View Full Version : A beginner's sketchbook

05-20-2010, 04:59 PM
First a bit of background. I didn't do a lot of drawing growing up, my siblings were much better than I in the "art" department. My sister could paint and my brother could sculpt. :o However, I ended up being in the engineering field and found I could draw machinery, accurately in engineering drawings. My sketch books were design notes for either costumes or teddy bears. But, even with that, I felt that I could not draw.

Three years ago, I was watching the behind the scenes DVD from "Lord of the Rings" watching all these great artists sketching concepts for the movie. I mentioned to DH that I wished I could draw. (DH is a digital artist in his own right.) He replied, you can. So I got a sketchbook, some pencils, a Pigma pen and some colored pencils. My first exposure was "Drawspace" another art web site devoted to drawing. There are a whole series of tutorials there. I joined the forum and one of the members offered to teach a colored pencil class. So I began my sketchbook.



These are the first 2 pages of my sketchbook. I set up the still life and photographed it. Then, yes, I traced the picture to work on learning the colored pencil lessons. I was quite pleased how it turned out. Then I figured I needed to really learn how to draw. So, I drew some rocks. :lol:


Then I found Loomis' book "Having Fun with a Pencil"


There will be more of these cartoon faces from time to time as I went back and tried again.

05-20-2010, 05:08 PM
I'll post a few more pages then leave this be for now, because I've only filled about half the sketchbook in 3 year. :o I would like to sketch more and am being inspired by all the work I'm seeing here on this forum.

Had a colored pencil challenge on "Drawspace"


Tried to copy a woodprint


Then I got a new tin of Derwent Colorsoft. I had gotten a set of Prismacolors and was using that. I had to play with all the new colors. :D


And more faces. :lol:


Don't have exact dates on these because I haven't always dated my sketches. Something I'm trying to remember to do.

05-20-2010, 05:55 PM
Hi Debby,

These are just fine - you need to do more! Until a little under two years ago, I was convinced I couldn't draw either. I don't think I'll ever be great at it, but after working at it reasonably diligently over the last eighteen months, I've gotten to a point where I enjoy what I'm drawing (though I still prefer painting) and am not self-conscious about it anymore. I had breakfast with an acquaintance this morning who said he'd always wanted to do art, but thought he couldn't and besides he was too old to start. I gave him a lecture, told him it wasn't true, and if he wanted to do it just go for it and he'll be able to do it. Nice to see your journal here.

05-20-2010, 08:11 PM
Debby, that sure gave me a jolt... seeing "Beginner" in your title and then the color chart, yes, very organized beginner's going to learn fast... Whoa! Wow!!! Cherries! Perfect realism!

Lots of practice doing engineering diagrams and getting things accurate so people can build them has made you observant! Your Loomis cartoons are great. I enjoyed both pages of them and can see you getting more comfortable with faces and freehand curves as they go, please do keep doing those and post them. I downloaded that Loomis book and several others from a website someone posted here and they're great drawing books.

Gorgeous odd-eyed white cat, must be only half deaf. Good butterfly too, and your colored pencils "I've got new colors!" abstract is fun. I've done those too. Way cool.

Keep posting! Get it out and use some more of it, I want to see what you're doing now. One odd thing happens -- after being away from art for several years at a time, I went back to it and found out I'd improved during the years I wasn't doing it. I guess some of what I'd read and learned finally sank in during that time. It's pretty cool but that happens -- you may surprise yourself. But stop billing yourself as a beginner.

There are professionals who do exactly what you did with those cherries -- take their own photo reference, trace or transfer it and proceed to paint with the medium of their choice. Highly paid professionals. Many, many realists do it -- and that has striking good composition too.

05-20-2010, 11:35 PM
Thank you John and Robert. I actually have about 40 pages used in this sketchbook. I just didn't want to flood the thread, so only posted a portion of them. I have actually been using it more again. I have waited to post at all because I don't have a scanner and was getting a new digital camera for my birthday this month. I actually got it early. :D I spent this morning photographing the pages. So, if things are a bit wonky, understand I'm learning to use the new camera.

Here are a few more. From life.


More cartoon faces.


And another from life.


It was hard to get the perspective right on the kettlebells. They are large round iron weights used for working out. I "quit" after sketching the outline. Didn't shade or anything, was frustrated. That was a couple of years ago. I have another attempt later in the book I like a lot better. I'll post that when it comes up in order. Now, I really should stop for tonight. I'll post some more tomorrow.

