Category: Drawing

  • Quick iPad Sketches

    One evening last week I had the idea to draw some quick sketches to illustrate some concepts in the Praxis curriculum. I used my iPad, Apple Pencil, Procreate, Paper by 53, and Pixelmator.

  • A quick vacation sketch a few weeks ago at a diner after seeing many buoys along the Maine coast.

  • Learning to Draw, Day 21: Coffee Cup

    Instead of another try at my portrait, I decided to try another drawing with a focus on light and shadow, so I set up a swinging arm lamp to light up a coffee cup on a pedestal.  I drew it live and took a photo afterward. The photo isn’t from the exact perspective I viewed […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 20: Rushed Self Portrait

    I was supposed to do another self portrait today after learning about seeing light, shapes, and lines.  I was rushed, mentally distracted, I forgot to tone the paper, and I shifted my seat, which messes up my angle of view in the middle of the drawing.  In other words, it sucked. I’m going to try […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 19: Shadows and Crosshatching

    Read about different intensities of shadows and various crosshatching techniques, then practiced them:

  • Learning to Draw, Day 18: Light Logic

    Today I read about light logic, which results in four aspects of light and shadow: Highlight (brightest light) Cast shadow (darkest shadow cast by a subject blocking light) Reflected light (dim light, bounced back by other surfaces) Crest shadow (shadow that lies on the crest of a rounded form, between highlight and reflected light) To […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 17: Filling in the Details

    Today I filled in the details of yesterday’s drawing and fixed some of the scale issues. It isn’t perfect, but I’m going to call it complete today and move on to another drawing tomorrow.

  • Learning to Draw, Day 16: In Progress

    Today’s drawing is still in progress. I had a busy day today and spent the entire evening down in the city, so I only got about 30 minutes to start a drawing of a leaf on the cover of this book I’m reading. I’m going to work on filling in the details tomorrow.

  • Learning to Draw, Day 15: Broadway Bridge

    Today I did a quick sketch of the Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River on my iPad.  After I completed the drawing, I saw multiple places where I messed up the proportions and perspective. In particular, I made the bridge much too wide. I’ll pay particular attention to that tomorrow. 

  • Learning to Draw, Day 14: Drawing on the iPad

    Today I decided to take a break from the specific Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain exercises and try out drawing on my new 10.5″ iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I used the Linea app and did another pass at my Day 8 hand drawing. I don’t yet have fine control over […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 13: Live Profile Portrait of Amanda

    Today I drew a portrait of Amanda’s profile. She graciously sat at the table and worked while I drew and revised. This was difficult. I don’t feel like I nailed it. Should the eyes be further back? Did I get her nose right? How do I handle the shadows and subtle curves of the cheek […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 12: Profile Portrait Warm-Up

    Burning the midnight oil. Today I read about expanding the sighting and spacing I’ve been working on the last few days to faces. Then I spent about an hour applying what I learned to a line drawing of a portrait by Sargent.  Here is the comparison: Tomorrow I draw a profile portrait of a real […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 11: Perspective

    Today I did exercises to learn how to draw perspectives. The first was about finding scales and angles, then the second was a drawing of a complex scene to put those to use. I chose our entryway, complete with a crooked doormat and a pile of our shoes.  I think the left side came out […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 10: Negative Space

    Today I had to draw a chair, but not in the usual way. Instead of drawing the lines and shapes that make up the chair, I had to draw the negative space instead. I didn’t take a photo or use the plastic pane very much, but drew from looking at the chair and occasionally using […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 9: Hand with Object

    I repeated yesterday’s exercise, but this time with a fountain pen in my hand, cap on. It took me about an hour. I still don’t quite get the shading, but it is becoming easier to zoom in on details and lines. 

  • Learning to Draw, Day 8: My First “Real” Drawing

    Today I did my first “real” drawing. Not a trace, not an upside down copy, but an actual drawing. I focused with one eye on my hand and drew the lines and curves the best I could.  I still don’t really know what to do with shadows, highlights, etc, but I’m pretty pleased with my […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 7: Tracing a Foreshortened Hand on a Plane

    Today I did an exercise to help see like an artist sees: Using a plastic viewfinder to create a flat plane, resting it on my hand, and then using a non-permanent marker to trace all of the edges. (Reminder: In drawing, an edge is where any two areas meet, not just an outline.) I did this […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 6: Pure Contour Exercise

    Today I read a section on childhood drawings and then did another exercise to help me shift my perception: Pure Contour Drawing.  I put my pencil on the paper pad, scrunched my hand together, turned so I couldn’t see the paper, and then tried my best to draw the creases I saw in my hand […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 5: Upside Down Tufted Titmouse

    Today was the last upside down copying exercise: Picking a line drawing on your own and copying it. I searched around for a few minutes on Google Images and found a drawing of a Tufted Titmouse from Here is the upside down comparison: And the rightside up comparison: I felt my focus shift a few […]

    Learning to Draw, Day 5: Upside Down Tufted Titmouse
  • Learning to Draw, Day 4: Upside Down Knight

    Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain recommends copying 2-3 line drawings upside down to get a sense of how it feels to shift to a different way of seeing. Today I copied a line drawing of a knight on a horse by an unknown German artist. It was easier than yesterday’s drawing, […]

    Learning to Draw, Day 4: Upside Down Knight