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<<June 2019>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: portrait, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 373
1. Drawing People

Draw Tip: Do you have no idea what to draw? Draw people! It’s a great exercise on drawing features, hands, gestures, postures and shadows, and to try out all kinds of art tools. And: you will never run out of subjects because they are everywhere.



The post Drawing People appeared first on Make Awesome Art.

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2. Trying to capture it

I am lucky to live with someone who doesn’t mind me drawing him. It’s not like I make him sit and pose for me as a life drawing model, but I do draw him when he practices playing one of his instruments, sits reading, or gaming for example.
Sometimes I study just details and come really close by, staring like a maniac at him until I filled a whole page with gestures, features, details.

It’s quite hard to capture ‘him’ though. Maybe because he is so close to me, that makes it harder to draw him? Anyway; this might be a good thing because it’s such a reat exercise and fun to do. And practice does help. The third drawing below, the one where I drew him while he was playing a game; it kind of looks like him!20160424_Journal


The post Trying to capture it appeared first on Make Awesome Art.

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3. #picturesmeanbusiness: herald scotland

If you're in Scotland, look out for a copy of today's Herald, I have an article in it! You can also read it online here:

herald article

Yesterday's #PortraitChallenge got me fired up to do some more pictures with actual paint. I've been doing a lot of digital work, and sometimes digital works best for me, but then I miss working with real paper in front of me the whole time. Here's a not-very-accurate self portrait, painted in watercolour, and when it was just pencil linework.

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4. thursday #portraitchallenge: ignatius sancho by allan ramsay

Here's my #PortraitChallenge for today! It's a 1750s portrait of Ignatius Sancho, painted by Allan Ramsay. (You can find out more about it here.) Check @StudioTeaBreak to see other people's drawings!

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5. #portraitchallenge: gainsborough's georgiana

Thursday's #PortraitChallenge was Thomas Gainsborough's famous portrait of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire (which I've seen on a visit to Chatsworth House). Mine's a Pegasus-wrangling cowgirl because why not. :) You can find out more about portraits and #PortraitChallenge here on my earlier blog post.

Visit @StudioTeaBreak on Twitter to see a gallery of everyone's drawings! We're back to the #ShapeChallenge today. Do jump in, all ages and drawing abilities are very welcome! It's fun seeing whole families get involved. I love seeing all the variations!

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6. #portraitchallenge: irish king brian boru

Today's Portrait Challenge drawing for @StudioTeaBreak, based on a photo tweeted by @castledublin.

Brian Boru

I don't think the sculptor is known, but you can find out more about Brian Boru here, and see how other people have gone about drawing him on the #PortraitChallenge hashtag!

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7. piccassoid coffee break

Here's my latest #ShapeChallenge drawing. (See more here; a lot of Daleks today!)

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8. Happy Mermaid Monday!

I have started a new project, Huzzah! I must be crazy. @[email protected]

Every day until I feel I have enough, I am going to draw out a fun mermaid portrait. In the end, there will be enough beautiful mermaids for a pocket coloring book! I know, I'm so excited I just want to hide and draw for days to get it done!

On top of that, each drawing will be available for purchase. She will come matted in white ready for an 8x10 frame. You may visit here Mermaid Portrait #1 Original  to place your sale.

Here is the first one! 

Mermaid Portrait #1

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9. Thinking of Kepler on the beach

Johannes Kepler, the astronomer who famously discovered that planets move in ellipses, presents an exceptional case we can reconstruct. Kepler got his assistant to paint an image of himself for a friend. This was just before Kepler stored up all his belongings to move his family back from Austria to Germany. His aged mother had been accused of witchcraft.

