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

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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.

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Metro Sketch

Full frontal/facial sketches are some of the most challenging sketches to attempt on the Metro; while I try to be discrete and respectful of the people I sketch, sketching people sitting directly across from me presents the greatest risk of being noticed. Generally, though, these people are either asleep or too fully focused on their devices to notice me. Of course, there’s always that other challenge; on-boarding passengers unknowingly blocking your view and pretty much ending the sketching session.

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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.

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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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The Closing of Pearl Paint and the End of an Era

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New York City-based artists past and present suffered a shock recently with the sudden and unexpected closing of Pearl Paint, the landmark art supply store, which was as integral to every facet of commercial and fine art in New York as was any museum, gallery, studio, or agency in the city. Dating back to 1933, the iconic store was housed in an equally iconic six-floor structure with a trademark red-and-white facade, and was located on the bustling Canal street in the somewhat sketchy Chinatown district.

In the world of art supply stores, Pearl Paint was the equivalent of Macy’s meets the local hardware store. Pearl Paint didn’t glisten; it was raw, worn, and rustic. Packed to the gills with every last art supply imaginable, it simply said “buy this stuff, and go create”. Frequented by everybody from students, crafters, and novices, to top professional artists, designers, and even celebrities, anybody whom stepped foot into the front door became something of an artist, and artists stepping into the store became kings and queens of the art world.

Shopping at Pearl Paint was an ordeal, though. To explore all six floors, you had to climb the imposing, steep, long, and somewhat slanted stairs between floors. You had to pay for each item before you left a particular floor, so if you purchased your airbrush on the fifth floor, went down the third floor for sketchbooks, and then to the second floor for paint brushes, then realized you totally forgot to pick up rapidographs on the sixth floor, well then, too bad. You built legs of steel shopping at Pearl Paint, even if you came out with lungs full of oil paint vapors and design marker fumes.

I shopped at Pearl Paint extensively as a student and as a professional. I also worked there, in the fine writing and fountain pen department. I worked with artists, illustrators, designers, painters, sculpters, crafters, cartoonists, dreamers, wanderers, punks, hippies, skaters, musicians, missionaries, and relatively normal and abnormal people alike, but at Pearl Paint, we all fit in and belonged. We were coworkers in front of the customers, and community in between them.

Sadly, like many iconic landmarks in New York City, change was inevitable. Just as the legendary music venue CBGB’s – the birthplace of punk rock – is now a John Varvatos luxury shoe store, so too came Pearl’s day to fade into NYC’s history books. Art students shop at the Apple store instead of art supply stores nowadays. Much of the analog work gaining notice is done with Pigma Micron pens into Moleskine sketchbooks instead of epic oil paintings on large canvases. Online shopping eliminates the time and much of the expense of obtaining new art supplies. In this digital age, Pearl Paint increasingly became a dinosaur, but in its day, it was a wonderful place where anybody could become part of the creative world.

There’s no moral to this story, just memories of a truly great place. I would advise artists of all stripes, though, to take some time to appreciate their local art supply stores. Here in Washington, DC, there’s Plaza Artist Supplies on K Street, where, upon entering the store, I leave behind the world of DC’s high-pressure political battlefield, and enter the inviting world of art and artists, and get lost in the shelves and aisles of pens, pencils, sketchbooks, brushes, paints, markers, colors, and all of those wonderful and fascinating supplies that allow us to do what we love to do: make art!