Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tim: 2 hour pose

Tim by Graham Smith

Wednesdays I go to a Life Drawing Workshop with my friends. The workshop is open to the public, and artists of all skill levels are welcome.

Tim's body type is an ectomorph, meaning he has an extremely low body fat ratio. You can see his every muscle, tendon and sinew, so he was very fun to draw.

Each time I practice drawing, I try to approach the subject a different way, trying to learn something. Because this was a long pose, I drew slowly, taking advantage of the time. I decided to concentrate on the figure only and draw the entire outline as a shape first, taking special care to make sure the negative spaces were spot on, shape wise.

My goal is to complete the initial lay-in during the first 20 minute pose segment, making sure the entire figure is placed on the page in a meaningful way. If I plan poorly, and did not manage fit the subject on the page, I start again.

head detail

During the second 20 minute segment, I refine the internal shapes and continue to adjust the outline. The darkest value landmarks are indicated during this time, like the cast shadow down his chest from his armpit to his leg, the darkness behind the head, ear and lower calf.

hand detail

I further refine the shapes and values, going from big to small, during the 3rd and 4th pose segments, saving the more delicate light and mid-tone finessing for the end. I work on the face hands and feet, adding detail and blocking values. I like to use a wide variety of marks, soft blends, hatch marks that follow the surface contour and outlines that overlap.

foot detail

During the last 20 minutes I punch the darks, so the drawing won't suffer from mid tone mushiness. I try to balance the values in regards to the whole. This usually involves some type of simplification.

This time, I added Indian red to my brown monochrome drawing. Colored pencil on 18 x 24 inch, heavy weight Strathmore paper, 400 series, 100 lb.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Reaper by Graham Smith - 18" x 24" graphite pencil

Hey Folks,

Yesterday, Google told me my website has been hacked, malware has been installed at the root level. Oh Noes!

I immediately found and deleted the offending files, one php file and one folder full of spammy junk. Hats off to Google for giving me the heads up so quickly.

iPower Web, the web host, deemed this the highest priority. A tech specialist, reviewed the site and deemed it clear of malware immediately. There has been, nor will be, any negative impact on visitors to the site. Thanks iPower. Whew.

Today, I requested a review by Google to make sure everything is back to normal, and to remove the super scary warning label pasted across my website. I sure hope it gets removed right away. They claim 24 - 48 hours. Fingers crossed.

This type of thing is very new to me. Is there anything I can do to make sure this won't happen again? What do you do to protect your site?


Friday Night. All Clear. Website is no longer a spam host. Please enjoy.

: )

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black Crows

Black Crows by Graham Smith

A quick little drawing of Black Crows lead singer Chris Robinson, done in my trusty 11 x 14 Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook. 93 lb paper. Acrylic wash over pencil drawing with a 1 " flat brush.

Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbooks were de-rigeur in art school, back in the day. Since then, the company has changed hands and the paper changed as well. The paper is a little harder and more pebble textured than I remember. I painted this on the back side of the paper, which is smoother than the front. This paper is pretty tough, holds up well to erasing and seems to survive my heavy handed drawing style.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Noodle Shop

Wednesday nights are Life Drawing Workshop nights. If I'm not on assignment, I draw from life for fun and practice and to hang out with friends. Afterward we all go to a Japanese Noodle Shop and throw down.

Instead of the usual life drawings, here is a quick drawing of what we like to eat late at night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bad Sports

Bad Sports by Graham Smith

After the Philadelphia Inquirer fired Stephan A. Smith from the sports column he writes for them, he lawyered up, and they had to hire him back. The Philadelphia Inquirer still pays him his $220,000 per year salary, but they refuse publish his column.

Read more about this story by written Steve Volk, in Philadelphia Magazine online, or get yourself a copy - out on news stands now.

I worked closely with Jesse Southerland, the Art Director at Philadelphia Magazine, on this illustration. Jesse scanned in sections of The Inquirer for me to use as collage elements, even going back into a stack of old papers, looking for one of Stephan A. Smith's columns to use.

The preliminary sketch, the final illustration with the magazine cover in the background.

I draw a pretty tight pencil sketch before I begin inking. That process helps me figure out the likeness of the subject and how I will ink their portrait. The sketch is where most of the work is, and ironically, no one ever sees that. The inking itself is done very quickly. I try to maintain a level of vibrancy and spontaneity within the finished illustration. I can move quickly and confidently through the inking process, if I am sure all the hard work was done within the sketch.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Britney's Hammer

Britney Henry by Graham Smith

It was early in the morning, the bright yellow sun was barely over the mountains behind The ARCO Olympic Training Center, in Chula Vista, California. I was meeting Britney Henry for the first time. "Welcome to my office." she shouts and waves, "Follow me, I'll show you my hammers, first."

I ran to catch up with her across the dewy grass of the Hammer Fields, to a big green tool box. She opened it, lifted a metal object out and began to explain. "Ok, these are my practice hammers, the official ones weigh 8.8 pounds, but some weigh more, or less, depending one what you are training for."

The hammer itself, looks like a cannon ball hanging from a solid steel wire. The wire is attached to the hammer on one end, and bent into a triangular handle on the other end. The whole thing is 34" long. I had never seen one before, so I thought it was pretty neat. The hammer was heavier than I thought, when she dropped one into my hands. It was bare metal, heavy, it had remnants of chipped yellow paint on the front, and there were hundreds of tiny dings and dents etched into the steel. Impressed, I hefted it back to her.

"You have to straighten the wire out, so it flies further." Britney explains, as she bends the wire handle to get a kink out. She knew I thought it was heavy.

Britney grabbed 5 them in one hand and said, "Ok, I'm ready."

"You need help with those?" I offer.

"Nope." She smiles. "Let's go!"


The Britney Henry Project Blog is the home for photography, video's, press releases, music and illustrations done in support of Britney Henry. Subscribe to the blog, become her fan on Facebook, follow her personal story on her blog Olympian in Progress, and maybe even get inspired, like me.
Related Posts with Thumbnails