Retro Sketch

Back in 2009, doodling hipster bike messengers into my sketchbook (or even just hipsters styling themselves as bike messengers – can you really tell the difference?) No photo reference for these; just working it out of my cycling-saturated head. Did a loose freehand sketch, then developed the theme over the next two pages of a 4″ x 6″ sketchbook.

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Cafe Night

As I slowly get back into blogging, here’s another look at what I’m working on, while sitting at one of the many Ethiopian cafés in the DC area (damn good coffee!). On the left is a new pro wrestling-themed drawing done with a 4-color BiC ballpoint pen – and yes; aside from pro cycling, pro wrestling is the greatest sport ever. To the right is an out-of-my head building, inspired by some of the different buildings that I’ve actually sketched here in DC. I have a little series of these going on; simple linear affairs on a singular plane of color to best match the feel of the structure.

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Cityscape Drawing

Here is the final scan of a drawing I just completed in a 5″ x 8″ sketchbook. After spending a year sketching buildings in the West End neighborhood of Washington, DC, I found myself increasingly doodling small buildings while on the phone or waiting for large files to save. These little doodles led to small compositions of little buildings, and soon I was increasingly drawing little imaginary cityscapes. Eventually, I decided to produce a larger, polished version of one of these cityscapes. The initial layout was penciled at home, then refined and inked at various Meetup drawing groups in the city, as well as during occasional coffee breaks at cafés all over the DC area.

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Retro Sketch

This drawing was done around 2009. I was scrawling away in a cafe, and decided to draw a bicycle, which is one of my “when there’s nothing else to draw…” themes. Being that it was the summer, also known as “Tour de France time”, I decided to have some fun and draw one of the $10,000+ carbon fiber stealth time trial bikes as used by the pro peleton, though you’ll also see a dentist on the Sunday morning shop ride with a bike like this. And yes; my fellow hardcore cyclists will probably know from which actual bikes and gear I styled this bike after.

BTW, speaking of “Le Tour”, I’ve been busy watching the race (damn good thing I didn’t put down money on this year’s edition). The race concludes this Sunday in Paris, so I’ll be back to posting more sketches and drawings afterwards.

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Retro Sketch

I don’t remember exactly which year I did this drawing, though it was definitely before a wise man at the art supply store told me that I should always date the pages in my sketchbooks. This drawing was most likely during the recession of 2008, when jobs became scarce, money became tight, and I was trying to deal with all of the frustrations at a cafe where the air conditioning was cranked up to freezing!

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Ugly Sketchbook

More pages from my cheap, anything-goes 3″ x 5″ pocket sketchpad, which I’ve dubbed “Ugly Sketchbook”: These little doodles were actually the first time I had decided to draw buildings out of my head after spending a year intensively sketching buildings and architecture in Washington, DC. The first page is significant; in the lower left corner, I quickly scrawled a building, then realized I did it so fast that the result was of no redeeming visual value. Over to the right of it, I slowed my pen down, gave a little more thought, and came up with a doodled building with a much better perspective and whimsical style.

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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…)

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