Haunted by the past,
and the eerie sands of time,
hopes of days unborn,
blow over in mere mindscapes —
Life’s desolate trick or treat.
Haunted by the past,
and the eerie sands of time,
hopes of days unborn,
blow over in mere mindscapes —
Life’s desolate trick or treat.
Sketchbook: Arteza Drawing pad (80lb)
Media: Black Widow colour pencils.
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.
Summer’s scorching reign was over, and the world finally became a stage for the succeeding princess. High hopes were held of her and the events of her coronation as documented in a lost journal reads;
As the sun crowned autumn,
with a fitting tiara bathed in gold,
whistling winds blew their bagpipes,
tree twigs swayed softly in the melodious aura,
and lush leaves fell fatuously
in deference to her majesty;
Alas, not all subjects agreed to bend the knee,
for they feared the land’s drought may never cease,
and how did the new queen respond?
Well, she sicced her soldiers on them.
There’s the graceful allure of august auroras,
and the radiance of a splendid sun,
seeing through the teardrops of heaven;
There’s the ravishing bloom of pink cherry blossoms,
and the artsy resplendence,
weaved into the plumes of swirling macaws;
There’s the last golden smile of a summer sunset,
and the stunning dazzle of the moon and stars,
enlivening the gorgeous collage of the night sky;
but, of all the beauties mother nature has borne,
you, my dear, will forever be second to none.
Sketchbook: Arteza Drawing pad (80lb)
Media: Arteza Coloured pencils.
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!
when days turn sombre,
as the night dims the sun’s smile,
the moon doles out milk.
Do stay positive in the midst of adversity, and as always, have a lovely day.
…through the keyhole of her confines, she sees how poor the world has become; Thence, she mutters;
can one ever really be free,
when all that lingers in captivity’s dust,
is the thin veiled irony,
wheezing, “Freedom cometh at a cost”?
I’ve seen the colour of music;
yellow like a budding sunflower,
with blotted petals clothed in tumeric;
I’ve treaded her country, so idyllic;
where love and lust tastes sweet and sour,
and the dreams bequeathed inspire moments of magic;
I’ve heard her melody, so angelic;
easing my nightmares in the darkest hour
as the crickets chirp a solemn panegyric;
and when I feared my world grew paralytic,
with pain urging me to cower,
she became a soothing analgesic;
Alas, the tale she tells can sometimes seem cryptic,
as her throbbing pulses conceal its true power,
and her wordings can sometimes be toxic,
like a fierce fanged hound geared to devour;
still, I’ll forever be in awe of her alluring mystique,
for she has given me a thousand reasons to stay poetic.
Sunday Sketchbook: ARTEZA Drawing pad
Media: ARTEZA Coloured pencils
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.
…bleeding on knife-edge whilst waiting on the dawn of life’s beauty, a voice whispered within…
as life mirrors art,
days may seem sketchy and gray,
till you smear crayons.
tombed in pillory,
our hopes seemed evanescent,
till He awakened.
Also, feel free to read this Easter free verse as you enjoy the wonderful season in the comfort of your homes.
Do stay safe and stay blessed.
Heaven’s polka dots,
swirl free on His teal canvas—
Sunday Bristol Sketchbook – Page 1
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.
hello, dear diamond,
come abide by my frail heart,
let’s make a full house.
Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 8
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.
With tongues sunken deep,
the flowers sang serenades
of her loved ones gone.
Blank pages flipping,
quaint quills dancing in the wind,
while ink drowns in mirth
as a new chapter dawns forth—
so, what story will you write?
A very glorious and wonderful New year to you.
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!
She begrudged the cat,
who had nothing but nine lives—
thus, she chopped her soul
into facades of many;
her death, by a thousand cuts.
Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 6
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.
In response to today’s Inktober prompt, Catch, here’s my sketch and Tanka.
It’s the ninetieth lap,
and she’s began to perceive
death’s gruesome talons,
strumming her cuddly coattails;
alas, she smiles anyway.
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.
