sketches Archives

Sketch - Young Elk

Sanguine oil pencil sketch of a young elk amidst vegetation.

Look at that vegetation. It's like a coral reef, except on land.

Sanguine oil pencil is my favorite warm-up medium—as well as something I can use on days when I'm too sick to do anything else, but am a bit well enough to do a little art.

In particular, I prefer a chunky 5.6mm sanguine oil charcoal lead in a cheap yet surprisingly comfortable wooden holder.

I'm starting to add dates alongside my signature these days.

For the curious, my signature is four Chinese characters plus my three English name initials (AAJ). The first two characters mean "red-brown", which is a description of the color of sinopia, a red-brown ochre pigment traditionally used as under sketches for frescoes and oil paintings. The last two characters together mean "dinosaur", literally translated as "fearsome dragon".

The dates going forwards are going to be written Japanese-style, e.g. "yearmonthday 日", because any reason to practice kanji is a good reason.

Sketch - Cat Looking Behind

A cat looking behind

And a cat that started from a hastily sketched bean shape. I find that beans can easily become certain animals or torsos for human figures; it’s a great drawing/doodling exercise. We can imagine the volume of a bean, and that develops the form of the subject.

Sketch - Memory of a Parking Lot Bridge in Seattle

Dream tunnel half-remembered

I started this sketch from a single arc and roof shape with a perspective curving the tunnel into the distance. After that I added some dreamlike elements all around it based on nighttime Seattle memories, with physical space not quite matching up (especially inside the tunnel, which curves in the opposite direction from outside the tunnel).