Tag Archives: quick sketches

From My Sketchbook – It’s Fall in the Big Apple!

As you can see from my sketches, it turned colder in the Big Apple this week.  My fellow commuters were sporting rain jackets and hats, and yes, I even saw one fur head wrap, although I didn’t get a chance to sketch it!  These sketches are a little less “cartoon-y” than the illustrations in my recent posts, but the clean lines and relative lack of clothing wrinkles are still in keeping with the cartoon style I’m after.








Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, ink sketches, New York, sketchbook, subway sketches, techniques, weekly sketch project

From My Sketchbook – Back at it in the Subway

Although the oppressive heat in NYC this past week made going outside almost unbearable, I did have to brave the subway a few times.  Here were some of my companions…

Sketch of young African American man waiting for the subway

Quick sketch of African American man on the subway

When I wasn’t traveling about town, I was firmly planted at my drafting table working on whimsical cartoon illustrations.  My latest – a gift for my conductor husband – is called At the Ballet:

At the Ballet watermarked


Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, illustration, marker and ink illustration, practicing drawing, sketchbook, subway sketches, weekly sketch project

From My Sketchbook – Cartoon Snapshots of My Life Last Week

This past week I spent a LOT of time traveling by bus with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra to Princeton, NJ for a series of rehearsals and a concert as part of the Edward T. Cone Composition Institute. Promoting new music and emerging young composers, the Institute provides a chance for the talented composers to hear their compositions performed by a symphony orchestra.  In addition, they receive career-enriching mentoring and coaching from music industry leaders.

I enjoyed the chance to be a part of the Institute and to become acquainted with the different compositions.  (And in case you’re curious, here’s a sampling of one of my favorite pieces from the week – a composition entitled Farthest South by composer Matthew Browne)

Of course, the hours spent stuck in traffic on the bus also gave me ample time for people watching and cartooning.  And although I did not pull out my sketchbook during the rehearsal, my memory served fairly well for a cartoon sketch of conductor David Robertson.

Through the bus window: Man reading on a bus stop at 168th and Broadway – 

Quick ink sketch of man seated at a bus stop reading

Woman outside the Jammin’ Crepes restaurant in Princeton – 

Girl in the striped skirt

Maestro Robertson consulting his score…

Quick sketch of a conductor looking at his music

Man lounging in the public square in Princeton…

Portly man lounging in a public square in Princeton

(P.S. In case you’re wondering, I’m still on the road – with the New York City Ballet in Saratoga, NY this time -hence the hand-held snapshots of my sketchbook!)


Filed under Art, drawing faces, ink sketches, New York City, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook

From My Sketchbook – The Good, the Bad and the Smokey

There was so much about my recent trip to Paris that was wonderful.  Unexpectedly, my time spent sightseeing alone each day was partly what made the trip so memorable.

En Paris

As I explored the different Arrondisements, it didn’t matter if I stopped every five feet to snap a picture, decided to veer off my charted course to wander down an interesting side street, or found myself lost and had to retrace my steps.  When my feet got tired or I got hungry, I stopped to rest or to eat; and at the end of the day I always had adventures to report back to my husband.

My sketch book was always handy, and since Paris is a city for people watching my cafe breaks provided the perfect opportunity to try and capture the expressions and spirit of those around me.

cartoon head illustration studies

Quick sketch of cheerful middle aged man

In short, I would say that my entire trip was trés parfait except for one little thing.  Everyone (or so it seems) in Paris smokes – and I’m not referring to the occasional social cigarette.  Parisians seem to be heavy weight champions in the sport of chain smoking.  Sitting in the those wonderful outdoor cafes means you’re liable to be served up a side of cancer along with your Chèvre.

Quick sketch of Parisian girl smoking

C’est domage, but maybe by the next time I visit that will have changed.  Here’s hoping…









Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, illustration, ink sketches, inspiration, marker and ink illustration, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, travel

From My Sketchbook – A Breakthrough of Sorts

When I started carrying around my sketchbook a bit over a year ago, I was pretty shy about openly sketching people.  As a result, many of my sketches were of people’s backs.  Although I’m still sketching lots of backs, I’m proud that I now have a better sense of proportion and the hand-eye coordination to quickly lay out a complete figure in my sketchbook.

Sketch of woman with studded beret

Even better, this week when I started sketching a lady sitting directly across from me on the subway (see below), I was aware that she might know that she was being sketched.  But even better was that as I lost myself in doing this sketch, I didn’t realize that the gentleman next to me was watching the sketch unfold.  As he got up to leave the train he turned to me and said, “You’ve really got her down!”

Sketch of woman lost in thought on the subway

(Needless to say, I was tickled pink!)


Filed under Art, Drawing, drawing faces, ink sketches, sketchbook, subway sketches

From My Sketchbook – A Foray into Gesture Drawing

This week I incorporated gesture drawing along with elements of cartooning into my daily sketches.  My goal was not only to capture the “line of action” in the figures I drew, but to also try and convey the subject’s emotions in every aspect of their limbs.

So, here, for your viewing pleasure is:

The Sleepy Man with Cornrow Hairstyle…

Tired man with cornrow hairstyle sitting on the subway

The Anxious Man Checking His Cellphone…

Anxious man looking at his cellphone

The Bored Girl On the Subway…

Girl sitting on the subway

The Cool Guy with a Head Scarf…

Sketch of slouching man with head scarf



Filed under Drawing, illustration, ink sketches, New work, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, techniques, weekly sketch project

From My Sketchbook – A Prolific Week

It felt like I spent as much time sitting in trains last week as I did in my chair in the pit at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater.  While playing for the Miami City Ballet was a treat, it was also a nice to have so many opportunities for people watching and sketching on the commutes.  Here are just a few of the sketches I did:

Woman in cardigan, glasses and sling-back shoes reading subway billboard…

sketch of woman in glasses reading a subway billboard

Long-haired woman wearing rain boots and patterned stockings…

quick sketch of woman with rain boots

Sketch of woman with sunglasses and leather jacket…

quick sketch of woman with sunglasses on the top of her head

Woman wearing retro-styled outfit and updo…

ink sketch of retro styled woman

Woman with cornrow braids and glasses…

ink sketch of woman with cornrow hairstyle



Filed under Art, Drawing, drawing faces, illustration, ink sketches, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, weekly sketch project