Category Archives: Tips/Tutorials

Emphasis In Your Drawing

tip-emphasis2
Micron pen sketch along the Emma McCrary trail, Santa Cruz, California.

On urban streets or nature trails, where I enjoy sketching swiftly, I often find myself struggling with how to show realistic depth in my drawing. I’ve come up with a few strategies that use emphasis of lines and tones to create the illusion of depth and I’d like to share them with you. Continue reading Emphasis In Your Drawing

How a Road Trip Can Ignite Your Desire to Draw

nw-trip-feature
A drawing road trip is great for trying new tools and exploring techniques

Several decades ago, as an avid surfer, nothing excited me more than packing my surfboards and heading up the coast to discover new places to ride waves. Recently, I decided to conjure up my youthful fervor for exploration and set out on a sketching safari to the Pacific Northwest. What happened on the journey was totally unexpected; I rediscovered the thrill of drawing for pure enjoyment.

And along the way I came up with some essential tips that I’d like to share with you. Here’s what I learned about the art of sketching while on the road. Continue reading How a Road Trip Can Ignite Your Desire to Draw

Walking Into a Sketch

dominant-angles6

Every time we open our urban and field sketchbooks to draw, we’re faced with the same challenge—to swiftly transform flat 2D pages into believable 3D environments the viewer can walk into.

For the ranch buildings, shown above, I lightly sketched dominant angles (indicated with red) before drawing anything else. Dominant angles are the essential framework for sketching accurate 3D representations of buildings in a composition.

Notice the angle of the table in the foreground compared to the buildings. Getting these foundational angles correct was crucial in giving a place for the viewer’s eye to travel into the depths of the sketch. Continue reading Walking Into a Sketch

The Small Drawing Habit

what-about-bob-feature

In the opening scene of the classic comedy What About Bob, we see a perplexed Bob Wiley, played by Bill Murray, contemplating his fate of stepping outside the door of his apartment and onto the streets of New York. He quickly becomes overwhelmed by his fears of just about everything and everyone in the world.

As Bob finally meets with Dr. Leo Marvin, played by Richard Dreyfuss, he sits in awe of the prominent psychiatrist’s suggestion to start with reasonable goals. “Don’t think of everything you have to do to get out of the building, Bob. Think about what you have to do to get out of this room,” says Dr. Marvin as he hands Bob a copy of his book Baby Steps. Comedic escapades ensue as Bob applies life-transforming small habits to the bigger complexities of life.

If it’s difficult for you to set—and maintain—your goal to draw regularly, try the advice given to Bob and take baby steps toward an easy and satisfying drawing habit.

Here are simple steps for starting your small drawing habit: Continue reading The Small Drawing Habit