Long overdue sketches

Geez, has it really been since December when I last posted some drawings? I'm a terrible art/animation blogger guy. Sorry. I promise not to do that again.

Well, I started a project for myself awhile back: draw something on a daily basis. Yes, I draw every day at work, but as those who work in the animation biz know very well is that that doesn't count. That's drawing because you're supposed to draw. Which isn't that much fun, is it? (Well, sometimes. Okay, most of the time.) I promised myself that I would find the time each and every day to draw something in my sketchbook. I wanted to do something like this because it's supposed to make me a better artist, the idea that if you're constantly looking at things with an artistic eye and force yourself to put it onto paper (even if it's not looking good in your eyes), then eventually you'll have a better grasp on capturing your world around you.

It started out pretty well, but then... well, I faltered. But that happens. And I'm... okay with it. Really, I am. But hey -- I try not to focus on it. I just pick up a pencil and my Moleskine, and I do a sketch. It so easy when I take the morning bus ride into work. It's so difficult when I don't.

There's no "right" way to do this. I just start drawing. And I have several approaches as to how and what I draw. If you notice in these sketches I'm about to post for you, I have three distinctive approaches of drawing my subjects:

1. Draw from real life.
2. Draw from images (like from a magazine or photos)
3. Draw off the dome (from my head; freestyling)

Sometimes it's a combination of the two: I see a person walking by and since I can't capture them perfectly because of the short amount of time I have, I take some elements or characteristics that stuck out in my head and then go from there, creating an entirely different person. Doesn't have to be perfect. It gives me a chance to work on my imagination.

So here are some of my daily sketches. Most of them are small here, but you can view them larger by clicking on the image which takes you to its Flickr page. From there, you can click on "All sizes." (Also, you can see all of these, plus more in My Art photoset on Flickr. Sweet.)

daily sketch: 5.21.07

daily sketch: 5.26.07 a

daily sketch: 5.26.07 b

daily sketch: 5.27.07

daily sketch: 5.31.07 b

daily sketch: 6.02.07

daily sketch: 6.04.07 a

daily sketch: 6.04.07 b

daily sketch: 6.05.07

daily sketch: 6.06.07 a

daily sketch: 6.06,07 b

daily sketch: 6.07.07

daily sketch: 6.09.07

The following were done before I decided to do daily sketches:

sketches: ava snooping in car

sketches: playing around

Bus ridin' gives me endless possibilities of subjects to draw from:

sketches: bus riding 1

sketches: bus riding 2

sketches: bus riding 3

One last thing. I'd like to revisit some of my old sketches and breathe new life to them. Here's one guy I drew back in September of '06:

sketch of guy with drink

And here he is with color:

guy with drink in color

Okay, that should tide you over for awhile! More to come, I promise.


  1. Very, very nice. I find this sort of thing very inspirational. Of course, you know very well I fall into the Marc Davis "I don't draw unless I'm being paid" camp, but looking at your nice sketches kinda makes me wish I didn't...."kinda." Swingin' post.

  2. I love them all, as usual, but the overhead umbrella crowd sketch really dazzled me!

    I also love the skewed way you wrote the word "hands" overlapping the art in the hands drawing. I don't know why little details like that make me happy, but they do. Nice decision.

    It's hard to find time to draw for oneself.

  3. YEAH! I've been waiting for you to post something new. How long has it been since we had an Ava Thursday (or whatever)?

    I'm a complete outsider to the industry, and I appreciate how you put the text and images together. I especially like when you decompose Ava's work (that *really* teaches me something).

  4. Great work! I love the sketches, such a simplified, yet expressive quality to them. Your reel is also amazing...

  5. I like the quiet moment you captured of Ava looking through the glove compartment (quite a mysterious little hatch, if I remember right from my own childhood).

  6. I love the gestures you capture... rubbing an eye, stifling a laugh, reaching into the glove compartment. More, please! (but no pressure.)

  7. nice look, a little taste of the classics. do you color in photoshop, or the old way?

  8. Aaaahh!,
    It has been a while since we've seen some of those. Nice. It is tough when you are drawing all day to pick up the pencil in your own time. Setting a routine is good for that.
    The paper in your Moleskin has a great look to it, which helps with the sketchbook look. Can I ask what you're drawing with? Is it the animation standard "Col-erase" crimson red?

  9. thanks for these

    really enjoyable and inspirational

  10. Hi Ward - I've been lingering around your blog for some time now just as an onlooker but this post was really inspirational. Thanks for reminding artists out there that every drawing doesn't have to be a masterpiece waiting to be framed and hung, but that sketching is a regular exercise we shouldn't be afraid to tackle every day, even when we're having "off" days. I always enjoy your material so thanks again.

  11. Your sketches are so neat and clean, the lines are so sharp. Really cool. Pieces like Ava snooping are like little pieces of personal history in pencil.

    Yup. Inspirational as usual, Ward. You got me bloggin, too in my own messy way.

  12. Hey, sweet stuff Ward. Really appealing and great style. It's awesome to see more of this from you and in such huge doses...i could get used to it.

  13. Beautiful!

    I especially dig seeing the colro version of one of them. Yummy stuff, man.

    And say Ward--how come I'm never asked to these things: https://ottawa.awn.com/index.php?option=com_oiaf&task=showevent&i=170&Itemid=698

    I mean Barrier doesn't even blog! (Just kidding-he does--whether he calls it that or not, and it's one of the best. Yours too).

    *written in poorpoorpitiful-me-me-me mode. ; )

  14. Glad you all like the sketches, guys! I promise to post some more, once I get the scanner up and running.

    And Jenny, just to let you know, I won't be able to attend Ottawa this year. The blogger panel was originally my idea, but unfortunately I won't be there to be a part of it! What are the odds? Oh well.