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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Book Note: The Featureless Plane

Yeah yeah, writing a book, going well, lots done, lots to come, you’re up to speed.

In related news:

I was thinking about the process of writing, which is to say, thinking about appropriate amounts of detail, specifically from the perspective as a fledgling author.

My rough draft is rough indeed, with the intent of getting to the end of the book (if not the story) and then going back over it and not only cleaning it up (editing) but fleshing out some of the bare bones details.

Let’s go to the board, and I’ll show *and* tell my thoughts on detail.

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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: 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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New Colored Pencils PLUS Another Completed Coloring Pattern

Whoa, too much for a Monday! Let me see if I can break this into bite-sized chunks.

First: I finished an actual drawing (pencil base with colored pencil finishing) but half of the files are on my home computer, and the other half are on my phone. So that story will appear tomorrow.

Second: I was pricing out colored pencils for the serious artist, and a) decided I’m not triple-digits-dollars serious, b) this is a completely unsolicited plug, but apparently Dick Blick slashes prices damn like whoa, and c) found out that Joann’s jacks their prices waaaaaay up, calling into question the “value” of their discount coupons. For example: The 120-pack of Prismacolor Premier pencils goes for about $93 at Blick, about $120 at Michaels, and $229 at Joann’s. (All the same set.)

However, I went foraging around at Joann’s anyway because 50% coupon, and found out that Spectrum Noir (of my go-to alcohol markers fame) also makes colored pencils. And! They’re actually a good value with the 50% coupon: $34.99 USD down to $19 with sales tax. Thus:


Here’s the inside of the box:

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