View Full Version : The Scribble Sketch Books

06-08-2010, 11:20 PM
I've got four Art Journals already, each one has a different style, theme and medium except for some overlap between the All-Media Book and Water Folio One. Why I should open up a fifth is crazy, right? Except that before I bought those fancy cool journals, I used something else. ProArt Spiral Sketchbooks from Dick Blick.

These are cheap, $3 for the 4" x 6" one and about $8 for the 8 1/2" x 11" one that fits my scanner perfectly. They have 80 sheets of clean white 65lb sketch paper that doesn't take washes well, but I've washed in them anyway occasionally and let the cockles just happen. Front and back covers are black leatherette over heavy cardboard like the hardback Basic ones, but because they're spiral bound, the front cover and used pages flip all the way around for scanning instead of leaving a shadowed gutter. The pages are microperforated so I can pull out my stinkers or sell good drawings if someone wants one.

The previous wire bound ones I used were Strathmore Universal and cost about the same, but had a paper cover that gets battered fast. These stood up to travel and throwing around the room, cat clawing, all sorts of abuse and so they became my favorite sketchbooks as sketchbooks -- for the real sketchbook purpose of scribbles, sketches, tests, color swatches, notans, thumbnails... in short, all the cool stuff I've been doing a lot of lately in All-Media but also a lot more pencil drawing, charcoal and colored pencils.

The paper has enough tooth for colored pencils. So occasional sparkling small pieces of colored pencils realism emerge between the scribbly pages and it's all in one place.

I hadn't touched either the current 4" x 6" one or the current 8 1/2" x 11" one since the forum started. But tonight I found it again and used the next page. Here it is:

Red Spire
5 1/4" x 8 1/2"
Pitt Artist Pens
White ProArt Wirebound sketchbook paper
Photo reference by Carrollyn for June 2010 Southwest Challenge

Now... question for everyone reading this:

Do you want me to post the best pages from the earlier parts of this volume?

Do you want me to single out and post a few worst stinkers from earlier parts of this volume?

Or do you want me to just post what I'm doing now and let the past stay buried?

Three options, and you can chooose both "some best and some stinkers." I'm not going to try to feed in a few pages a day to put all of the current volumes in, but this is also the thread where Random Other Small Sketchbooks that get found and used will be posted. Just current stuff from Miscellaneous.

That includes the pocket moleskine with the thin pages, the nice Derwent hardback one that came with my Graphitints gift set I got on Clearance, that tiny Lama Li one that is losing pages ... the assorted random other sketchbooks that don't get used enough at once to merit their own thread. I collect sketchbooks and have lots. I rotate them usually. This thread is for the rest of the rotation.

But I'll post some oldies if requested from either or both ends of the extreme.

06-09-2010, 12:13 AM
Well, since I just resurrected an old sketchbook and posted a few old sketches before posting new ones (my old ones are from 1995 and 2000), I think you should post some of the old ones too. Maybe just the best ones. :-), although I suspect that your "stinkers" are probably better than our best.

06-09-2010, 09:23 AM
I think it would be great to see some of your older work too. A mix of best and so called stinkers. Will be interesting to see if your style has changed. Just so good to see someone so prolific. And willing to share.

06-09-2010, 01:52 PM
Thank you both! Okay, I'll scan in one "best" earlier page and one Stinker today. A lot of the pages in here, I didn't save scans of the whole page, just cropped to a given sketch.

The pretty page is fairly decent with good colored pencil drawings -- and a gap at the bottom that wasn't well shaped to add anything else. I was evolving toward my current page layouts. It doesn't have as much wasted space as some previous pages though. I think I did this on March 29th when that Scavenger Hunt started, though I might have started it in the middle. Very recent.


Now for the stinker. This horse is the first sketch in the book. I think I did it from life and looking at the markings, it might have been intended to be Felony. But the mane is pale like Brownie the pony. I think the legs are a bit too short for the body and don't like the horse's muzzle.


06-09-2010, 03:20 PM
Robert you are so prolific sketching. Other than the fake journal. I have used 1/2 of one sketchbook over 3 years and that thread is only missing 2 sketches to be up to date.

Anyway, the scribble marker drawing is wonderful. I've always been afraid to try markers. Besides I have tons of colored pencils and would really like to add water color pencils rather than add another media, so markers will have to wait.

As to the poll, post what you want, it's always interesting to see what you come up with.

The page of scavenger hunt items is cool. I particularly like the shaving brush.

The horse from life is good. Some horses have shorter legs than others and the muzzle could just be the angle it was being drawn at.

06-09-2010, 03:36 PM
that old shaving brush is beautifully done

any and all is my vote!

06-09-2010, 04:52 PM
See! I knew that your "stinker" would still be a good sketch. I really like that horse.

06-09-2010, 07:38 PM
Wow, thank you! Debby, thanks for pointing that out about my horse. I really wasn't too sure about her, but she was sketched from life last fall. I hope to get better with horses and the last ones I did, the Mother's Day card for my daughter, came out well. I do better with these Pitt Artist Pens than with actual markers, though I bought some. I'm thinking of reselling the Prismacolor markers on the Swap Shop when I get the Big Brush Pitt pens, as those are more permanent.

Michelle, thanks! There are other stinkers in this book though, I promise. I'll dig out another bad page tomorrow. But also another favorite page. This paper's really good for colored pencils.

Viv, the shaving brush is just old fashioned, it's actually new. My son in law bought that for me for birthday or holiday when we lived in Kansas because I liked his set -- and it's a lot cheaper using that and a cake of soap in a cup than to get cans of shaving cream or gel with propellant. The soap lasts and lasts and is just as good for shaving.

06-12-2010, 08:35 PM
I used most of a page for this one, didn't lay it out to have another drawing on the page. But here she is, the cat from the current Weekly Drawing & Sketching Thread up in Drawing & Sketching Forum.

Fluffy Cat
5" x 7"
Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils
ProArt white drawing paper.
Photo reference by michaeleric for Weekly Drawing Thread June 7-13.

06-12-2010, 09:32 PM
Cute cat, well drawn, but not as beautiful as Ari.

06-12-2010, 10:13 PM
Thanks! I agree, Ari is more beautiful. But she's sweet and very fluffy.

06-12-2010, 11:15 PM
Cute cat. Interesting eye color she has.

Vivien Maloney
06-13-2010, 12:07 AM
Robert - Your sketches are always great! Yes the horses legs are a little short but some miniature horses have shorter legs like that. As a horse person, I think you gave it a good, honest attempt. I can't imagine you having any "stinkers sketches". Just post whatever you like. We will appreciate them all I'm sure.

