Retro Sketch

At a certain point back in 2010, I decided that I wanted to get back into drawing and illustration. As the studio manager for a design firm, I spent a good amount of time looking at the work of different illustrators to add to my freelance stable, and one thought that lurked in the back of my head was that none of that work was mine. I dusted off my sketchbook, which I had for almost two years at that point, inked up a fountain pen, and started to scrawl away with my stiff and rusty hand. I pulled out a doodle from many years earlier, and decided to elaborate on it, which is what this drawing is. The focus was simple: have fun, spill ink, color in a big dark area, and merely create something to get me started on the long road back to drawing proficiency.

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Metro Sketch

I’ve been sketching people on the Washington, DC Metro for over two years now. Not only has it kindled an interesting and incredible source of practice for life drawing, something originally doused by dulling figure drawing classes in school, it also gave me a unique insight into my fellow Washingtonians. However, after doing so many of these sketches, I realized that I was drawing the same poses, the same actions, the same clothes, and the same faces over and over again. Needed a new angle, I decided to sketch people with one continuous line. By keeping my pen nib on the page for the entire sketch, I was drawing the same old subject, but with new and unexpected results, and a fun challenge to boot!

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Metro Sketch

Here are two pages drawn on two different days, but I liked how they came together on the spread. For the sketch on the left, I used a felt-tipped pen to capture the individual, whom was holding onto a pole on the train, and I ended up sketching the line for the pole into the crease of the spine down the middle of the spread. Later in the day, I quickly sketched some cars behind him while I was sitting at a cafe. The individual on the right was sketched with a fountain pen. Overall, it looks like the both of them could have been on the same train, on the same day.

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Retro Sketch

From a 2000 sketchbook: a page of random doodles, words, ink spots, and a few sketches done on the New York City Metro with sepia-toned fountain pen ink.

And no; I haven’t posted in two weeks. I got swallowed up by life’s general busyness, though I did kept the sketchbook open and the ink flowing. I’ve got some catching up to do, including admiring and commenting on all of the great artwork sitting in my WordPress Reader.

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Retro Sketch

Continuing the selection of pages from a 1999 sketchbook compiled when I was working in retail, this page not only shows a fountain pen I randomly drew, but also a little story inadvertently recorded on a series of Post-It Notes as I attempted to contact a customer about their purchase, which was eventually declined due to a bad credit card number. The page was finished with some credit card promotion stickers, sales stamps, and lots of clear scotch tape. Slow days in retail may have yielded less revenue, but they did allow for lots of creativity!

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