Monday, January 30, 2017


I just watched a video on Youtube by Shoo Rayner about practicing drawing people from photographs if you are uncomfortable about drawing in public (which I am). I get very nervous drawing in public and I tend to hurry my sketches the more people that are around. In fact I probably resemble one of those speed-drawing videos on Youtube  because I draw so fast. And that causes me to make lots of mistakes or get the perspective wrong.

Shoo said something in his video that I liked. "Don't abandon a drawing if you make a mistake - that can turn into a habit and you'll never finish anything. Often you can save a drawing or painting by just keeping on going!" That's pretty good advice, I think. 

This sketch is one that I abandoned but decided to finish it up just to get it finished. You cansee the unfinished version a couple of posts down.

This one still needs to be finished. But I am working on it. Since the last time I posted it a couple of weeks ago I've at least managed to ink some of it. 

This sketch and the one below are a couple that I've done from photographs on what I call attitude poses.  Obviously I still need a lot of work on drawing the human form.

This is a combination of drawing from photographs, creating my own characters and throwing them into an urban setting. This was inspired by passers-by watching me draw or stopping and asking to see what I'm drawing. I tried to capture their expressions and attitudes.

This is one I almost gave up on. It's a sketch of a building in Albany but I left out a window upstairs (it really has 4 tall windows, not three). But I decided to finish it anyhow. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


My lunchtime sketch of High Street at the corner of High and Court streets in Salem, Oregon. It was one of the sunniest, warmest days we've had in a long time. It felt good just to sit and soak up the sun.

I only take a half-hour lunch so in order to get this sketched I did lots of prep work like check it out on Streetview to look at all the angles. Also I did a couple of practice drawings of the corner building based off Streetview so I knew the basics so once I arrived, parked my car and found a place to sit I could get to work on it right away.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I've been trying out watercolors and different paper types. It's a hard medium to learn and it reacts differently to different paper types. I've been painting from tutorials online — mostly from Peter Sheeler's YouTube channel. He keeps it pretty quick, simple and easy to follow along. Each painting only takes about 30 minutes to draw and paint so I like that

From Peter Sheeler's YouTube channel tutorial. The paper on this one is Arches cold press 140#.
Plus I like his style of drawing. His lines are quick and sketchy and just the right amount of detail.
From Peter Sheeler's YouTube channel tutorial. I painted this one in my sketch book which does not have watercolor paper.  I'm not sure of what weight of paper my sketchbook has.
From Peter Sheeler's YouTube channel tutorial using one color. This was also painted in sketchbook.
 The one below I couldn't get the sky to work at all. I think I painted it, then lifted the paint off and repainted it three times and redrew it twice. I first tried painting it on a cheap watercolor paper (not sure of the brand) but didn't like it at all so when I redrew it I used Arches cold press paper.

Also from Peter Sheeler's YouTube channel. Winsor & Newton watercolors on Arches cold press paper.
I really like Arches paper but it is pretty expensive compared to other brands. I happened to get this batch at 60 percent off at a local art supply store. I should of bought more.

A sketch from my own imagination on canvas.

By the way, I'm using my phone to take photos of these to post, so if some of them look distorted or out of whack, it may not just be my drawing abilities ... but then again, maybe it is my drawing. Oh and the color isn't close to accurate either.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


It's been a day of practicing. From sketching my desk to sketching basketball players as well as practicing "Landscape people."

Practicing basketball ... drawing, not playing.
My desk. Also practicing drawing faster for whatever reason.
Character interaction.
"Landscape people" in watercolor.
I did get a chance to work a little on live sketching a few blocks away at lunchtime. It's an apartment building with businesses on the ground floor.
My first sketch of the building s along Broadway and Market streets.
The drawing above was a very quick sketch just to get a feel for the perspective and scale. These buildings are actually a block down from the ones in the drawing below. The drawing below is/will be more detailed but I like the feeling and sense of urgency and spontaneity of the one above. 

I call this building the "Young at Art" building because it
houses that business and it has one of the most dominant
signs. This is my lunchtime project that will take me a few sessions
to complete.  I only get between 5-10 minutes at a time to work on
it at lunch, in between rain showers. This is the second day I've drawn.
Because of all the straight lines and perspective,
I was tempted to use  a ruler but decided to freehand it. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Well, I've taken a turn, or maybe it's a U-turn. After 20-plus years since I put down my pencil, pen and ink (I used to cartoon for a hunting magazine and draw as a past-time.) I've decided to get back into drawing.

I've been drawing lots of stick figures
For now it's mostly just working on hand-eye coordination with lots of drawing exercises ... circles, circles, circles, lines, lines, lines, circles, circles and an occasional actual drawing. Oh, and eyes, noses, mouths and pages of stickmen and stickwomen, and mannequins in various poses and gestures.

I think I've gone through a half of ream of copy paper just drawing circles.

It really does help build my hand-eye coordination by drawing circles and lines and makes it a lot easier for my brain to tell the pen where to go. I think mostly it helps to learn to "feel" the objects I'm drawing. I think feel in drawing, at least for me is very important. If I can feel it on the paper, it becomes easier to draw.
And lots of poses. I've been watching lots of Youtube videos
Which is where I copied these from. You can learn a lot from Youtube

Sort of an urban sketch.
Rebecca bundled up while outside in the snow.
I'm not sure what kind of art I'm leaning toward but it'll probably center around cartoons. However, I'm trying out urban sketching

and am liking it so far. Urban sketching is simply sketching your surroundings on location. Or as puts it: "all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner... always on location, not from photos or memory."

Besides urban sketching I'm delving into political cartoons, caricatures and watercolors. A whole new way of thinking about people and colors.

The Kona Life has undergone a lot of changes since I started it nearly 10 years ago (10-year anniversary is July 19. From ramblings to triathlon to adjusting to mainland life again to drawing.

Hopefully I'll begin posting drawings and watercolors — don't laugh at them. They are very, very elementary. Especially the watercolors. As with photography and writing it takes time and practice to find your voice/style and that's what I'm trying to do by experimenting with different genres.

It's just like taking photos to capture the flavor and atmosphere of your surroundings only it takes a lot longer ... and a lot more patience.

Trump portrait to caricature trial.
Still needs lots of work.

A house in Kona. OK, this one was drawn
from a photo rather than live. Watercolor.
At the mall food court. watercolor. 

cartoon characters.
More cartoon characters. Watercolor.


What do you do when you don't have time to go out on location to do urban sketching? My time is very limited and I often don't have ...