Sketching from TV

I’ve been enjoying using my new jumbo iPad Pro 12.9 and Apple Pencil with the Procreate App to sketch interesting characters on TV shows I watch. It’s fun getting back to drawing faces, especially when the actors are emoting.  It’s fun and addictive experimenting with what the app has to offer and trying to learn about all the different brushes and features.


Above from Broadchurch — not quite a likeness and lots wrong with the drawing but had to stop sketching and watch the rest of the episode! ( (it’s back for Season 3 on BBC America). All of these sketches are done in Procreate, with Apple Pencil and jumbo IPad Pro. This one used a combination of airbrush and technical pen. The other two below mostly used the 6B pencil.

Above from Million Dollar Listing New York, a guilty pleasure reality show about some competing high rolling realtors, the beyond fabulous properties they are selling, their clients and colleagues and personal lives. The guy on the left is a very tall angular Swedish realtor and on the right his small round faced older client.


My favorite show right now, streaming on Amazon: “Suits” about a high powered NYC corporate law firm.. It is a bit like a cross between the Good Wife and Doogie Howser MD and MacGyver. Like the Good Wife it deals with current issues, but there is a lot more humor, oddball characters and eye candy.

From Veggie Porn to Bad Begonias

Veggie Porn, oil on Gessobord panel, 8x8"

Veggie Porn, oil on Gessobord panel, 8×8″

I’ve developed the goofy habit of storing my leftover cucumber in the bell pepper half when I prepare a salad. It always makes me laugh so I decided to paint it. My sister called it veggie porn. I hope it makes you chuckle too.

I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts, a simple list with images of what I’ve been working on, successes, challenges and what else is going on in the studio and my life. Theoretically it will mean less writing and more frequent posting. So here goes…let me know what you think.

CHALLENGES: I’ve been struggling with composition, discovering half way through a painting that the composition sucks and the painting will never be an enjoyable thing to look at.

SUCCESSES: I finally got the willingness to begin all paintings with some thumbnail sketches. I realized that COMPOSITION is simply the structure that directs the eye around the painting, creates a feeling of action or stillness and (if done well) delights the eye. Two of my favorite painters, Susan Jane Walp and Giorgio Morandi use composition in unexpected ways, and both delight the eye (or at least my eyes) whether they are following or breaking the “rules” of composition or making their own.

LETTING GO OF A BAD PAINTING: This one started off really happily but ended up in the trash, after scraping and redoing it over and over until I killed it so dead it couldn’t be revived. I just felt there was too much red, that it was too “hot” somehow. A friend suggested adding black. That was the final nail in the coffin. I’m not sure why I’m even sharing it at all.

FAIL: Bad Begonias, oil on panel, 10x8"

FAIL: Bad Begonias, oil on panel, 10×8″

SKETCHES: I try to do a sketch from the SKTCHY App at least weekly. Here is a recent one.

Isabel T, from Sktchy photo reference, graphite, 12x9"

Isabel T, from Sktchy photo reference, graphite, 12×9″

WHAT I’M READING: “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.” Great book about how our devices and apps are designed to keep us using them. I waste way too much time web-surfing on my phone. This book gave me some tools for changing my habits along with a good talking to! I think it’s a must-read for parents especially.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys on Amazon music, which I like much better than Apple music. (If you’re interested, here’s a link to  Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial)

Pomegranate, Persimmons and a Brick

Pomegranate, Persimmons, Brick, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10x10"

Pomegranate, Persimmons, Brick, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10×10″

(SOLD) This painting went through so many changes. I started it before I got the awful cold that kept me out of the studio for over a week. I lost my focus while painting the cloth draped in the background and at the end of the day scraped off the afternoon’s work. When I came back the next day, my foam core shadow box had collapsed and was on the floor along with the drapery and the LED light that I’d perched atop on a piece of plexiglass. Fortunately the brick held steady as did the fruit.

That accident gave me the opportunity to try a different background. I removed the white paper I’d been using to cover the black walls of the shadow box and painted the now darker background. I had fun painting the persimmons and the brick and I think I did a good job understanding them; the pom not so much. It  should have a more geometric, boxy shape, not be so rounded.

Below are the stages in trying to get this thing painted, along with the set up as it changed. Click on an image to see full picture, scroll over images to read captions.

(SOLD)
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Bits and Pieces (while falling to pieces with a cold)

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Sunflower and Pomegranate Studies, oil, 5×10″

After I did these two studies on one piece of Arches Oil Paper focusing on values (started with transparent earth color underpainting), I caught a nasty head cold. I feel super lousy and haven’t had the energy to paint but I’ve done a couple sketches, below.

Pomegranate and persimmons on a brick. 2B pencil in 8x10 moleskine.

Pomegranate and persimmons on a brick. 2B pencil in 8×10 moleskine.

Drawing helped take my mind off my sneezing and nose running like a river.

FarhooD S via Sktchy app. graphite, 11x8

FarhooD S via Sktchy app. graphite, 11×8″

I think I made his hand too small. Here’s his photo on Sktchy:

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