05-21-2010, 12:10 AM
Very cool sketches -- and your Loomis cartoons are great. I have that book and those little guys can be tough! Love the hat on the post.

Go ahead and post them a few at a time over more than one day, that's what the other poster who had a lot from a previous sketchbook did. Then we've all got frequent updates to look forward too. I can appreciate what you say about the kettlebells, but you did recede them by size well. I'll have to see the better version to know what you corrected.

Vivien Maloney
05-21-2010, 01:21 AM
Debby - You've done a very professional job with your Sketchbook, well done! The only thing you have to think about is, if you want to draw JUST DO IT! And thats what you've done and made a great job of it as well! Good for you.

05-21-2010, 02:52 AM
Love the cartoons Debby.

Don't worry about flooding the thread. The way this forum works is each contributor opens a sketchbook thread of their own and adds to it as they do more sketches.


05-21-2010, 10:47 AM
Thank you Robert, Vivien, and Doug for commenting. Robert there is an almost 2 year gap in the kettlebell attempts. They will be later in the presentation. :)

I mentioned "Drawspace" and the next several sketches are the direct result of the tutorials available on that website. I have barely scratched the surface there and would like to go back and try a few more of them. So another couple of heads from Loomis. The eye is from Hart's book "Drawing Fairies; A Believer's Guide." The horse and the guy with the big ears is from "Drawspace".


These are from "Drawspace".

The leaves and face are from imagination. The eyes are from the fairy book.

Back to "Drawspace" for the fish. The bee cartoon is from imagination.

Thanks for looking. I'll post more later.

05-21-2010, 12:49 PM
Wow, I'm deeply impressed. :clap: Now if those cherries were your first attempt at drawing then I can tell you that you've got lots of talent! Seriously! I mean who cares that the lines are traced, believe me, in most problems getting the proportions right is for people only half as hard as getting colors right and the colors on those cherries are just perfect. I can even tell that you took this photo with flash. (Or at least there's a very heavy/artificial light source coming from the upper left of the picture)

Those cartoonish faces are awesome as well. I think I need this book as well now ;D

05-21-2010, 02:40 PM
More great sketches! Your horses look good, they pass muster for me (though I'm sure my farrier daughter could offer suggestions on them ... she's very critical on horses!). Certainly very recognizable horses! Good manga and fairy eye drawings. Your cartoon style is distinctive, clean and polished.

Great Loomies too. I notice the last one is one of his more realistic head study exercises. I should probably do some Loomies in ink, where I can erase out all the penciled structure lines without having to work around penciled important lines and value areas.

Good imaginary face and leaves, you've had enough face practice to get the proportions well on it. The leaves are lively and interesting. The bee cartoon looks great, though it might help to ink it as the lines are faint. You could always trace it with ink and have a later version. The Drawspace cartoon fish is fantastic, plenty of volume, great expression, clean strong confident lines.

Well done! Keep posting, I'm enjoying this immensely. And keep drawing, go back to Loomis or anything else you want.

I have a set of books from Jack Hamm that you would love, they are about $10 each from Dover and available on Amazon. A lot like Loomis, but on other subjects too besides people, though the first two are mostly people:

Cartooning the Head and Figure
Drawing the Head and Figure (more realism/illustration styles)
How to Draw Animals (loads of sketch references on so many species!)
Drawing Scenery: Landscapes and Seascapes

All of these are by Jack Hamm, search on title. Dover keeps them in print. They are quite old, and I keep wearing them out and replacing them. I got the first two when I was a kid in high school and still keep studying them or referring to them if I need a snow leopard or a cumulus cloud or anything in particular like black hair or an old man's nose.

I keep them till the pages start falling out, then replace that volume and give the falling-apart one to the next student I've got in real life. I must have given away six or seven copies of Drawing the Head and Figure. It's incredibly useful.

Drawing Scenery: Landscapes and Seascapes has the hard stuff about composition and balance, how to compose a good picture once you can do its elements well. Some of the exercises in it are more abstracted. Everything in all of them is black and white, and they're very condensed -- lots of information on every single page. I found it easiest to study these books a page or two at a time and work on one thing rather than to try to do the whole book at the same time, it was information overload. But that's what also makes them the perfect reference book -- well indexed and easy to look up Black Hair, Cat's Paw, Tree Bark and so on.

If your local library doesn't have them, write and ask them to purchase all four. Then get local friends to ask for them too. There's a very low threshold number of requests needed for a library to add a new book to its acquisitions, it's sometimes as low as one to three requests. They also replace popular books when they wear out -- and these are keepers, I wear out my own.

