Tag Archives: sketchbooks

Trying out Moleskine (again)

Moleskine has long been a favorite among the sketching community, and for a long time I really couldn’t understand why. I’d used loads of their notebooks and frankly, they kind of suck. The paper is extremely thin and smooth, meaning that ink smears and bleeds something terrible.

Not wanting to completely dismiss the brand, though, I picked up one of their sketchbooks and tried it out with my regular art pens. And you know what? It was fantastic. The paper is thick and sturdy with minimal show-through and no feathering. It’s lovely to draw on. I now understand the hype.

So now that’s my purse sketchbook. I was at a party and decided to do a couple of sketches – the hosts’ cat on his kitty tree, and my foot among the assorted detritus of eating and playing video games. Fun times. Maybe this new sketchbook will actually cause me to draw more while I’m out. That’d be nice.

Sketchbook Peek: Echo

I was at Peet’s Coffee in Falls Church, Virginia, for Draw Night with some fellow local sketchers. I wasn’t too inspired by my surroundings, but one of the others was drawing from a photograph so I decided to do so as well. This is my cat, Echo. I drew this with a Prismacolor 05 drawing pen and highlighted with colored pencils. Took about 20-30 minutes, as do most of the ink drawings I do from photographs.


I love his flyaway hair. So many of these artists had crazy bedhead going on for some reason. Maybe it was the style of the time. Or maybe they were just artists.

Rosie’s Boys

My friend Dave asked me to draw the “We Can Do It” guy. I said, “Rosie the Riveter?” He said yes, that’s who he meant. Well, it turns out those are two different people. The guy who did the We Can Do It poster was J. Howard Miller:

And the guy who did the picture of Rosie the Riveter was Norman Rockwell:

It turns out that the We Can Do It poster wasn’t associated with Rosie the Riveter until well after the war had ended. So there you have it: art and a history lesson, all in one!


John William Waterhouse is my friend Kate’s favorite artist. We happened to look up his photograph while she was visiting the other day and I ended up keeping the link open so I could draw him. She seems pleased with the result.

Dr. Seuss

I commented on Facebook something about how you know you’re doing something right when people give you drawing requests because they want to see the end product and not just because they think you’re looking for ideas. A friend replied “Do Dr. Seuss!” I think he probably meant for me to draw something in the style of Dr. Seuss, but I’m still on my dead artists kick.


For my drawing of Georges Seurat, I tried starting with the right eye instead of the left. It didn’t turn out so well, but really the issue here is that I left out the glint in one eye. It’s amazing how much of a difference that makes.


I knew basically nothing about Paul Gauguin (except that his name is really fun to say) until I saw an exhibit on him at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He had pretty terrible hair, but his art is nice.


I drew Edouard Manet one evening because I was feeling anxious. There’s something very meditative about drawing these guys with their epic beards.


Q. Why did the French train derail?
A. Too loose la track!

For the first half of my life that joke was pretty much the extent of my knowledge of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Then I saw Moulin Rouge. Then, finally, I connected him with those famous posters I was already familiar with. And here you have it.

In other news, I’m starting to think I should just claim derpy eyes as part of my personal artistic style.

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