06-14-2010, 03:39 AM
Thank you both! Debby, she had very bright orange eyes in the photo reference too, that's why I chose that pencil. It was a very close match. They were so striking, one of the reasons I had to sketch her.

Vivien, thank you! I didn't realize some miniatures had legs even shorter than that. I think I was working from life out at the farrier school, since I can recognize the markings on her.

06-20-2010, 09:06 PM
Haven't been back to this one for a few days! I'm planning a pastel painting of one of the Pastel Spotlight challenge photos in the Soft Pastel Talk forum. Today I did a value sketch and two color sketches using Pitt Artist Pens in the Scribble Sketch Book.

Preliminary Sketches for June Spotlight Bird
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pens
ProArt sketchbook paper, white 70lb.
Photo reference posted in RIL by Scoller

06-20-2010, 09:18 PM
Kind of reminds me of my mom's bird. She had a conure, smallest member of the parrot family. It's cool seeing you work out the values and colors prior to making your piece. Thanks for sharing.

06-21-2010, 12:22 AM
yeah, Robert if my stinkers were that good, well that horse looked fine - it just wasn't worked up completely....

06-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Debby, thank you for helping me identify it. I think it might be a conure, there's more than one species of conure. A friend of mine does them in watercolor and specializes in birds and she did several conures with different markings. It reminded me a bit of a Rainbow Lorikeet but I knew that wasn't the same markings as the Rainbow Lorikeet.

Robin, thank you! I'm glad you like my horse sketch. I'm still working on them -- finally managed to do one well for the May animal challenge as a card for my daughter Kitten. I should keep doing them from references and from life every time I get a chance.

06-21-2010, 11:54 AM
Awesome! The cat's fur looks very realistically fluffy!

I'm glad you're using the Pitt pens here. I haven't really seen much or even explored into making full works out of it alone as with pens, every stroke is a commitment :D but overall gives a very spontaneous feel.

Always a pleasure, thanks for sharing!

06-21-2010, 12:50 PM
great value sketches with a real freshness that's worth keeping in the final piece.

06-21-2010, 01:07 PM
I am back after a long long busy period at work and in life, and all I can say robert is that your enthusiasm in drawing and painting is amazing :) I discovere yet another amazing sketchbook !!! that cat drawing is beautiful and I like the parrot too! Did you sketch it with Pitt pens only?Lovely!

06-21-2010, 01:21 PM
Wow, thanks! Yes, I sketched the parrot sketches directly with Pitt pens rather than penciling first. That's usually what I do with them. They're a great medium for it and I know they're archival -- there's no reason I couldn't do serious paintings with those.

06-21-2010, 10:06 PM
Today I finished the painting that the preliminary sketches of the green parrot were for. So here's a link to the painting, along with the sketches and all the WIP stages from start to finish:



06-22-2010, 10:44 AM
Love those parrots!


06-22-2010, 02:44 PM
Cool! I love the fluffy cat with the orange eyes.

06-23-2010, 04:16 PM
Okay Robert, you have another really cool book here. I love the scribble sketch book! I especially like Red Spire and the June spotlight birds, done with Pitt pens. I have a set of the Pitt pens but was not really clear on how to use them. I love your scribble technique.

Of course, your kitty pictures are always great. And I LOVE the shaving brush and Ari's lips! I would never have though of that for "lips" in a scavenger hunt. :lol:

I'm glad you decided to post some of your older pages. I wouldn't mind seeing even more!!


06-24-2010, 01:09 AM
Reggie, EP, Jean, thank you! Jean, I wasn't sure what to do with them either when I first got them. I found the scribble technique when I fooled around with a landscape and it worked. I'll post some of the better older pages now and then too.

06-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Scavenger Hunt 181 Item #26: Manikin
8 1/2" x 11"
Tombow brush pen (black)
White ProArt sketchbook paper.
Model is a brown Art S. Buck male manikin.

06-25-2010, 03:31 PM
Great shadowing on the manikin poses. But, why are they leaning to the left?

06-25-2010, 04:16 PM
Because of how I was sitting and the direction the sketchbook was turned, nothing more. I was just sketching them freely with the pen and once I got started, had to continue with what I had. Sorry about that.

06-26-2010, 05:25 AM
I often do that!

06-26-2010, 02:10 PM
No apology necessary. It's just I'm so used to seeing your sketches fitting in the proper space you have allotted and working with the other things on a page. Your sketches always look so wonderful, I figured you had a reason I couldn't fathom, but I was curious about. Now I can not feel so bad when I do that. LOL

06-26-2010, 04:39 PM
Thanks. I do better on a page when I'm putting together smaller pieces, but sometimes a big one will go really awry and then there's nothing for it but to do the best I can.

06-27-2010, 01:36 AM
No art yesterday at all, I had a short miserable pain day. Then woke up at midnight still in a lot of pain, and decided to try to get in a short drawing so that at least I'd have something for Sunday. This is from the WDE.

Funny if the fibro flare clears up later and today (Sunday) turns out to be a lot better and I do other stuff. But at least it's not a day without art or my accomplishing anything, which yesterday was. All I did was finish watching Season 4 of Dr. Who on Netflix.

Color Me Rose
4" x 5"
Tombow brush pen on white paper
Photo reference by Heather for WDE June 25

06-27-2010, 04:33 AM
So sorry to hear you have been having a bad time of things. Hope they improve and settle soon for you. Great job on the rose. The lines really show the depth and detail. I'd never even attempt that in pen. Awesome.

06-27-2010, 05:33 AM
Hope you continue to feel better ... ongoing painful conditions are horrible :( I have arthritis so you have my sympathy.

06-27-2010, 03:39 PM
Lovely rose. Sorry to hear about your pain days. Chronic pain is awful. Feel better.

06-27-2010, 10:13 PM
Thank you. I felt better but I'm still very tired, going to bed early in hopes of sleeping it off. At least today wasn't a day without any art or anything accomplished.

06-28-2010, 04:11 AM
Hi Robert! You are so busy creating work in many mediums and subjects, I think even if you did have a "non-art" day you are still accomplishing a tremendous amount of work. Now if only I was more organised and dedicated and could get my behind off of this computer chair, I might be a bit more like you........ :D

07-14-2010, 10:30 PM
Thanks, Jackie! Of course you haven't realized yet that 99% of the art that I do is accomplished while at the computer chair. Put your sketching stuff right next to you and try to squeeze in a two or three minute gesture sketch every day -- not a good one, not a large one, not detailed or in a slow medium. Just a quick pen scribble or something to record something from life. I can't believe how much I've improved since I started doing the cat gestures.

Which I've done again tonight, a whole page of them for the Scavenger Hunt on the page with the rose. But each of these only took two to five minutes or less to complete, they're very simple scribbles.