I like the strong side lighting on your cherries, and don't think it's artificial -- it looks like cool midday sunlight from a bright window on the left with warmer artificial light from the right and a little more in front providing a fill light.

05-21-2010, 04:13 PM
I'd say you most certainly inherited the family talent for art! I bet one day in the future this book of "my first tries" will be a treasure for you. Great work!

05-21-2010, 06:28 PM
Thank you Silvia, Robert and Judi. I appreciate you stopping by to check out my sketches and such.

The cherries were set up on the kitchen table with the sun shining in the window. And, I don't recall anymore if the flash went off when I took the picture. (automatic sensor on the camera :rolleyes:) And I may have had a light on as well, but don't recall. I do remember eating my still life after I'd started the drawing. :D The actual drawing took me a couple of weeks of slow work. But thanks again for your kind comments about it.

I tend to draw lightly, and keep an eraser nearby. I attempted to darken the pictures with pencil so they were more visible. When I ink, it's only after pencil. I was attempting to be bold and try an ink and wash today. It's a good thing I was cautious and put something under the sheet. It disintegrated. :eek: The paper that is. I'm going to have to get a different sketchbook if I want to try any wet media. The page was removed to prevent any damage to the rest of the book. So this book will strictly be dry media with possibly pen work. Pen seems to do fine.

Oh Robert, I checked with the library (lovely having the card catalog online.) They only have one of the books you mentioned, "Drawing the Head and Figure". I'll have to reserve that one. Thanks.

05-21-2010, 06:44 PM
Very cool sketchbook. . . you are doing awesome!

Drawspace was on of the first sites I went to when I decided to draw also! That was in late 2007 I think or maybe early 2008. So I have some of these same exercies in my first sketchbook also. . . fun to see yours! Its a great site, huh? Then I discovered WetCanvas and was like a kid in a toy store!

05-22-2010, 02:22 AM
these are wonderful! You are a very talented beginner and very organized too! Keep 'em coming!


05-22-2010, 11:54 AM
Thank you Rainy and Reggie. Your comments are very welcome.

These next pages are all from "Drawspace" tutorials. I went through a time of feeling I needed all the help I could get.


I wasn't happy with the hand on the merbaby, so tried it a few more times.


Oh, and more bee cartoons. I was trying to come up with a possible logo to put on the honey label to market my honey. Ended up with something completely different. :rolleyes:

05-22-2010, 12:02 PM
Great to see your early works! I think Loomis is an excellent source to learn from. with those heads, perhaps look at how he is using circles, bubbles and ellipses to create them. He is really a master of rhythm and the more you see the big shapes, the more the refined ones will make sense.. At least that's one opinion! Keep it up!

05-22-2010, 10:10 PM
Thanks Kevin. I need to pull up the Loomis book again. I actually got a couple of them in PDF format.

More bees and a couple of other logo ideas. Ended up using something different, because my brother pointed out that the yellow stream of honey could be interpreted as something else. :rolleyes:


Playing with getting shading with pencils.


More "Drawspace exercises and a colored pencil green leaf with water droplets gone wrong. :o


More "Drawspace" tutorials


Thanks for looking.

05-22-2010, 11:20 PM
Great cartoons, including the thumb-sucking merbaby. I love the leaf with droplets, it's not so far off and I really like the transparency you achieved on the one droplet. The colors and values are excellent. Try something like that again. Interesting seeing your logo experiments, though I can see why the stream of honey didn't make the final cut. Love the pencil shading experiments.

Keep going!

05-23-2010, 01:06 AM
Debby these are great. You are certainly coming a long way. You started off so well too. I have a digital copy of that Loomis book and have fun doing those cartoon faces too. It is a great book. Drawspace is a very useful site too. I like doing their drawing challenges too.

Keep sketching and drawing and posting. It gets to be addictive and so much fun. And you certainly look like you're having fun. :)

05-23-2010, 05:13 AM
Wow Debby, I love the way you organized your sketchbook !!! And I do love the cartoons sketches, so alive :) I love the Goldfish and the Lion!

Also, the cherries are amazing! I love the sahding you did, they look very appetizing !

Please please share more :)

05-23-2010, 12:20 PM
Thank you Robert. When I was working on the cartoons, I was kind of thinking I might get good enough to do a graphic novel. That was before I discovered candy making. :D Candy making has become my primary business. I love drawing and fiber art. I'm tentatively dipping my toe into watercolor painting. I consider water color pencils drawing, even tho' I will wash them to bring out the softness of color. Unfortunately, I only have a small pad of water color paper and none of the sketch books I have will take a wash of any sort. :( Next art supply expenditure...

