Tag Archives: drawing

From My Sketchbook – Week 10

This past week I did more viola playing than sketching (you can read some of the nice reviews of New York City Ballet‘s performances at the Kennedy Center here and here); but on the 3+ hour train ride home yesterday evening I did quite a bit of catching up.  In fact, I filled up the rest of the pages in my little Moleskin sketch book!

If you look carefully, you’ll even see more of my various head studies showing through the pages…

young woman three quarter view sketch

cute fashionista sketch

And, when I ran out of pages in my sketch book, I grabbed the next thing handy – the envelopes from my paychecks – and did these sketches with ink and my French Grey Prismacolor marker.

African American lady sketch

Halle Berri sketch on envelope(Meanwhile, my husband completed half a book’s worth of mind teaser puzzles and games.)

Each to his own, I guess!

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Filed under art, drawing, education, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook

Getting Inked…

No, I’m not contemplating getting a tattoo; but judging from the ink stains on my fingers these days, it does appear that I’m getting inked!

The reason?  

I’ve been practicing my pen and ink drawing.  Though, to be honest, at this point I feel like I’m taking two steps forward and three back.  This YouTube video has provided the inspiration:


Amazing how easy Yelen makes it seem, right?  But in each of MY attempts, something has gone wrong…

Punk Girl drafts (Oh, except for the “practice” drawing I did on scratch paper – see figure at bottom left – which of course came out great.)  Grrr!  Such is life.  But if I haven’t learned anything else in my years of working as a musician and artist, it’s that you don’t get anywhere without a hell of a lot of practice!  So, if you don’t hear from me in a while, don’t worry.  I’m practicing.


Filed under art, illustration, industry news, Influences, ink sketches, Jo's Journey, materials, motivation, New work, Pen Sketch, photography, Quick Sketch, resources, wisdom

From My Sketchbook – Week 4

My sketch-a-day project could well be entitled “The Subway Diaries” because at this point – except for one sketch – all of the others have been done either on the subway or while waiting on the platform for a train to arrive.

This pair of legs caught my eye on the C Train…

torso sketch from subway

While the late night train schedule at Columbus Circle allowed me to capture this tall pixie in a more fleshed-out sketch.

woman waiting for the subway

With a slightly lighter work schedule this week, and maybe the opportunity to treat myself to a coffee in a cafe, I’m hoping to change up the focus of my sketches a bit.  Stay tuned…

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Filed under art, drawing, education, illustration, Influences, ink sketches, Jo's Journey, motivation, New work, New York

From My Sketch Book – Week 1

With my mom visiting this past weekend, I got the chance to play tourist and enjoy some of the best things New York City has to offer.  In addition to visiting various foodie spots around town, we also attended several great plays ( Every Brilliant Thing at the Barrow Street Theater is a must-see in my book!), and went to both the Metropolitan Museum and MOMA to see art exhibits.  While the  Henri Matisse: Cut Outs exhibit at MOMA is ending tomorrow, the Madame Cézanne exhibit at the Met will still be up for another month…and it is well worth seeing!

Included in the Madame Cézanne exhibit are a few of Cézanne’s sketch books.  Cézanne not only sketched daily, but was frugal, often using the same page in his sketch book for various different subjects.  I found the sketches in the exhibit to be particularly lovely, not to mention that they caused a light bulb of sorts to go off in my head.  Because my music performance schedule has become increasingly busy, there are periods of time when I can’t get to my drafting table as frequently as I’d like.  Carrying around a small sketch book and a pencil in my purse is easy enough…and the challenge of sketching something quickly each day appeals to me.

I was fortunate to actually have a chunk of time in which to sketch yesterday.  My concert loafers were the subject as I sat sketching and waiting for the the orchestra’s turn to play during the New York City Ballet’s matinee:

pair of loafers

Today’s sketch was done in a restaurant in the few minutes that my mom left the table to use the restroom.  My subject was a young woman seated at a table nearby:

Girl with glasses


Next Monday I hope to post a few more of my week’s sketches.  Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

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My Favorite Things – Having the Time to Work on a New Illustration

With the New York City Ballet spring season underway, I’ve had a very busy week with little time to do much except rehearse and perform.  Yesterday, however, since I wasn’t hired for the morning rehearsal, I ended up with a nice chunk of time to draw at my drafting table.  (A rainy day spent inside drawing…what could be better?)

As you can see from this illustration and another recent pencil sketch, I’ve got Mother’s Day on the brain.  Will this illustration be ready in time to adorn a Mother’s Day card?  Only time will tell.

But then again, shouldn’t every day be mother’s day?

playing dress up


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The Anatomy of an (Artful) Get Well Card

In this digital age, many people resort to texting or emails to express their sentiments.  And yet most people (I’m not talking about the under-30 set for whom I’ve almost given up hope) understand that sometimes a real card is more appropriate.  Setting aside the “Hallmark” holidays, it’s not hard to see why sending a paper Thank You, Birthday or Get Well card will make the recipient feel happy and cherished.

I’m currently working on a card for the more difficult Get Well genre.  In this case, it’s more difficult because the recipient is very close and very dear to me, and also because the illness is serious.  So I’m going more nostalgic and more gentle with the humor.  My inspiration?

This antique tin wind-up toy which belonged to my father:

Antique wind up toy

From these sketches, you’ll get an idea of where I’m headed so far…

Antique toy with sketches

(And that I’m hoping the recipient will soon be back to “working order.”)


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Getting Back In the Groove – An Illustration Starts to Take Shape

I recently finished a big custom project for a client and am now getting back to working on projects for my shop at Etsy.  Getting “into the flow” was actually a challenge for me today.  It seemed like I spent as much time erasing as I did drawing!

eraser stress

However, this evening I started to see progress…

preliminary rendered girl with big dog illustration

Although I need to redo elements of this drawing tomorrow, I’m glad to be getting back on track!  Stay tuned…


Filed under art, illustration, Influences, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work