Scavenger Hunt 184 items #1-5 plus a rose
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pen (black brush tip) and Tombow dual tip brush pen, black
ProArt white sketchbook paper.
From life and from a photo reference by Heather (the rose).

Looking back at the rose after sketching my cat around it, I realized the sketch is itself a good reference if I want to paint the rose. It's a great line drawing and I know I could just decide what color or markings to give it when I do the painting.

07-15-2010, 12:02 AM
And yet another, I'm on a roll tonight.

This is a breakthrough. Up till now I've done two or three reconstructions of extinct animals from studying photos or drawings of their skeletons, and copied some of the animals from BBC "Walking With" videos and other nature programs on prehistoric animals, or the wonderful reconstructions of dinosaurs by Robert Bakker in Raptor Red. I've always wanted to do extinct animals well.

I'm getting there.

Tonight was a huge breakthrough because I connected the charging rhinoceros reference with its ancient relative, the Brontothere. I changed the anatomy from memory and worked from my sketches, not from the photo of the rhino directly. That helped. The mouth on the brontothere was a bit different in the videos, but I was doing that entirely from memory.

When I looked it up in the World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures afterward, I found out that my memory was pretty darn good. I got it right, from memory. That leaves me stunned. Keep in mind this animal was a LOT larger than a rhino, this is from when critters got huge!

Brontothere in a Bad Mood
8 1/2" x 11"
Black and gray brush pens on white sketchbook paper.
Inspired by photo by just_chaos, done from my WDE sketches.

07-15-2010, 01:33 AM
Good one Robert! I am always a bit hesitant to "draw from memory" and a bit of a slave to having a reference pic or something in front of me. I think that is a confidence that comes from knowing your subject inside out and practise - both of which you are a master!

07-15-2010, 05:33 AM
This is excellent and done from memory is even more amazing. As Jackie said, i kinda need a reference otherwise i feel like it's going to be a complete failure... Very nicely done though and i like the Ari sketches & rose.

07-15-2010, 07:11 AM
Wow! You have an excellent memory! My memory drawings tend to look like a 5 year old did them. LOL That's a super sketch!

07-15-2010, 06:17 PM
Robert I just took a quick look here at the Scribble Sketchbook (good name). When I saw the Color Me Rose, I just thought how great it would be to have a Robert A Sloan colouring book - flowers, parrots, cats and prehistoric animals. I would have a stack of them to give to some very lucky children.

07-15-2010, 06:41 PM
Thank you all! I'm horribly proud of this one, and it is a warmup to a project a friend of mine wants to put together with my doing some coloring pages for her site, especially of prehistoric animals and cats, but also anything I am into enough to do fifteen or twenty on a theme. I'll have fun with those.

Once the project's done, they'll be free downloads. I'll be trying to make them interesting enough that adults will enjoy coloring them too. Back in the 1980s I collected a dozen museum coloring books on prehistoric life, tropical fish, exotic birds and similar nature topics. I don't have them any more, but I learned a lot of Prismacolor techniques using them.

Decent memory drawing is something relatively new for me, except for a very few specific subjects that I could always do from memory because I drew them often enough. I'm getting better at creatures I haven't drawn a hundred times before now, and at remembering all the stuff about scenes and landscapes that I've been studying the past few years. It has to become reflex, but it's been fun to practice sketching from life or photos and occasionally try a memory drawing.

07-15-2010, 06:58 PM
Ari sketches are wonderful. In fact at this point, I think if someone else drew Ari, I'd recognize him. The creature from memory is awesome, especially since it was from memory. And, I think it would be cool to have coloring plates you drew. Do let us know when they are available.

07-16-2010, 10:20 AM
Definitely! I'll post the link on my usual threads once I've finished the project and they go live. Thank you!

Vivien Maloney
07-16-2010, 04:05 PM
Robert your ink sketches are wonderful and now that I've begun trying ink myself, I'm even in more awe of yours!

07-17-2010, 01:30 AM
Wow, thank you! Ink was one of my first mediums. As a kid I used to do very small technical science drawings with a lot of stippling and crosshatching. I got used to thinking of pencil as a preliminary, didn't get into shading much with pencil until high school when I discovered Ebony pencils and Prismacolors.

07-20-2010, 02:44 PM
Notan for my Spotlight painting (first page in my Pastel Journal) and some sketches done watching Claudia Nice's video on drawing animals realistically. Unfortunately my access cut out halfway through the video, but I drew the cat from the video sketching from the photo on the following page once it was paused. Just a quick cat sketch.


The notan is in Pitt Artist Pens, brush nib. The rest is 9B pencil.

And here's the cat sketch.


07-20-2010, 03:56 PM
The cat came out well, nice and sturdy and characterful in its pose. Good 'scribbling' page. Just doing the ovals would be difficult enough. The hen and duck curves are well found.

07-20-2010, 05:05 PM
Thank you! I've done another page of 9B pencil sketches on the cat page, two more drawings. I'll be crossposting into the June-July Bouguereau challenge too since it's a sketch from "Apres le Bain" by Bouguereau.

Cat after Claudia Nice, Bouguereau Copy, Bald Eagles Page
8 1/2" x 11"
9B pencil on paper.

07-20-2010, 05:47 PM
Well, Robert, you could probably paint a cat - any cat - with your eyes closed by now. But those eagles are awesome!

07-20-2010, 10:13 PM
Nice page. Those eagles are just wonderful. The nest, babies and parents.

07-21-2010, 12:40 AM
Thank you! LOL Mickey, yeah, I do sort of have this Cat Sketching Thing going. Once I started getting them decent I couldn't stop -- and there are still some cat drawing challenges ahead for me. Action poses especially. Those fleeting moments mid-leap or mid-swat or bounding along when I'll have to decide what stage of the motion to sketch and then remember every detail of it because it's over by the time I reach for the pencil or draw the first line.

There's videos to help though, and the more I practice them the easier it'll get.

The eagles were fun. I was watching the eagle-cam and pulled a screen shot of it, then trimmed back to the image. I lucked and got a really good one for the reference. Always meant to sketch them, may develop that into more of a serious painting sometime. This is more like a little preliminary sketch.

07-21-2010, 02:15 AM
More great work Robert. Love the eagles. What is eagle cam? something you have got set up yourself? Sounds interesting.

The Bougerau sketch is gorgeous.

07-21-2010, 06:24 AM
I like those eagles :)

07-21-2010, 02:37 PM
Thank you! Jacqui, this is the site for the EagleCam. http://www.turtlebay.org/eaglecam They'll start filming again in the fall when the birds settle in to raise a new brood, apparently they've shut it down for the summer. But if you bookmark it, then when they start up again it's very cool. It's the closest thing to drawing from life sometimes, the animals are moving and you are watching them in real time.

