More Cowbell!

Recently, my wife and I stole away for a relaxing weekend – sans children – to the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania, where we spent the time sleeping, sleeping, reading, sleeping, napping, and sleeping. We stayed at the lovely Swiss Woods Inn, just north of the very charming town of Lititz. If you’re looking for an incredible and relaxing bed and breakfast in the Lancaster area, look no further than Swiss Woods. The grounds are absolutely lovely, the amenities cozy and clean, the people warm and friendly, and for us hyper-busy Washingtonians, secluded and peaceful.

While I didn’t plan to do any sketching for the that weekend, I did tote along two small sketchbooks and some supplies, and I managed to do two quick sketches. Below was a 20 minute study of an authentic Swiss cowbell, part of a nice little collection of cowbells in our room (we cyclocrossers love cowbells!), and underneath that, and even faster two-minute sketch of an Amish horse and buggy, which was quite fun because how often does an urban sketcher get to sketch horses?

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Ugly Sketchbook

It’s been a while since I posted anything from my Ugly Sketchbook. The Ugly Sketchbook, as you may remember – and I don’t blame you if you don’t, since I haven’t posted much lately – is the small 3″ x 5″ sketchpad that I keep on hand for quick drawings, scrawlings, doodles, and whatnots. The Ugly Sketchbook is not a Moleskine; it was the cheapest sketchpad in the whole art supply store, so it’s an anything-goes kind of sketchbook in regards to quality and content.

Here’s something that I scrawled while waiting for a massive Photoshop file to save. I wanted to play with my 4-color BiC ballpoint pen, and for some reason, this popped into my head.


I hate cigarettes, and how anybody can find them sexy is beyond me. The notion of kissing a cigarette smoker is akin to licking a nicotine and tar-stained ashtray.


The subject of Google Glass came up in a meeting, and I fear a future where hipsters get their hands of these…


Metro Sketch

Some more sketches of people on the Washington, DC Metro, and just in case you were wondering, no; people really don’t smile too much on the Metro (followers and guests of Sketchbook Warrior have actually asked me about this…) Without waxing anthropologically, I can tell you that the masses commuting into DC in the morning are usually vey tired, somewhat defeated, and stare blankly into space as they contemplate another day in the DC political battlefield. They may be virtually catatonic, but they sure do make for some great life drawing practice.

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Process: Bayou Sketch

As I progressed more and more into sketching some of the very detailed and characteristic buildings here in Washington, DC, I knew that I was throwing myself out of my comfort zone and into some real sketching challenges. This building in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood here in Washington, DC just screamed “complexity”, and I really had to approach this sketch with a degree of process in order to not get lost in the details, keep everything relatively squared-up, and capture the rich architectural detailing of this most interesting building. This was done straight with a cheap gel pen; no pre-sketching with a pencil, so I had to focus intensively on sighting size and scale relationships.


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