Inspired by a lot of talented artists lately, I finally decided to have my first animal study (a very brief break from portraiture), and it’s no other than my favorite poetic bird; Macaws, particularly, the Scarlet Macaw. If you’re conversant with my works, you’d discover I’ve used her reference in some poems of mine including The Spree, The Parade and most recently in The Beauts, and these I really enjoyed writing.
What I particularly love about this bird is how her plumage exudes different colours, so much that one could sense rainbows getting jealous. Sadly though, blending these colors could actually prove difficult as colour segue could take time to be properly administered on the sketch.
However, I’m okay with how this drawing turned out and I look forward to hearing your favourite bird and how it rivals a Macaw’s beauty (Still undisputed though).
In coloured portrait realism, one common misconception amongst budding artists is that the more expensive the pencils used, the better the artworks. Well, that may be true in some cases, especially in the grip of professionals; however, for beginners, several factors come to play like patience, tone/depth understanding and also the art of gradations. The truth is, every artist has that wand of a pencil that seem to bend to his/her will and create magical art pieces. I mean, I’ve seen excellent artworks completed with Crayola pencils that could rival those completed with Caran D’ache luminance pencils; hence, it’s not just a matter of the pencils, but, the dexterity of the artist. However, I’ve been exploring mediums lately to find suitable colour pencil sets for portraits. On my quest, I eventually crossed paths with this Black Widow colour pencils, which I used to portray the innocence of this child. Initially, I had a creepy feeling towards the pencil set, considering its name, but I gradually grew fond of it (nothing to worry about for arachnophobes). I particularly liked the dark skin tone variant, as it provided lots of vibrant colours to layer and blend. The pencils generally proved promising and have been included in my list of dependable pencils for portrait drawing. Are there any other pencils you know of that is not part of the mainstream media and has presented excellent results for you? Do let me know and who knows, it could be my one and only.
It’s been exactly three years now I rekindled my old flame for drawing, and since then, I made it a tradition to have a drawing of my baby sister for her birthday. In that time, I’ve had four drawings of her, which I like to see as a present to her and also as some sort of annual progress in my artistic journey.
This particular drawing is portrayed as the remake of a graphite sketch I had of her in 2019. I particularly enjoyed this drawing as working in coloured pencils seemed to prove a challenge at the early stages (especially with the skin tones), but ultimately, turned out okay. After sketching my first colour pencil portrait not too long ago, I had serious doubts I’d be able to replicate the levels attained in the drawing, but having this recent portrait of my sister has really served as a confidence booster to take on other challenging art studies with coloured pencils.
So for this and many more glorious reasons, Happy birthday Ugochi. Stay gold!
Inspired by my last post, I decided to make my first portrait sketch in coloured pencils after dabbling in graphite pencils for a while now; and I must say, it felt good; even though it took quite some time to complete than those previously sketched with graphite pencils.
Given the unlimited shades of hue, sketching in coloured pencils could prove daunting when one tries to blend several colours, just to match the right skin tones, capture the golden mesh of a lass’s tress or portray the azure eyes of an adorable child; and if the artist isn’t ready for PATIENCE 101, he or she could easily be dispirited. But, I’m glad that wasn’t the case here, and also happy to see the drawing to its reasonable completion.
With this, I’m ready to introduce the newest member of the dry media family (Coloured Pencils), hoping she, alongside graphite pencils will be my knights in shining armor when new shading challenges come forth, particularly in these troubling days that needs a lot to keep sane.
In realism, particularly pencil shading, I’ve come to realize that a careful choice of materials really play a crucial role in finished artworks. Back when I started drawing, I solely used printing papers and HB pencils, which definitely aren’t the worst media any budding artist could begin with. Truth is, the sketches seemed appealing at the time, until questions on depth, contrast and longevity arose. As first steps to tackling these questions, I purchased a STÆDTLER graphite pencil set to deal with the issue of tones and depth, hence achieving more realism; and an acid-free Strathmore Sketchbook to make the drawings last longer on paper without smudging or fading away. This actually made the drawings improve a bit, but it just didn’t feel right to stop exploring other art materials.
After watching a couple online drawing tutorials, I came to know about this Bristol vellum surface sketchbook and how finished drawings looked breathtaking on them, so, I decided to get one for myself. While making this baby drawing on the recently acquired sketchbook, I felt jealous of the camaraderie between the tip of the graphite pencil and the surface of the paper. Each stroke of the pencil glided effortlessly on the paper like a graceful geisha skiing on winter ice. I was also happy with how the paper could capture the contrast the pencils were willing to offer. The drawing ultimately proved to be one enjoyable art piece for me, and I can’t wait to see how other dry media including charcoal and coloured pencils would fare on this sketchbook. Fingers crossed.
My recent reference for portrait sketching is a lady who has proved that no one is ever too young to attain the greatest heights of success, thus, making her a source of inspiration to teenagers all over the world.
For the upcoming 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony slated for the 26th of January, 2020, she has bagged an impressive haul of six nominations, including the big four categories (Album, Record, Song and Best New Artist of the year), making her the youngest person in history to do so in the same year. She may as well be the youngest to win them all at once, who knows??
She, for me, has been the best prodigy to break out in the music industry since Lorde, not just for reanimating the sleeping ears of goth pop fans around the world, but for the impact she imparts with her music.
So, without much fuss, here’s my somewhat botchy sketch of the 21st century born, Billie Eilish.
So it’s Christmas, yay! A season where the atmosphere brims with joy and the love is so palpable. As it would be, this day happens to celebrate the birth of some special people including baby Jesus and guess who, (whispers) my brother.
