Monday, August 16, 2010

Fun With Pen and Markers

Wow! It has been a while since I posted anything here. I have decided not to take another drawing class this Fall but I plan to keep working on improving my skills. A while back I was inspired to do some work with ink pens and markers. I pulled out some fishing gear with interesting shapes and colors. Here are the results.

This turned out to be a lot of fun to draw. I think I will continue to experiment with these materials.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ink and Watercolor

Here are a few quick ink sketches from my small sketchbook. I have added some watercolors to these. I have always loved the look of watercolor and ink. This is a technique I will be doing more of.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I am about half way through my Drawing II class and I have not posted anything! I have been very busy with work, school and life. Anyhow, here is my favorite project so far this semester. This is a modified version of the Eyes project from page 23 of the Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. In this exercise you just draw your eyes as you see them in a mirror. What we did was to draw our eyes first and then we drew the 5 examples eyes you see below. The we drew our eyes again so that we could evaluate our progress. I have eliminated my eyes from the drawing below as I was not happy with that part of the project, but I loved drawing the examples.

I made one small Photoshop edit to the last set. Seems my scanner bed was not clean and I had some lint on the image.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Random Thoughts...

I have started my Drawing II class and it is going well so far. I have the same instructor as I did for Drawing I but the format of the class is less structured. We will have lots of opportunity for self driven work and it should be very interesting.

One of the things we have to do is maintain a small sketchbook that we just add to throughout the term. There is no set number of drawings and no specific subject matter required. Carrying a sketchbook seems to be a fairly standard practice among artists but for me it is a new experience. I have a bit of a block when it comes to selecting a subject for a drawing. It is strange as I have seen others do amazing work with items that i would never have though to draw. I know it is the drawing and not the subject that makes the drawing interesting but I still have some commitment issues.

I am trying to find new ways of getting my art onto the blog. So far I have just taken digital pictures from my sketchbook but the picture quality has been poor. I will be trying some different ideas for the next few posts to see how they look.

I have come to love using Post-it notes for sketching out ideas for larger works. This is an idea I got from a Doug Chang book and at first I did not give it much thought. For my class I am working on a surrealist landscape project and the Post-it notes allow me to burn through tons of ideas very quickly. An on top of that they are cheap.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gas Mask

I find the gas mask to be one of the creapiest things ever invented. There is a sort of primal fear invoked. This is a drawing based on a photo I found online.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Drawings from Class

Here are few more drawing from my class sktechbook. These are presented in a random order.

The Knight drawing was the final exam drawing for one of the first sections. This section was contour drawings and these were all done upside down. It is an amazing thing to realize that sometimes it is easier to draw something upside down but it is true.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Old Masters

In my drawing class we spent several weeks drawing the human face. For these drawings we used a combination of live models and works of the old masters. Here we have 5 of my drawing based on the workd of the old masters. Saddly, I failed to notate who drew the originals of these works. In the future I will do a better job of documenting my source materials.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Self Portraits

Well, a sketch blog is not much good without sketches. I have been thing a bit about where I should start with documenting my drawing. I decided that a strictly chronological approach would be a little dull. I thought it might be interesting to see some evidence of the value of formal instruction on artistic ability.

The first drawing of my art class was a self portrait from memory. This is nearly impossible to do and in fact it was not meant to turn out looking like yourself. The purpose is the get a baseline on your drawing skill and as a way to see your symbols for facial features. Below is my first self portrait.

As you can see, this drawing is not very good. Trust me when I say that this doesn't really look like me and I would have been surprised if it had. The eyes and nose are particularly bad. In fact, they are symbols and don't look like real at all.

The final exam for the class was another self portrait. This time it was done at home over the course of a week. I setup a mirror on my desk and started in.

This is a much better drawing. Even if you don't know what I look like you must agree this is a much better picture. I really feel that I made huge progress during this class and it has inspired me to continue and art education.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Welcome to my new blog project! This is the first of what I hope will be may posts on my new blog. My name is Robert Brightwell and I am a man of many interests. Some of you may be familiar with a few of my other blog projects. The point of this project is to explore my interest in sketching and drawing.

I guess to start with I should give a little back ground to my drawing experience. I started drawing, like most people, as a child. And as a child, I was as good as you would expect. I did not have a strong passion for drawing but I also had nothing against it. Indifferent is the right way to describe it. By the time I took a technical drawing class in high school I was very much over drawing. It was just a class and as soon as it was done I never thought about it again.

Fast forward a bunch of years. My oldest daughter is very artistic. She loved drawing and painting. She had acquired lots of materials and had created lots of amazing art. I never paid much attention to what she was doing, it was her thing. I would come to regret that greatly. Long story short, she past away in October 2007 and my whole life changed. It changed in ways that I am still learning.

I spent most of the next year in a fog. During this time I thought a lot about my daughter's art. I thought about all that I had missed. I wondered what drove her as an artist. This was not completely foreign to me as I consider myself to be an artist of sorts. I paint miniatures and build models. But I had missed a huge opportunity to make a connection based on our shared love of art.

So, there I was with all these feelings and all this stuff. I decided to pick up a pencil and see what happens. In December 2008 I started my journey. I started slow. I wasn't very good. I bought a book on drawing and read some books of my daughter's. My interest in drawing grew. I started ready some cool drawing blogs and web sites.

By the summer of 2009 I had added lots of new skills and I had acquired lots of new materials. I decided to take an art class in the Fall of 2009. This was a very new experience and the idea actually scared me. It has been a long time since I took a class and I have never taken a creative class. But I did it and I really liked it. Oh sure, the 20 somethings are a little annoying but I learned a lot.

So, there you have it. That is how I came to have an interest is drawing. I have been drawing now for just over a year. I have learned a lot but I still have a long way to go to get to where I would like to be. I plan to continue with the classes. I have been inspired by many of the current comic book artist as well as other illustrators. I am excited to see where all this takes me.

My plans for this blog include posting some of my work that I am proud of as well as discussions of materials and techniques. This will not really be a 'how to' blog as much as a blog documenting my progress and what I have learned. I hope you enjoy it and please leave feedback.