Pencil Portrait Sketch: Emma Watson

Emma Watson
Pencil sketch - Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

I just realized how close we are to the end of the year.  I was looking back at the drawings I made this year and came across this sketch I did back in January.  I posted it on Flickr but never posted it here.  I wonder why, since I like this sketch quite a bit.   

When I first finished it, I was just pleased that I had managed to make the hand look plausible.  But over time, I really came to enjoy the expression that emerged here.  I think it’s a little more wistful than the reference I used. 

This is 8″x8″  and sketched with an Ebony pencil.  I think these are the best overall sketch pencils if you want to draw loose and let yourself go.  It’s a nice fat pencil that feels good in your hand.  You can get a good range of tone with just the one pencil.  I used to buy them by the handfuls.

Presidential Debate Sketches

Debate Sketches
quick pencil sketches

Friday night I sat with my sketchpad and tried drawing the presidential candidates while they were talking.   This was pretty tough to do, but it was helpful that they were stuck at their podiums.  I could start a sketch and know that their heads would return to something close to one of the positions that I had started to lay in earlier.  These aren’t great drawings, but I count them as a success because I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to do some really bad drawing.

The downside of this project was that I got so into drawing that I didn’t hear a word they said.  Oh well…

“You Look Like You Have Indigestion,” he said.

water-soluble graphite pencils

That’s what a friend of mine told me when he saw this picture. You know, he’s right.

I like using these water-soluble graphite pencils. I’ve been using the Derwent brand. On this piece I used the HB and 4B pencils. I just love spreading that graphite around with a brush. I found this tutorial on how to use the pencils. I found it helpful.

Speaking of self-portraits, I was asked to include one of my self-portraits on A View In Your Mirror. This blog is run by Jan Verhulst with the goal of collecting self-portraits, by artists and non-artists, from all over the world and in any medium. If you are interested in participating you can submit an image of yourself and join the party.

Portrait Swap With Enerene74


I was looking through some Flickr contact pages the other day and I came across this drawing of me. Enerene74 used to do a lot of sketches of fellow artists on Flickr. I enjoyed them a lot. Unfortunately he has been busy and not sketching much. I was delighted to see that he made time to do a sketch of me. I think he did a great job capturing my smile.

I did this sketch to return the favor. I am pleased to report that he likes the sketch very much.

EDM 23 – Draw Your Feet

edm23 - Draw your feet

After weeks of drawing tiny faces on tiny cards it felt good to get loose and do some simple sketching. I was shocked at how well these feet sketches turned out. If I had carefully tried to draw these they wouldn’t have come close to looking this good.

I have been neglecting my sketching lately. I have absolutely no excuse. I read this great post by Anita Davies about finding time to draw. This woman is busier than I will every be, but she always finds time. Check out the post. She will inspire you.

On Loosening Up

John Cleese

According to the Flickr “interestingness” scale, this is the fifth most interesting picture in my photostream. I realized I haven’t posted it here. I did this way back in December 2007.

I really like this quick pencil sketch. I remember how much I enjoyed doing it. Looking back at this made me realize that I have really been trying too hard lately. I’ve been worrying too much about the result and not enjoying the process. Frankly, the fretting and fussing is really getting in my way.

I should loosen up and get back to having fun with this.

Maybe that doesn’t just apply to drawing. I’ll have to think about that…

UPDATE:  I didn’t mention it, but it is indeed a sketch of John Cleese.  I wish I could remember what I was sketching from.   Oh well…

Throwing In the Sponge – EDM 126


This must be the most unromantic and uninteresting subject under the sun. Well, one of them anyway. I think that is why I chose this Everyday Matters Challenge 126 – Draw a Sponge. I just needed to draw something that I didn’t care about.

For a whole week I have been going around looking at things and wondering whether or not I could draw them. Now I don’t know why I was doing this since I have proved to myself that generally if I sit down and focus I can draw most things. But for some reason I decided to sit and stew about it. It’s like I get drawing amnesia and suddenly I’m in remedial drawing sitting in the back of the class and staring out the window. Then my inner critic starts chastising me about not drawing. Grrrrrrrr.

Fortunately, the marvelous Sarah gave me the nudge I needed and I am back! Thanks Sarah!

What is this inside of us, this silent observer,
Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us,
And urge us on to futile activity,
And in the end, judge us still more severely,
For errors into which his own reproaches drove us?
~T.S. Eliot