From My Sketchbook – The World Through Squinty Eyes

As I’ve been transitioning to creating my cartoon figures, I’ve discovered that it’s a challenge to know how much detail to include – or, even more importantly, how much to leave out!  While some cartoonist stick to stock figures with very little variation between even male and female figures, I’m interested in capturing more character and variety in my cartoon illustrations.  Of course, practice makes perfect, which is why I’m always taking out my sketchbook whenever I have a free moment.  But I’ve also discovered a new tool, too…the Squinty Eye Technique.

Here’s what’s involved.

  1. Spot your subject
  2.  Squint your eyes until you see mostly blurry shapes and forms (Viola!  Clothing wrinkles will disappear!)
  3. Sketch what you “see”

Here’s what I saw through my squinty eyes this week…




P.S.  When practicing the Squinty Eye Technique you may find yourself the object of some questioning stares.  My advice?  Ignore the stares and smile – after all, no one gets out of this life alive, so you might as well have fun!


Filed under art, drawing, drawing faces, education, From My Sketchbook, ink sketches, New work, Pen Sketch, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, techniques

Friday’s Thought – Observations


“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.”

(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)


Filed under Friday's Thought, nature, New York, photography, wise quotes

Show the Love (By Voting for Me!)


Yes, I’m asking for a little help from all the Joana Miranda Studio fans out there!  In honor of NYC Fashion week, I’ve entered the Dick Blick Art en Vogue Fashion Art Challenge.  You can view my Arte Diem entry here and cast your vote for me by clicking on the yellow VOTE box.  Voting starts today, September 19th, and runs through September 25th.  You can vote every day if you like, but no more than once in a 24 hour period.  Besides giving me the warm fuzzies, your vote just might earn me some more art supplies.  (And since I’m not planning to stop drawing, illustrating or cartooning any time soon, more tools in my “paint box” would be a good thing.)



 Thank you.


Filed under art, Awards, competition, fashion illustration, illustration, industry news

From My Sketchbook – The Melting Pot

One of the things I love about living in New York City is that it’s such an international city.  It’s not unusual to hear multiple different languages being spoken even on the Upper West Side where I live.  Some of the people are tourists, others are “transplants.”  In any case, the collection of faces in my sketchbook this week pays tribute to some of the potpourri that is New York!






Filed under art, cartoon illustration, From My Sketchbook, Influences, ink sketches, New York City, subway sketches, Weekly Sketch Project

Friday’s Thought – All in the Details


“The details are not the details. They make the design.”

(Charles Eames)


Filed under Friday's Thought, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – The President Makes an Appearance!

This week as I was watching President Obama’s interview on climate change, it occurred to me that I should do a cartoon sketch of  him.  Fortunately, since he tends to talk thoughtfully and calmly, capturing his expression was a lot easier that I expected.   And to my delight, when I showed my husband the sketch later and asked him who he thought it was, he got it right away!

President Obama talking about climate change –


I also decided to work on cartooning some less noble faces, too.

Believe it or not, these two characters share the same face.  Separated at birth?  Maybe.  In any case, I think you’ll agree that they ended up with VERY different personalities!


And, keeping with the challenge of drawing different characters using the same face, the following gentleman all started from the same square-shaped, 3/4 view head.

The Crooked Politician –


The Wizard – 


Touchdown – 


Someone’s Gotta Do It –


(As you can see, I can’t stop monkeying around!)



Filed under art, drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, illustration, ink sketches, inspiration, New work, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, techniques, Weekly Sketch Project

Friday’s Thought – Fleeting Moments


“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”

(Eudora Welty)


Filed under Friday's Thought, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes