Hospital Helicopters

With a week to go till the end of her contract, Ashley recommended a new place to wait as she finishes up her shifts at the hospital – a lobby up on the 4th floor which overlooks the main entrance and the helicopter landing pad.

I was only able to make it up there twice for a sketching session. Both times I opted to draw the same view, focusing on the helicopter.

Here’s the first sketch, in pencil and then finished with ink and marker:

After the fact, I realized that I spent too much time worrying about the dimensions of different components (which didn’t turn out accurate anyway!) and ended up with a stiff drawing. No sense of flow, no energy or life. Plus, if you don’t already have an image of the area in mind, it’s a bit hard to visualize.

So my focus on the second drawing was to capture more of the area and loosen up a bit.

Again, here’s the pencil sketch and then the finished ink and marker version. (It’s all one image, I simply do a quick sketch in pencil then ink over top of it, erase the graphite, and then add shadows with the marker.)

I think that this was a much more successful sketch – with everything fitting together better and giving a fuller representation of the view that I saw.

The second was drawn on Ashley’s last shift, so there won’t be any more hospital sketches at Cape Fear Valley. Horray for more adventures!

Pizza the Size of Her Head!

Checking in on friends on facebook, I ran across this picture of Emily. Thought it was fun and decided to draw it. Emily, hope you enjoy! 😀


And here are a couple of in-progress pictures:

First, the sketch in pencil, to help me get proportions correct before laying down ink.

The drawing in-progress – Still have to draw the pizza toppings (mostly different pepper slices) and add some depth to her hair.

The Trixie Trilogy

Mom asked for a portrait of her new favorite child, her dog Trixie (a puptrait?) While my sister and I have been replaced -le sigh- at least Trixie is cute. Here’s the process from draft to finished sketch.

I started with pencil in order to work out proportions and general placement – especially with all of the strands of hair, trying to make sure ahem every hair is in it’s place.

Then I pulled out my drawing pens and began to go over the sketch, adding more detail as I went.

While most of the lines are done with an 05 Micron, I also used an 08 for really solid areas like eyes and nose and the 03 for finer details such faint shadows.

Getting closer! Just a few more details, now.

And the final step is to go back and erase the sketch guide-lines so that only the ink remains.

Add a signature, write a note to accompany it, and then carefully pack it and send it on for Mom and Gary to enjoy!

Sketching at Starbucks

Stopped at a convenient Starbucks to pass some time and caught some baristas working and patrons in line. The one girl was pretty bundled up – long sleeves, vest, apron, fluffy scarf.

And some friends chatting and reading over their coffees.

Eventually the crowd thinned out and I ended up drawing my table and sketchbook of sketches (as seen in the very top picture). For whatever reason that always strikes me as silly and makes me smile. 😀

Speed gesture drawing

Since I’ve been drawing people in the cafeteria, I realize that my speed needs some work. Even in drawing classes I struggled with gesture drawing, trying to put in too much detail in a very short amount of time. For practice, I found, which allows me to set a timer (ie: 30 seconds) and work through sketching people very quickly.

Additionally, since I’ve got a collection of partial sketchbooks from over the years, this gives me the opportunity to finally finish them up! I believe that I inherited the concept that you don’t get rid of unfinished notebooks from my grandparents (learned from growing up in the Great Depression and WWII).

I finally finished the sketchbook that I put together in one of my first college art classes (from the remnants I’d had floating around from years before). Yay! Next up were a few pieces of loose printer paper.

Cafeteria Characters

Coffee shops and libraries are great places to see a variety of people, who will pause for a few moments so that you can quickly sketch them. As are cafeterias and restaurants. While waiting for Ashley to finish work in the mornings I’ve been sitting in the hospital cafeteria, sipping on a coffee and sketching.

Almost everyone goes to the utensil/condiment counter, so it’s a great spot to catch them stationary for a few moments:

My favorite of the day was the elderly gentleman who sat at the table in front of me to eat. Quite the hair-do. Ashley said I can’t grow mine like that…. 🙁

Though, the lady in the serape poncho was pretty fun, too.

And when no one’s there, you can draw the condiments themselves! At least you know they won’t be moving on you.

Sketching, for the fun of it

Confession time, I’m not very good at just making art for the fun of it. I used to sketch and doodle a lot, but after college got out of the habit. Over the last year I’ve started again, in fits and starts. While I haven’t really made any 2017 resolutions, I am making it a point to make more art. Nothing serious, just art for me, for the fun of it.

Actually, I started in 2016. I re-organized my art supplies so they’re more accessible and tucked some sketchbooks and pens/pencils in a bag so they’re easy to grab.

Here are some doodles:

Sitting in the hospital lobby, waiting for Ashley to get off of work.


At a coffee shop, enjoying a French Press.


Someone at the register, ordering their coffee.

Guest Artists – the Nieces

In between working on a couple of paintings I got the nieces to join in on the fun. Here you can see their work from my request to “draw a stick figure”.

Bailee – 10

Ink Stick Figure holding up a sign that says "Kick Me"
I love the bow in her hair!

She saw me working, drawing stick figures with signs and she decided to do the same. You’ve gotta love her sense of humor!

Hannah – 7

Pencil stick figure with a full head of long hair
Getting the hair just right was important!

You could see the wheels turning when I asked her to draw a stick figure, she just wasn’t sure why. But when I convinced her to she made sure to get the hair just right.

Bri- 6

Ink stick figures (and more) by my 6 year old niece
The first two didn’t count

It took a couple of tries to get her to actually draw a stick figure, I got … some other things first. And then I guess we had to go through the Goldilocks process: one too big, one too small, and the third one was just right!