Hands, hands, millions of hands

Various hands – all done with a B. Paper/size as usual for the last few posts. It is excruciating to do them small. If I block off a small area and try to draw inside it, I end up with a fingernail and nothing else.

That lower left corner sketch was meant to be the whole hand plus some wrist – but I just… couldn’t… do it. So the really small one to its right was done as punishment.

Hand sketches

Polanksi’s Macbeth

Notice how it’s not “Macbeth” or “Macbeth, 1971”, or (more importantly) “Finch’s Macbeth”. It’s “Polanski’s Macbeth”, the film bankrolled by Hugh Hefner.

Banquo (Martin Shaw) on the left, and Macbeth (Jon Finch) on the right.

The original sketch is another 6″x4″ on el-cheapo paper. Mostly done with an F and 4H.

This is a black and white scan of the image.
Macbeth 1

And this is an RGB scan of the image. I wanted to test out an RGB of a grayscale image.
Macbeth 2

There’s more fidelity on the RGB – of course, it’s a 48-bit scan versus 24 for the grayscale (highest my Epson 4490 does for grayscale).

Romay Sketch

Lina Romay. Spanish girl, star of such luminous masterpieces as “Female Vampire”. I did a few freehand sketches of her and just couldn’t get her face right, hence the grid. Done with an 0.5mm 2B on very cheap paper with no tooth. About 60 minutes.

Lina Romay

There is a curious story behind the image. I was on Flickr, trawling through, and came across the photo of Romay. I’d never heard of her before, so I Googled the name. And discovered she had died that day (December 27th). Only it wasn’t her. The gal I’ve sketched took “Lina Romay” as a stage name from a much older actress who was a singer back in Fred Astaire films etc of the 1940s, and it was the older actress that had died, aged 91.

Random crap

I managed to make Bono look up-himself: quite an achievement (ha ha). Also, a random archer; almost as fun to sketch as horses (my two favourite things, for some reason). And a very quick sketch of the lead singer from Rammstein, with his burning angel wings apparatus; did this to try and capture the weight of the wings.

What a jackass

Random cats. Shadow of the silhouette was a challenge – the darkest dark is not at the limb/edge, but offset slightly from it, and it’s not uniform.

Some cats

Grid cat one. Done without grid, then with the grid overlaid to repair. I was not close on nose, eyes, and mouth. Note the eyes especially – the real width was double what I had.

A cat

Grid cat two. This little guy took about 90 minutes. Graphite – B, F, H, 4H. All with the grid. I darkened the shadow in the window to make him stand out more – could have gone darker. Actual size 6″x4″ (on my laptop screen it’s almost the actual size).

Grid cat


Almost all of the following was done with my GraphGear 0.5, 2B. Paper is a small (approximately 3″ x 6″) cheap pad, worth about 50 cents – rubbish quality but who cares?

First up: A lousy take on David Puddy – “This is bogus, man!” The chick from one of Lange’s seminal visual-documentary photos of the depression – although, I found out the story told by Lange is hardly credible, given the family are mostly still alive to refute the photographer’s claims. And a quicky of Rae Dawn Chong – because, let’s face it, she’s gorgeous even when covered in war paint (you probably can’t tell that from my sketch…)

A couple of quick faces

Second up: Street children from various places around the world. The third is a poor sketch of a Chinese beggar child – the first sketch I did of all this lot, which is probably why it’s a little more cartoonish.

More faces

Third set: Two girls barracking for Germany at the South African world cup. One photographed early in the tournament, the other obviously much later (ha ha). A skull copied from the awesome Justin Sweet. And a tyke from Arkansas, from the depression, sitting in his raggedy clothes on the porch of the family farmhouse. I couldn’t capture his smile – one of those, “Aint life grand!” smiles because he’d never experienced anything different than poverty, and hadn’t been taught to be ashamed of it.
Faces gallery number three

Fourth up: Two beggar children and a gypsy child. My favorite set.
Faces gallery number four

Fifth up: Two beggar girls. One had hope the other didn’t – hopefully you can tell which is which.
Faces gallery number five