View Full Version : Art Journal #1- Everyday Crap Seen Around

08-23-2010, 02:28 PM
I noticed this forum sometime ago and sometimes I lurk around just to see what's up with people's pages. Well, I just decided to join in. I just started on this journal, which is just some cheap $2 sketchpad I bought from Big Lots a couple years ago. They also had it wrapped in plastic, so I couldn't see what the paper was like until I got home. Too good to be true for $2 and I was right. Oh well. It's a sketchpad. The graphite also tends to wipe off pretty easily on this paper. I am using an HB or lower for this type of paper. (The HB still wipes off easily, too).

So, I am going to be using this pad to sketch everyday crap I see around (teddy bears, lamps, cats, my reflection, and so fourth). So, this is basically a "journal" dedicated to drawing from life.

9x12" sketchpad paper distributed by the Big Lots Stores, Inc. It's not a named brand pad. I am also only using graphite just because this paper is not suitable for things like watercolors, and such.


I'm also kinda bummed that the images are still missing on some threads. Oh well. It'll get fixed as soon as possible hopefully.

Well, here it is. The first few pages form yesterday and I will post more later when I do more sketches.


Oh, and if you're wondering why I have the butt icon used for the thread, it's because usually when I sketch out figures, I like to sketch myself in the nude most of the time. You'll be seeing some of those.

08-23-2010, 03:01 PM
Welcome to the Art Journal forum. Looks like you're well on your way. I've seen some of your drawings posted in D&S, nice stuff, can't wait to see more.


08-23-2010, 09:13 PM
Welcome to the forum, glad you decided to post some work.

I like your sketches from life, the desk lamp particularly has a nice feel about it, and your cat sketches capture the fleeting moment really well!

Sometimes cheap paper can be very liberating - I often do some good stuff on crap paper because I am more relaxed and surprise myself with what comes out ;) Get the good paper out and it all goes away...... lol!

08-23-2010, 09:17 PM
Welcome to the forum, Crystal! I like your sketches, and I agree with Jackie about cheap paper and the willingness to open up and experiment.

08-24-2010, 02:14 AM
Thank you all for the warm welcome and compliments! :)

Yeah, the paper isn't bad for sketching. I don't mind it. I just won't really do full-finished drawings that I want for archival purposes. :D I just need to be careful with wiping anything on it.

Welp, today I did 6 pages in the journal. I'm sketching like crazy! Well, crazy for my usual. I'm too lazy to do anything these days.

Anyway, it's just more warming up sketches. I should do more that aren't as sloppy as soon as I am done just scribbling like the past 9 pages.


08-24-2010, 03:36 PM
Crystal, glad you came out of lurking and joined us. You have some nice practice going on here. Your cat studies are great. Do you have an aquarium that you drew the fish from?

08-24-2010, 06:47 PM
Crystal great to see you joining in the fun. You have been busy. Hopefully having a "lesser" quality sketchbook is freeing you up to just play a bit. You seem to be enjoying yourself. Really like your cat, fish and hand sketches. Good work on the everyday items. I try and join the scavenger hunt to help inspire me to do just that type of thing.

08-24-2010, 08:22 PM
Hi, Crystal. Hey, sketching is sketching no matter what the paper. I like your figure sketches...well proportioned and I thought you captured the gestures. I haven't been brave enough to try any figure or portraits yet.

08-24-2010, 08:57 PM
Crystal, your sketches are great. I love the way you've been able to get such good depth and three dimensional accuracy on so many objects. The fish are beautiful, like the way you have them at different angles. Your cat studies are so much fun, and figure drawings look good. All of them show good observation and a lot of skill. Keep going! Thanks for joining in!

One thing that could help on cheap paper - have you tried any pen sketching with normal cheap writing pens? I started getting into that recently and was surprised at how expressive an ordinary ball point that I got free from a clinic was at getting down good sketches. Looking at your pencil style, I think you could use them well. It just means shading by hatching or stippling or scribbling instead of by less pressure.

08-25-2010, 01:41 AM
Thank you everyone for all the nice compliments, yo! I appreciate it very much.

Debby, to answer your question, yes they are fish from my mom's fish tank. They were a bit easy to capture quickly than the cat that's for sure. They're sick though (well, our old evil cichlid is getting better and my mom's friendly favorite Oscar is dying. Apparently, our oscar has self-awareness, too.)

Jacqui, I have thought about the scavenger hunts I've seen around somewhere in the forums for quite a while now and been checking others works out.

Herb, maybe you should try the portraits and figures. There's a lot of things I ain't brave with either on drawing, but eventually I come out to at least sketch them. I suggest you try out the portraits and figures sometime. It's actually quite fun. Find some art association or somethign as well. Or either that, use a mirror like I do to sketch yourself (though, having a model is much better in my opinion).

