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Drawing out loud

July 16, 2009

The great thing about images is that they don’t always need words to explain them.

The first two images were idea-doodles that I later decided to turn into…..



…the drawings that you see below.



I plan to produce a set of three detailed pen and ink illustrations – but as the images began in my head I needed to refer to something – can’t rub inky mistakes out with an eraser.

There’s no special ‘technique’ to my drawing and my style varies quite a lot, depending on what is called for. I’ve had no formal training and have honestly never given it much thought. I just enjoy myself. Sometimes I print out images from the internet as a means of reference and do my best to interpret what my eyes are looking at. On this occasion, as the drawings seem to have taken on a few reptilian characteristics I’ll print out some lizards or crocodiles to ensure that I depict the warty scales correctly.

Here I used an ordinary Parker propelling pencil that I’ve had for years and hardly ever used. It gives a pleasing, even tone that isn’t too dark and it doesn’t require constant sharpening. Near the end I used a Faber Castell B8 pencil to accentuate the darker areas. This morning I bought my first ever set of pure graphite sticks so am looking forward to trying them out.

There was one interesting thing that I experimented with. After sharpening my B8 pencil, on a whim I thought I’d try sweeping a paintbrush through the attractive shavings and shading areas with the pencil dust. You can’t really see the results on the exposed eyeballs in the lower picture as I used my pencil point over it. I’ll be sticking to the conventional method of shading, but it was worth a try.

If these drawings have intrigued you and you’re wondering what it is I’m trying to illustrate…then you’ll have to be patient. I haven’t started the pen & ink versions yet and as I’m still unsure what I’m doing with ink they may not be very successful.

So please, don’t hold your breath, you could do yourself some damage.

Did I begin this post by saying that images didn’t require words? Oh well.

  1. July 16, 2009 2:46 pm

    These are creative. The eyes peeking around the corner are absolutely perfect. To me it’s that classic “gotta find out what everybody’s doing” pose. I also like your pencil strokes in that. I liked you trying to brush your pencil dust around. Art supply stores sell jars of graphite powder that can be used for that. I was also going to mention that there are water soluble graphite pencils on the market, today. You can wet a brush and actually create a wash from the graphite in your drawing.
    Love the direction you are going. The “eyes” have it!

    • July 16, 2009 3:50 pm

      Gosh thanks for all your helpful tips and encouraging remarks Leslie.

  2. studiomysteries permalink
    July 16, 2009 6:38 pm

    Oh, these are hilarious! I love your madcap sensibility and I LOOOOOOOVE the two eyes peeking around the corner – it’s amazing that eyes in this picture have body language 😀

    I like them all, but those and the first creature are my favourites.

    I just got big fat graphite sticks too, and can’t wait to try ’em out – they just exude fun. Oh, you can get graphite “washes” if you use a chamois cloth instead of a brush. I’ve been trying to apply charcoal dust with a brush and the brush doesn’t give off enough pressure to make stuff stick to the surface, but a shammy gets the job done and it also evens out the texture.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the stuff – you know, you can probably turn these illustrations into things like t-shirts and pencil cases and sell those. I can totally see the young ‘uns buying them and being all cool. (Don’t try to verify this with yours though, he’s programmed by nature to view cool and mom as antithetical).

    • July 16, 2009 8:39 pm

      Great avatar Anna – it’s good to see your face over here.

      Every time I put my pictures up here I have an urge to delete them – then I get such marvelous reactions – which really matter so much, especially as I was merely demonstrating the process I go through before getting into the ink. So thank you Anna I very much value your opinion. Will give that chamois trick a try.

      I read the last paragraph to my teenager (in-between guitar shredding) and he excitedly showed me some t-shirts he’d considered buying, said mine were much better and that if I got some shirts made he’d sell them to his ‘mates’ on MySpace. 😎 Of course, it’s always possible he’s just buttering me up before he hits me with his big favour-ask – but I’m going to look into it

      If it takes off I’ll send you a ‘finders’ fee for the original idea. Put your calculator away.