Vivien Maloney
07-21-2010, 03:09 PM
Gosh those Eagles are great. Interesting info about the Eagle Cam also.

07-23-2010, 02:57 PM
Thanks! I enjoyed the Eagle Cam a lot. There's also an AfriCam (google it) that has three locations set up in a safari park, lots of animals come to the water hole at different times of day. Early evening late afternoon is great because that's morning there and a lot of critters come to drink.

However, if I have the AfriCam on at night, the sound of birds and night insects and so on drives the dogs crazy. The first night I was fascinated and listened to the night sounds to relax, then got told by my daughter that all three dogs were whining and begging to get up and go chase those birds! So now I don't listen to it at night or put headphones on.

Here's a definitely scribbly page in the Scribble Sketch Book. Yesterday while clearing out my closet, I found something I've been looking for since I moved - my favorite fountain pen. It was a gift from a now deceased friend and I always loved it (and him, he was like a brother). Well, it was stuck solid. I was afraid I'd have to replace the piston refill converter when I couldn't tell what brand it is and was getting ready to search for images online to find it... hoping this model's still available so I can find out the brand.

Soaking it overnight in a mix of water and pen cleaner got it working and then another twenty minutes of pumping got it clean. As usual when it's freshly cleaned and not left to dry before refilling, the ink comes out diluted where water filled the pen nib from the cleaning. So I sketched everything in front of me and then a kid from the shark show I was watching, finished off with a sketch of a shark from the same show.

Loose Fountain Pen Sketches
8 1/2" x 11"
Black Bombay India Ink in fountain pen
White 65lb sketchbook paper.

07-23-2010, 04:57 PM
You amaze me! A kid from a shark show? LOL! You really are multi talented! Great sketches! I love the kids wavy hair!

07-23-2010, 06:24 PM
Thanks! That was a very quick sketch from a short sequence where the kid was being interviewed about his shark attack. His distinctive hair was what gave me the idea of drawing him.

Here's some WDE sketches on the following page. My fountain pen started skipping as soon as the ink flowed full strength, so I got annoyed and cleaned it out again. I'm going to try some thinner ink, less clogging, something like Rapidograph ink or higgins or sheaffer.

WDE July 23 Sketches
8 1/2" x 11"
Fountain pen and Tombow dual tip brush pen
65lb white sketchbook paper.
Photo references by Dewi.

07-23-2010, 07:35 PM
Cool that you found your pen. You have no idea how many things I've lost that I just know are in this house somewhere. LOL Now you have a new tool to play with. I like your sketches.

07-23-2010, 08:24 PM
I will surely check out that eagle cam and the Africam for my insomniac nights. Good stuff you have here...:)

07-23-2010, 08:38 PM
Its amazing what you find when you do a closet clean out! I really need to do mine... I have a couple of fountain pens, ones I used for good old fashioned writing to friends, others I used for calligraphy... they're in my closet somewhere!
Really like your Anturium leaves and that hippo is way too cute! When you say "Diamond", is that one of those cool little bubbles of water that nestle in the center of the lotus leaves? They're WAY cool! I could play with those for hours! :D

07-23-2010, 09:36 PM
I've never tried to use a fountain pen for sketching. Writing, love it, but sketching, I would think it would skip. You sure can do a lot even with a pen that's skipping. Great sketches.

07-23-2010, 09:56 PM
Hi, Robert. I was just cruising around the forum, thinking about starting a sketchbook sometime soon, and found yours, here. I love it! There's so much life in your lines and your drawings are lively. I like the style of your sketches.

I need to learn to sketch. Loosen up, relax and be more playful with my artwork--that would be very good for me. I've done coloured pencil for so long and, while I've really enjoyed it, I think it's a lot of what makes me work too small, too tight, and focus too much on detail. I'm appreciating the variety in your sketch art a lot!

07-23-2010, 11:17 PM
Great to see you playing with the fountain pen. Love the hippo.

07-23-2010, 11:31 PM
Wow, thanks for all the comments on these quick sketches! They're not my usual detailed realism, just quick sketches of impressions.

Ann, one thing I've found is that using a fountain pen or a medium ballpoint or a small brush tip pen (or even the large brush tip Tombow one) tends to make me loosen up in pen sketching. Try something that gives a bold mark and can't be erased, and let yourself make mistakes with it. I've done colored pencils realism and graphite realism since the 1980s and do know what you mean about working small, tight and detailed.

It's great but it means spending forever and a day on a small piece. Going small becomes a time management thing!

Once I started doing pastels too, that loosened me up and I learned some tricks of color, perspective, value and blocking-in that have me changing my habits. I'll sketch under things but not in detail any more, I put in the detail later while inking or painting it. With CP it's so natural to work in all the detail in the first tonal underpainting and then just layer the colors.

I never set "loosening up" as a goal because I do like realism. But I found that some of these tricks have gotten me working faster even when I do go back to detailed realism - some of the pieces in the Water Folio are very detailed realism, or in the All Media book. They went quicker and more accurate because I had bold loose sketches under them and did details as a finishing process rather than an initial measuring process. I wind up not having to erase perfect detailed sections because I changed something.

Rachel, yes. "Diamond in the Lotus" was the title of the reference, a big shimmering dewdrop in the center of a lotus leaf.

Mickey, I believe it. I'm finding more stuff all the time. All of it good. Well, most of it, old ballpoints dry out and get useless.

The fountain pen's been cleaned again and is soaking for another night in case it was clogs inside the point causing the trouble. I got the piston fill converter spotlessly clean but I'm not as sure of the point at all. So I'll give it time and also look for the ink I used to use in it, a bottle of Higgins ink.

07-24-2010, 04:40 AM
webcams are great aren't they?

this is one of my favourite places


07-24-2010, 11:15 AM
Hi Robert!

Great Brontothere, although I'm in no position to know what a brontothere looked like. :lol: I love your page from this week's WDE. You've done a great job of distilling the references into simple, interesting sketches. I especially love the Welcoming Chorus. I'm also amused by the fact that you can sit and watch live action on TV and do quick sketches of people and sharks and . . . basically, I'm convinced you can draw anything, anytime, anywhere! :clap:

I have the eaglecam bookmarked and also, thanks to Viv for the Surfcam. What a gorgeous spot! Here is an Owlcam trained on Molly the owl. She has nested here twice this year. The camera is in an owlbox in the backyard of a couple who live near me - in San Marcos, CA. http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox


07-24-2010, 01:28 PM
Thanks for sharing some more of your experience, Robert. I do appreciate hearing others' stories of how they work, when they've changed, or added, media, and so on. I am sketching, and with a Pentel pocket brush pen, laughing at my own horror over "ruining" page after page with really awkward scribbling sketches of the cats, the dog, my son at the computer. Some artist, I am! LOL

I hope your fountain pen is clean and clear when you put it together today and that it helps you create something fun, without skipping!

