bit of color and got all dorked up with it. Not proud, but here’s what happened, in 3 phases.

The original sketch with the "Sketch & Wash" pencil

Phase2, after washing with a brush (paper was wet, can you tell?)

Phase 3: Dorked up with color (should've left it alone). Honestly, it doesn't look that bad in real life.

What’s really bad is that I did this on a sheet of printer paper. It absorbs water like a sheet of plastic! Just horrible. And I know that, too. This started out as a warm-up exercise, and I was going to do this in the sketchbook. Maybe I’ll do that anyway. Maybe not. Who knows. Have a great weekend!

Updated Bell-headed Sailor

Added some color to the “doodle” from yesterday.  Who knows where this is going.


Sometimes I’ll see something so plain and ordinary, yet there’s something about it that keeps my attention just a few moments longer than usual.  I’m developing a safety program at work and there was this ordinary picture of some industrial piping on a website I was researching.  The colors weren’t vibrant like I’m usually attracted to, but they were eye-catching nonetheless.  I did a short sketch during lunch and added the color with watercolor pencils and the waterbrush pen.

Pen/Pencil Sketch w/ watercolor pencil on paper

Starting without an end in mind: Abstract graphite on paper

One of the things I really love about art is how creative you can be with it.  Sometimes I just feel like being creative.  I’ll walk around the house with nothing but the urge, and it gets frustrating because I can’t decide on a focus for it.  This piece came out of one of those creative episodes in which there was no focus in the beginning.  It’s about 7 years old, and it was made during a difficult time of my life when I needed a medium to shift my attention to once in a while.  As with most of my stuff, this has no hidden meaning, no inspiration, no message.  Just an evolution in creation on a piece of paper.

Graphite on Paper

Infinity: Graphite on Paper