      And I almost choked on an ice cube with the last comment 😆 *sloshes rest of ice over Anna to revive her*

  3. asmalltowndad permalink
    July 16, 2009 6:39 pm

    The first thing I thought of when seeing your well done drawing, was Monsters Inc. This character could have been used for several laughs. Nice work!

    asmalltowndad: Thank you so much, they were fun to draw. And I loved Monsters Inc. and all things by Pixar.

  4. studiomysteries permalink
    July 16, 2009 6:39 pm

    P.S. I’m gonna hold my breath just to be contrary.

    *passes out*

  5. July 16, 2009 10:08 pm

    “He excitedly showed me some t-shirts he’d considered buying, said mine were much better and that if I got some shirts made he’d sell them to his ‘mates’ on MySpace.”

    That’s so fantastic! I clearly underestimated the young ‘un in question. Hooray for monetization! And child exploitation!

  6. July 16, 2009 11:46 pm

    What fun and (a little) scary drawings! You are amazing and you say you’ve had no training. AND you say these are from doodles! I wish my doodles could look like that.

    I agree, these would look great on t-shirts or other kid stuff.

    Keep posting. Don’t hesitate to put stuff up. Your fans love to see your work.

    -A fan

  7. July 17, 2009 3:48 am

    I need a size L white T-shirt with the eyeballs peeking around the corner.

  8. July 17, 2009 4:41 am

    I’m not that patient, can you give me a hint? Are you doodling during church?

  9. July 17, 2009 10:04 am

    Anya: Will investigations sites such as Etsy and Zazzle – 😕 undecided, needs more thought must create more images first.

    Carol: Thanks for the great feedback. You’re on my Chirstmas card list.

    Leslie: Already, my first customer! 😎 Not sure if I’ll do it so you may have a long wait but watch this space .

    Bill: Anticipation is half the fun and I’m not religious. 😛

  10. July 18, 2009 3:47 am

    OK, June, I’ve got the anticiapation half down. You don’t have to be religious to draw in church. I thought that was the whole purpose of the place. A lot of models with the challenge of them bobbing up and down the whole hour.

    If your energy levels should slide, you can leave Carol off the Christmas card list and send one to me. I will forward it (not the money – just the card, I will add my own happy face so she won’t be too disappointed.

    • InkSplodge! permalink
      July 20, 2009 11:47 am

      wrjones: But I don’t want to be a hypocrit, although I do enjoy singing hyms. I’m glad you have a happy face. Just keep taking the tablets Bill dear, 😉 – sure you’ll be fine eventually.

      Swatch: It’s alright, we’ve stopped all the excited leaping about now and Bill is back in his box. It is great to have an idea to work on. There’s a 9B in my new box of graphite sticks.

      Self doubt impedes progress, so it’s important to put stuff up for scrutiny as the feedback is invaluable – even if it’s not flattering.

  11. July 18, 2009 9:09 pm

    Hey Ink – this T-shirt idea is getting a momentum all of its own – these are fun drawings – the inking is going to be worth waiting for. There is cool kit to collect when you start drawing – 8b sounds very soft – I am going to find one soon. I am also glad you decided to post rather than not.

  12. July 22, 2009 8:45 am

    These are wonderful June! I love creepy creatures and yours are weird indeed, great work. I won’t hold my breath but I will breathe slowly and hope to see more soon.

    As for training, I never learned to draw “officially” either, I just kept drawing daily and experimenting as you’re doing … I agree that it’s all a matter of enjoying one’s self, and I find it wonderfully therapeutic. Have fun! Cheers.

    • July 22, 2009 11:26 am

      Hi Mariana, I became a fervent fan of your illustrations when I came across your site last year and have been a frequent lurker ever since. So it feels great to have a comment on my blog from you.

  13. August 2, 2009 11:11 pm

    Hope you are doing well. Still anticipating some more of your work.

  14. August 15, 2009 4:40 am

    Draw the last thing your son has dropped and left on the floor.

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