07-24-2010, 02:35 PM
Vivien, thanks for the surf cam! I clicked back to watch the tide come in and go out, that's so cool. Bookmarked that.

Jean, thank you for the link to Molly! That's so awesome. I watched her scratch herself and yawn exactly like a cat, they're so beautiful.

Ann, thank you! You're not ruining pages when you sketch your cats, dog and son. Each sketch teaches you something more about their anatomy. Each one probably has some parts you got right and need to remember to do them again. It's drawing the same subjects all the time and observing carefully every time that gets skills up to where every time you do that subject, you get them right.

I found out that Bombay india ink does not work well at all in fountain pens. It was clogged only twenty minutes after I did that page. So I cleaned it out again and ordered some Higgins fountain pen ink from Daniel Smith on their "Free Shipping, no minimum order" offer. I really got my money's worth out of that, the shipping would've been more than twice the cost of the ink bottle and pushed it out of reach till much later.

I hope they run that promotion often, it makes a big difference.

So I'll have to wait now to use the pen for a while. But I love my Pigma Microns and have lots of those, so I can relax and use those today.

07-25-2010, 06:46 AM
I second that remark - it's never a waste of paper or time - all that sketching is helping you learn, storing memories in your brain, improving hand-eye coordination etc.

Molly is delightful :)

If you liked that beach webcam you might like this one


The town is a bit tacky now, full of souvenir shops and stuff but the lovely beaches and harbour are unspoilt. This one is a live one so you can see the little fishing boats come in and out. I sat in this cafe once watching a little fishing boat come in, closely followed by a seal who played in the harbour for half an hour before going back to sea.


This is another lovely place there - sadly today misty and grey. If you click one 'where is this' it takes you to google streetview and you can look along the sea front.

07-25-2010, 09:00 AM
Oh I like the first one!!! Ahhh..... OK - off to do a search to see if Guernsey has some live web cams! Thanks for sharing :-)

07-25-2010, 11:36 AM
I tried the africam but it was down when I visited...will check it out later. I would love to see elephants. I love elephants, they are so big yet so gentle and intelligent.

07-26-2010, 09:36 AM
Robert your sketches are awesome - the hippo is my favourite & the fish!! very nice!!

07-27-2010, 10:12 PM
Thank you! It'd be cool if Guernsey had webcams too. I wonder how many different live streams with interesting views there are out there? I should google sometime and see what I can find.

Today and yesterday were pretty rough. I did a quick sketch of Ari before I went to bed, but decided to wait to scan it since it was already the 27th and I didn't know if I was up to doing anything today. I wasn't until this evening, when I decided to finish the page with another quick sketch of him.

Sketches of Ari cat from life
8 1/2" x 11"
Sakura Pigma Micron pen, black size 05
65lb white sketchbook paper.

07-27-2010, 11:16 PM
I love your sketches of Ari, Robert. They're so expressive! I get a real feel for his attitude, his mood and how he moves.

I've spent years living with cats. We have two of them now, eight year-old brothers. They're wonderful companions and dictators! :rolleyes: I've done many cat portraits, too, and enjoyed them a lot. But I am not good at sketching cats for some reason. Dogs, maybe. Sometimes, anyway, but cats.. I don't know why, but I can never sketch the head properly. I need to find a guide that gives info on proportions, maybe. All I've seen have been quick how-to descriptions for sketching cartoon-ish cats, rather than realistic ones. Do you know of something that might be useful?

I hope you're feeling better this evening, and that you have a comfortable night.

07-28-2010, 06:47 AM
Sorry that you have had a rough couple of days, Robert. But glad that you have a lovely, cooperative model close by for when you feel well enough to dash off a couple of sketches. Hope today will be a good day for you.

07-28-2010, 06:58 AM
companions and dictators is a great summing up of cats :)

lovely sketches again Robert

I think with the head the best cartoon is Top Cat! their features are packed into a small area with a tiny chin, long forehead and you need to get the brow bone right in my experience. Do you agree Robert?

07-28-2010, 12:43 PM
Okay, my access is wobbly today. I'll try for the third time to write this post. Maybe even get it shorter.

Thank you all! I love doing Ari sketches, it's what I fall back on when I get a bad day. I've had so much practice drawing him that I don't need to be having a good day to get it right.

Mickey, thanks. I usually wait till Ari decides to sleep in sight when I'm having a bad day, once in a while I just do him from memory if he's decided to doze in the bathroom cabinet. I finally found out where he goes when he vanishes. He's laying on the towels in the narrow little towel cabinet.

Of course that means when I shower I'm drying myself off with Ari's towels and covering myself with cat hair, but that's okay. Other cats need to know that I'm owned by Ari.

Ann, I used to have that same problem with cat faces and bodies. I learned by using photos and drawing very close to the photo. Measuring and using tick marks is my method, but a lot of people find using a transparent grid over the photo (or marking up the printout with a grid) and then sketching a grid with the same number of squares lightly on the drawing paper helps. That grid method always gives accurate proportions.

Claudia Nice has a video up on realistic animal drawing at artistsnetworktv. (http://www.artistsnetworktv.com) It just went up last week. It's very good, her main demo is a cat. She shows several measuring methods including the grid and goes into detail on getting it right. I think she's also got a book out with the same title.

Vivien, I think Top Cat is pretty good on the face. I think the most realistic cartoon cat is on a different show though, Tiny Toons. "Furball" isn't adult but he's a completely realistic medium longhair kitten. He has Ari cat's fur, which is part of how they make him look so scruffy one moment and sleek another. His head's completely accurate for a cat.

Other good cartoon cats are in Disney movies - Aristocats, Gay Purree and 101 Dalmations all have accurate, well proportioned cartoon cats.

07-28-2010, 12:57 PM
I really like the sleeping Ari sketch. You got the beginnings of his bed head on his back. And the one of his face saying "Yes?" is priceless.

07-28-2010, 01:44 PM
You wrote: "Thank you! It'd be cool if Guernsey had webcams too. I wonder how many different live streams with interesting views there are out there? I should google sometime and see what I can find."

I did find a couple but they were useless! Only refreshed every 30 seconds and were not of good, clear quality, so couldn't get a good idea of the view that I know is beautiful in life! Oh well :-)

07-28-2010, 01:46 PM
Those 5 minute Ari Sketches are amazing! he looks very "masculine" on that last one!! Almost as if he's saying..."Yes, I am gorgeous aren't I"!