Sombre seas, the stage;
mournful clouds, the audience;
stern sun, the spotlight—
he oars through his pool of tears,
with none to ease his burdens.
donning decent dew dresses,
dazzles drowsy dawns.
Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 5
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🎈.
I write this to ask you,
How did we drift so askew,
to the point where
the vain is inanely adored,
and the sane is insanely abhorred?
Why do the colours that make rainbows smile
and give the auroras her alluring style,
no longer ignite beauty sparks on faces,
but smear the tracks of individual races?
Why do we worship the elitists
at their altar of greed,
but ignore the sinister cysts,
sprouting on those in need?
Why do we still play the game called fame,
whilst our high-scores keep putting us to shame?
When did everyone suddenly become so fickle,
leaving us to trust only the Reaper’s thrusting sickle?
If you’re reading this, I need some answers,
I really do,
because the world slowly sinks into hate’s murky gutter,
and I need to know how to keep my head above water.
breaking breathtaking barriers,
bewilders best brains.
Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 4
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.
On Earth’s green carpet,
the gallant gull struts her stuff—
nature’s top model.
Page 1 of my Strathmore Sketch pad.
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.
Through her needle eyes,
the swirling seam of the sea
stitches her ripped heart.
Tasty red herrings,
on salvers of food for thought—
our daily diet.
O dear sullen clouds,
Heaven’s own cotton candy,
don’t you dare cry now.
Like sixes of one,
and two threes of another,
we seemed so alike,
but as same magnet poles do
we keep on drifting apart.
Page 4 of my sketchbook
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.
out of black holes, crept nascent stars,
not so far from the planet, Mars;
fragile, their bodies seemed,
gleefully, their mien beamed,
charring away our scarlet scars.
sneering seagulls sing,
as he oars through lonely seas—
a party of one.
poised on a pear perch,
the trapezist flaunts her plumes –
enmeshed in beauty;
and as we took our hats off,
she leaves feathers in our caps.
Page 2 of my sketchbook
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.
The stars, I offered,
along with lustering moonstones,
yet, she needed space.
Would you help me up,
when crows sing the sun to sleep,
and my demons wake?
Buoyant balloons blown,
bask in their fullness of air,
’til they burst to bits.
Sitting in the back pew,
within walls shrouded in lew,
I beheld this wonderful creature,
with a smile belighting all of nature;
Her skin knitted in fine threads of gold,
unspooling from looms in Midas’ hold,
and her tress flowing like the river Rhine,
in ways so slithery, so serpentine;
Alas, my heart’s chalice yearned a fill,
but I feared it may drown in its overspill,
so, there I sat ogling away,
hoping to have this dream another day.
The Scarlet macaw,
piercing the gusts as it swirls,
paints our dour town red.
she basks in my gleam,
when the world lusters so bright,
mimicking my steps,
but when my sunset comes forth,
she elopes with the obscure.
Page 1 of my sketchbook:
It’s been a while since I sketched something, so, I got hold of this sketchbook and a couple pencils, then decided to portray Arya from the Game of Thrones series.
Still off by a long shot, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let’s see where these baby steps to realism lead and how many souls I’ll draw out from the walls of these blank pages.
and she said to me…
show me your dream plans,
heave me your broken pieces,
and I’ll build you up.
Blessed be the gusts,
for dead trees shall dance unclothed,
to thy forceful songs.
On ice cold mornings,
bell clanks stay sunken in frost,
while sloth drowns the bed.
It’s that time again,
when he travels round the sun,
with hopes not to burn.
Crisp orange sunset,
plunging into still waters,
makes our goblets smile.
On barren orchards,
riddled with fey coated seeds,
the heavens weepeth,
yearning a sprout from their tombs,
with olive branches to realms.
Ripped to bits, I was,
then, there came this soaring sylph,
with so much ardor,
who gathered my frail pieces,
and made a mosaic of warmth.