Thanks jacquip and Sandra for your comments. I am having fun.

Here are some more pages. These are preliminary sketches working out ideas for a Mandala challenge over in the colored pencil forum.

I don't remember which book I copied these out of.


Then I actually took my sketch book and my entire set of Derwent Colorsoft pencils on a picnic down at the river. So these are from life.

Thanks for looking.

05-23-2010, 01:37 PM
Great sketches and drawings, I'm also liking the Loomis heads :D Loomis is very good to practice from, although I couldn't get around his (non-cartoony) anatomy studies with the mannequins, so I switched to Bridgman, who I also recommend if you're looking into more realistic studies of the human figure.

The cherries are excellent and I love the cat eyes, great use of colour pencils! :D

05-23-2010, 07:44 PM
Interesting mandala concept, very cool to work in the constellation. I think your heads may actually be out of Loomis but maybe from another book, he did some on realistic drawing too. They look familiar -- reminds me of Jack Hamm's style too. They were the same generation.

Cool outdoor drawing excursion! The flowers and that autumn leaf are great. Good bit of a log or heavy branch, nice foliage and it looks like the plant next to the yellow flower was something you tried for anatomical detail on just in the outlines. It's very distinctive.

That's a great idea taking a full set of Coloursoft outside. I have mine in a zippered case, you're tempting me to do that one of these days. If I'm up to it tomorrow I might try for the yard.

05-24-2010, 01:02 AM
So cool! Love the colour charts.

If you'd like to practice more drawing from life, feel free to join us in the Scavenger Hunts. Here is the most recent hunt thread (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=621839) - to show you how it's done.

A new one has just started - Hunt 178 (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8771235). Then you'll fill up the rest of your sketchbook in a real hurry. Just ask Robert :)

Cheers, and thanks for commenting on my journal entries :)

05-24-2010, 01:50 PM
Thank you Aiylah, Robert and EP for commenting. I'm finding that posting my old sketches and seeing everyone else's has fired up my enthusiasm for doing more sketching. I checked out the scavenger hunt a few days ago. I see it has started again today. I will see if I can keep up. :lol:

Here are some more sketches from the past.
This was drawn from life at the annual 4th of July celebration. I was a vendor at "Art in the Park" selling my candy. I was all set up and waiting for things to start. This is the half put up tent of the people who sell strawberry shortcake. The orange and white stripes caught my attention, tho' I did not do it justice.


I was noticing both huge and subtle differences between my Prismacolors and my Colorsofts, so I made a color wheel. In addition at this time FlameLily over in the colored pencil forum had a thread going about blending colored pencils. So this was part of the experiments that prompted.


As always thanks for looking.

Vivien Maloney
05-24-2010, 03:05 PM
Debby - Your sketches are really evolving, great stuff! I like your out-doors sketches too. I think you would enjoy the Scavenger Hunt. Ep is hosting this one and we are a fun group that usually sketch in it. Everyone is very kind and interested in everyone elses sketches, and the stories behind some of the items are of great interest too.
Thanks so much for your comments on my Journal.

05-24-2010, 06:17 PM
Nice! Those engineering skills must help you a lot in drawing too! Thanks for sharing.

05-25-2010, 08:07 PM
Thank you Viv and Raymond for commenting. I guess the engineering skills helped. However, it's horrid trying to do a perspective drawing. I did isometric drawings for technical reasons and revert to that when I see something like a house or a car. :rolleyes:

One morning I got up and had nothing scheduled, I drew these from life. The candy pictured is candy I make.

Don't know what prompted this drawing.

And finally a time later, I returned to try the kettlebells again. This was a sketch done with colored pencils from life.

The next 2 were tomato exercises. The first one, I believe was a colored pencil forum challenge and I ran out of tooth on the sketchbook paper. The second was from "Masterful Color" by Arlene Steinburg. She has a technique of underpainting with complements. I didn't realize I hadn't finished it till I went thru the sketchbook to photograph the pages.


Thanks for looking.

05-25-2010, 10:48 PM
Derby, those cherries are AMAZING!!! It doesn't look like a "beginner" at all but a true pro!

In my school, there is a distinction between "drawing" and "rendering". More than one prof has told me that students tend to enjoy and excel in one over the other. "Rendering" is, for lack of a better term, is the "coloring" part, rather than laying down lines. Those cherries are beautifully, beautifully rendered. The really neat thing is that not only do you accurately portray them, but you really give the viewer a SENSE of them--you can practically see how sweet they are! You can practically smell them! They made me hungry! To me, that is the mark of great art.