Vivien Maloney
07-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Love the expression on Aris's face!

07-28-2010, 08:45 PM
Wow, thank you! I've done some more Ari sketches today, plus tested a handful of Luminance pencils that a friend gave me. I was never sure if I'd want them enough to pay that much... now I know. Their texture is irresistible. I love these. Got to get at least a small set sometime.

Ari sketches and Luminance tests
8 1/2" x 11"
HB pencil, 9B pencil and Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils.
65lb sketchbook paper.
From life and imagination.

07-28-2010, 09:34 PM
Hi Robert, hope you are feeling better - annoying when the body doesn't keep up with the mind! I am amazed how you keep drawing even when not feeling well :)

The Ari sketches are so neat - I don't know anything of the luminance pencils, they certainly look like strong vibrant colours - are they creamy or hard? I am guessing pretty soft - they have a look that reminds me of oil pastels...?!

07-29-2010, 01:06 AM
Ooh, I've wanted to try those Luminance pencils. Lovely colors, but you are so good handling any media I'm not sure what makes them so special. Can you give more details on holding a point, layering, blending, texture? Please?

Ari is gorgeous. All these drawings make me miss having a pet. Not in a position to do so just yet. So, I'll just have to admire yours.

07-29-2010, 01:27 AM
I'm glad you're feeling better today, Robert. Ari looks great, again! Thanks for the tips about drawing cats' heads. I'll have a look at Claudia's video, for sure.

It's good to know that you like the Luminance CP. I'd like to try them, myself. I wish I could buy Caran D'Ache pencils in open stock, but they're not available that way in Vancouver. Next time I go to Seattle, maybe!

07-29-2010, 02:12 AM
Thank you! I'm glad my drawings are a help if you don't have a cat of your own, I went nuts when I was catless. Even sketches helped. Of course I'm a pretty serious cat nut and you might be just as fond of dogs, but still -- without someone in your life who loves you without any criticism of what you wear or your ideas and so on, life can get stressful. Cats cut right past the pointless stuff and get to the important things.

Eye contact, purring, touching, smiling, loving and being loved, and of course remembering to fill the food and water on time. Not minding getting wakened by a 15lb cat stomping on your chest with lynx sized paws and putting his whiskers up your nose because the bowl is empty. At least he purrs when he does it and what comes up in my face is his front end!

Luminance pencils are wonderful. As soft as any I've ever used, they blend as well as the Prismacolors and are completely lightfast. Incredible pigment saturation. They set out to make the best colored pencils in the world and eerily, it seems like they did. So eventually I need the full range. Till then I've got a handful to play with and might get a small set sooner, the 18 color range does look pretty good to me now.

It'll probably send me off on a spate of colored pencils stuff too.

07-29-2010, 04:52 PM
are they wax based or oil based? I've got one free sample and I like it too.

I agree about cats - I love them :)

07-29-2010, 07:48 PM
I think Luminance are wax based. The texture is a lot like Prismacolors but richer in color (amazing!) and they don't have the oily feel of the Lyra ones or Walnut Hollow. They're wax -- but they are an incredible wax pencil. I can't wait to get at least the 18 color set.

I'm thrilled the site is still up. Maybe they'll manage to migrate the servers without the site going down, wouldn't that be great! So here's today's first sketch, done with a new set of pens I got in a super surprise box from Blick. They thanked me for all my posts and for all the years of throwing half my spending money at them with a complimentary box of amazing goodies -- Pitt Artist Pens Big Brush set of 12, Prismacolor New Colors 2005 set of 12 (do they track which pencils I use up fastest or what?), olive green tote bag, sample pack of three Blick Studio drawing pencils tucked into the pocket of a cool hardbound sketchbook inside a great canvas holder, and a set of Faber Castell oil pastels.

Ari Sketch and Pitt Big Brush Color Chart
8 1/2" x 11"
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens "Big Brush" set of 12
65lb white sketchbook paper.
From life, though he moved around a lot and the pose was half from memory. He did give me that big-eyed pleading look of "Daddy, why can't I have the cellophane? Please, please give me back my cellophane!" That's always his favorite part of any package. It's like kitty chewing gum to him.

And here's a photo of the goodies - I could not believe this, the package was a complete surprise to me!


07-30-2010, 07:56 AM
Robert the pics aren't showing at the moment, but your suprise gift sounds wonderful, good for Blick for appreciating your custom and SHOWING it with a a fantstic set of art stuff.

I just read a review on Talens Van Gogh pencils and they sound very good too, apparently not far of the luminence ones, but hard to get hold of. I think I'll start buying a few different makes openstock to find the ones that fit me best. Sorry I couldn't see the pics you posted, but love the 5 min Ari sketches you did, astonishing what you can do in such a short time- he's perfectly captured. Your sketchbooks point the way - its just keep on drawing and then one day 5 mins can be a timeless time of pure feeling and love.


07-30-2010, 01:24 PM
Thank you! I was so surprised this morning to see the site up in any form. I'd pretty much battened down for 48 hours of no contact - being able to talk about art without seeing the pictures is a lot better than not seeing my friends for two days!

It's a really big Ari sketch in Pitt pen big brush. I filled the page with one cat gesture, using much bigger strokes than usual. They're fun pens.

Blick rules. It's the only large company I know of that treats customers the way the very best of small independent stores do, the sort where the owner's your friend because you're a regular. I swear half their employees must be artists, they understand these things the way the chap who opened a little art store because he could get his supplies wholesale does.

I'll even stick my neck out one step farther. I suspect that Dick Blick is a happier workplace than most large companies could dream of being. Customer service people who are always interested in the topic and interested in you, warm and genuinely friendly, do not keep up that attitude in a state of corporate backbiting, office politics, harassment and bitter competition.

When one of my questions or problems gets answered, it's by someone who's having a good day at work and really cares about his or her job. Not someone who's afraid of losing the job, someone who's looking forward to being able to sort things out quickly and get a thank-you.

Blick's house brand products are always top quality at loony low prices - they're cutting costs by scale and skill, not by cutting quality. Usually with small convenient innovations that make sense to the people using the stuff. My colored pencils have the color name on both ends. I'm forgetful. I can't count the number of times I went making swatch tests with Prismacolor stubs because I stupidly sharpened off the color name and number.

Now that I've had a look at the Dick Blick Studio Pencils, a nice range of 12 degrees of artist's graphite pencil, I found another comparable little convenience. The pencil's hardness is on all six sides of the end and it's stamped right on the butt, so if I wear down the 4B till it's only a half inch stub, I can still see "Oh yeah, I need to order the 4B one again. I really liked that one." I don't have to roll it to see it.

