Quick Travel Sketches

Stepped away from the studio for a few days to visit Cooperstown, a quaint town in bucolic upstate New York, which also happens to be the birthplace of baseball. Though there were plenty of fun things to do (99% of which involved baseball), there was scant little time to sketch. I did, however, manage to take a few visual notes in the tasting room at the Ommegang Brewery, and grab a quick sketch of Otsego Lake at dusk.

Draw Monsters

I love to draw monsters. In times of creative blockage or atrophy, monsters are wonderful therapy. You can’t really draw them wrong, they can be as serious or whimsical as you want, and you can take unlimited creative license. It also a good opportunity to try new art supplies, or simply to fill up a sketchbook page.

Here are some monsters I began drawing in a sketchbook sent to me by the fine folks at Art Alternatives. The first three were off-the-cuff monsters, and the fourth was for a friend, whom requested a rabid caterpillar. (note: the first three were colored with highlighters, which scan terribly. The caterpillar was colored with Prismacolor Premier Design Markers, which scan beautifully.)

First Moleskine Drawing

Here’s my first Moleskine drawing. It’s actually just a sketchbook drawing, though since it’s the $15 sketchbook that I waited a long time to buy and use, I’ll title it as such. And yes; I stuck to my little buildings. Particularly, this drawing is an homage to my sketchbook hero, Mattias Adolfsson, because I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and Adolfsson’s work has definitely made the gears in my head spin a bit.

Still a Sketchbook Warrior

This blog was originally called “Sketchbook Warrior”. It’s still a blog about being a sketchbook warrior. Why has it changed, and how’s it still the same?

I began this blog after leaving a studio management position at a design firm. Part of my job was finding illustrators for various projects, which involved looking at numerous illustrator websites. I viewed some great illustration work, which prodded at me because I was an illustrator whom wasn’t illustrating.

A lot of the work I saw was in sketchbooks. Other people’s sketchbooks. My sketchbooks laid virtually dormant, random pages being battled through, months apart. I’d had enough; I wanted to get back to illustration, and decided to revitalize myself through sketchbooks.

I went to the art supply store to buy a Moleskine sketchbook, the kind I saw so many good artists using. Standing in front of the Moleskine display, however, I realized that my creative stagnation didn’t warrant a $15 sketchbook. I’d have to earn the right to use one, so I bought a cheap $4.00 sketchbook instead, telling myself that when it was finished, I’d buy a Moleskine.

After finishing the cheap sketchbook, I bought another. And then another. Eight cheap sketchbooks later, I finally bought a Moleskine. In that time, I’d become a sketchbook warrior. And a freelance illustration warrior, visualization warrior, infographic warrior, iconography warrior, sketchnote warrior, social media graphics warrior, presentation graphics warrior, and whiteboard animation warrior.

My creative and professional world is now larger than sketchbooks, but sketchbooks still play a vibrant and dynamic part on so many levels.

So I’m back, and I’ll be posting more as I go along (infrequently; not too much at first). And yes; I missed interacting with the great blogs and people I’ve come across here on WordPress.

It’s good to be back; now to fill up a sketchbook page…

Race Car Drawing

For some reason, I’ve been wanting to draw an old-timey race car. It’s just an image that popped into my head, and also a reason to again draw purely with color, particularly with a blue/orange/white/grey color combo. Like the previous drawing, this will be an ongoing morning warmup drawing to play with before heading on to client projects. 


Finished Sketchbook Drawing!

Finished this sketchbook drawing. While primarily using it as an ongoing morning warmup and coffee break drawing, there are some reasons behind it:

– it’s inspired by a trip to a quaint (and touristy) West Virginian town in the Shenandoah foothills along the Potomac River. The snow capped mountains in the background are just because I love mountains. 

– I wanted to draw without using black outlines, which have been a visual crutch of mine, instead focusing on drawing purely in color, and completely filling the page with rich, juicy color. 

– It gave me a reason to buy and use Stabilo Fineliner markers. 


Morning Warmup Drawing

Here’s some progress I’m making with an ongoing morning warmup drawing in my little sketchbook. Every morning, before turning to client, studio, and business projects, I add to this little by little as a way to get the hand and brain moving. 

Oh yeah; haven’t posted in over a year. It’s been that busy, but in a good way. Going to be coming back little by little.

– Jason


Ugly Sketchbook

Here’s an interesting doodle from my small, cheap “ugly sketchbook”, which I use for general, no-holds-barred sketching. I had just finished up seven hours of intense digital production work; seven hours of face-to-the-screen, fingers going manic over the keyboard and mouse, and concentration pegged to the red zone. I walked out of the office with a blown-out expression on my face, feeling somewhere between a zombie and a monster, which is what inspired this doodle.

I’m going to make this the last post for 2014. Thanks to everybody whom has visited, followed, liked, and commented on Sketchbook Warrior over the past year. I’ve enjoyed the interactions, and look forward to more in 2015. Hanaka Sameach to my fellow Yisra’elim, Merry Christmas to those celebrating, and happy new year to all of you.

– Jason


Ugly Sketchbook: the Vehicles of Washington, DC

I spend all day creating highly detailed and accurate graphics and illustrations for medical and scientific content, utilizing many thousands of dollars worth of Apple and Adobe products. The work is engaging, yet intense, so during lunch, I sometimes like to unwind by doing fast, loose sketches with a $1.50 Pilot Razor Point Pen and $2.99 Clairfontaine GraF it 90g, which is one of the cheapest sketchbooks you can find. Here are some cars and trucks I sketched in the neighborhood around my office, each sketch lasting no more than two minutes each.

US_18a US_18b