Here comes the dawn of a new year,
and the heavens echo, my friend:
withering flowers will bloom, sad hearts will cheer.
and we shall not cower in fear,
in times when ripples need be amend,
because here comes the dawn of a new year.
a little odd some days may appear,
a little low we beings may descend,
but, withering flowers will bloom, sad hearts will cheer.
remove the mask, burn the veneer,
for upon ourselves we may depend,
because here comes the dawn of a new year.
and as we go, bleak may seem the atmosphere,
with each road posing a dead end,
yet, withering flowers will bloom, sad hearts will cheer.
For we shall dream less and toil more, my dear,
and the fruits we reap, we may not comprehend,
because here comes the dawn of a new year,
where withering flowers will bloom, sad hearts will cheer.
It’s been eons since you left,
but, your perfume still lingers in the attic;
the sun sleeps,
the dark creeps,
and as each day passes,
our past evanesces,
now, memories of you are
as thin as a knife’s edge,
and the more I cling unto them,
the more I bleed out,
so, it’s time I let go.
The early snow falls,
swans swim, maids milk and lords leap,
a joyous fete looms.
Cheemnonso™ wishes you a very merry Christmas.
I looked up to you
for a light unto my path,
but your light shone so bright
that I turned my back on you,
now, all I’ve become
is a silhouette,
lost in your midst.
O solemn silent nights, we crave thee,
graced with spirits; not one, two, but three,
come tuck angst in to sleep,
and make heavy hearts leap,
for your aura brings nothing but glee.
Stray thoughts glide unseen,
through the mists of my mindscape,
searching for the perch.
The drums of my heart throbbed,
as you left me to wither,
but its melody so sonorous,
as sonorous as a swan’s song,
sweeps you off your fragile feet,
and slides you right next to me.
brightens our gloomy neon nights,
numbing creeping plights.
The golems of ire,
spits fire into men’s faint hearts,
coursing madness through.
Desire of the flesh,
raises tombs where Pharaohs lay,
sowing seeds of fey.
The earthy goddess,
enslaves men to her vile vines,
Blindfolded, I groped,
stumbling through damning darkness,
and then, I found you.
On lonely pathways,
strewn with crumbs of affection,
we feed till we’re sate.
Like the rainbow,
our love breeds beauteous colours,
but, we’re colour blind.
Through the storm, we sailed;
with you, the crafty captain,
and my heart, your oar.
life paints beautiful pictures,
We wandered astray,
further into the wastelands,
where hearts evanesce,
and listless love lay athirst,
yearning for our drops of tears.
stray strands of Luna,
swirling in the milky way,
tastes like honeymoon.
The fierce fangs of time,
gnaws deeply on my feeble flesh;
soon, I mummify.
Locked in mirth’s insides,
Ecstasy holds her hostage;
Her heart’s arrested.
awe-gusts and august auras,
apays all ages.
Walking on water,
Spirit and soul stays afloat,
Burdened body drowns.
Lost in the Ether,
the withering flower blossoms,
A mundane mystery.
Sweet sonorous songs,
Engulfed in good tidings,
Postured in the walls of our hearts;
This, I wish us these
Mustering magnificent memories,
Burning all scarlet scars
Etched in our lives,
Radiating joy forth.
Susurrant sage sounds,
sleekly slays savoured savages,
stirring startling stares.
The thin veil called life,
Fragile as it seems to be,
Yet, precious than gold.
Why does a man grin when
He’s half way up in his success story,
Yet, sobs when he’s half way down??
Guess one can be Happy and Sad at the same time.
Graceful as a soaring sylph,
Fills the earth with warmth.
That moment when the hands of time stood still,
beknownst to me, a salient star is born,
brimming with joy from her head to her heel,
in a world prepossesed in angst and scorn;
I saw her for who she was to become,
not even a single sane soul could compare,
with her beauty rendering Aphrodite numb,
and her mien as cold as Medussa’s stare;
Fifteen seeds festooned in her garden by God,
fifteen years it took the first to germinate,
umpteen fruits harvested from thy first pod,
umpteen souls her Midas touch will make sate;
Really pleased blood strangled us with its ties,
leaving us with good times and not goodbyes.