Tag Archives: ink

Journal52 – Week 6

This week’s Journal52 theme was “Above My Head” so I drew the contents of one of the “plant shelves” in my house – little nooks near the ceiling in all the upstairs rooms. This one is in my study. I removed the captions from the scan, but the objects are, in order:

  • A lantern my husband got from his sister
  • A stein I bought my husband when I was in Belgium. I didn’t draw it here, but the top of the lever to open it is shaped in the form of Manneken Pis.
  • A glass mug belonging to my husband. The silver emblem has his initials engraved on it, but I don’t know where it came from.
  • A vase I procured in Muncie, Indiana, during college. I couldn’t quite capture the pearlescence in marker but it is beautiful.
  • A mule deer skull found in Flagstaff, Arizona.

My walls aren’t actually that purple – they’re a far more muted purply-gray – but I love that marker color so much that it ran out of ink. Alas.

Materials: Staedtler triplus fineliner, Prismacolor markers.

Fathers of Aviation

I continued the joke and ended up drawing Orville Wright on Tuesday. About a week later I drew his brother Wilbur. These are not subjects I ever would have considered drawing. I’m not sure what happened to their eyes. A conversation I had with my husband while drawing Orville:

Me: Pretty sure one of the fathers of aviation didn’t have derpy eyes.
Him: To be fair, one of his eyelids is droopier than the other one.
Me: Yes, but both his eyes are pointed in the same direction, unlike his depiction in my sketchbook.

Oddly, I drew Wilbur one night because I was feeling anxious and needed to quiet my brain. Some people use adult coloring books to de-stress; apparently I draw dead people.


Still on my retro photo kick, I decided to see if I could find any good pictures of women. Clara Barton was the only one I could think of with a clear headshot. I’ll be frank: I don’t like this one. I think it turned out weird. Her eyes really weren’t the same height, but somehow I managed to switch which one was higher.

But you know what? All drawing is drawing practice. The more you do it, the better you get. And no matter how good you get, sometimes you make stuff you’re not happy with. It’s all part of the process.

Uncle Bob

This is my grandmother’s brother Bob. I never met him (he died more than 25 years before I was born), but I had a decent photo of him in my genealogy files. I think this drawing looks more like my friend Jose than Uncle Bob, which is a little trippy since I’m fairly certain Jose has no Iowan in him and Bob definitely has no Puerto Rican blood.


After drawing Thoreau on a random Thursday, my friend Six said that last she heard, Sundays were Matisse and Tuesdays were Orville Wright. Following up on her joke, I said that I’d thought Mondays were Matisse, so I was a day late with this one.

Finding a reference photo for this taught me that I know exactly nothing about Henri Matisse. I was surprised to find any photographs of him at all, having assumed he lived a good hundred years before he did. Turns out a bunch of famous painters had their photos taken. I guess that means I have more folks to draw.

If it’s Thursday, it must be Thoreau

Inspired by my sketch of David Bowie, I decided to practice drawing more faces in ink. It’s difficult to find modern professional photographs that haven’t been touched up, so I did a search for Daguerrotypes. And up popped everyone’s favorite civil disobedient, Henry David Thoreau.

He was fun to draw. Lots of wrinkles and ridiculous hair. And he was, quite possibly, the original neckbeard. It’s the complete opposite of today’s styles: a clean-shaven face with a big bushy beard on the neck. Ugh. Glad that went out of style.

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