These are 5-15 minute sketches.  They are experiments in sketching realistic portraits, which I have not done until recently.

There’s quite a few sketches documenting my development from the first shading experiment to the end, so scroll until you get to the bottom, and click on one to enlarge it.

I had no idea how to shade with the sketch below.

I got an ebook (see previous blog post) and picked up some tips on how to shade. It was pretty scary.  I’m still not comfortable with it and need to learn more but I’m sticking with it.

The girl below is the same one as above but I’ve done some adjustments to the shading, eyes, mouth, hair, etc.  It’s amazing how much a picture can be changed. Drawing portraits (from my imagination) is like playing with dolls! :-)

I’m not too keen on the next sketches but a few people loved the curly haired one.  I sketch everywhere and people tend to stop and chat!

A 10-12 year old girl stopped and said, “Sorry for being nosey but that drawing is Very Good”.  Awwww, that was sweet of her to say. Another lady said, “Is that an animal?” I thought, “Heh, maybe a poodle?!” I think she was joking. She was funny.

The thing I love about art, compared to astrology and tarot, is that no one wants anything from me.  They are happy to share their appreciation and thoughts on my drawings and that’s it, so far.  It feels darn good, and I hope to eventually make a living doing art.

I think it’s also cool that the universe keeps shoving me in the direction of an art career and putting me in touch with soul friends.  A cashier at a cafe remarked on this drawing as well.  She asked if I did figure drawing too and suggested a place to go.  Awwww… I knew of the place but I haven’t ventured out there yet.  The universe does another nudge.  I asked what her sign was — a Taurus, and mentioned that she was probably into art and jewelry making — sure enough, she was. :-)

So yes, on this drawing (which I don’t like much except for the hair and a bit of the shading, etc.) there were four people in the span of five minutes that commented on how good it was.  LOL.  What fun!

After this and so many people asking if I’m an artist (even when I’m not drawing anything) — I guess folks, I’ll now say:  I’m an artist! and just get used to the vibe.  It’s a different feeling, different kind of love.  Art is something I can share, that others will feel good viewing, and where I don’t feel overwhelmed (at least, not yet… lets hope, never!).

I did this one (below) on April 10th, after African Queen…  I was listening to Adele, saw the album cover, and loved the shadows.  So far, I’ve shaded the whole face so I wanted to see how only shading ‘parts’ would go.  I like the eyes (well, not exactly, but the concept of it).

It’s incredible how scary it feels to draw shadows! LOL It feels like I’m going to ruin the picture.

With this Adele picture, nose, eyes, mouth is all off, skewed, forehead not high enough, etc. I drew this for about 15 minutes very early in the morning (before bed — ie, exhausted but not enough to not draw! haha).

I haven’t spent enough time with my drawings. One day I’ll sit for an hour and try to make it all nice, feature and position accurate! That’d be interesting. :-) I think that means I have to try the ‘grid’ method instead of the freestyle I’ve been doing. Then hopefully, when I get used to that, I can go back to freestyle.

April 11th, Another sketch without full shading.  I took 20 minutes on this! LOL… Working my way up to long sittings. This is the first time I’ve drawn teeth. The features are still off and it’s still not a professional drawing BUT it’s still a lot of fun.  Someone said this looked like a basketball player.  I actually drew it from a still from a video.  I have no idea who that guy is.  His face is wider than this, his eyes are not as close, and his nose is supposed to be wider too. His eyebrows are thucjer and I’m still making the foreheads too short! What’s with that?! And his face has more depth.  I wonder if he’d cower in horror if he saw this drawing of him!

April 11th, later on…

I like the eyes and nose here.  I took more care and another 5 minutes! But the mouth is too ‘lined’… I couldn’t seem to avoid that. but if you put your hand over the mouth the eyes and nose look pretty good, I believe! :)

Finally I added a mustache since I was having a hard time with the mouth.  I usually have trouble with the nose, and not the mouth but maybe by focusing on the nose, the mouth lost out.  I do like the lines between the nose and mouth – that turned out fairly well. Unfortunately I don’t like the eyebrows.  They’d be better closer to the eye.

Oh, a short forehead again!! I’ve got to stop doing that.  For some reason, I think it’s so big while drawing it.  I guess I just need to make it ‘really big’ so it will be normal. :)  Adding the mustache and eyebrows, really changed this drawing.

The portrait (from my imagination) lacks proportion and realism again. Back to the drawing board. ;-)

These two (below) are the ones I like most.  I think my style will be real, imaginary, and abstract.  You’ll be able to figure out what it is, to a certain extent, but then there will be some abstract elements and a philosophical, political, or cultural statement through the imagination.

African Queen, Unshaded.

I’m pretty sure a visit today to the Mayan exhibit at the ROM inspired this drawing.

African Queen reminds me of an ancient Egyptian. To me, there’s something mystical about her. Her headpiece reminds me of a symbolic brain, and traveling through time — through cultures, and peoples. The headpiece holds the colorful roads and peoples of the earth. A wise woman, indeed. :-)



The eyes are a bit flat, a few things could be adjusted, but all in all — this is my style. :-)

I started with the head piece.  I start the abstract, find something familiar, draw what you will know, and then add some ‘meaning’ to it. So much enjoyment!


I did this on the bus.  Drawing helps me zone out.

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