When I go fishing through a zippered pencil case like the black one I got from Faber-Castell that I keep sample pencils in, seeing the degree of the pencil that slid to the bottom means taking them all out. With these, it's just a glance at the blunt end, not having to fish in there to roll it and get the side with the 2B stamp on it up.

I'd love to see them do a video about their R&D department, the folks that just came up with 90 more colors of Blick Artists' pastels. Makes me glad I procrastinated on new pastels sets because 180 is a much larger full set range, big enough that I'm going to really enjoy it. Some very inventive people work for Blick,.. and some extremely humane managers.

I found out on the All-Media Sketching Thread that attachments work - yay! So here's the full page Ari sketch from yesterday, attached. Also a photo of the amazing pile of goodies Blick sent me.

07-30-2010, 02:47 PM
Ooh Ari's gone big brush beautiful -amazing eyes, its a bold and characterful sketch Robert, and yes a lot of real goodies from Blick there. Thanks for showing.

07-30-2010, 03:00 PM
Ari looks great in "big and bold"!! Very cool! :thumbsup:
And as for your goodies... wow! I was going to reply in another post just the other day that I hoped you recieved some goodies from them, even just samples, because you advertise all artist gear so well because you use all of it! Its because of the wonderful recommendations you've given me in the past that I can now blame a lot of my purchases from Blick on you! :lol: I hope they send you tons of stuff because its amazing to see what can be done with them, via you! Have fun with your well deserved goodies!! :D

07-30-2010, 05:56 PM
Ooh, surprise presents are so fun! Good for you. And, since I don't have a nice little art store where I live, I will definitely shop at Blick. Ari is beautiful. How did you manage a full body face drawing from life? You must have been super quick. Tho' I'm sure it helps that you know your subject so well.

07-30-2010, 10:10 PM
It's great that attachments work even if inline images don't. I'm so glad to see this big, bold and wonderful sketch of Ari.

I think Dick Blick is fantastic, too. Like everyone else, I do a lot of comparison shopping. There are two big art supply chains in Canada, and unfortunately the one that's based where I live tends to have high prices. It's cheaper for me to order stuff from the Toronto-based place and pay for the shipping than to go to the B.C. company two miles away. But pouring over Blick's catalogue is such fun and so helpful. Not only are they super-helpful, but they provide more complete info about whatever they're selling than I usually find anywhere else online. I'm going to place my next largish-sized order with Blick and see what kind of a hit I take paying duty to bring things over the border.

07-31-2010, 12:53 AM
Thank you, all three of you! Ann, I was very quick getting his pose, mostly in memorizing it since I barely had his face sketched in when he laid down still facing me. Then he started washing his paws. So he'd look up every now and then, I'd check what I was doing and work quickly.

I think I got his head a little large on this one, may try to snap a photo in that pose. But he did look that scruffy at the moment too. His hair ranges from very sleek to very tufty and spiky, it's very endearing.

It did help a lot that I've done him from life so many times - just not in that sitting pose looking right at me, because he rarely sits that way. He'll lay down almost immediately or get up - he's not into posing like Bast. Every cat's got habits and this was a rare pose from him.

Ann, anyone that does price comparisons online washes up at Blick 90% of the time anyway. I think it's their volume and flow-through. They've been in the mail-order business for decades, I think for half a century or more. They've been around all my life really. I used to order from them out of a paper catalog and get printed flyers in the mail that I always watched for, because they'd put some real bargains in the flyers.

Some Canadians have a better time than others with international shipping. Blick ships at actual cost, so explore the different shipping alternatives. Sometimes the prices are so low that even high shipping would come out cheaper than getting things locally.

07-31-2010, 04:20 AM
Our cats never seem to be very still. Or, at least, they'll be very still until I open a sketch book, pick up something to make a mark, or just look at them for more than three nanoseconds. After that, loads of 90-second gestures! I'm pretty good at getting their bodies and tails accurately, but not their heads and faces, yet. I'm working on it, as you suggested, on photos and tons of measuring. It will come together, in time.

One thing that really impresses me about Blick is how often I hear people comment on their customer service--knowledgeable, good at problem-solving, with lots of folks that, if they're not artists themselves, are at least very sympathetic and can understand why someone might be extremely specific about what they need. I find your reviews very helpful, Robert. I'm glad to know that Dick Blick sends you little presents sometimes.

Vivien Maloney
07-31-2010, 03:21 PM
Well looks like we are back up and running (I think), so I guess the up-grade is finished. It's super fast at the moment.
Like you Robert I was prepared to be off air for 48hours, so it was good we could still post even if we couldn't see the pictures! I wonder how the WDE got on?
Great Ari sketch and wonderful Art Supplies from Blick.

07-31-2010, 03:57 PM
Ann, that describes all cats. Ari included. I didn't start getting him accurately till I started doing one to five minute gesture sketches of him while he's sleeping. Then I started watching him and studying him all the time, sketching and abandoning the sketch when he moves - or just completing it from memory.

I never knew cats fidgeted so much, even in their sleep, until I started drawing Ari asleep! Getting him in that sitting up pose was 75% memory because he won't hold it long at all, even for him. If he notices I'm looking at him, the proper thing for me to do is put the sketchbook down and pet the cat.

Rachel, I forgot to mention this. Blick will send you samples. I get samples before ordering all the time, to try out artist grade oil pastels or soft pastels, colored pencils and pastel pencils and watercolor pencils. That set of three Blick Studio drawing pencils (graphite) in the pocket of the sketchbook is a sample pack, I bet if you asked for a sample of their Studio drawing pencils they'd send you one. They're good too.

I tried them and they're good graphite pencils with an added plus. The hardness - HB, 2B and 4B - is stamped on all six sides of the blunt end. So no matter how short it gets or how deep it's buried in a pencil bag, you don't need to roll it over to see which one it is and can grab the one you need at first glance. They're also cheaper than a lot of the other brands at 65 cents a pencil. Range is 6H to 6B.

07-31-2010, 04:13 PM
thanks for the info on the pencils :)

another nice Ari too - I'm sure cats have a sixth sense about when you are watching them - even asleep they always move - and if I even think about picking one of ours up when the don't want - they scoot!

07-31-2010, 04:21 PM
Thanks Robert! When I get to that time where i feel like trying some pastel pencils I'll try asking :-) Right now I've got tons of pencils I need to play more with before I even LOOK at anything else LOL! :D

07-31-2010, 04:39 PM
I do know that feeling. Especially with the handfuls of loose assorted pencils sitting about. I need to get one of those carousels for loose pencils, put all the stray individual pencils together in it so they're easier to use.

