Sketchbook Series

Having not kept a sketchbook in over 10 years while I was a graphic designer, I thought that it would be a good idea to jump back in. I started a year-long project of trying to post one drawing a week. Ended up being a lot tougher than I had anticipated. The following drawings are the result of this (still ongoing) project.

 
 

Drawing 1 of 52

"Moses" by Michelangelo Buonarroti

2017. Charcoal on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes (light blue) paper.

Black charcoal, white Prismacolour study of Michelangelo's statue of Moses destined for the tomb of Pope Julius II.

Posted January 8, 2017


Drawing 2 of 52

"The Rape of Proserpina" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

2017. Charcoal on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes (light blue) paper.

Charcoal study of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's The Rape of Proserpina. It would seem that this is every artist's favourite angle on this masterpiece (at least according to a cursory glance thru Instagram).

Posted January 15, 2017


Drawing 3 of 52

"Barberini Faun" by unknown

2017. Charcoal on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes (light blue) paper.

Roman copy (?) of a Greek sculpture that dates back to around late third or early second century BC. The mastery of the unknown Greek sculptor is evident, as is the overtly sensual pose of the subject.

Posted January 19, 2017


Drawing 4 of 52

"Laocoön and His Sons" by Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus

2017. Charcoal on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes (light blue) paper.

The sculpture depicts the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.

Posted January 25, 2017


Drawing 5 of 52

"Pieta" by Michelangelo Buonarroti

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Charcoal study of Michelangelo's classic sculpture, "Pietà."
A stunning virtuoso display of talent and skill with marble completed when he was only 24. The only piece that Michelangelo has ever signed.

Posted February 3, 2017


Drawing 6 of 52

"Gladiateur Mourant" by Pierre Julien

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

This sculpture was a turning point for the artist as it represented his breakthrough. Had this piece not gained admittance into the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, he would have given up on his passion. A mastery of anatomy and classical sculpture.

Posted February 11, 2017


Beata_Ludovica_Albertoni_20170219_Sketch_07

Drawing 7 of 52

"Beata Ludovica Albertoni" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

The sculpture depicts Ludovica Albertoni at the moment of communion with God. A challenging sculpture to sketch and get right. Hope I did it justice.

Posted February 19, 2017


Drawing 8 of 52

"Gladiateur Mourant" by Pierre Julien

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

The back half of Julien's breakthrough piece.

Posted February 25, 2017


Drawing 9 of 52

"Salvator Mundi" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Charcoal study of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture, "Salvator Mundi." His last known work.

Posted March 3, 2017


Drawing 10 of 52

"Jason with the Golden Fleece" by Bertel Thorvaldsen

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

This was Thorvaldsen's breakthrough piece and cemented his place at the forefront of nineteenth century sculpture.

Posted March 10, 2017


Drawing 11 of 52

"Odalisque" by James Pradier

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

I always found this sculpture to be mysterious. She is coiled back to look behind her, her face wearing the slightest hint of a smile. Gorgeous.

Posted March 19, 2017


Drawing 12 of 52

"Chioma di Berenice" by Ambrogio Borghi

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

It was the way the hands were posed that always intrigued me about this sculpture. I was 12 when I discovered a book about sculptures in the Churchill Square Edmonton public library. It had a picture of this piece inside. I didn't know that you could breathe life into a hunk of rock.

The original sculpture has apparently been sold (according to link above) through Sotheby's.

Posted March 24, 2017


Drawing 13 of 52

"Venus de Milo" by unknown.

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Located in the Louvre in Paris. Thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch, the incomplete sculpture depicts Aphrodite. It's the quintessential image that pops into people's minds when you mention 'Greek Sculpture.' Hope to see her in real life one day.

Posted March 30, 2017


Drawing 14 of 52

"Hand Reaching Up"

2017. 8.5" x 11" Pencil on archival sketchbook paper.

Moving on from charcoal studies of great pieces of sculpture. I've always been fascinated by hands and the emotions they can express. The downside is that hands are probably the most difficult part of the body to draw properly.

Posted April 5, 2017


Drawing 15 of 52

"Head Study 1"

2017, 8.5" x 11" Pencil on archival sketchbook paper.

Head structure study from random magazine advert image. Didn't draw the complicated hairdo as I wanted to emphasize the structure of the head.

I have no problems 'finishing' and shading forms. It's the underlying structure that gets me into trouble. Specifically when I'm making it up and not working from photo reference. Especially difficult for me is the front three quarter view of the head. I've been taught proper proportioning in art school, but I always take shortcuts. I'm now forcing myself to study the basic underlying forms and their relationship with other structures first before jumping into shading and finishing.