05-26-2010, 01:48 AM
Debby! Finally, a sample of your candies, at least in a sketchbook. Great highlights especially on the kettlebells! This shouldn't be called a beginner's sketchbook hehe.

05-26-2010, 02:01 AM
Debby, these are great! Which ones are the stronger color, Prismacolor or Coloursoft? I am curious, because if I did swatches they'd probably have the same intensity but if I needed more pressure on one of them I might adapt without even thinking about it. They're both in the very soft category. I was delighted the hues didn't match though, it makes buying multiple big sets make sense because my range expands with each new set.

I love your tomato sketch from the challenge. I think your orange and white tent is great. I love your realistic candy sketches -- they're so good I'm drooling and thinking of finding out how I can order some. Great kettle bells! I can see now what you were comparing that earlier sketch to.

These rock! Keep posting!

05-26-2010, 02:41 AM
Debby, you are doing great. From the cherries to your candy (looks good btw) and all the faces and other sketches in between, you are showing what you are capable of doing. Keep at it.


05-26-2010, 11:49 AM
Wow, you are doing great! I love how enthusiastic you are about sketching, and it sounds like you are having a ball. Keep it going!

05-26-2010, 01:11 PM
Anne-Marie and Michelle, thank you for commenting. :)

Raymond, Robert and Doug, I'm glad you like the candy. I'd actually like to draw more of it. I'll make that my sketch project when I'm at these outdoor venues, selling. :D The lollipop I drew is a honey lollipop, made with real honey. I don't know if anyone else is making these. It's my own recipe based on attempting to make bee candy for my bees. :rolleyes: I now have 10 flavors including the basic honey. I sell a lot of them. I could talk about my candy making for pages, but this is a sketchbook thread, so back to the subject at hand. :lol:

Robert, I find the colors with Prismacolor are a tad stronger. I actually got a small 24 set of F-C Polychromos. I like them the best. Yes they are harder, but they keep a point longer, there is no wax bloom and they fill the tooth of the paper better. Just my opinion. I'm looking to eventually migrate over to the Polychromos as I use up the other 2 brands, or I get a full set as a gift. :D

I would like to be able to draw people more effectively. Because, I would really like to be able to draw fantasy stuff juxtaposed with real things. So, from time to time, I try again. The puppy was just because.

So I also did some drawing from Hart's book on drawing fairies, and Maureen Carlson's "Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls" (which about creating polymer clay creations)

I just liked this shell that I saw online. I'm afraid I didn't note the source, my bad.

Thanks for the encouragement from everyone. I am grateful for the WC community. It's fantastic! Thanks for looking.

05-26-2010, 03:35 PM
Great job on your sketchbook Debby! I'm looking forward to following it as time goes on! You certainly have talent! :-)

05-27-2010, 12:29 PM
Thank you Rachel. Appreciate the kudos.

The last batch catches y'all up with my sketchbook. This is a foray into sketching directly with a pen. Last week when DH and I went to check on our bees, I took time for these sketches. (Robert reminded me I have colored Pigma pens in a drawer. :o)


I wasn't happy with the rock, but was thrilled with the pine boughs.

Thanks for looking.

05-27-2010, 12:45 PM
I like the rock! You did a really good job of describing it's shape with the shading, which is hard to do. I think the shading on the underside is just right. And the edge near the center--you definitely get a sense of the different planes.

IMHO: you should be thrilled with the rock!

05-27-2010, 01:52 PM
Aw, the sketch of the puppy there made me grin, with that cute little smile :D Your sketches are coming along great, and it's good to be drawing from life. The pine boughs are brilliant! I think the rock looks fine, you've worked with planes and shadows, and I think rocks are quite tricky to draw :D

05-27-2010, 09:37 PM
Debby you are certainly coming along really well with these sketches. I like that you are trying different mediums. I like the rock a lot. Great colour and texture. Nice start on the fantasy drawings too. I am really enjoying sharing your progress, thanks for sharing.

07-02-2010, 05:58 PM
Hi Debby! What fun, interesting sketches. Looks to me like you learned a lot and you learned it fast. It's so fun to have a place to just try things out. Also, thanks for mentioning Drawspace. I'll have to go check that one out.

Nice work!


