Sketchbook: RFA Lesson Four Homework

I finally made time to play catch up with the ongoing beginner drawing tutorials at Rapid Fire Art. I left off at Lesson Four: Proportions.

There were four homework sketches for this lesson. I posted one here earlier. Here are the other three.

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Sketchbook: Gracie

I’m taking a break from the book for a few days to let some ideas settle. While that sits and stews, I got in some art work on Wednesday:


This is very much the rough cut, kind of like the state the book is in right now. This reminds me of a police artist sketch where it’s not an exact likeness, but in the ball park. Meet Gracie.

Of the bunch, Gracie for me is the most fun to write. She’s in her early 20’s (21, I think) and trying to sort out what to do with her life. She’s bold and opinionated, but learning that having all of the answers aren’t the same thing as having all of the solutions.

I tried to sketch up the hair cut she gets during the story, but I really didn’t get there. It’s supposed to be a fade on her right side with a pixie cut on the left, more or less. I’m not that hip to women’s hair styles.

Gracie is the polar opposite of her middle sister Agnes. I had fun writing scenes with the two of them, as they really challenged me: I want the characters to be recognizably different from one another, just by dialogue alone. The things they wear and other affectations are window dressing. I believe I have succeeded, just in the rough draft.

I’ll tighten up the draft soon and work more fictional magic, but anyway, it was fun to visualize my favorite character and get some sketching in.

RFA Lesson 4 is Up: Proportions

I see how it is: I get wrapped up in writing a book, and Rapid Fire Art does 2 tutorials inside of a week. Today’s lesson: Proportions!

Before I get into that, I want it to be known that I finally made time to derp around with my sketchbook, and as per Lesson 3, I was in fact trying to do 3D.

/tosses that lesson over my shoulder

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Sketchbook: RFA Lesson 3 is Up!

Hooray, the latest beginner tutorial is up at Rapid Fire Art! This time around, Darlene is explaining how to make the jump from 2D to 3D. Check it out!

While I was waiting (cue ominous foreshadowing music) I Googled around randomly one evening and found a site called Envato Tuts+. And it was there that I found a key piece of advice for the aspiring, or established artist:

Think with forms, not lines.


Once I read that, and the associated tutorial, I couldn’t switch it off for days. Everything I saw around me could be rotated around in my head, like Tony Stark in Iron Man designing his next suit. Thanks to the sheer volume of book writing I have been doing lately, I have managed to get out of that mode, and Darlene’s latest lesson switched it back on again.

So this entry is going to be a mash-up of RFA and Tuts+. Hopefully it all meshes together nicely.

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Sketchbook: Sunglasses vs Un-Glasses

As told on this very site, the lion’s share of my creative energy is being channeled toward writing a book. This means I haven’t been working on much else, artistically.

To further gum up the works, I finally went back to wearing contacts and have been acclimating yesterday and today. I found quickly that the only way to see anything sharply within about 3 feet of me involves reading glasses.

Today I whipped out the sketchbook and sketched up the sunglasses I am finally able to wear:

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Sketchbook: The Barn in the Woods

As told elsewhere on this site, I’ve been working away on a sketch turned colored pencil drawing, and at long last the reveal is here!

First, the photo I worked from:


Photo credit: Olof Senestam (FreeImages)

I started with the baseline sketch:

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Sketchbook: Skills Sharpening

It was a very hectic work day on Monday and there was barely time for any sort of art-related shenanigans except strictly for breaks and lunch. Sad trombone! But that’s okay, the day job is important. I fit in the art stuff when and where I can, both home and away. Today features a little of each.

Continuing with yesterday’s theme, I did the “the item closest to you is your subject, now sketch” thing and kept at it, turning the pencil sharpener at different angles to get used to approaching the same item from different angles.



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Sketchbook: Expanding the Toolbox

Ever since I got all hopped up on trying out the tutorials and other exercises over at Rapid Fire Art, I decided to “invest” in a set of drawing pencils. I say that in quotes because Michaels has a series of art supplies called “Artist’s Loft” that tends to run about $5 USD per item/set, depending on what you’re into. I stopped by this weekend and picked up a set of colored pencils as well, because the set I’ve been using is rather brittle and certain colors aren’t holding up to being sharpened very well. Oh well. More on that story later, by the way.


Note: I am not receiving any sort of compensation from anybody referenced in this blog post. If that ever changes, I will disclose accordingly. Just saying.

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