Jack Rose Saloon Sketch for Maga Design

In 2013, Maga Design Group contracted me to sketch the bar at the Jack Rose Saloon for their annual holiday party’s invitations and collateral. To sketch this illustrious Washington, DC pub, which houses perhaps the largest whisky collection in the world, I sought advice from the master of sketching bars and pubs, Pete Scully. Following Pete’s advice, I spent two nights sitting at the bar sketching everything in sight (and enjoying some excellent craft beers!). For the full story and process shots of the sketch, check out this gallery on my Behance.

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Retro Sketch

“Hey Racheal, what should I draw?”

“I dunno…an angry person?”

So I drew an angry person, which wasn’t too hard to do back in 2009, when the economy crashed, crumbled, and disappeared from underneath us. And being amongst the ranks of the suddenly unemployed, perhaps this was also a bit of a self-portrait at the time, or maybe just at least a way to experiment with markers.


Retro Sketch

This is from a sketchbook, which I started back in 2009. Not very long ago, compared to other sketchbooks featured in the Retro Sketch postings, but significant none the less; towards the end of this book, almost two years after it was purchased, I finally decided to return to drawing and illustration as a serious endeavor. Up until that point, I had all but abandoned the art forms, and the earlier sections of this book reflect as much. The page shown here started with some weak scrawling of a “broken/destroyed heart” icon, based on a hearing about a relationship that had come to an abrupt and disconcerting end. Not going anywhere with that, I tried a few sketches of people at the cafe, but without much interest. Finally, I relied on my old fallback; a freehand bicycle drawing (let’s see how many cyclists/bike fanatics pick up on the details…)


Sketchbook Drawing: Progress

Here’s a drawing shaping up in one of my sketchbooks: an imaginary cityscape, something of which I have been drawing quite a lot of lately. After a year spent sketching buildings here in Washington, DC, I started doodling little imaginary buildings while on phone calls, coffee breaks, and waiting for large graphic files to save. I soon progressed to doodling a few more of these buildings into imaginary cityscapes, with details culled from my local urban sketches. I decided that I wanted to do a more polished version of these doodles, and finding a 6″ x 8″ sketchbook laying around in a freecycle area was my inventive to give it a go. I’ve since been working on this drawing little by little, completing sections during various drawing Meetup groups here in DC.


Retro Sketch

This was drawn in 2008, as I – along with practically everybody else – was caught up in a massive wave of layoffs nationwide. As many of the layoffs came from the white collar sector, I drew this one afternoon while sitting in a cafe surrounded by my newly unemployed counterparts, playing on the whole notion of “pink slips” for the white collared-crowd (though you don’t really get a pink slip, just a company-branded folder containing information about severance, COBRA, separation policies, etc…)


Retro Sketch

I drew this some years back while training for a 10K foot race. Though I’m a hardcore cyclist, I’m not a runner, and I did the 10K at the bequest of family members participating in the event. I spent a month training, which I found both utterly boring and torturously painful on legs and knees conditioned for nothing but pedaling. I hit my goal of a sub-hour race, knocking off the course in 54 minutes, pissing off a few of the runners on course because we cyclist are a bit more aggressive than runners. With the race finished, I said goodbye to running, and hopped right back on my bike.


Retro Sketch

Happy New Year! Hope everybody celebrated well and didn’t suffer too much of a hangover on January 1st. This year, I hope all of you get to tear through plenty of sketchbooks, canvases, illustration boards, pixels, bitmaps, or whatever you create on, and have fun along the way.

Here’s a drawing I did back in 2008. If you are familiar with Jewish practice, preferably of the orthodox persuasion, then you’ll get this drawing. If not, then what you’re looking at is a stylized take on the act and art of tefillot (Hebrew for “prayer”), along with the tools of the trade: the kippa, talit, and tefillin.


Retro Sketch

Drawn in 2006, here’s an individual I spotted and just had to draw; horribly obese, motorized wheelchair, and oversized soft drink cup. No judgements passed, just one of those things that if you happen to spot on a day when you have itchy pen fingers and are looking to draw something, then this sight just pretty much launches itself onto a blank sketchbook page.