View Full Version : Scribbler

03-30-2015, 09:45 AM
First time in this forum, though often in oil painting and plein air, the café too.

Thought I would post some current sketches and start to pay more attention to what I am doing, sketch-wise. I usually draw to get information for paintings and sometimes to warm up or cool off :) Then I really don't look at them again. I hope that a stack of papers qualifies as a journal?!

So any feedback is very welcome. Thanks for looking.













Catching up a couple of weeks with this selection, then I plan to post as I go.

03-30-2015, 10:42 AM
Love the variety of subjects in your sketchbook. Nicely done!

03-30-2015, 03:12 PM
Welcome. I'll echo KiwiKate lovely variety of subjects. These could easily be made into a journal by putting them in a ring binder, if you are so inclined.

Joan T
03-31-2015, 04:11 PM
Nice variety of subjects and mediums.

03-31-2015, 04:24 PM
Thank you, KiwiKate and Debby :)

I've been told that my paintings were all different one to another, too. I dunno, they all look like mine, and I've been told that too. This winter has been so cold, I've been indoors and done some imaginary stuff for a change.

Yes, I could get a hold of a three hole punch to keep the pages together, hmm. To start out though, I have such a mixed selection and I just use the first paper I come to, scraps or whatever. How disorganized! until it all goes into a box- journal in a box.

03-31-2015, 08:59 PM
Thank you too, Joan.

04-01-2015, 01:22 PM
Journal in a box works. :)

04-07-2015, 09:30 AM
Here are a couple of kids from family photos-




Then, some attempts at bonnets when I found that increasing the contrast, digitally, helped. Looks a bit like charcoal but now I'm thinking to get out the ink. That's going to be an experiment for me. Pointers welcome on any of this.




04-07-2015, 03:18 PM
Wonderful sketches. I know there are those who advocate working directly in ink, but I prefer to lightly pencil first, then go in with ink.

04-07-2015, 07:10 PM
Thank you, DrDebby, for the compliment and the tip. I've just tried a bit of black ink on some old pencil sketches, done on bristol, and the pencil erased without smudging the ink, a pleasant surprise. I think I want the look of the darkened pencil but not sure how to do this! Maybe dry brush in part.... some experimenting to do all of a sudden. :crossfingers:

04-11-2015, 04:46 PM
After a couple of days of experimenting with ink, I think I have come to the conclusion that light and shade take a second place when working with black ink. Patterns and kinda puzzle pieces become most important and it's a bit like making stencils, I think.
So, I am cheating with these as several of the drawings I've inked are old, last summer's. And one, the reprint of two bonnets from last week, is actually an inkjet print from the original drawing - so I couldn't erase the grey. Some others I left the pencil too. I like the look, makes the subject easier to get across, although the crisp white is nice too ( bristol erases so well).







04-12-2015, 02:23 PM
Love seeing your explorations into ink.

04-12-2015, 04:59 PM
Thanks so much DrDebby.

Having posted the thread I have committed to showing... and it seems therefore I am caring more about the sketches. I doodle all the time and scribble notes, not ones I want to post! but the idea of posting them seems to be a step towards what I had in mind, to do something further with all this notetaking. I do produce sketches when I am lining up for a painting subject and those are furthered in the painting of course. But it seems there is more to 'mine' here, so to speak. And actually I feel that way with my paintings too - do more with them, take them a step further.
So, furthering with a step in ink, I thought of Beardsley and looked him up - He was inking pencil drawings like you suggested, DrDebby, and his work was for printing. So the original was not the point, the prints were. (BTW I found what I think is a fantastic site called the Yellow Nineties Online)


I also thought of finding a character in my doodles and trying to redraw that character in other circumstances, like a cartoon strip. Saw a show a few days ago on Hilary Knight who did the Eloise books- quite an odd story of his life I thought, but along the lines of developing a character in drawings. Haven't come close to doing that yet!
I don't know where this is going but I am going to try to stay focused and not go off in all directions at once! If I can get a month of sketches up in this thread I will have accomplished at least something with them. Thanks for looking and commenting!

04-13-2015, 08:34 PM
Your sketches are so great. Very accurate and lifelike, especially the animals. Great scenery too, and the women's hats series is so well done, very period.

Cool that you're thinking of doing a cartoon strip. It's so easy to create a web comic today, though it's a good idea to have up to a couple of months drawn ahead of time for posting on schedule. I meant to do that for some time but haven't gotten around to doing it.

The animals are wonderful! Hope you'll do a cat or big cat sometime, or some birds, they always fascinate me. I get the feeling you're a good all around illustrator who'd be as comfortable drawing a Dickensian street scene, a subway interior or a Western landscape. People, horses and cattle all look so great and so do those polar bears at the start!

Joan T
04-13-2015, 10:38 PM
Great sketches of the kids and the ladies in bonnets.

I almost always sketch in pencil before adding ink. I'm always happier with my results that way.

04-14-2015, 06:59 AM
Wow, thank you Joan and Rob!
Rob, can you tell me more about -easy to make web comics? I have no idea where to look. And Rob, you give me a great boost! but I don't think I can do anything like you say cause I can't really do what I want- I just have to let it happen. One day last week I just came up with squiggly fake writing and I hadn't even had any caffeine. Here are two recent cats- in details of doodle oil on board. I need to practice! Your cats are most super wonderful!



