Finished Beta Fish Drawing and Back to Art While in Car Line

It took me most of the summer to finish my gosh drawing, not because I am really slow, but because I never had a spare moment to myself. Thank goodness school has started, and I’m back to spending and hour in my car waiting for car line to start and using that time to draw. I finished my fish drawing in two days, and now I’m working on a mushroom drawing.

Here is the completed fish drawing. (Ignore the bad lighting.) I may touch it up later.

I’ve also started a drawing of a mushroom. I took the reference picture using the “portrait” setting on my iPhone. I love how everything but the mushroom is out of focus. I’m going to see if I can replicate this effect by hand.

I’ve started the initial shading of the background, and we will go from there.

Have a great day, everyone 🙂

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Fighting Fish Drawing and Watercolor Wendy

I’m trying through the month of June to do some kind of watercolor every day, even if it is just a sky. Im being cheap and using up the rest of the yucky paper watercolor block I have, and already I’m frustrated. However, I need to get the feeling do the painting back, and I would rather not waste paper with that. I also want to continue drawing, and I’m still working on that fish. Over the weekend I basically finished the body. Here it is:

I may still work on the body some more, but I need to get the detail on the fins started.

I also painted a sky the other day, and I wanted to put something in it instead of it just being a sky, so today I painted Wendy walking the plank. It’s definitely not my best work, but I had to lift out a lot of the sky, and the paper is cheap so I damaged the paper where Wendy is. It’s just sketchbook work, so I’m not being too picky about it, and it was fun to get back to watercolor, especially doing my own thing instead of reading about how to do it in a book. Here it is:

Anyway, have a great evening, everyone!

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Fighting Fish – Last Car Line Drawing of the Year

My last day of waiting in car line to pick up my daughter from school was yesterday. I get to car line about 30 minutes before school ends and use the waiting time to work on drawings. It has definitely helped me develop my drawing skills, and it’s kept the art habit alive. I guess I celebrated my last day adding scales to the brown part of my fish. I’m aiming for the head to be the focal point, so I am concentrating most of my detail there. I will smudge out the scales the farther back on the fish I go.

I will adjust for color variations next. Here it is, with a closeup of the scales:

Here it is in the whole picture:

Have a great day, everyone!

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Fighting Fish Drawing – Working on the Body

I chose a fighting fish, aka a beta, as my next drawing subject. Big. Mistake. This thing has soooo much detail. I’m using graphite, so I can go as detailed as I want to, but I also know that too much detail will overwhelm the viewer. I’ve laid down the initial shading for the fins, and I’m starting to add in the second layer and detail to the body. Tonight, I basically sat looking at this fish, totally overwhelmed.

I decided to pick the main focal point, obviously the head. I will concentrate on making the head my most detailed part. That is where I will focus on drawing the most scales. I will fade those out as I do the tail. That should get me through the body during car line tomorrow.

I still don’t know how I will get through all those fins, but I will worry about that when it is time to draw them.

Here is what I have so far:

Here is the reference photo:

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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Stuff I’m Working On

I haven’t posted in a while, mainly because I’m lazy. Well, not lazy… I have this tendency to consider a project done once I’ve finished it. Sounds good, right? In theory, yes, but this means I tend to neglect things that need to be done even though the actual project is over: clean up, blogging, filing, putting things away, framing, etc. so I’m doing art every day but not blogging about it every day, and I’ve met that slip for too long.

I’ve finished the waterfall graphite drawing. This basically took forever. I’m pretty sure it’s far more productive to spend longer periods of time working on something like this rather than short bursts, but I was able to get it done. Here it is:

Here is the reference photo:

I also finished up that tiki drawing I was in the middle of during the last post. I’m now seeing a couple things I can clean up on this one, including adding shadows of the base to make it look more grounded to the wall, but here it is:

I also decided it would be fun to draw a fighting fish. (I guess the are called betas.) You know, because hey, for your first fish project, don’t just get a simple fish… No, choose a fish with such huge, long fins that trying to draw it is kind of like trying to draw yards and yards of chiffon blowing in the breeze. Anyway, here is the fish I have so far:

This is the initial shading layer. It’s going to take quite a while because this is the reference photo:

Hopefully I will get this fish done quicker than that waterfall photo. Have a great evening everyone!

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Waterfall Sketch – Slowly but Surely

I haven’t posted much for about a month, but I have been steadily drawing this waterfall picture every day I’ve been waiting to pick up my daughter in car line. I’m in the second layer of drawing. I’ll be starting the third layer next. I need to darken the darks and up the detail level.

Here is the reference photo:

Happy Easter weekend, everyone!

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A New Waterfall Drawing & a Tiki Room Sketch

Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since I have posted. Quick sum up of my life:

  • I got sick with a cold that turned into a sinus infection, and I lost my voice 100% for about a day. (See my last post.) Basically, it was 10 days of antibiotics and prednisone, and I’m still dealing with sinus issues.
  • I’m sick—again. And I’m losing my voice, again. This time, it has settled in my chest, so I guess I’m thankful that it’s not in my sinuses creating more havoc.

