General practice

Notice the light effect? Awesome, isn’t it?

Armored helmet

I hate this. Perry is such an impish little dude, and this makes him look like Boris Karloff in “The Mummy.”

Perry Farrell

An abandoned Swiss power station. A good challenge for perspective and shading. Taken from the site Dark Roasted Blend. It’s a good natural take on the photo it’s based on.

Swiss power station

A different take on the same power station. More stylized – about a 3 out of 5 on the crap-o-meter.

Another Swiss power station

Line weights & simple lines

She looks too old. The body shape is good – for a little kid she has a very square and strong frame.

Amish girl

Very quick sketch focusing on shirt and vest and how they sit on his shoulders, and how the collar sits on the shirt and surrounds the neck. Exactly the sorts of details I would have avoided drawing years ago because I always seemed to screw them up.

Amish boy

Quick sketches – of the girl, a boy walking away, and a father and child. The latter is good – I like it. Although I did not capture the truly awesome boof-head of the kid – his hair was amazing.
Amish studies

A copy of Michael Mazur’s untitled sketch of a head. The original is truly amazing – smeared charcoal but beautifully human. I loved doing this drawing – nothing like grabbing a 6B and attacking the paper like a madman. But he lacks… humanity.
Mazur face

Exorciste chiaroscuro con arrogance

Poor Linda Blair is so screwed-up, what with the demonic possession and the salacious crucifix fascination and so on, that we’re sending in not one exorcist but a whole freakin’ horde.

Is that the collective noun for a group of exorcists – a horde?

Exorcist horde

All this for one line. Just one line: that of Max Von Sydow’s profile. And here is the first attempt out of all these attempts – and it looks like a marshmallow:

Exorcist head one

The last effort was a little better:

Exorcist head 2 - non-marshmallow

The young Bela Lugosi

This is from a sad photograph. It’s of the young Bela Lugosi around the so-called success of Dracula. He’d been a successful stage actor, was bonking Clara Bow (behind his wife’s back), and was making a fortune. And then the film was a success and he was ruined.

Sketch: about 90 minutes, Koh-i-Noor 0.5 mm, 2B. I redid his eyes about four times – still wrong. And his head is actually much more round than this. I like the pic – I think it works well – but it doesn’t look like Bela.

Bela Lugosi As A Young Man

Vincent Price

Two studies of Vincent Price. All about measuring and values. I really like the values sketch – it looks more like Price than the fleshed out sketch. (0.5mm Koh-i-Noor, 2B, about an hour between them.)

Why Vincent Price? Why the hell not.

Vincent Price

So here we come to the main sketch, where it all gets brought together.

Yeah, it all gets brought together in a storm of crap. What’s wrong with his left eye? Where is the right hand side of his head?? Is his mouth moving to the right due to gravitational pull??? Jackass!

Nice sense of light source, though (jacket unfinished). (0.5mm Koh-i-Noor, 2B, about an hour.)

Vincent Price (again)

More bloody chairs

Focus on measuring and texture – it was a beaten up wooden chair with paint flaking off.

About 30 minutes with an 0.9mm 2B mechanical (GraphGear 500).

Chair of the wooden variety

I like the chair itself, and the wood feel is okay. But the “paint flaking off” doesn’t happen.

Next chair
This was all about getting the chair to look fat and soft and made of material. Or something. Done with my Koh-i-noor 0.5mm 2B over about 20 minutes.

Poofy chair

It works well, but lacks all subtlety. I need to be able to convey the feeling without such an aggressive approach. I think.

Measuring practice: chairs

Measuring practice with chairs found in photographs of abandoned asylums, dumps, ruined houses, or trashed by the side of the road. Why chairs? Because if something is out of place, you can instantly tell. There’s a few of these chairs that wouldn’t stand up by themselves…

Carousel horse

Nice black and white sketch of a carousel horse. I’m going to color it using Derwent Graphitints, and so I wanted to preserve this original before I screwed it up.

Carousel horse

And here he is, coloured (about 40 minutes):

Carousel horse in colour

OK. But watch your highlights – there is no clear light source in this picture, and it’s the highlights that give it away (the shading isn’t great, but it’s better than the highlights). Choose a light source and stick to it.


Quick horse sketch
Started out doing it for basic shapes, and it ended up a nice little cartoon pony. Done with HB, Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100.

Little horse

Study of horses heads
I had an entire other page before I did these… and they still suck. The last one at least looks like a horse and not an alsatian. Took about 30 to 40 minutes to do this group.

Biggest technical challenge: Measuring. Look at how far wrong the first one is (and remember I’d done about six before it).

Biggest form challenge: Ears. The f*cking ears. Good grief, but they were long one nightmare. The hair isn’t good, but it’s just a throwaway addition, whereas the ears were a must. Just so wrinkly-twisty. Top-row I used HB non-mechanical. Bottom I used the GraphGear (HB). Odd color is scanner noise (I did it as 48-bit color).

An ensemble of horse heads