Tag Archives: pencil sketch

From My Sketchbook – Learning from a Master

Recently, I’ve been really enjoying working through some “how-to” cartoon books by Randy Glasbergen.  Glasbergen was a prolific cartoonist who began selling his cartoons at the age of 15 and went on to create thousands of cartoons and comic illustrations for such publications as The Wall Street Journal,  Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, Harvard Business Review, Woman’s World, and PC Connection among many others.  Although he passed away at the very young age of 58, those of us passionate about creating cartoon illustrations can still learn from him via his books and writings about cartooning.  Studying with such a master – even if it is now sort of from the great beyond – has been informative, entertaining and vastly helpful.  I am immensely grateful that Mr. Glasbergen was so generous with sharing his knowledge and talent!

As you can see, I’ve been diligently doing my homework – which includes making silly faces and sketching the expressions I see in the mirror.

cartoon sketching worksheets

Bad news

The process has already translated into simpler cartoons in my sketchbook …

My Husband

(Thank you to my husband who consented to pose for this one!)


And to cartoons with a lot more character!

After the workout for blog




Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, education, From My Sketchbook, illustration, Influences, New work, pen and ink, quick sketch, sketchbook, techniques, weekly sketch project

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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Filed under Art, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio

Tres Chic, Tres Loosey-Goosey…

I’m back!

Back working at my drafting table, that is.  And I decided to go a little more “loosey-goosey” with my approach today.  Instead of creating a line drawing and then rubbing the back with charcoal pencil for retracing and transferring the drawing, I did two quick pencil sketches…

Loosey Goosey sketches

Then laid a piece of marker paper over the second sketch and loosely traced it with a brush tip pen.  I decided to keep the color palette minimal, too, because I wanted to have just one pop of color (the red) contrasting with the delicate green of the trees.

I think she’s looking trés chic…

Ciao Bella for blog


What do you think?


Filed under Art, Drawing, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work

Fun with Ruffles…A New Illustration Takes Shape!

What was supposed to be a lighter work load this week has turned into anything but since I’m playing all seven performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with New York City Ballet.  It’s a glorious score, and the audience loves the staging and the dancing, so no complaints here.  All the same, finding time to work on my illustrations has been a challenge.

But, I did make progress today on this sketch.

prelim sketch for glam bday card


Here is the transferred pen version…

transferred pen drawing

And the illustration after I had rendered the skin and was adding the first layer of red marker.

red marker added

Here is the illustration with a second layer of darker red low-lights added…

second layer of red low lights added

And, the finished dress with yet another darker layer of red added and some blending over the highlights!

couture dress rendered

The balloons weren’t finished when I took the photo above, and I might still redo them for the card version.  But for tonight…

that’s all folks!



Filed under Art, illustration, marker and ink illustration, materials, New work

My Favorite Things – Getting Back into the (Haute) Drawing Groove

I’ve been itching to get back to drawing, but life (and lots of rehearsals, shows and concerts) has been intervening.

Tonight, on intermission between the two ballets I was playing, I went up to my husband’s office and sketched.

prelim sketch for glam bday card


She’s by no means finished, but it DID feel good to hone in on my other artistic skills for a change.

More will be coming soon (hopefully!)

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Filed under Art, illustration, Influences, New work

Mothers and Daughters – Rough Sketch for a New Illustration

I love my mother.

(And not just because she follows my blog and writes me nice comments.)

So I’ve decided my next illustration should be a celebration of motherhood and the unique bond between mothers and daughters.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

mother daughter sketch

The sketch has promise, but I’m not sure all of the elements are working together yet.  I’m thinking…more interaction, ditch the sunglasses, and play up the “getting dressed up” theme.

What do you think, Ma?


Filed under Art, Drawing, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio, motivation

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.”)


Filed under Art, Drawing, illustration, Influences, New work