March 13, 2013 sketch

Long time ago I was asked for a commission of a black cat, but the reference photo provided consisted mostly of beautiful amber eyes and some very dark blobs that suggested the cat surely was somewhere there in the almost black surrounding. I could not even guess the rest of his face, so asked for a better photo and never heard back. But what was not good enough for a commission once, could work for my own amusement. This is a different cat, and I am not sure how so much of it besides the eyes got into the sketch. It was not planned for.

March 13, 2013 sketch (black cat) - colored pencil on colored paper, 6" x 4"
colored pencil on colored paper, 6″ x 4″

Sketchy horse

sketchy horse - digital art (done with Harmony)

“Sketchy” is a style in Harmony that I like the most. Besides being imprecise and somewhat unpredictable by nature, it does not take kindly to thinking as you draw. The result is always a disaster, and the later in the process it happens the worse it looks. Since this is my first attempt to draw a horse in Harmony, disasters happened more than once. Luckily, I only use black and white, so for the most part when black gets out of control I managed to offset it with white. It’s not exactly erasing, but I think it works.

Other things I learned:

– colors in the color wheel come out anything but what I select and what shows in the preview square. Grays always have some odd tint, so I had to drop the idea of using them, or this would be one psychedelic horse head. I was not in the mood for psychedelic at all.

– apparently just because you can draw on the sides of the toolbox that is centered at the top of the page, it does not mean that you can draw behind it too; that’s how the horse lost nice pointy ears that I was going to give her

A growing… something

A growing... something - digital art

I haven’t visited Harmony for a long time, not even sure why. It’s a great place to get unstuck (and I am stuck thoroughly with an abstract piece right now), to unwind after a stressful day, and to doodle away no matter what your circumstances are.

Harmony is perfectly capable of helping you make realistic art, but that I could do on my own, right? So for the most part me and Harmony create strange things like this one.

January 22, 2011 sketch

January 22, 2011 sketch - colored pencil on colored paper, 4" x 6"

colored pencil on colored paper, 4″ x 6″

We were hiking at the Shoreline Open Space today, watching egrets, ducks and sandpipers of all kinds, a pheasant even, but the best sighting happened when it was too dark for shooting. And by too dark I don’t mean my coffee hands that can fail even in the broad daylight. Slava said he would not even try either. There was a ruffled up small white egret on a tree stump, just a silhouette of her backed by glowing water. She looked totally like an evil spirit who felt safe enough in the dusk to show up while people were still walking around, and a very beautiful spirit at that. Since shooting was not an option, the sketch from memory will have to do.

January 2 , 2011 sketch

January 2, 2011 sketch - pastel pencil, ink, 6" x 4"

I am on an ongoing search for a travel-friendly substitute for a Rapidograph pen. Not that anything bad ever happened to me, but every time I read a horror story about a Rapidograph exploding during the flight or staring to leak dues to a change of temperature in the car, I start to think that carrying one around is not a good idea. The problem is that each and every alternative is not black enough.

My latest find is a Tombow ABT one with a tip shaped like a brush. This, indeed, is very convenient, but the problem remains – it’s dark gray at best and requires more than one layer if I want black. So the quest for a truly dark pen that is not a Rapidograph continues.

October 20, 2010 sketch

October 20, 2010 sketch - graphite pencil, 4" x 6"

graphite pencil, 4″ x 6″

I need to use this kind of funny looking mane in a more involved portrait of a foal. Not sure yet what it will be, but it deserves to be depicted in full detail.

Also, it pays to check what sort of lead is there in the mechanical pencil BEFORE you start drawing. That saves a lot of effort when you get to the darks. I forgot that soft over hard doesn’t quite work if you are looking for even darks, so had to continue with HB. Still wondering how it got into my pencil in the first place.

September 11, 2010 sketch

September 11, 2010 sketch - charcoal, 6" x 4"

charcoal, 6″ x 4″

I rarely miss the ocean and its chilling breezes, but today was certainly the day. Too much driving in a car that resembled a hot oven, too much walking and sitting in the sun for my liking. Lots of art activity is good indeed, I just wish the weather didn’t decide early in the morning to suddenly compensate for a cool summer.