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Introduction to Myself Again

Updated on April 5, 2019
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Two degrees in architecture, and a sketching habit, also work in the restaurant industry. Rather disillusioned about creative professions.


This is the first article that I have written in quite a while. Drawing in various mediums is now the intended focus of my articles. I am, by all accounts, an amateur artist. So this is as much about feed back as about techniques.

Memory Sketch from a year ago
Memory Sketch from a year ago | Source

Three Drawings

One drawn from memory, one drawn from a photograph, and one sketchbook entry showing a quick technique.

Three photos of older work have been included in the photo. The self portrait is drawn from a photograph using a grid laid out with a straight edge and light pencil.

One grid is on the photograph and a larger grid is laid out over the paper medium.

I actually thought this was cheating when I did it until I research photo-realistic style painters. It is a very common technique. Artists like Chuck Close use it, although in his case the reasons are due to physical limitations.

The insight freed me up to try different techniques of drawing. One of the reasons I draw is to shake up my mental ruts. The main reason though is that I get lost in the drawing; and, that benefits me by relieving the stress of everyday life. Whether I am good at drawing, or not, really doesn't matter much.

The above drawing is from memory, which I do a lot of. It is not the same as drawing from life. Memories are not really connected to reality, so much of the works emerge as symbols.

I do draw from life, either people or objects. That is an exercise is seeing, or maybe ignoring what your mind says should be there. That is where the more realistic drawing comes in.


I am aiming the article toward people who want to improve drawing skills, or like me, just draw for fun.

Grid Technique

This technique takes time to prep and execute. It is not easy. It is worth doing.

(I am assuming the reader has some basic drawing skills, but If you don't, you will pick some up at the end of this exercise.)

Get some comfortable shoes, or go barefoot like I do.

First choose a photo you want to reproduce.

Second print it out on inexpensive paper. Let it dry if you are using an inkjet.

Third lay out a grid 1" x 1" over the whole photograph. I use ink for this step. A ball point pen is fine. Use a straight edge to keep the lines parallel.

Fourth Choose your paper or other medium. Select a size that is larger than the original. Cover the paper in a grid. 2" x 2 " to double the size or 3" by 3" to triple the size. Use a straight edge to keep the lines parallel.

Fifth Starting in the upper left hand corner, copy the image in one square of the grid to the corresponding square on your drawing. Just fill in the squares until you have the drawing.

Self Portrait

Drawn from photo using a grid technique
Drawn from photo using a grid technique | Source


Even if I am not planning on sharing a sketchbook drawing, I include information like dates and what mediums for my own reference.

Drawing on the Train

Sketchbook entry.
Sketchbook entry. | Source

Drawing on the Train

This is just fun.

Get a small sketchbook.

Sit somewhere, I just happened to be on the train a lot back then.

Sketch quickly, don't stress about detail or any form of perfection, no one on a train stands still long enough anyway.

After doing this for a while, I found that my confidence improved and then the sketching improved as took more chances and pushed myself. I use whatever pen or pencil I have with me.

This is strictly for yourself, don't worry about anything but the act of quickly sketching. Some artists, though, believe quickly working keeps art fresh. I really do not have an opinion on that belief - yet. I would check out the impressionist movement of the 19th century for more information.

FYI Sketching In Ink

If you are using ink for the above exercise. Sketch directly. Do not use a pencil to lay things out. Don't stress about mistakes or anything. It's a sketch. Save the pencil layouts for finished drawings.

Goodbye for Now

This is the first article I have written in a while. Hope you enjoyed it, since you are at the end. I do intend to publish more. It's as much getting myself out there as it is sharing. Both are important. The first one is more difficult than the second one for me.

© 2019 Brian L. Powell


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