07-02-2010, 07:01 PM
Debby, great faces and features. You're on your way to doing people as well as anyone could for your fantasy characters, that rocks. I love the rock you did and your pine boughs, don't see anything wrong with the rock at all. It's a good three dimensional stone with a great texture.

Vivien Maloney
07-03-2010, 03:51 PM
Really enjoying following your sketchbook Debby. Love the puppy and the pine leaves and the rock. I can't see anything wrong with the rock and I think you've made a good job of it. I think we all become more critical of our own work as we improve don't we.

07-03-2010, 10:51 PM
Ah, my sketchbook popped back up. Thank you all for looking and commenting. I've been busy making candy. I'll be a vendor at the 4th of July celebration tomorrow and have been unable to sketch. I will be bringing this sketchbook with me tomorrow and hope to catch a few sights. I've was able to sketch last year during the slow times. (like the parade going by :lol: ) Thanks again.

07-04-2010, 09:58 PM
Debby hope you had a successful day with the candy and the sketching. Looking forward to hearing and seeing how it all went.

07-05-2010, 08:54 AM
Debby, your entire sketchbook is just great. i know everyone has said it, but those cherries are gorgeous & your DS lesson's as well. Your kettle-bells came out so nicely at the end. Good faces too.

Bravo on the entire sketchbook :)

PS. you're right about the WC community - it is so encouraging when everyone has such awesome things to say about your (and our) hard work.

07-05-2010, 11:13 AM
Robert, I find the colors with Prismacolor are a tad stronger. I actually got a small 24 set of F-C Polychromos. I like them the best. Yes they are harder, but they keep a point longer, there is no wax bloom and they fill the tooth of the paper better. Just my opinion. I'm looking to eventually migrate over to the Polychromos as I use up the other 2 brands, or I get a full set as a gift.

Thanks for the encouragement from everyone. I am grateful for the WC community. It's fantastic! Thanks for looking.

I agree with you - I like Polychromos.

Good exercises going on and your work is developing :)

07-05-2010, 03:47 PM
Thank you Jacqui. Yes I did have a successful day selling candy. Both the weather and the city conspired to make it a good day. It wasn't too hot and the parade was early enough that the rodeo goers came back to shop after the parade. :D

Thank you Tania. I actually still look at those cherries and am amazed at what I was able to do. So, when I find something isn't coming out as I had planned and that old internal critic tells me I can't draw, I go back and look at that and tell my internal critic that I can too draw! :wink2:

Thanks Vivien. A appreciate your comments.

When I pulled out the sketchbook yesterday, I realized I had sketched a few other things. Now, I will admit to not being good at utilizing the paper well. So, here they are with large white spaces. :o


This was working out a jointed needle felted doll. I have the head done and part of the torso. Still trying to figure out the best way to make the joints. And yes, it's not human proportions. The figure is only 6 heads tall.


Once more I was sketching out at the bee yard. The light on this very young tree, I think it's cherry, caught my eye. Only, I didn't get to finish it because hubby came back down the hill finished with the bee duties before I finished the drawing. (I was the having a bad knee day and the bee yard is a hike up a hill so I stayed down in the car.)


And finally, the sketches from yesterday. The hat I drew during the parade. It was sitting on the picnic table across from my booth. The beginning of the dog was never finished because the dog left. People were talking and the dog laid down. So I started to sketch, only the people finished their conversation and took my model away. The group of people was hard. I haven't done too many people, let alone from life. Something I need to practice more. :o

07-05-2010, 04:03 PM
Good sketches, Debby. Especially the people you drew so quickly at the end, that's impressive. Good job on the dog's head profile, the basic lines are accurate. Good drawing of the hat.

Your figure for the needle felted doll is also good. Mentioning the proportions are off means you do know what the proportions would be for an adult figure -- six heads looks like a nearly grown child, early adolescence or late preadolescence. That shell is gorgeous too.

07-05-2010, 08:09 PM
Debbie, people can be tricky and the only answer to getting better is practise, practise and more practise! Photo references are a good start but you can't beat drawing from life to really understand that we all come in very different proportions! If you are really interested in figures I would recommend joining a life drawing class - you'll find your drawing improves very quickly, or sketch hubby while he is watching TV etc. I like the subtle colour on the young tree, reminds me of the colours in old botanical drawings. ;)

07-11-2010, 10:35 PM
Thank you Robert. I indeed have plans to continue trying to capture people, but even the best laid plans don't always work out. I find that I shy away from drawing people most of the time. :o

Thank you Jackie. Please see note above. :)

I find that I am drawing only when I'm away from home. :rolleyes: Here are a few from the past several days.