Posted April 10, 2017


Drawing 16 of 52

"Hand Study 1"

2017, 8.5" x 11" Watercolour, pastel and charcoal pencil on heavyweight watercolour paper.

My left hand. Gave myself a cramp holding this pose before I thought to take a picture for reference.

This marks the first time I've jumped back into watercolours. I find them hard to work with, so I've used them as a way to add a colour wash before I go in with the dry media. Hope to tackle an all-watercolur painting in the future when I'm more confident.

Posted April 16, 2017


Drawing 17 of 52

"Hand Study 2"

2017. 8.5" x 11" Watercolour, pastel and charcoal pencil on heavyweight watercolour paper.

Overworked this one. My drawings sometimes end up looking overdone - even when I'm looking for a 'loose' feel. I have to learn to judge when to quit. Chalk this one up to another learning experience.

Posted April 24, 2017


Drawing 18 of 52

"Hand Study 3"

2017. 8.5" x 11" Pencil on archival sketchbook paper.

Overworked drawing 17, so I thought I'd return to a simple pencil rendering for number 18. Tried to be a little looser too.

Posted May 1, 2017


Drawing 19 of 52

"Hands of Experience"

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Drawn a little looser and I tried (really hard) to stay away from the blending stump.

Posted May 9, 2017


Drawing 20 of 52

"Morning Coffee"

2017. 8.5" x 11" Bic 4 colour click pens on archival sketchbook paper.

Another attempt at loosening up by skipping the penciling and using ballpoint pen. Still looks somewhat tight.

Posted May 18, 2017


Drawing 21 of 52

"Supplication"

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Tighter figurative sketch with the addition of some drapery for added interest. I think that I can safely say that this drawing represents my breakthrough moment. I rediscovered the joy in working in a classical style and finally realised that dry media is my primary strength.

Posted May 25, 2017


Drawing 22 of 52

"Agony/Ecstasy"

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

Placing a clenched fist in a different context (on drapery/sheets) completely changes its meaning.

Spent way too much time on what's supposed to be a "sketch" (this drawing set me back a week or two). It was working so well that I didn't want to stop. A truly enjoyable piece to work on.

Posted June 21, 2017


Drawing 23 of 52

"Untitled"

2017. Micron pen on 8.5" x 11" acid free sketchbook paper.

I've been spending way too much time on my recent "sketches" lately so I thought I'd step back and just do exactly what I had originally intended - sketching. I will return to the big productions later.

Posted July 8, 2017


Drawing 24 of 52

"Suspended"

2017. Micron pen on 4.5" x 6" hand made sketchbook paper.

Working up an idea for another piece. Realized that I hate drawing feet. Became an exercise.

Posted July 20, 2017


Drawing 25 of 52

"Terrified"

2017. Micron pen on 4.5" x 6" hand made sketchbook paper.

Thinking about and dwelling on things out of your control can lead to neurosis. And artists are well known neurotics.

Posted July 28, 2017


Drawing 26 of 52

"Confined"

2017. Micron pen on 4.5" x 6" hand made sketchbook paper.

Trying to break out from the safe and familiar feels like trying to escape from a straight jacket.

Posted August 1, 2017


Drawing 27 of 52

"The Waiting Room"

2017. Sanguine conte pencil, charcoal and white Prismacolour pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Toned Grey sketchbook paper.

No matter how much planning and scheduling of appointments, you always end up in one waiting room or another.

Posted August 7, 2017


Drawing 28 of 52

"Deep Sleep"

2017. Pencil on archival 8.5" x 11" sketchbook paper.

I binge-watched something on Netflix and the love of my life took a snap of me curled up on the couch. This is the resulting sketch.

Posted August 21, 2017


Drawing 29 of 52

"Matt Takes a Beating"

2017. Pencil on archival 8.5" x 11" sketchbook paper.

This started out as an exercise in drawing the back muscles but I got bored and it quickly turned into something else—a drawing of The Daredevil comic book character getting a beating.

Posted August 25, 2017


Drawing 30 of 52

"Severe Woman"

2017. Pencil on 9" x 6" hand made sketchbook paper.

Attempted several drawings on hand-made paper. The 'tooth' of the paper was way too rough for my usual smooth style of pencil drawing, but I think that it yielded some interesting results.

Posted September 7, 2017


Drawing 31 of 52

"Coffee Man"

2017. Pencil on 9" x 6" hand made sketchbook paper.

Sketch 2 on that 'toothy' paper. This time with ink. I like the pattern that the ink leaves as it glides over the rough surface.

Posted September 7, 2017