The post Thinking of Kepler on the beach appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. all you need is love....

doesn't matter what shape, size and/or color.

this piece was a commission from a friend of mine whose daughter i taught a few years back. a bot more about their story here.

it's always a cherished moment when someone calls upon me for a custom painting. it's an even bigger treasure when it's a friend. this piece was truly a pleasure to create. 

i am offering a LIMITED amount of prints which can be found here.

onto another commission...:)

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11. Draw Tip: Unfamiliar Faces

Sometimes you just don't know what to draw.
Here's a tip: Grab a book with photos in it and draw from its pictures! 
For these unfamiliar faces I randomly opened a book about Bluegrass musicians in the Netherlands and started to play around with brown ink.

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12. Art during breakfast

Early mornings can be great. At least, when you're a morning person, like I am. I love going for an early morning run while watching the world around me waking up, write up a blogpost or squeeze in a quick drawing during breakfast.

I don't even really think about the subject I draw at the breakfast table. Usually it's just what's right in fron of me.

Sometimes it's my husband, checking his email after he made us coffee...

... a selfie in the reflection of the espresso machine

...or again my husband, procrastinating on starting the work day by practicing a little bit of mandoline.

A great way to practice quick drawings, and people-drawing skills. But sometimes it's also a quick scribble or a sloppy sketch of my breakfast:

When is your best time of the day?

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13. PEOPLE by Emily Traynor


Submitted by Emily Traynor for the Illustration Friday topic PEOPLE.

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14. Bakery Art

In class this week we created bakery art, learned about the profession of Baker and the yummy creations they make. Our Scribble Kids created collage portraits of Bakers holding their wares.

First we learned all about proportion and how to correctly place features when drawing the face. The students were to place their eyes half-way down the face, with the eyebrows slightly above them. It’s amazing what placement can do to make things look more realistic! We also added a ‘connecting shape’ to our circle faces to create the jaw.

Portrait facePortrait 2

Then we added chef hats and bodies for our characters. The kids had great fun creating textured eyebrows. I was surprised there were no mustaches in this class.


After gluing the head and shoulders down on 12×18″ paper, we added arms to the characters. Then there was a hand drawing demo that was challenging for some children, but they will get it with practice! Finally we added plates with hand drawn delicious baked goods.

Here are our final artworks!

Baker by Sophie, age 7

Baker by Sophie, age 7

Baker by Connor, age 6

Baker by Connor, age 6

Baker by Lexi, age 5

Baker by Lexi, age 5

Baker by Owen, age 9

Baker by Owen, age 9

Baker by Ruby, age 8

Baker by Ruby, age 8

The post Bakery Art appeared first on Scribble Kids.

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15. Gorgeous Taylor Swift Art Print by Alice Zhang


Check out this beautiful portrait illustration of Taylor Swift by Alice Zhang.

Good news! You can even get this illustration as a print or tons of other products here!

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.47.56 AM

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16. Iconic BB King Illustration by Mark Hammermeister



Mark Hammermeister Website >>

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17. Selfie Galore. And Two Tomatoes.

Eek! My favorite tools, color pencils, go so well with the toned paper as a background! I have to admit that the look of the portraits is a little bit too 'classical' for me, but I do like how layering pencil strokes deepens the colors of those tomatoes, and how the white pops!

And I really enjoyed doing that selfie on the left page. 
A while ago, I found a picture of me when I was little. I thought it was kind of cute and funny in an awkward way and I decided to draw a throwback selfie (?) from it.
Not much has changed since then huh? I have bangs now just like back then!
Speaking of selfies... Tomorrow, the online course called 'Seeing' starts at Sketchbook Skool.I just reviewed all lessons, and seriously, you don't want to miss this. 
In 6 weeks, you will learn to see better. Not because of a new pair of glasses, but you will develop a new way to use your eyes! You will learn from 6 different teachers: Danny Gregory, Cathy Johnson, Brenda Swenson, Andrea Joseph, Liz Steel, and myself. My Klass will be 'selfie galore', and I will help you explore how you see yourself and your art. 
This Kourse will change the way you see your world, and it starts tommorrow! 

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18. Local colors are down. Now to let it dry, and get into modeling...