07-31-2010, 09:02 PM
Here's a couple more sketches. Unfortunately the fountain pen I used squirted a large blob of ink out onto the page facing this - which seeped through onto the chest of the previous Ari drawing. I'm annoyed, it was a good one. But at least I've got the scan of how it looked clean. The pen's skipping and inconsistent, so I may need to put the ink back in the bottle and soak it in pen cleaner again to get it working properly. Wish it would work smoothly, it's beautiful when it works right.

Then did a WDE sketch from a photo by crispur2005 (current Weekend Drawing Event) in Pitt Artist "Big Brush" pens. Those are fun. I tend to want to work big with them though! Both are in the 8 1/2" x 11" ProArt wirebound sketchbook, which only has maybe ten or twelve pages left.

I might start a new thread when it's full, any thoughts on that?

07-31-2010, 10:21 PM
That fountain pen just doesn't want to work for you. However, your drawings are fantastic. Have you used the Micron brush pen? I just got one.

The tree/landscape in pen is great.

08-01-2010, 02:35 AM
Thank you! I have tried the Micron brush pen because there's one in my four pen Sepia set -- it's nice, it's very much like the Pitt Artist Pen small brush tip. I might pick up some more later on, but I'm still using my Pitt pens for those.

One more Big Brush page for tonight, I haven't been to bed yet. Same sketchbook, now with only nine pages left.

It's from life of course. He felt cooperative tonight.

08-01-2010, 08:17 PM
Aaaah, curled up warm and cosy, I could do with that myself, it is very cold at my place this morning! Great sketches again Robert - oh and congratulations on your Blick gift - I did comment during the upgrade but I think it got lost! Your little package of goodies looked like fun and well deserved ;)

08-01-2010, 10:07 PM
I like the one of Ari using brown and black. I really like the blanket mountains around him.

08-02-2010, 08:30 AM
That landscape looks almost as though it could be a linoprint

and another lovely curled up Ari :)

08-02-2010, 11:33 AM
Thank you! Jackie, that's right, you're in the middle of the cold part of winter. Ouch. Nothing like being able to curl up with a warm cat on a night like that. In the winter Ari plasters himself to me all day and all evening, he lives in my lap and then sleeps on me at night. We both appreciate the warmth.

08-02-2010, 12:59 PM
Robert - I am not able to see all the pictures. However, I love the potrait of Ari Cat and the scenery with bright blue sky and rocks. I guess, I will have to visit again to view all the pictures.

08-02-2010, 02:10 PM
Great sketches of Ari, again. He's fast becoming one of my favourite cats. In fact, Mozart, one of our cats, actually allowed me to sketch him for quite awhile yesterday. Amazing. Ginger tabby cat in conté crayon. Not worth posting on WC, yet, but in time, we'll get there.

I hope they get the inline images working again, soon. An art site that's missing so much art is a kinda sad.

08-06-2010, 10:28 PM
Thank you! Hydie, I hope they finish sorting it out about the previous images soon. So many of them are still broken, but it seems like that's a monumental task.

Ann, I'm so glad you're enjoying my Ari sketches! I love sketching him. He has become my favorite model, absolutely. That's so cool you drew Mozart. Please do post the sketch, that's what WC is for. If you want help with it, ask for C&C, but don't let it stop you if it's not as perfect as it will be when you do him a hundred times. Go back a few years and you'll find bad Ari sketches from me on WC, including a soft pastel portrait I was very proud of at the time.

My first go at this weekend's WDE, I'll be doing the heron again in pen and wash tomorrow.

August 6 WDE Sketches 1-4
8 1/2" x 11"
Pitt Artist Pen "Big Brush" pens
65lb white paper in ProArt wirebound sketchbook
Photo references by Crystalline174

08-07-2010, 12:56 AM
Very nice "scribbles" Robert. You'll definately make a good illustrator when you chose to pursue it.


08-07-2010, 02:29 PM
Thanks! Interesting - I never seriously considered an illustration career, that would mean illustrating other people's stories rather than my own. It's more that I wanted to be able to illustrate my own novels. I grew up to find out that publishers never allow that.

They pair experienced, popular illustrators with unknown authors and vice versa, in order to give everyone a good launch. But author art is still useful because I could post it on my own website for the book and give readers an idea of how I saw my alien creatures and prehistoric animals.

And of course there's my favorite type of illustration - doing tutorials and demos. I don't mind doing that because I'm not trying to illustrate someone else's story, just teaching the skills.

08-07-2010, 03:59 PM
Thanks, Robert. I'm going to open a sketchbook thread of my own soon.

I'm an editor, and I know what you mean about authors and illustrators--it's very true! Except for children's books, that is. There are many, many very fine children's stories that have been written and illustrated by the author. Just remember that pictures in illustrated children's books usually tell as much of the story, or more, than the words do. It's sometimes hard to distill the story into the fewest meaningful words. But you write so well--if you're interested in this kind of thing, I know you could do it.

08-07-2010, 05:29 PM
That penguin is adorable. Very nice sketches. You always do so well.

08-07-2010, 05:39 PM
Great sketches, Robert! I check out your other threads around WC and I really enjoy Ari's different poses. He must love to pose for you! :)

I agree with Debby, I like that penguin too! :thumbsup:

Vivien Maloney
08-09-2010, 10:46 PM
Great WDE sketches. Love the penguin and the little Tamarin monkey. I've just seen a documentary on tv about the Tamarins and they look like great little characters.

08-09-2010, 11:11 PM
Ann, thank you. I think that if I self publish again I might do something like that, use my own illustrations. I know they'd help to sell the book because I can draw well and they've got that authenticity of being my vision.

But I've also got a project in the works, very slow project, for a graphic novel I'm scripting. That's one where I need to really give myself a stretch in illustration skills to do it in the style I want -- a cross between the Sandman comics and the old EC comics. The story's powerful. I've been working on the story for a long time but have yet to get some of its elements worked out visually -- character studies or urban scenes.

Debby, thank you. I love doing birds and animals for the WDE. These Pitt pen ones are great for references themselves. I've often thought that I'd come back to them after a while and use them in paintings. It'd be easy to do them in more detail from what I have.

Deb, you make me laugh. Ari hates posing for me. Or rather, he loves teasing me and wiggling or fidgeting the moment I pick up sketching tools. Unless I catch him completely sound asleep at the depths of his sleep cycle, he will move! Or just walk away. My game is to draw fast and catch him before he does.

Vivien, the Golden Lion Tamarins are gorgeous creatures. I've never forgotten seeing them at a zoo, they had about 20 of them in a cage and they were all interacting in very complex ways. Smart little critters, and so beautiful. About the most attractive primates I've ever seen, not usually into monkeys but their manes and graceful forms with small humanlike faces are fascinating to me.