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Piecemeal Sketches

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When Everything Is Going Badly, Just Draw

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Drawing Animals from Life

Above: Sketch of a black rooster at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Staedtler Pigment Liner in a book I made using Gutenberg paper. On April 5, 2012 I’m giving a “drawing animals from life” demonstration and talk at the Bell Museum’s Sketch Night. Because I am often distracted by questions that take me off on […]

How To Paint Caricatures: A Short Film

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Update on the Conk-on-the-Head: How I Draw

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Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, by Carla Sonheim

A review of this book in which one of my journal page spreads appears.


Dog Practice—One: Stabilo All or Derwent Drawing?

Preparing to sketch at Paws on Grand.

Drawing Faces: Some Book Recommendations

Monday, February 16, 7 to 9 p.m. is the next meeting of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Visual Journal Collective's Portrait Party. (Please see my earlier post here if you would like to attend so you know what to bring. We'd love it if you came and joined in the sketching fun.) We will be sketching portraits in pairs and then making a photocopier book of the event. (I'm working on the pages for the front and back matter right now!)

Practice is always a great thing, and I've been trying to draw people as much as possible the last few days, but I've also been pulling some books off the shelves to bring in and show people (in case they want to make a real study of the process after the party). I found the following books address drawing faces at some point in their pages, if not the whole book. Check them out. (They are in no particular order.)

Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure, by Barbara Bradley
I just picked up this book mail order because it sounded interesting. There is a lot of great information here. The focus is on full figures and how fabric moves on that figure, etc. But it is also about how the whole body moves. There is a chapter on the head and hands in which she writes about the features, their relationship to each other, creating volume and perspective with them. I haven't been able to read much of this book because of time limitation but I know I'll enjoy going through it more thoroughly because of all the useful info.


Richard Crammer: into the forest of flowers

Right: Marsh Marigolds, graphite on paper; ©2005 Richard Crammer. The Bell Museum of Natural History is hosting a show of  Richard Crammer's artwork. If you have not seen the work of the talented artist, please make a point to do so now. The opening is on January 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The show […]


On the Importance of Warm-ups

Right: Another in my series “deconstructing” my 2008 State Fair sketches. This page spread is in a 6 x 9 inch (approx.) journal made with Zerkal's Nideggen paper. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

No this isn’t another cold weather post. The type of warm-up I want to mention today is the warm-up of hand-eye coordination when you are drawing. The  journal spread on the right shows that sometimes I can jump into a drawing without being sufficiently warmed up. The large sketch on the recto page started with the eye but is really nothing more than a contour drawing. It’s the begining of a discussion between me, the subject, and the paper, but only the first utterance.

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