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19. Journal Pages

Phew, there's so much awesomeness going on.
The very first semester of Sketchbook Skool has just finished and it was a tremendous succes. We are now working on all the good stuff coming up in the second kourse, which has the theme 'Seeing'.
Just last weekend, Andrea Joseph (I know, she is an amazing illustrator!!) came over to Amsterdam, and she and I spent the weekend, filming the videos for her klass in the upcoming kourse. I got to see some (no, a lot) of her magic and I hope it rubbed off just a little on me.

It was hard work, but we also had a lot of fun, and I was glad that she enjoyed it after all, even though she was very hesitant towards the whole filming bit of the klass. It was great to spend the weekend with her. We had fun, and she really is a lovely person.
I have a huge pile of editing work to do now, but the things she showed in front of the camera are very inspiring and I know the whole skool is gonna love it. So... if you haven't signed up for Sketchbook Skool yet: make sure to get yourself a seat in klass! The kourse starts July 4 and you can click here to find out more and enroll right away.

In the meantime, Spring is here, and I am teaching a fun workshop to start (and keep) art journaling:

The workshop starts May 26, and will be running for 4 weeks. After that, I will give you a workbook to take home and keep going on your new daily drawing habit.
So what are you waiting for? For only $69, you will get 4 weeks of fun, full of drawing tips, motivation and a kick-in-the butt for those procrastinators out there.

Does this post look like an advertisement? Sorry about that, if you don't like it. It's just that I am just so excited about the online classes, and I want to share it with everyone!

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20. well my time went so quickly, i went lickety-splickly

 I've just made these really quick sketches whilst watching a series of interviews with Bette Davies. They took a couple of minutes each. It's by doing these fast and furious portraits, from the tv, that I've become comfortable with drawing faces and people. I've made hundreds and hundreds of them over the past few years. They're not amazing. They're not going to set the world alight. But that's not the point. I've learnt so much from doing them, and more than that I really enjoy creating them.

There's another blog post HERE, from two-ish years ago. Back then, it seems, I was still not confident drawing 'real life people'. Which just goes to show how quickly you can build your confidence through practice. Jeez, I'll draw anyone and everyone now - from the big screen to the real life.

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21. Frida Querida by Sandra Vargas

My tribute to an amazing artist and passionate woman, Frida Kahlo, who transformed her suffering into colorful pieces of art.

My original illustration was made using colored pencils and digital painting. Art prints, postcards and more accessories featuring Frida Querida are available through my shop and also here.

Frida Querida
© Sandra Vargas. All Rights Reserved.

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22. fighting back

Last night I felt so scatter-brained and weepy and depressed, that I knew I had to take stock of things and try to figure out what to do.

I've just finished one picture book, which I should have kept simple, but I ended up making it incredibly detailed, and took the full amount of time I'd been allotted, and then some. My lovely designer, Rebecca Essilifie, is racing around now getting it ready to go to the Frankfurt Book Fair, in the absolute minimum time I possibly could have given her. (Sorry, Rebecca! You are wonderful!) Actually, take a moment to stop and think of all the book designers absolutely FREAKING OUT right now, in the run up to Frankfurt. My designer at Oxford University Press, Jo Cameron, was doing a very late working night and ordering in pizza supplies. (I know this from Facebook.)

But ANYWAY... When I posted updates that I'd finished my picture book, people said 'Hooray! Now I hope you can take a break!' and I knew I couldn't. Pushing to the final extended-extended deadline on the Scholastic picture book meant I was late in starting up my chapter book with OUP. So I didn't have any time to get my head in gear, it was straight to character design and thumbnails. ...Oh, except there were two weekends of festivals, and lots of dressing up in silly wigs and performing and coaching kids in their own creativity. And I was exhausted.

