Baseball and lacrosse are now officially over, with end-of-season parties this week, so time to sift through the sketchbook to find a few more sketches to share.
I’ve enjoyed adding more exaggeration into the athletes and action, such as this one, loosely resembling our daughter on the field.
As the “Double A” little leaguers are learning more baseball action, I am also ready for a bit more action in my sports sketches … so here’s a slider. The regular season is over, let the playoffs begin!
I thought I’d break up the monotony of baseball sketches with a quick one from a different set of bleachers — the very dusty bleachers inside the arena at Horseplay, where my son Avery has been going for hippotherapy consistently the past 4 years. For those who don’t know him, Avery has cerebral palsy indirectly related to his premature birth. He and his twin, Mason, were born at 25 weeks and under 2 pounds each after I had complications with my pregnancy and was on bedrest for 7 weeks.
Hippotherapy has helped Avery develop better trunk strength and balance, not to mention confidence from learning how to ride more independently and control the horse. When he started at 5 years old, he had 2 sidewalkers assisting, but now he rides with just one volunteer walking the horse.
I decided to draw this for him during his last session, omitting the volunteer for no other reason than to simply focus on Avery and his increase in independence.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing most of my sketching on black again. I continue to be drawn toward working in reverse. I like the process, and the result, plus I feel like I finish a sketch much more quickly on black.
I’ve sketched the little league batters several times now, and even shared a couple on here … but now I’m trying to work a little more character into the players.
Limiting the kids to one sport and one or two other extracurricular activities at a time is getting tougher as the kids get older, but when it is x5 kids, I’m not sure how we (and they) can take on much more. This is especially true as the amount of school work and extra school-related activities continue to increase. Plus, even I have increased my own activities and other commitments. In the past couple of months, I’ve joined a softball team (after almost a full decade away from the sport) and taken on my third time-consuming PTA responsibility this year.
Sure, we are a blended family and there are truly 4 involved parents to help transport kids and be present for activities, but that also creates a very complicated schedule and takes extra time to sync up calendars and communicate. And, for many sports events, band concerts and other activities, we all want to be there to watch as much as possible.
I guess it’s no wonder that sticking to a consistent once-a-week blog schedule is continuing to be a challenge, but I am still determined to figure that out. One thing for sure is that I always have my sketchbooks, pencils and other art materials with me and continue to draw every chance I get.
Lately, I have been experimenting with many different techniques and styles of sketching. Sometimes, I’m working to quickly capture a snapshot of the players on the field or focus in with more detail on one player. Occasionally, I’m creating a mildly exaggerated caricature of a player or coach but more often, I’m creating a generic team player in action and I use multiple subjects for reference.
Both my favorite toned paper sketchbook and my coal black paper sketchbook are starting to fill up with baseball and lacrosse sketches, so I have plenty to share. I’ll start with sharing this truly rough and sketchy one from the beginning of the season where I tried to quickly jot as much visual information as I could from my perspective on the bleachers. Perhaps I’ll post one or two drawings a day for a while with a short caption. And with a lacrosse championship tournament this weekend and little league playoffs soon to follow, there will be many more scribbles in the sketchbooks over the next couple of weeks.
At the end of last year I shared a work-in-progress that I was creating as a gift. At that point it was a monotone wash to lay in the values. This is the final painting that was delivered to my sibling-in-laws. It was an 8 x 10 on illustration board, bigger than the first house portrait I painted in 2012 which was 5×7 and bled to the edges. It was a little tricky deciding on where to end the painting on each side to give it balance. I found the biggest challenge of the painting was working with a lush landscape that was filled with a wide variety of greens. I simplified the palette some, but there may have been room to simplify it even more. Overall, I enjoyed working on this painting and was happy with the result.
True story: I recently received a check in the mail, awarded to me for a drawing I did when I was 12. Yes, it’s 30 years old. (And yes, I guess that gives away my age to anyone who can add). The check came with a very thoughtful note that began …
“Dear Andrea, I was going through a box last week from the garage that was full of letters, pictures, etc. and found this. I put it away to save it for you when you first got it. You were going to cash the check so I gave you a dollar for it and put it in this envelope. I cut out the comic drawing from my paper and saved it to give it to you when you grew up. Sorry, I forgot about it and you grew up a long time ago. … “
By this point in the letter, my eyes were definitely getting a little tearful. The letter was from my Uncle Bob. I actually do have a faint memory of him giving me the dollar in exchange for the check. He definitely knew better than I that this check would hold more sentimental value for me down the road than the one dollar face value.
“Nice drawing for a twelve year old” wrote Uncle Bob. I suppose. Those are some seriously long arms though … not to mention some other interesting features. I am feeling the need to rework this one and see if I really learned anything in my life drawing classes.
“First paying check, I bet“. Yes, it was, and unfortunately I’m not making much more than that 30 years later, but I sure intend to soon.
“Better frame it!” I will, and maybe I’ll hang it by my drawing table to motivate me to bring in some bigger checks — at least a check big enough that you can’t easily pull a bill out of your wallet to exchange it for.🙂
“Hope this brings you a smile!” It did, Uncle Bob. A big one. Thank you!
Not sure if it’s a good thing, a bad thing, or indifferent … but I do find that when I start to visualize characters to draw, it has often been an old (older than me) person or someone with a big nose, and in this case, a combination of both. I guess there have been a few canes in recent sketches, too. Not sure what exactly inspired me to draw this guy, if really anything at all … but I do remember drawing it while watching our daughter’s lacrosse games on a Saturday morning and I was not feeling like drawing lacrosse players again.
I recently started following @sketch_dailies on Twitter which has some extremely talented illustrators participating. I really need and want to put some focus on character design and I find this daily inspiration source as a perfect way to help develop in that area.
Today’s character inspiration was “leprechaun”. It’s not usually quite that predictable but it was a good classic character to give it my first go. I did most of this while watching our sons’ little league game, while trying not to miss anything important. I’m not sure if we won or lost (OK, I’m pretty sure we lost … but I don’t know the score) … but I did catch all the action!
Looking forward to creating some more (and much better) characters in the near future!