Robert, my little brother has drawn on this paper with pen a couple years back (he's 6 years old now). I've used pen at times for sketches, and I have to agree with you on how much expressiveness and such you can get out of the plain cheap pen. I just haven't been much of a pen person, however it would probably be a good use instead of graphite that can easily smear on this paper. As for stippling... Don't remind me the horrors of stippling. :lol: Yet, since you mentioned all these techniques, I guess I should include these in my future exercises and all into this sketchpad (I will be doing some work a little more time consuming later on into this "journal" of mine. It's all good warming up.).

Again, thank you all for the comments!

Now, I did some of these for the day. I started really early morning for the first page before going to bed (I don't sleep early enough). And as for the last page on the bottom, there is now the reason for the booty icon. Wait for some more elaborate sketches of myself. This time, I'll add a face to them instead of being headless or faceless like other sketches I've done of myself... If I don't get so lazy that is.


08-25-2010, 07:01 AM
Crystal - I'm impressed with your random quick sketches. You manage to get proportions and shapes right without any alterations and reworking. I think these cheapo sketchpads are so great for getting this kind of drawing down - just drawing and more drawing, anything and everything. I've a lot to learn from this example.
I love your clothes free sketching poses! I couldn't sketch in those positions clothes or no clothes. Perhaps having no clothes on helps! Something else to try...

08-25-2010, 09:26 AM
Crystal, your sketches are inspiring and very well done! And... you reminded me that I have the exact same paper from Big Lots stashed under my bed - good price, couldn't resist, bought a bunch of them. I didn't think of using them for journaling - how perfect an idea! Love the animal sketches especially - you are capturing their essence - sorry about your doggie - it's hard to lose them - what a sweet memorial though. Look forward to seeing more of your sketches!

08-25-2010, 10:42 PM
Sorry your fish aren't feeling well. More great sketches. It's great that you really do just sketch anything.

08-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Crystal, great figure sketches. All of the poses are so natural and well proportioned, those are excellent. The studies of random objects are good too, I like the way your perspective and proportions are so true and shading excellent. Great that you finally fulfilled the booty icon you'd put on this thread. Keep going with both the random objects and figure drawing, they're fantastic.

08-28-2010, 08:38 PM
Thanks you guys!

Ack, I been lazy the past couple days. I should be posting day 4, 5, and 6 of the sketches tonight. I skipped the 26th of this month and just drew Meg White. Well, I got some more to submit and as I said, it's gonna be up tonight. A few days ago, I didn't scan because I was preoccupied with Dragonball Z Abridged on Youtube (It's guys making a parody on the cartoon. I wish they were the actual episodes of DBZ :lol: ).

Christina, self-modeling isn't too much really, unless you're doing some poses that require you to struggle a bit with a pose and drawing at the same time (which I did last night actually). When you have no model, but you have a mirror and you're in the mood for a little bit of figure drawing, you can try that out, with or without clothes.

Debby, my mom found her Oscar died this morning and was decomposing quick. The big blue meanie cichild is living well though (Evil things tend to live longer lol). Poor fish. :(

Yeah, I'm glad to fulfill the booty icon, Robert. I also did my recent sketches in pen, too. Tried to do it in red. Yet, the ink ran out real quick on one figure sketch.

And these next figures... Oh, I totally messed up proportionally and struggled a lot. But whatever. They're suppose to be quick sketches anyway.

As again, thanks a bunch ya'll! I look forward to posting up more!

08-28-2010, 08:52 PM
Hi Chrystal...what a great way to improve your drawing skills, keep it up and see as you progress...drawing is the most essential part of being a great artist...

08-28-2010, 10:16 PM
Crystal, sorry to hear about mom's fish. Aquarium fish don't always live long.

08-28-2010, 10:20 PM
Nice job drawing anything nearby/proximal. Brave of you to draw yourself nude and post it here :)

08-29-2010, 02:52 AM
Thanks Dan, Debby, and EP. :)

Yeah, aquarium fish don't last. Well, especially if they get sick. Our cichild however, we had it for 5 years... That thing isn't dead yet (as I said, it's a bit evil). It's a Jack Dempsey Cichild I just found out and they can live for quite along time for a fish. Oscar's can, too. Though, our fish got stressed from moving, and they got sick. Our Oscar didn't do good this month though. Of course the meanie fish lives. It was a passive fish to the Oscar's that used to be in the tank until they grew.

EP, yeah, I been called brave for posting sketches before (I've posted some in the past in the figure forum and other places. Thanks!

Wait til my sketches become elaborate. :evil:

Oh, I would have posted more sketches, but my computer was being kind of slow. I need to catch up with the scanning.

Anyway, here are some pen sketches...