I have been doing art, but I haven’t been posting on it. However, I must confess that I haven’t been doing art every day. I’m going to start a challenge in April with watercolor, so that should help get me back in the habit again. Basically, I’ve been drawing in car line, but nowhere else.

Anyway, here is the waterfall picture I’ve been working on. Most of the detail is on the bottom left side. (I’m working up and to the right.)

Here is the reference photo:

Obviously I have a ways to go here.

I also took a little time out and decided to work on this little tiki man from the Dole Whip area near the Tiki Room at Disney World. I’m hoping to finish this in car line tomorrow and then get back to my waterfall:

Here is my reference picture:

Basically, I’ve learned that too many colds in 4 months can knock you off your game. I simply haven’t been healthy except for 3 weeks since October, and the exhaustion is wearing on me.

Have a great evening, folks!

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Drawing Another Waterfall

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted. I’ve been doing art everyday, but I’ve been forgetting to post it. I got over Covid, but now I’m deep in the middle of another cold that isn’t going away. I’ve also lost my voice (again). I think being sick, even with a cold, can totally take it out of you.

So meanwhile, in car line, I’ve been working on another waterfall picture. I’m not sure where this one is, but it’s really pretty. I’ve blocked it out with some shading, and I’ve actually started adding in some beginning detail to the surrounding rocks. I forgot to take a picture of it for the past few days, so here is my most recent one:

It’s not much to look at yet, but it will get better…

Here is the reference picture:

Oh, and I have added some more shading to the Niagara Falls picture. I made the middle falls darker:

I’m heading to Disney World, so I will work on Drawing something from there each day, and I promise I will be better at posting.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Niagara Falls Drawing Complete!

I finally finished this one in car line. I could probably go over each part again, but I’m definitely ready to move on to another drawing. I’m also hoping to start getting to more watercolor painting during the days while my daughter is in school. Hopefully next week I can start.

(Yes, I know it’s not much of a blog post. I’m watching the 49er’s/Packers game.)

Here it is:

Here is the reference pic:

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Drawing a Heart and the Importance of Good Equipment

I volunteered at my daughter’s school today and got to drive her home instead of waiting in car line. I didn’t get to start any artwork until around 9:45. I decided to draw a 3D Heart. I have done so many spheres and eggs and pyramids that I figured a new shape would be fun. I didn’t just want to draw any old heart, though. I decided to draw a heart at a super weird angle!

Through this little late-night exercise, I was reminded how important good equipment can be to the final outcome of your piece?

Why, you may ask?

Because tonight was a total equipment fail.

Here are some areas where equipment makes all the difference:

  • Pencil choice. Yes there are tons of artists pencils out there. I prefer the Mars Lumographs. I like how they blend, and I am used to them. Whatever pencils you choose are probably your favorites. I guarantee you that any pencil works better than the Target Generic Mechanical Not-Really-An-HB mechanical pencil that I decided to grab. Oh yeah, success at my fingertips… (I’ve actually found that the more expensive Bic mechanicals work really well.)
  • Paper. This, again, is personal. Just not that when you buy a Michael’s Artist’s Loft Sketchbook with 100 pages, it’s not the best, most blend-able paper out there. Nor should it be. It’s a sketchbook. It’s designed for people who need to do a quick sketch of a football or a 3D heart so they can draw something and go to bed.
  • The blending stump. Until tonight, I never would have thought the blending stump you choose mattered to the finished product. I bought some new ones off Amazon. I’m not sure if they were the problem or if it was me choosing the smallest on possible for no real reason other than I wanted to save my big ones for something more “important.” Anyway, this skinny blending stump, well it didn’t. You had one job to do, Stumpy! (On another note, these stumps will go aerosol when you have to grind them up with sandpaper, so make sure they are made of something you aren’t allergic to. I’m allergic to grain, including rice and corn., and I once bought stumps made of rice paper. I don’t mind touching rice paper, but little bits of rice paper sawdust floating through the air are bad for the breathing.)
  • Eyes. You need good eyes to draw stuff. If you don’t have good eyes, improve them. Get—and wear—glasses when you are trying to draw. I was lazy and did not get my glasses. It totally shows.
  • Erasers. I need my Tombow. I was already in bed and didn’t want to get it. So I used the generic Target Mechanical Pencil eraser, which doesn’t. My heart highlights aren’t. (The paper doesn’t help the eraser, either.)

One non-equipment related item. Posture and seating. Not only does lying on your side trying to draw in bed make your neck hurt, but it also doesn’t give you a good view of your work or a good angle to draw. My work is skewed partially because of laying on my bed instead of sitting up. (The other part of the issue is probably a Michelle Error…)

Anyway, what this amounted to: I couldn’t blend anything smoothly, so the heart looks cheesy. I couldn’t erase the heart highlights, and I couldn’t see whether or not my eraser was in the right spot because 1) I couldn’t actually see that close and 2) the eraser didn’t erase enough.

Below is the heart. It’s not too bad considering, but I’m definitely seeing how equipment and art supply choices make such a big difference.

Here is the reference picture:

What about you? Have you ever had an equipment fail?

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