04-14-2015, 02:34 PM
Great practice going on here.

04-15-2015, 04:09 AM
Good experimentation :)

I like Aubrey Beardleys work as well, such a brilliant balance of flowing line and areas of solid black/white.

When using ink I work straight into ink and prefer grey inks. I use water to pull out washes of mid tones while they are still wet. Paynes Gray FW acrylic ink and Herbin Gris Nuage are favourites.

Some of my sketching is on loose sheets in folders, or in pockets at the back of sketchbooks, created from envelopes, to keep loose work together with linked work in the book.

04-17-2015, 05:21 PM
Thank you DrDebby and Vhere. I've enjoyed looking at your sites, great work both of you.

Vhere, I seem to think so differently when drawing than when painting. For instance, I'm finding that drawing with a largish round fine-point brush the ink line is fairly easy, flows well and the brush doesn't need constant refilling. These attempts at bettering the drawings are staying more like drawings than changing into paintings. I will get some grey ink though- that's a great suggestion, thanks!

So, here are a couple of combinations cut and pasted onto old paintings in photoshop. Kinda fun to have the digital image. But what to do with it? I guess I can have the print out ... or it could go in a digital journal = blog hahaha! Anyway, I think it is good exercise.




I had a couple of friends over to look at my fictional drawings and paintings and got some good critiques and suggestions. One was that I don't actually have to have the 'story' first- to be illustrating, I could make up a story afterward.Two is that I seem caught technically in the' mid-value crisis' - not enough contrast in the imaginative paintings, something that adding ink seems to address in the drawings. So now I will just photoshop these paintings in question and see if I can get ideas about values to work with in the future, maybe modify the existing ones.

Thanks for looking.

Joan T
04-17-2015, 07:40 PM
Looks like you have some skill in using photoshop. I've never used it but it sounds like it would be a good way to try out things and experiment.

04-18-2015, 02:04 AM
Turning images to greyscale in photoshop is a really useful way to see how tonal values are working.

04-18-2015, 02:03 PM
Interesting photoshop skills. My favorite is the fox.

04-19-2015, 09:13 AM
Thanks for commenting, everybody!
I have an antiquated version of photoshop, about twelve or thirteen years old, and although I use it a lot, I don't know half of the programme. There are tools I've never used and terms I still have no clue about! I wouldn't get photoshop now though, just me, because it is cloud based now and I am wary of that, thinking the work isn't as private anymore...?- the cloud records of every click of the mouse, doesn't it ? Anyway, there are other graphics programmes with a lot of similar tools. Cut, paste and manually resizing (dragging versus numbers) are useful. Also text for making posters or cards, which I do quite often. If you have a mac, even 'preview' will show value/greyscale (adjust colour --> reduce saturation).

Here is a photoshopped page of pencil bee studies. I added the blue after a bit of trial and error, with the 'paintbucket' tool and then printed them, this year, as Valentine cards - Honey Bee Mine.


04-19-2015, 02:06 PM
Cute bees.

04-20-2015, 09:16 AM
Thanks, Debby :) I think bees are cute too.

Joan T
04-20-2015, 05:42 PM
Wonderful job on the bees!!!

04-23-2015, 05:14 PM
Thanks for commenting, Joan! I do appreciate all the friendly people here.

I've spent a few hours today drawing, so thought I would add them. First inspiration was a short video I saw on wolves, so I worked from the computer to get a few poses. I love the shapes of these critters.





Last night I did a doodle while watching the news and low and behold there was an ostridge- the one on graph paper. So, did a couple of those today, too. Shapely too, aren't they?



The last entry in this batch is from waiting in the car for a few minutes, in a small town nearby... The colours were great, hope to go back and paint.


04-24-2015, 02:01 PM
Wonderful sketches.

05-10-2015, 03:59 PM
Happy Mother's Day to all! Last page for this thread 'cause it has been a month already.
I'm thinking of my mum so here are some quite dated sketches of her. I am sorry that I didn't ever really capture her in a drawing, ya know? Isn't it difficult to do the people you know like the back of your hand? She's been gone about 8 years now but never too far to remember with love- she was great :) Here's to you, Mum.




05-11-2015, 02:40 PM
Sorry you've lost your mum. These are wonderful sketches of her.

05-11-2015, 03:32 PM
Thank you, Debby. I usually just keep her to myself and don't for instance post anything on facebook or anywhere. But this time I thought I would like to remember her out loud and what better place than a digital journal. I'll start another thread here in a while because I've enjoyed the company and because I've become more aware of what journals can be, personal, flexible and something to inspire other work!

Joan T
05-11-2015, 09:37 PM
Love the sketches of your mom! Her concentration in the first two is great. Nice shaped on the wolves and the ostrich.

05-14-2015, 07:29 PM
Gribbey - i really really enjoyed looking at all your sketches! Nice work.

05-15-2015, 05:35 PM
Thank you, zebby. Your comment is icing on the cake.