I got home and the house was a mess with all my paper, letters I don't know where to file, stacks of books, craft stuff, those little canvas bags one gets at conferences, and random computer cables making the floor look like spaghetti. I knew that this mess was all my fault, too. Fifteen years ago, I moved in with a very tidy minimalist, and he puts up with so much, but there's always pressure for me to keep my stuff under control. Or not even pressure, he just gets glummer and glummer and then I feel terrible and try to make giant tidying sweeps. These cleaning rampages usually end very quickly, when I find some form I needed to fill out, or something that needs an e-mail answer, and Stuart comes into the room to find me in front of the computer, not tidying. He looks at me working on the computer, and the untidy room, and doesn't see how the two tasks go together. And you know what... they really don't.

Doing things on the Internet does not mean stuff is happening in real life. But it's so easy to forget that.

I feel like I'm living inside a computer right now. All the e-mails I need to answer, all my connections with work people and friends, my digital artwork, news updates, all of it comes through the screen of my laptop and my phone. I keep in touch with my American family through Skype, but even then, I don't Skype often enough and they rely on my blog to know what's happening with me. I find myself getting twitchy if I'm away from the Internet for very long. When I used to go to cafes, I would sit and draw; now I go online and see what everyone else is doing. Or I post an only-vaguely-interesting photo and wait for people to validate my existence. I get overwhelmed with things people are asking me to do and sort of shut down, and then feel horrible because I feel like I'm letting everyone down, all of the time, including myself. This is the feeling that gets me most depressed.

I feel like I've fallen out of love with drawing.

I can't believe I'm saying this.

I used to draw in any spare moment I got, play drawing games, make comics. And now I'm supposed to be drawing so much for work (and doing a zillion other non-drawing admin tasks) that I've neglected the fun stuff. I'm finding it takes me three times as long to draw things for work; everything looks tight and tense and crabbed, and I find myself scrubbing it out and starting over again, and over, and over, and procrastinating with cups of tea and snacks (and getting chubby) because I'm hating every minute of it. I get a sore neck from craning around at my desk to look over at my computer to see what's going on everywhere else.

This is ALL WRONG. But I'm going to fight back.

Here's a silly drawing I did last night, to try to cheer myself up, based on a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger (from 1532-ish). I didn't let myself do any pre-sketching or erase, just went straight into the drawing and allowed the mistakes to make it more interesting. (It's not something I ever feel I can do with my 'professional' work.)

I know that haven't lost my love of drawing forever, it's in there somewhere, but I need to weed some space around it, to let it grow. I need to stop feeling guilty for drawing things that aren't work-based. I need, somehow, to stop letting the Internet give me self-worth. I used to write this blog completely for myself, as a diary, and I need to get back to doing that, and stop seeing it as some sort of marketing tool. I need to stop worrying it if gets any 'likes', or whatever. I need to get back into playing. And I need to come back to the physical world.

What does this mean? Well, exercise. Argh, I hate it so much, but when I get fat and ungainly, it makes my brain go all slow and fuzzy. It means talking with real people. I'm so glad for my studio mate, Elissa Elwick, who's been in a lot the past couple weeks and is there for real conversation, and cups of tea, and having a laugh. It means getting rid of some of the clutter in my flat. The last time Philip Reeve stayed with us (on his way back from the Manx Lit Fest), he helped me get rid of some of my book pile. Gosh, was he MERCILESS!

Him: 'NO, you do NOT need this book. It goes OUT!'
Me: 'But I haven't read that one yet! But my friend wrote it! But it's about a mermaid!'
Him: 'You're never going to read it, are you.'
Me: 'But I might! Some day!'
Him: 'If you really want to read it, you can buy it again.'
Him: 'This is really upsetting you, isn't it.'

I plead the case for keeping too many of the books, but I had three huge bags full for the charity shop when we'd finished. (Thanks, Philip.)

