Thursday, December 28, 2006

Anatomy Phase I: Complete!

So I've gone through the first 74 videos in The Structure of Man. And I can now do the following from memory:

Well, about 90% anyway. There are some details on the hands and the radius & ulna that I'm still a bit hazy about. Before I move on to the muscles, I'll try to do a few exercises putting the skeleton in 3D and in a variety of poses.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


So rather than just talking about it, I've started going through the anatomy lessons I posted about previously.


Along the way, I'm gradually building my own anatomy reference book. I'm not quite at the point where I feel I can leverage this skeletal knowledge much in my figure drawing; it's a lot of work and the muscles are going to be even more work. And after that it's going to be even more work to get comfortable drawing this stuff from my head and putting it in perspective. But it is something I feel I should've put the time into learning many years ago. Better late than never I suppose.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

And I was just thinking

about how I needed to learn more about human anatomy, and how to apply it to figure drawing.

This drawing gave me all sorts of trouble, trying to figure out how the obscured hips and right leg would look, and how the legs would attach.

Lucky for me then that I should stumble upon Riven Phoenix's The Structure of Man - 170 sequential videos freely viewable on YouTube, teaching you classical techniques on how to draw the figure from your mind. A fantastic project! I have a feeling this will become a staple of modern, internet-enabled art instruction. Thank you Riven Phoenix for creating such a valuable resource.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Poses


Tricky exercises in extreme perspective/foreshortening and motion. Reference courtesy of DeviantArt stock artists.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Femmes Fatales

DeviantArt's stock art category provides limitless opportunity for finding drawing reference. Here are a couple of fun poses from my recent Web Models series:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back to the Blog

No, I haven't left the blog to rot... I've just been doing a lot of portraits and not blogging. Anyway, here are some of recent drawings I've done:

Both are Pentel pocket-brush on 11x14" bristol.

I came across a page recently on the messageboard with links to PDFs of some highly-regarded art/illustration instruction books from the 1930s and 40s by Andrew Loomis:
Fun With a Pencil
Figure Drawing For All It's Worth
Successful Drawing
Eye of the Painter

Note that that download site makes you go through a few hoops, but just click the 'free' option. It'll also make you wait between downloads, so you'll have to space them out over a few hours.

The books must be seen to be believed - they contain some of the most useful information on drawing that you can get. Beyond that, they are each full of hundreds of stunning Loomis illustrations. I really wish I'd known about these books back in art college. Don't pass on the Fun with a Pencil because of the title, it's a very sophisticated yet easy to understand book that covers a much of what's in Figure Drawing and Successful Drawing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And the portraits continue!

Lots more added to the series since I last blogged. These are a couple of my favourites:


I've also come across some noteworthy blogs recently: Robert Hunt and Chris Wahl, who's got some awesome sketching and colouring videos.

Additionally, Today's Inspiration features tons of classic old illustrations. These Frank McCarthy layouts are awesome.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Internet Portraits

Here are the latest two drawings from my Internet Portraits series:


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Internet Portraits


I've started another series of ink brush drawings. This time, I'm doing sketches of people I've met online, many of whom I've never met in person.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Courtney in Queen's Park

I'm not entirely happy with this piece, as it doesn't really look like the model. But I like some things about it. If nothing else, it shows me that my figure and portrait skills need work...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

David Apatoff's Illustration Art Blog

ILLUSTRATION ART is a site I was lucky enough to stumble upon, following a sidebar link from (also a great site with lots of new work from around the web every day.)

David Apatoff puts a lot of love into his writeups that focus mostly on 20th century illustrations and illustrators. Never pretentious, never too wordy, but rich with a deep understanding of the work he chooses to write about. And the work that he does choose is well-distributed from the unknown to household names.

Whether you agree or disagree with some of his opinions (I usually find myself nodding at the monitor in agreement), he's always tactful and supports his arguments well.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

SJgallery - A PHP Image Gallery

I've released the PHP script I've been using to power the gallery section of my site under a public domain (i.e. free) license. It's not for everyone; you should be comfortable with editing XML and HTML files with a text editor, as well as using FTP to upload files to your webhost.

Still, I think there are some web-savvy artists out there who may find it useful. Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More tracks and wires

More streetcar wires and tracks at the corner of Roncesvalles and Queen.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wires and Tracks at King and Dufferin

This one shows the typical tangled insanity of wires and tracks at corners where streetcar lines intersect.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Just east of Roncesvalles on Queen, some giant billboards are perched atop these old apartment building rooftops.

Another one for the Parkdale Sketches series.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Slipstream is another series of that I've been working on recently. Slightly sci-fi in theme, I've been drawing them on 24x18 newsprint using conte, then shooting them with a digital camera and adding colours in Photoshop.

This latest drawing is called Apocalypse Summer, based on the theory that global warming may eventually cause the gulfstream to shut down, ushering in a new ice age in parts of North America and Europe. (Though to be fair, there are also those that say otherwise.)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Parkdale Sketches

I've started working in a different part of town this summer, in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. I've been doing some sketches of the nearby area with a cartridge ink brush.

This latest drawing is of my friend James, on his '85 Honda Shadow, in the parking lot behind our office/warehouse building.

By the way, the brush I'm using is a Pentel Pocketbrush. I highly recommend it if you want to experiment with ink & brush, but want the convenience of a felt-tip pen. Please Pentel, don't stop making these things.

Welcome to my mind

So I thought I'd catch up to the 20th century and start up a blog of my own. I've had my own site for a long time now and I've hung out at and posted stuff at other sites (like DeviantArt for example) but I thought this would be a good way to list new artworks, write about them and anything else that happens to pop into my head at the moment.