Went out to cut firewood in the National Forest. I don't do chain saw, so while hubby was playing lumber jack I drew this.


Sorry about the shadow in the upper left corner. I honestly didn't see that when I was photographing these. :rolleyes:

The next two were drawn at the Farmer's Market where I had a booth on Saturday to sell my candy. Things were slow. This first page, I was attempting to draw glass with pen. I can see I need to do more pen work.


And produce with colored pencil.


Then today was out at the bee yard. Hubby wanted to take a look around when we were done. I was hot and tired so sat in the car and drew this. Didn't finish the dashboard underneath the items. Not sure if I'm inspired to do more or not. This is in pencil.


Thanks as always, for looking.

07-12-2010, 12:01 AM
Wow, your sketches are improving fast. The best one here is that elegant pencil sketch of hat and glasses, you got good tones there and great shape and shading.

Colored pencils produce looks really good too. I like the way you combined similar hues only one step apart to give the greens richness. Great job on the cup, it's got a good ellipse and good balance, the bottle is pretty cool too. Interesting view of the forest, I like the way you curved the path off into the distance and the sense of depth.

Well done!

07-12-2010, 02:20 AM
Wow, great giant shell, Debby! I especially like the way the attention you gave to the ridges, and the way the horizontal stratification is impacted by the ridges (I don't know if these are the right terms, so I'm hoping you're following me :o ).

I also like the blue flower in the vase. Cornflowers?

07-12-2010, 03:14 AM
Great new sketches Debby - i like the cap & glasses :)

07-12-2010, 04:10 PM
Thank you Robert. The forest sketch was what I could see from where we parked. I didn't get it all, but, I took a photo of it and may see if I can do a finished piece. I only take a small set of colored pencils with me when I go out so I'm limited in what colors are available. I take a 24 set I have of Polychromos.

Anne-Marie, I don't know what kind of flowers they were. I didn't ask the vendor who had them on her table. I was just spotting things around me to draw. Glad you liked the shell. That's another pencil drawing I thought to take further, but ended up moving on to the next thing. :rolleyes:

Thank you Tania. I'm rather pleased with the hat and glasses also. I surprise myself sometimes. :D

07-12-2010, 10:45 PM
Debby I like your line drawings very much! If you want to work more with the pen, I think you will find your style with line drawings will work well with the pen. Cps's are great for all things huh?! Quick sketches to remind you of colours or finished works, they are good for all :)

07-17-2010, 05:20 PM
that last one of the hat and glasses shows real progress :) you looked really hard and that observation and your continuing practice paid off :)

08-12-2010, 08:22 PM
Wow, it's been a month since I've posted on this. I haven't done much sketching because I've been negotiating on a commercial kitchen for my candy business. I signed the lease yesterday and have the key. I'm so jazzed. Anyway, that has naught to do with sketching exactly, so here are a few pages that I've done.

I got a Micron brush pen to play with. I'm not sure me and brush objects get along so well. :rolleyes:

Then, I got "Drawing in Pen & Ink" by Claudia Nice. This is a good beginner book in my opinion. She doesn't teach you how to draw, but, how to render different textures with pen. I've been trying some things out.

Thanks for looking.

08-12-2010, 08:37 PM
Ah yes another Claudia Nice fan, I think her books are great. I love the exercises you have done here. The barn landscape is very effective. That shell is stunning.

Good luck with the new kitchen for your candy business.

08-13-2010, 02:04 PM
Thank you Jacqui. I was rather please with how the shell came out. And I do like Claudia Nice's style. I plan on continuing to try the samples and exercises out of this particular book, in between everything else.

08-13-2010, 05:07 PM
I like the exercises you did out of the Claudia Nice book. Your house in vertical lines is elegant. The snail shell did come out beautiful and rounded. I love the geode on the lower right, that's gorgeous. Beautiful starfish too. Keep on with the Claudia Nice exercises, you're getting them well and they'll help with everything else you do.

Your first brush pen experiments are interesting, I can see how you grew more confident with the texture. Brush pens are great for getting used to controlling pressure exactly - they respond to the slightest change in it and helped me to get more dextrous with colored pencils and oil pastels and many other mediums. I like that little turtle, it almost looks like it was done with a chisel tip the way you did it.

For drawing in general, Claudia Nice has written Keys to Realistic Drawing and done a video with the same title that's up on artistsnetworktv - it was a great video and I can see that the book may help a lot in conjunction with the pen drawing book. She's a great teacher.

