Life drawing

Life drawing in conte charcoal watts atelier method


A series of quick sketches from the last life drawing session.
After the model kept insisting on the absolutely irrelevant poses (like the middle one, on the left) I decided it was time to (kindly) ask her to do something a little more dynamic, and she grabbed a chair. Next will be having a better lighting! Getting there little by little.


Post Office dudes strike back

Post Office dudes strike back

I had some time to sketch at the post office again (heh). I started sketching when I saw an old man getting to the employee to do something, and throwing his bike helmet into… a trash bin. It was his way to avoid the helmet from getting dirty on the floor as there was no place where to put it, and he needed both hands.
Then, I spotted another interesting subject. A middle-aged man was yawning in boredom while waiting, probably since quite a  lot before I came in. You can see him on the bottom left. The others are just generic doodles, quick faces and a pose of people passing by.


Gelato (Ice Cream) Truck

There are always plenty of folks in my town’s square on Sunday, as we have a pretty big local market. I went out sketching again today, and sat down right in front of an ice cream (gelato, in italian) truck, which I tried capturing on the sheet. I couldn’t finish it as I had to get back for lunch, but I’m quite happy with the result, nonetheless.

Ice Cream Tuck SketchThe guy at the very top left was kind of happily eating his sandwich, sitting at a cafe. I couldn’t get its funny expression sadly, I think he didn’t have more than 1-2 teethe left in his mouth, while the guy opposite (with the full mouth, second from the right) was assaulting his cake, totally ignoring his wife’s complaints.


Post Office Dudes

I had to go to the post office this morning. I took the chance to bring my sketchbook with me and try sketching out something. I spotted some interesting poses, although I always have trouble sketching people from life…when they move 🙂
I tried following James Gurney‘s advice on drawing subjects in motion, who actually suggests closing the eyes to freeze the last image you saw in your mind. It did work, to a certain extent, but I need to practice more.

Sketches: Post Office Dudes

Then, I spotted a very weird guy all of a sudden. He was kind of hunchback, wearing a reddish jacket and carrying a pink shoulder bag. He was totally odd. His grey-ish hair were long enough to reach the mid of his back, loosely tied in a messy ponytail. He was wearing some huge sunglasses and totally had the look of an old lady mixed with a rockstar of the 70s. I think he had lipsitck as well… or had just eaten some blueberries. I did a very quick sketch of him from the back (you can see it above), but he sadly left after a few minutes so I couldn’t really catch his face.
I don’t know whether his bag was heavy or what else, but he kept the right shoulder almost stuck to his cheek. A character.

After getting back home, I tried drawing him from memory. I’m pretty sure he didn’t exactly look like this, but the feeling is all there. That’s what would happen if my friend’s cousin’s grandma had some passion for rock. Still, he was a man…probably. The post office’s employee told him “We will have to bear you for another month.”. Odd! No idea what they were talking about, but it was worth writing that down.

Sketches: Post Office Weird Dude


Sketching Dinosaurs

While I am still trying to figure out a decent (!) article on Gamut Mapping, I’ve started sketching a few dinosaurs from various videos and images. If you’re interested in them, you should definitely check out Discovery Dinosaurs on Youtube.
Anyway, I’ve been willing to explore the subject more in depth, having been a big fan of James Gurney, the almighty creator of Dinotopia.

I think his creative approach should be an example to any (wannabe) artist.

Here are my sketches anyway, just simple studies to get the feeling of the creatures.

Dinosaurs Sketches 1 Dinosaurs Sketches 2 Dinosaurs Sketches 3 Dinosaurs Sketches 4 Dinosaurs Sketches 5 Dinosaurs Sketches 6

Don’t ask me to name them all 😀 I can barely remember Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops

p.s. yeah I did write the idiot text on the T-rex. It totally looked like a MEH face.


Christmas Robins

A few days ago I got terribly inspired by a video I saw on the Art Tutor Facebook page (this one: Make Your Own Watercolor Christmas Cards – 2014) and I decided to take on the challenge of painting robins myself! I used some reference photos I found on Pinterest (here: and drew a couple of quick sketches of the birds. Then, I traced them using vellum, exactly as shown in the Art Tutor video, covered the back with a soft pencil, and traced them down to watercolor paper (140lbs Bockingford NOT). Here are the paintings, followed by the sketches:


Watercolor Christmas Cards 2014 - Robin 1

Watercolor Christmas Cards 2014 - Robin 2

Bird sketches: Robins


I didn’t use the last sketch yet, nor the other reference image I have (which is quite inspiring, I have to say). So I believe I’ll come up with something else very soon. As for the palette, I used a mix of Rose Madder and Lemon Yellow for the orange of the breast, then Ultramarine plus Burnt Sienna for the various gray/blue/brown colors, varying proportions to get the different tones. For the black, once more the same two colors but with as little water as I could.

It was definitely funny, have a go yourself! Feel free to use my sketches as references for your own cards! And thanks again to Siân Dudley for the inspiring video!