Tuesday, January 27, 2015


When I decided to sketch this picture of Derek Jeter, my intentions were just to practice some other drawing forms. I usually dont do to many sports figures but he has always sparked my interest. I can actually say that I can't recall any sports figures or legends that had taken interest in so much. The glow the whole idea of being in the position to take the game with his next hit just made me excited. I started this drawing with the grid technique . Drawing even squares on my 18x24 pressed paper with a 9h drawing pencil, leaving an inch off of the edges on each side and I measured and created the same even squares on my photo. I hadn't used this technique in awhile but Im glad I did for this picture . I used black electrical tape to pin my paper down onto a larger sheet of project paper. Painters tape or electrical tape is inexpensive, reusable and peels away easily. 
I started immediately with my sketch after applying my grid, with the outside then the face specifics . This process is crutial for lining up everything . I applied a small amount of pressure during this process because I knew later I would be erasing all the lines so the lighter the better. 

 2. Light Grid and Shading 

 Some light shading with my 9h pencil assisted me with my progress . 9h is the lightest pencil in my collection and it does wonders for light shading . I would recommend using the same pencil for shading as drawing the grid lines. I shaded the skin to completely and erased to create some high lights. It's really important to shade the skin with the lightest pencil because it basically sets the tone for all the other shades in your picture. You can always go darker but it's nearly impossible to go from the darkest shade to an extremely light shade. 

3.Shading with the lightest pencil possible 9h

I proceeded after the light shading with my 9h pencil to shade in this order 9h 7h 5h 2h hb 2b 4b 6b 8b 9b, 9b is the darkest in my set . I actually used a charcoal pencil after that. I over lapped and applied moderate amounts of pressure in some areas to create dept and shadows. The picture was a good reference but you have to be looking at both when you are focusing on small details . The small details is what gives your picture a realistic effect, That's what I'm going for. 
4. Progressed shading to bring my picture to life .

As I progressed small details took a lot of time. I actually spent 2 hrs on the hand and glove. Taking a break from a picture is recommended because sometimes you'll need it. I've lost myself in a drawing or painting a few times and couldn't see what I was doing at all. Fortunately I was blessed not to have had that experience with this one. 
5. Shading with a shading nub and using a sheet of paper to avoid smears 

This is the finished results and I was completely satisfied. I think the grid techniques is awesome. It's a great way to line everything up . I never cared bery much for erasing but overall I definitely plan to use this technique again. He is definitely ready for a fast ball .

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sketching For Fun

I've been sketching more than usual this week . It all started when I decided to challenge myself to working with paper smaller than 11x17. I have to admit that in the last few yrs I haven't really sketched much because I already had the idea in my head and that was definitely not the best way to sharpen my skills. Now don't get me wrong, I have sketched on canvas prior to painting but that wasn't my idea of sketching at all. I had not sat and blended for hours like I had in the past. I had gotten to the place where I thought I was past the sketch proces and that couldn't have been further from the truth. Sketching will always be the foundation of creating . I realized how much I was missing when I picked up my #2b and #5b pencils to do some shading. It didn't need to be anything large and complicated . I simply just needed to fill my paper with something I had a taste for and this is what I came up with. 

This was the basics of lining everything up.

Next i usually sart with the face because likeness is crucial 

I shaded and added some highlights took about 20min

More details and a lot of shading 

This close up shows some of the pencil work 

Here's the almost finished picture . 

Practice does improve your skills. I think this 10x12 sketch came out great . 

Friday, January 2, 2015

A work in progress

. My studio has been cluttered with large pieces of canvas for quite some time , so I decided to start on a few paintings one day prior to the new year . I vow to have them finished in just a few days. I hadnt painted much the past few momths so I finally had to ask myself what was I waiting for . When I decided to paint I just grabbed a few ideas and went for it. This year I plan to paint my heart away , I'm painting until I run out of canvas . Here is some work in progress . This is A painting of Jimi Hendrix 36x48 Acrylic on Canvas . I love the results so far .

I used a #5 drawing pencil then outlined a few areas with a thin marker 

I decides to start adding layers after I was sure of the shading

usually start on the face and eyes because those are the most important parts of a portrait to me. 
The background just happened . It was a mixture of yellow, green and white. Some more shading and blending with water soften everything a little .

More progression 

I started with the hair prior to finishing up the face ....I didn't want to risk having to rework certain ares due to mistakes . And this is where I am 
to be continues ....