08-13-2010, 05:44 PM
Love the barnyard sketch.

08-13-2010, 06:51 PM
Hi Debby,

I like your nice Nice drawings! :)

Unfortunately all the images before your Aug 12th post are missing. I'm told by one of the WC Guides that threads with missing images are having to have the images restored one at a time - if that's the case, we're not going to have images back for a long time it would seem.

Good luck with the business.

08-13-2010, 07:23 PM
Thank you Robert. I'm finding I like the pen work very much. I'm still not sure I like the brush pen, but may experiment more with it.

Thank you EP.

Thank you, John. Thank you for the good wishes too. :) I know my images are missing. I've reported it, so this thread can be in the cue for restoration. The latest announcement from the powers that be at the top of the page on each forum explains what the problem is and that they are working on it. I'm afraid it's going to be a while.

08-13-2010, 10:15 PM
Hi Debby!

Wow, I LOVE what you are doing here! The starfish is FANTASTIC--the texture of it is realy great! Nice job on the feather, too; I like the way you segmented the plume--I haven't thought of that. Feathers are always kind of a challenge for me.

Not sure what the drawing on the right hand side is? Some kind of marine life, I think. It doesn't matter; I like the design of it, the light application of color, and the 3-D effect that you got from stippling.

The shell is also fantastic--especially the shadow, WOW. With stippling over it! How did you get the shadow, if I may ask? Did you use a gray marker? Or is it . . . graphite? It looks really cool.

The farmhouse is great fun. Funny how one is able to get different textures/feels out of the same type of line! I'll have to look up the video Rober refers to!

08-14-2010, 01:03 PM
Thank you Anne-Marie. The entire page was done with Micron ink pens. I have a couple of sizes in black and a hand full of colored ones. The picture you couldn't identify was supposed to be a slice of agate, a rock. Robert identified it as a geode. In any case it was "freely" interpreted from the image in the book and a bit of my imagination. The shell in the upper right hand corner with the shadow, was done with 2 sizes of ink pen. I used a very fine tip for the shell, then a heavier tip to stipple the shadow and surrounding sand. That's just dots of black ink you are seeing. No graphite or gray pen.

08-14-2010, 01:18 PM
Right, that makes sense. Debby, sorry I misidentified your agate slice as a geode. They look similar, if a geode fills up completely it becomes that kind of node that can be sliced.

08-14-2010, 09:50 PM
Debby you are one busy lady! Good luck with the candy business - in the mean time I like all your pen sketches - I had a feeling your line work would translate well in ink ;)

08-14-2010, 10:34 PM
Robert, no sweat about geode versus agate. It really could be either since there aren't any other clues about the stone.

Thank you Jackie. Right now, I'm just practicing from images in the book. I will continue to do so for a bit before I branch out and try something without training wheels. *smile*

10-18-2010, 04:13 AM
I like Claudia Nice's books too, the pages you did trying out her techniques are great, I really like the starfish.

Joan T
10-18-2010, 01:00 PM
Wonderful sketches!!! Looks like you're trying lots of different subjects. I love the shell and starfish, but your cartoons are great too. Keep on going! I like Claudia Nice's books too. She has a lot of good ideas and the books are really easy to follow.

10-18-2010, 06:03 PM
Thank you Linda. You pulled my sketch book up to the first page. :)

Thank you Joan. I am learning so am trying different things.

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. I have a few more sketches to add. And, part of the reason I've not been sketching is the theme of one of the pages. :lol:

This was inspired by the Claudia Nice book "Drawing in Pen & Ink". The tree trunk to the right wasn't finished because it was from life and I wasn't in charge of how long I was able to sit there and draw. The other 2 examples came out of the book.


This next one was a time where I was thinking things through about my candy business. I've stepped into the world of wholesale marketing and was losing my way because of what people wanted when I made a sales call. I've come back to myself and making what I do well rather than trying to be all things to all people.


And finally, more trees. I go out with my husband when he cuts fire wood. He cuts wood, and I can just enjoy the great outdoors and sketch if I want. :cool:


The larger almost drawing was a shadow that caught my attention. Then I moved on to drawing trees and downed wood.

As always, thank you for looking.

10-18-2010, 06:51 PM
Great stuff, Debbie, good to see you are carving out some sketching time!

10-18-2010, 08:21 PM
it's that time of year to cut firewood... very nice sketchbook Dr.Debbie.

10-18-2010, 08:24 PM
I really like your pen and ink drawings and your studies of the contour lines of things.