Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Like many sketchers, I have several sketchbooks and watercolor sheets and blocks going at once.

A selection of sketchbooks from Dick Blick. 

I have a Moleskine 3.5x5.5 scribbler that I carry with me in my pocket pretty much everywhere I go.

I have my trusty Stillman & Birn Beta A5 hardbound sketchbook. 

I also have a spiral bound  Artist’s Loft sketchbook that I use while watching TV just to practice reportage and likenesses of the characters of the shows I’m watching. I try to do a few pages of each hourlong series I watch each week. I also try to capture a few gestures/likenesses of characters from movies I’m watching.

On the Hong Kong Metro. From a video.

I use the spiral bound sketcher for pretty much everything from trying out new pens, signatures, warm ups such as drawing pages of circles and lines, contours. You name it and I use this book for it.

It’s really the only sketchbook I feel comfortable messing up in. I feel free to try new things, different styles, free association drawing, blind contours, practicing proportions, etc. without worrying that someone else will see them. This is basically my drawing diary that I don’t plan on anyone seeing.

If I happen to have a particular drawing in my spiral that I like a lot I simply tear it out and stick it in my Stillman & Birn.

A church in the Philippines. I posted the ink version of this on my last post.

I'm doing a series on rural life, that I use a Strathmore 400 series 5.5x8.5 that opens to 5.5x17 landscape.

I also started using loose watercolor sheets 9x12 Arches cold press and Fluid water color block 8x16 which I really like. The Arches is 100% cotton and since I don’t use it that often it takes a bit of getting used to compared to other papers. But the colors look great on it.

So here’s a few sketches from the past week or so.
A rough pencil sketch of Novak's Hungarian Restaurant on 2nd Ave. In Albany Oregon
The finished ink sketch of Novak's.
Novak's with watercolor added.

On location.
 They suck, I know. But hey, I've only been sketching/drawing since December so I'll give myself a little slack.

Monday, May 8, 2017


So I did my first reportage sketches last week. there was a May Day protest at the state capitol May 1 so I walked down there on my lunch break and sketched a few scenes. It was my first reportage -- reporting by drawing instead of using a camera. It was pretty fun except I only had a few minutes to sketch before I had to get back to work.

I also had my first unofficial sketchcrawl Sunday, May 7. Unofficial because I'm the only member and I'm not sure if sketchcrawl is a trademark or what. But I had fun walking around downtown Albany, Ore., and sketching, even it it was by myself. Hopefully, since the weather is getting nicer, if there are any other sketchers in town we'll run into each other and actually start meeting up for a group sketchcrawl, which sounds more fun than sketching solo.

I also did the usual Google Street View sketches last week. Street View is about my only means of "travel" these days.

Church in Cauayan City, Isabel, Philippines.

I also did a few misc. sketches. A sketch of the sculpture at the Capital Park with the ODOT building in the background and one of my grandson watching TV (A practice reportage). and a few misc. sketches.

That's not all of them but that's a few of the ones I have photos of on my phone. Thanks and have a great week.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Manhattan Bridge in NY. Drawn from a photo.

I love the architecture in Pasadena Calif. This is Castle Green. 

Marines on patrol in Afghanistan. Drawn from a photo.
These were drawn during a May ?Day March at the State Capitol. I walked down there during my lunch break which only left me about 15 minutes to sketch. I managed to get a little more detail on the sketch below before they started their march.

I  did get a lot of video and photos to use as reference shots so I can sketch them out for practice over the next few days.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


A little scribbling while watching TV.

I guess it's good practice to help loosen up my sketching. And, as you know, I can use all the help I can get, right?

I am noticing the looser my lines, the poses look more natural, less stiff.  Plus, scribbling is easy and fun. It's easier with a pencil then ink over it and erase but I'm trying to migrate toward pen and ink from the start and skip using a pencil altogether. 

Anyhow, I'm trying to force myself to scribble 20 or people a day until I start seeing an improvement in the lines I use (fewer and more purposeful) and the quality of the shapes I'm getting (more natural poses, better proportions). 