It means I need to set Internet limits for myself. Not answering e-mails between certain hours, setting exact times when I'm allowed to look at Twitter. (I've been doing that a bit already, telling people not to let me back on until 5pm or so. It really helps.) I somehow need to stop making the Internet and ever-present part of my life. It's hard, though; the lines are so blurred; I use the Internet for image research, I sometimes need to contact colleagues during the day, I have tea breaks where I think, I could surf Twitter while I drink this cup of tea. Maybe I need to set myself a challenge on certain days, that every single time I get the urge to go online, I have to make a doodle instead. That could be interesting. Here's today's Morning Sketch. (I love the way dry shampoo gives me awesome Gibson Girl hair.)

Anyway, I'm fighting back. (I'm going to keep saying this phrase, in my head, over and over.) I used to make Morning Sketches, and that helped get my head in gear for the day. I hate, hate, HATE routine, I'm not a routine kind of person at all. But I think I need to force myself to do a daily Morning Sketch and go for a run. Otherwise I think I might fall apart. Here's today's Morning Sketch. And blogging about it is making me run late again, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse to avoid exercise, like I have done for the last two months or so. Argh.


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23. portrait drawing

Here's another portrait drawing, this time of photographer Sarah Reeve. (Sarah took some ace photo portraits of Philip and me a couple weekends ago in our space suits and I thought I'd do one of her in return.)

I didn't used to work much in pencil, I always thought my work looked better in ink. But David O'Connell and I drew all of our Jampires picture book in pencil, so I thought I'd try it again.

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24. back in the old folky days

Happy New Year folks!
As I said in a previous post, I've been making some changes to my business (and life) recently. Some leaps of faith. Which all ties in nicely with the New Year and new leaf/chapter/beginning.
Here's something I've never tried before; bespoke, made to order original drawings. Not just bespoke drawings, but, bespoke pet portraits (and that's something I never thought I'd hear myself saying). They are, of course, pet portraits with a difference. They are kind of like drawings of your pet's ancestors. With a little imagined (by me) biography of said pet ancestor.
Where and how the hell do I come up with these ideas?
Anyway, you can get a bespoke, Victorian, made to order, portrait of YOUR pet HERE!
No, really.

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25. girls drawing

Nat drawing in London
So, I've been nominated to do this post-three-drawings-a-day-for-five-days thing that's going around Facebook at the moment. Have you come across it? I'm not sure if it's just on Facebook, perhaps it's doing the rounds on the blogs too? I think it's quite a fitting that at this time, with recent horrific events in Paris, that our screens and social networking are being filled with illustrations and drawings by people who love illustration and drawing.
 Kate drawing in Sheffield
So, I was nominated by Katherine Tyrrell. I'm sure many of you will know her blog Making A Mark. If you don't you really should check it out. It's ridiculously informative, on all sorts of topics for artists and people making their way in the industry. I've learnt so much from it. Katherine also has a new book out and a few of my illustrations feature in it. The book is called 365 Tips for Drawing and Sketching, you can read more about it HERE.
Miriam drawing in Buxton
 Anyway, the three drawings above are my sketches for the first day of the challenge. It seemed apt to start with sketches of people sketching. Plus, I seem to have been doing an awful lot of that recently. This little sketch of Miriam, above, is one of my own personal favourite sketches. I'm particularly pleased that I did it with such few lines, without over working it, as I often do. Plus, I managed a real likeness - which is hard to do. But then, you wouldn't be able to tell that if you don't know Miriam.

But hey, while I'm at it, whilst I'm posting sketches of people sketching, I might as well include these two, below, that I made last weekend. They are from a sketchcrawl I attended, in Stockport, on Saturday. Emily was our youngest sketchcrawler at 7 years old.
 Emily drawing in pink
Here's the thing about sketching with other people; you can learn something new from each and every one. No matter what their ability or level and no matter what their age. From Emily I learnt about the two pencil technique. Or, at least, she helped me remember it. I always did stuff like that when I was a kid. And, now I've been reminded of it, I'll be using it as a big kid too.
Emily drawing in blue

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