I found this picture from a general internet search for interesting faces. The photograph was a black and white and leant itself to a sketch very readily.
This woman has kind eyes and the sketch was done very quickly. I’ve started doing sketches like this in little boxes I draw on half a piece of 8.5 x 11 inch sketch paper so I can do two facial sketches per page.
Here’s a simple pen and ink / watercolor of Lewis Hine.
There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of Lewis Hine – even though he was one of the most influential photographers of the first half of the 20th Century.
His photographs of children and their working conditions in the first part of the 1900s so shocked the nation that congress passed laws against child labor that got kids out of coal mines and mills and into school.
He was a great example of the positive influence that a single artist can have on the world.
And here’s another in the series of cartoonish doodles I worked on last week.
I also liked this one with two chains hanging down. What is hanging from the chains? Is it a swing that is out of view off the bottom of the page or something else?
I’ve been watching a channel on YouTube called “Peter Draws” and was really inspired to do some doodle drawings – these are a bit more cartoonish than I usually draw, but I ended up liking them quite a bit.
All of these were great fun to do sitting in the local coffee shop drinking hot chocolate on a cold and rainy Seattle day recently.
I think that every single thing that you draw somehow becomes part of you and will have some positive effect in a future painting or card that I’ll do one day. I guess it is like Art Karma.
Here’s a sketch I did recently of Theodore Roosevelt.
My goal of doing a detailed sketch every single day for a year is still solidly on track. I am slowly coming around to believing that drawing is a skill like any other and that the more you practice, the better you get. The advancement is not purely linear though. There are times when I feel like I can’t draw anything! And then I’ll suddenly be able to draw someone on a first try that looks really good. The good news is that the more you draw the more often they turn out right. You also get faster so you can produce more. It’s all a positive cascade of benefits from hard work.
Favorite Teddy Roosevelt Quote: “With self-discipline most anything is possible”
Here is a watercolor I did based on the Edward Curtis photograph of Red Hawk, Oglala Sioux.
I think this is one of the more famous photographs from the Curtis collection.
The image of the Native American sitting proudly on his horse is awe inspiring. The horse is drinking from what one imagines to be a cool clear pure pool of water while Red Hawk sits upright as he contemplates his connection to nature.
I liked the way the water ripples around the horses nose turned out – lucky accident.
This watercolor is a continuation of my series of paintings done from photographs taken by Edward S Curtis in the early 1900s of Native Americans.
This one is of Lies Sideways who was apparently of the Crow Tribe.
Curtis humanized his subjects in a way that no one had done before. And I love being able to interpret his photographs more than a century later though the medium of watercolor.
I painted this watercolor of Mark Twain a while ago and I waited to post it on my blog because I wasn’t completely happy with it. For one thing, I overworked it a bit. The best watercolors have a vibrancy that comes from just painting them and not having to rework them. I also added some white back with fresh white paint out of the tube. Of course, the best way to get bright white in watercolor is to leave the white paper in-touched by any paint. At the same time, I’ve recently watched some YouTube videos of some world class watercolorists use white (or even bright orange) right out of the tube so I guess I’m in good company.
“When in doubt tell the Truth”
~ Mark Twain
p.s. Here is sketch I did at the time I was doing the watercolor. I do a lot of sketches before I paint most of my watercolors. This time, I drew this sketch after I did the watercolor – I almost prefer the sketch to the watercolor because it seems more spontaneous.
This is just a watercolor I did yesterday in my sketch book. I’ve probably driven past this 1000 times on my way to places since it’s near my home. One day, I just stopped and took a picture, knowing that I’d want to try to paint it.
I think the fact that I wasn’t trying to make a great watercolor helped me on this. I was just messing around in my sketchbook and started painting and it ended up better than I expected.
Brock Elbank is a British photographer who takes amazing portraits of interesting faces.
One of his portraits caught my eye in a web search and I wanted to see if I could capture a lifelike portrait of this subject in watercolor.
I overpainted the beard a bit and needed to pull up some of the pigment with a paper towel but I think it ended up ok. I like that the background is light. I’ve learned that if you overpaint the background, it usually does not go well – so keep your backgrounds light on watercolor portraits.