08-29-2010, 10:05 AM
Great sketches of all these objects around your home. I like the three dimensional modeling of your wallet and the computer mouse, those are great. LOL your brother's dirty sock, well drawn. The dog sketches are excellent too, both have poses that are very natural to dogs. I had to smile, they reminded me of Zoe, Ayla and Annie. Good face on the dog that's facing the viewer, you got the depth of the muzzle right at a difficult angle.

08-29-2010, 03:55 PM
Thank you very much, Robert!!!

Well, here's the past couple days I didn't post. They're basically just figure and a few facial features for this post. A few of these poses... I am kinda weak to be holding myself in certain positions and then to draw with the other hand. Thank goodness I wasn't doing something elaborate or else I be in trouble more than I was just sketching. I also do notice some errors in my quick sketches as usual, but oh well. It's not like I spent 5 minutes on them.


Here's one from yesterday.

08-29-2010, 04:55 PM
Astounding! And very brave. I don't even think I'd do a self portrait clothed. The dog sketches are wonderful. Loved brother's dirty sock. And the facial features are great.

08-29-2010, 08:44 PM
More wonderful sketches. I am amazed at how well you do the gesture sketches of yourself, in all those positions. I have never, and never been willing to try and draw myself, esp nudie. Well done. I love the freedom they convey. Your everyday items are fun. The facial parts are very good. Thanks so much for sharing.

08-30-2010, 06:15 PM
Crystal, I love the title of your sketchbook thread, LOL, and it's really great that you are doing so many sketches of everyday things - a great way to learn sketching. I'm so impressed that you use yourself for gesture sketches - I would never have thought to do that. How, exactly, do you do it? I would guess that you use a mirror, but how do you get into a position other than sitting and looking straight ahead, and still be able to sketch?

08-31-2010, 08:07 PM
Hey Crystal, you've been busy! I like your pen sketches - they have a solidness about them with that little bit of shading. I agree with the others - very brave to sketch yourself - but great idea - you always have a model on hand! It will be interesting to see your progression in your drawing and whether your perception of how you see yourself changes at all - I am one of those people who try to catch sight of myself in the mirror as little as possible lol! ;)

09-06-2010, 02:42 AM
Thank you all for the comments! Sorry, I haven;t logged into the site for a few days, I think... I can;'t remember. I do have a few new pages to post, but right now I am about to go to sleep.

Debby, why not try out self-figure sketches? You can be clothed, too. :D

Jacqui, why not draw yourself nude? Well, you don't have to put your face on them and then you can always post them and say it's someone else. :D

LOL! Michelle, I couldn't think of a better title. I always come up with stupid titles.Yeah, some of these positions, well, I wish I can do like 40 minutes poses, but some I can't hold up that long, especially with using another hand to write with. So, they're just quick gesture poses for me. I also use a big mirror/sliding door closet to do this. In fact, I do have some picture of myself wiht my camera phone of myself with no clothes on (my phones in front of my face, s you can't see my face) that I am going to draw and post sometime, probably in the figure forum. Though, that will be in a while since I am kind of busy of doing art for people right now.

Also, I don't look straight ahead with side positions. I just turn my head to the side and back down to my paper. I tend to keep looking to the mirror and back to my paper, and do it a lot. I am trying to get out of that habit though. It may look like I look straight ahead cus I don't draw a face. Though, other poses, my head is almost straight ahead, but chins a bit low.

Also, another thing I've done a few times a couple years ago is looking at a computer monitor while it's off to sketch my bare back. I also have done some where I used the reflection of my bedroom windows at night because I had no mirror. I didn't use the bathroom because people might needed to use it and I wouldn't want to be bothered (And yes, I was risking my neighbors seeing me through the windows, and believe it or not, I am bashful about my body as well).

Jackie, that is true! Always a model in hand. And if I don;'t havea mirror, I can still at least sketch hands, feet, and certain angles of my body. :D Well, we can tell others they have no excuse with the "I have no model" thing. XD LOL, hey I don't like looking at myself either. But when it comes to art, I don't give a hoot.

Thank you all so much! I should post my looser sketches soon (Robert Sloan may know why they're even looser, too). Robert, I feel sorry for you that you even put up with my Facebook instant messages.

09-07-2010, 05:49 PM
this is all looking good :) my favourite is the teddy bear, early on, you've caught it beautifully

09-11-2010, 11:32 PM
Crystal, these are great! LOL - your Facebook messages are amusing. I never know when you'll turn up. Love your self-nudes, those are fantastic. You've got good volume and proportion in them, wonderful gestures in so many different positions.

Go ahead and post your looser drawings, I'd love to see them.

The facial features look good too. I love that middle eye, it's so fiery and emotionally intense. Good mouths and noses too. Just keep going, your proportions and accuracy are already splendid so you're already in the heights where even loose sketches start to look good!

And of course if you have a cat, draw your cat. (Personal taste. Ari made me add that. Other cats should have to play Hide and Sketch as often as he does. He sheds Cat Hairs of Inspiration on you.)