Monday, April 17, 2017


 Here's a few sketches from a very sunny weekend for the most part.

I drew the house Saturday and the tulips Sunday -- from two slightly different views.

This church was sketched from Streetview and photos. It's located in Negros Occidental, Philippines, where my son, daughter-in-law and grandson will be heading in a couple of weeks. 


This is Walmart in Albany. I drew this one day but for got to get a photo of it and went back the next but didn't quite match the view I had the day before  -- Oops.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


When I crack open a new sketchbook I always get a knot in my stomach. All those pristine unsullied pages. Full of hope and potential. But what if I mess up? What if I make a mistake? What if ...?

Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook. 

Even though I know sketchbooks are for practicing and experimenting with new techniques, who wants to keep looking at a "failed" sketch every time you open it up?

I'm not alone in that feeling, apparently. I see plenty of bloggers and plenty of videos on Youtube sharing that same sentiment and giving advice on how to overcome the gloom of potential failure when starting a new sketchbook.

Mostly, the advice is to remind yourself that sketchbooks are for practice and the place to make mistakes. And yes, I know most of my drawings are silly and uncoordinated, and I recognize at least most of the mistakes I've made with them. But I still like to put them out there for the world to see ... and judge. Maybe it'll make some other artist feel good about their own talent.

Kind of like when you think your life sucks but then you see someone else who has it worse than you, you don't feel so bad about your own situation. So I guess while a lot of artist inspire others through their immense talent, I inspire others through my lack of talent. Hmm. I guess that's kind of good and bad, depending on how I want to look at it.

Anyhow, I took some advice from some of the great sketchers out there, such as Liz Steel  who says she begins her sketchbooks by first sketching the tools she uses to draw in them. And Teoh Yi Chie (Parka) who travels often and sketches his tools for each new sketchbook before he leaves on a new adventure. More as a packing list for him than to break in a sketchbook which is a good idea as well.

Most of the tools I'm using for my current  Stillman & Birn Beta hardcover A5 sketchbook.

I like the idea of sketching your tools because it's easy and fun. Plus, it makes you think about what tools -- pens, pencils, inks, etc., you want to use for the near future. It's also good practice on composition of your first sketch in a new book. It allows you to add as much detail or as little detail as you want, and it gives you color samples of your palette that you can refer back to when you need to.

Have a sketchy day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I was cruising around Google Streetview the other day and landed in Negros Occidental, Philippines, where my daughter-in-law is from. Found a great public market to draw.

Here's the streetview image.

I also came across some photos in the Pasadena, Calif., newspaper of a newly constructed apartment complex that I decided to sketch. 

Here's the image from the Pasadena newspaper.
Although I don't get a chance to travel, Streetview lets me go a lot of places. -- If only in my mind (for now).

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Here's a few sketches from late March and early April. As mentioned in the prior post I've started sketching from some of my photos from when I lived in Hawaii.
Hulihee Palace in Kona.

An alleyway off First Avenue in Albany Oregon.

The tools I'm using in this sketchbook. Always a fun way to break the ice in a new sketchbook.

A reader in a coffeeshop. drawn from a photo.

Also drawn from a photo.

Guitar player drawn from a music video.

Also drawn from a music video.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Here are a few sketches from March. I've been going through my Kona, Hawaii photos and decided tosketch a few so I'll have more coming. I just finished the Hulihee Palace that I'll post in a few days. 

I'm hoping to start sketching my triathlon experiences albeit from photos while I lived in Kona. 

LAVA JAVA in Kona, Hawaii. 

Farm Scene. Part of my Rural Life sketchbook.

I forgot to post anything from the last day (day 5) of #Oneweek100people2017 sketching contest so here are a couple from that.

A presbyterian Church in Albany, Oregon.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Here are a few more sketches from Day three of #oneweek100people2017 sketching challenge.

I'm at 63 people sketched and 37 to go in the next two days.


Like many sketchers, I have several sketchbooks and watercolor sheets and blocks going at once. A selection of sketchbooks from Dick Bli...