After drawing my sister a few months ago, I had to make a promise of sketching him before his birthday; I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a pencil depiction of someone celebrated by the whole world.
I’m very happy to have finished this sketch before the year runs out, as it means I’ve completed the sketches of the best things that happened to me this decade.
So with this, I’d like to say happy birthday brother and a Merry Christmas to everyone!
Here’s a sketch of this cute baby I came across while scrolling through Pinterest just the other day.
Immediately I saw her, I began to imagine the quirky world babies immerse themselves in. A world where tantrums aren’t ignored but cared for. A world where one could wear a smile for days and not think much about its laundry. A world where everyone’s so eager to hear the first words of your story. A world where there’s no deriding of one’s incessant mistakes but always a helping hand. Simply put, a world without worries; at least I think.
What most will give to be in this version of the world every moment.
Inktober has turned out to be a fun-filled movement every artist would love to be part of, and because of this, I’ll be responding to a prompt or two before it finally draws the curtain in the coming days, starting with this.
Without further ado, here’s my little sketch depicting two famous best buddies embarking on one of their silly joyrides.
Pennywise is back!! The ever eerie clown from the movie IT, adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same title, just released its Chapter Two (Its third cinema adaptation) some days back and it promises to be one to send shivers down enthused audiences’ spines.
Before its 2017 release (IT: Chapter one), I had seen a lot of horror movies, so much that the horror genre of movies actually became my favorite due to its unwavering thrills and sometimes, gore, but I hadn’t quite seen one which centered on a terrifying clown preying on the fears of little children. I very well enjoyed the movie, so well that I became enamored with clowns (Coulrophobes will find this strange) and made my very first attempt at Pennywise sketching.
The role Pennywise plays in IT can also be related to pencil artistry. Pennywise can be seen as that aura of darkness smeared in graphite, while the little children can be viewed as budding artists. As budding artists, we’re scared of delving darker in any of our drawings with the thought that we may end up ruining our art piece, so, we instead, use light shades on our sketches, just to be on a safer side.
The use of dark shades and shadows with a mixture of good highlighting and mid-tones, tend to give form and depth to drawings, hence, making them pop out of our canvasses. This is one fear I’m still particularly struggling to overcome in pencil realism, but we all know what happens to Pennywise at the end of the story.
So, without further ado, here’s my recent attempt of the ominous clown, Pennywise. You’ll float too🎈.
Over the course of last fourteen months , I’ve had three drawings of my baby sister, who, by the way, happens to celebrate her birthday today. Woo hoo!
With her beguiling smile, charm and a little bit of petulance, she was able to lure me into this recent drawing of her, which I very much enjoyed to say the least. She has also been one of my dynamic references who I can actually attribute her real time growth to my artistic growth, so, I can’t thank her enough.
After attempts one and two, I’m quite tempted to say that “the third time’s the charm”, but looking back at it, I can only be amazed at the progress from each of them, hoping for more development in the coming years.
Here’s my recent attempt on El (Millie Bobby Brown) from the Netflix original series, Stranger Things.
Upon the completion of this drawing, I conceived some thoughts on artistry, particularly pencil drawing:
•I’d like to think drawing as the portal between two worlds: our world and oblivion, where the artist is its gatekeeper and his/her media, the keys.
•I’d like to think artists as those who not only possess the deftness of visualization, but also the ability to percept ultrasonic screeches from entities stuck and forgotten within the walls of blank canvases, waiting to be let out. Strange.
•I’d also like to think a pencil artist as a “compassionate sorcerer” who with the subtle strokes of his/her wand and the seething darkness spewing from its tip, conjures up his/her deepest epiphanies from a clean slate. Dark magic, huh.
•I’d finally like to think that just like alpha numerics, drawing should be learned and not necessarily inherent, thus, all humans are artists, making us gods of some sort from the aforementioned thoughts. Hence, before that bob start clanking repeatedly on our aluminium coated mindscapes, yelling, “I’m not talented, so I can’t draw; or I’ll never reach the levels of elite artists”, remember that not all Greek gods reside at the summit of Mount Olympus, not even the nine Muses; but we budding artists can only strive to get there.
Over the years,some stone cold female assassins have graced our TV screens including Mystique, Nikita, Talia Al’ Ghul, Elektra, Jane Smith and even Arya Stark, but none caught my eyes the way Oksana Astankova does. Her mecuriality, charisma, femininity and scathing sense of humor makes psychopathy seem charming and fun. She is truly one enigmatic and exuberant serial killer portrayed by Jodie Comer brilliantly.
So, here’s my sketch of Villanelle from the amazing TV series, Killing Eve.
After my camaraderie with HB pencils, I decided to get a graphite pencil set ranging from hard to soft grades (2H – 8B) in order for me to plumb the depths of sketching and shading. To be honest, having a wide range of pencil grades to choose from, seem to ease the attainment of value and depth in portrait drawings.
So without further ado, here’s my recent stop, Jenny, on my progressive artistic journey.
At long last, the totally absorbing series, Game of Thrones, drew its curtains after eight fantastic seasons albeit a somewhat drab series finale.
Nonetheless, here’s my sketchy tribute to Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, The rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Queen of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons,regent of the realm.
Last year, the world witnessed some wonderful animated movies including Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Isle of Dogs, The Incredibles 2, Smallfoot, The Grinch, Mirai and the likes, but, one that particularly stood out for me was Ralph Breaks the Internet. The way its plot relayed the real world social media to an in-game fantasy sphere was second to none.
So, here’s my portrayal of its protagonists (Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz) in HB.