A while back (seriously a while, I usually forget the blog exists), I decided to draw a portrait of one Mr Jeff Goldblum. Why? Because he’s a great actor, and seriously interesting looking. I like the guy. For this piece I decided to break out the old drawing pencils, as usually I’m just using a BIC clicky pencil for everything. I wanted more depth, and I ended up really happy with the final result of this drawing. I even sold it!

Onwards to the progress pictures!

First up is the loose, light sketch. I found the photo I wanted to use as reference, zoomed in until I was happy, and then held my paper up against the computer screen to very lightly trace out the proportions correctly. I could never get the hang of measuring or using a grid like some other artists, so this is what works best for me (though I always make sure do freehand art once in a while to make sure I don’t ever lose that skill). After this initial ‘tracing’, I do not place my paper on the screen again. As you can see here, I did begin drawing the left eye before I remembered to take a photo.


Below is the finished initial drawing. It’s clear what and who I am drawing, and I’ve added a few extra lines in places as a guide for shading. Whenever I reach this point, I’m always hesitant to start the next step, afraid that I may ruin things.


Now begins the shading and filling in. I used Staedtler drawing pencils. I’ve had this particular set for probably close to 10 years. I’ve only just now finally found a pencil sharpener that actually works for me, which is what made me think to dust these bad boys off. In particular after doing this portrait, in which there was a lot of darkness, I need to pick up some more pencils now! I had a really good time with them.


Here, you can see that I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to work next. I had finished the glasses, and normally I always begin with the eyes. Honestly, I don’t remember why I switched to the ear after outlining that iris.


I did not utilize blending for this drawing, and focused more on (kind of) cross-hatching. I prefer to shade in this style because it’s cleaner on my fingers, and can be much easier to control (for me, anyways). I also like that it gives the completed drawing a sketchier look, rather than straight up realism. I like that you can tell my drawings are drawings.


And here we have, at last, the finished Goldblum. I’m really proud of this drawing, and while I would have been glad to frame it and hang it in my bathroom (not even really joking about that), I’m also happy that it found a new home with someone else. It’s good to share the Goldblum love.


Jeff Goldblum movies that I like, and you should watch: The Right Stuff, Silverado, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Thor: Ragnarok, Earth Girls are Easy, The Prince of Egypt, The Grand Budapest Hotel.


Obi Wan Kenobi

So a couple months back I decided to dig out my Crayolas and make a portrait of everyone’s favourite handsome Jedi, Obi Wan Kenobi. I hadn’t done a crayon portrait in years and years, so it was really fun to work on and get back into the swing of! Please enjoy the progress pictures below 😀


The picture following this text shows the colours I used.


Painting Potter

Every once in a while, I feel the urge to make some Harry Potter related art. Recently, we finally reached “19 Years Later” so I thought it would be nice to commemorate the occasion with a new portrait of my man, Harry Potter.

I began, as I always do when I paint or draw a portrait, with a simple drawing. I actually use some newsprint first, and lay it on my computer screen so I can mark out the proportions correctly. Then I refine that drawing freehand and go over it with a sharpie before I then hold the newsprint up against a window, place a watercolour page over top of that, and trace my lineart. Then I fix any errors, erase what needs to be erased, and end up with this.



Here we see the first layer of colour. I’m not what I would consider a traditional watercolour painter, in that I spend a lot of time building thick layers. As a result my paintings frequently end up being quite saturated. I use a skin tone over the entire face and neck, and on the hair where the light will hit it.


The next part is where I begin to layer and blend colours to build dimension. It is important to me to build up the nose in particular, and make sure that the hair won’t be flat.


The eyes always come last when I’m painting. When I am doing a pencil portrait though, they are often the first part that I finish. Different mediums require different approaches! At this point, before putting in the (GREEEEEEN for book accuracy) eye colour, our man Harry Potter here looked, frankly, terrifying. He was also lacking lip colour and eyebrows which didn’t help. Eyebrows are one of the final touches, as they are far too easy to smudge and blur into the skin by accident. I learned that lesson the hard way.


I added a grey background for a bit of drama, and a lightning bolt using a gold Sharpie.


Though it came out a little darker than I originally intended, I was pleased with the final outcome. It was a great skill exercise, and was a marvelous way to pass the morning.




I have to admit: I have only seen one partial episode from the current season of Game of Thrones. I’m VERY excited to get caught up once I have access to all episodes. VERY EXCITED.

Anyways, yesterday I decided to draw Jon Snow. I immediately regretted choosing an image with his fur on, but powered through the frustration. The lines cutting through the drawing were to lessen the amount of fur I needed to draw, so they were a lazy choice, but in the end I like how it turned out.

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

I Love You & I Like You


If you haven’t watched Parks and Recreation, you don’t know what you’re missing.

It’s my favourite TV show and for good reason: quirky plots, amazing character development, great examples of love, it’s relatively clean, and it’s hilarious. I love this show AND I like it.

Today I just felt like drawing. It’s been a while because for many months, I was pretty busy with projects for my sister’s wedding (which I will share in another post, probably?) so I just didn’t feel like drawing much. When I woke up today though, I had the itch. And I didn’t know what I wanted to draw, but I knew I wanted to draw something fun, and Leslie and Ben are FUN. So I chose them.

Hopefully I’ll do some more drawing soon! It’s so relaxing.

Sketchdump 2

Here are some recent pieces!


Obviously, I’ve been into the Art Nouveau style. It’s always been an inspiration for me, particularly the work of Alphonse Mucha.

I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of Sigourney Weaver in Alien, and today was finally the day! Spent an hour and a half or so on this and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Anne and Gilbert

Several times a month I sit down to draw and have absolutely no clue what the subject should be. I’ll spend a bit of time (aka 1-2 hours) exploring google images until I find just the right thing to sketch. With the new Anne series being released (LOVED the first episode), I decided that maybe a portrait of Anne and Gilbert from the classic miniseries would be perfect right now.

I start with a really loose sketch. You can see here that I’ve started to define the look of Gilbert, but Anne is still looking a little rough.


Here you can see that Anne has joined Gilbert in looking less like a scribble. I like to get the main linework onto the page before I go in and start adding the details – shading, texture, etc.


Below are several more progress pictures. While I typically begin with the eyes/face, there really is no rhyme or reason to the progression. I’ll work on one section, then move to another, and then return to where I started.




Below is the final sketch before I decided to add a quick watercolour pencil background.


And, the final product!


Drawing is really a pleasure when you’re working on a project that makes you happy, and Anne of Green Gables always makes me happy. Anne is a kindred spirit, even if she isn’t real, and Gilbert Blythe is every Canadian girl’s dream boy.


Lettering Poppins

Since October of last year, I’ve been very much into doing daily art challenges. In February, I decided to give myself an extra challenge, and try doing some lettering each day. I found an instagram account (@olssoncreative) with a great selection of prompts based on everything Mary Poppins. It was a fun month, and I really enjoyed myself. Here it all is!

My favourites are typically the ones that featured watercolour, or just simple black. And! Best of all is that a friend liked them enough to request I send her all of them! 😀 February was fun, and I’m already cooking up ideas for my next monthly challenge, though I’m not sure yet if it will happen in March, or if I’ll take a break and wait for April. Stay tuned!

AT-ATs in Fall

My second thrift store painting project centered around a painting of a lovely fall scene. As I tried to figure out what exactly I would be adding, I was certain it should be Star Wars related, but it did take me a bit longer with this one to decide what sort of characters or ships I should put it. Eventually, it just became obvious that a couple AT-ATs would be perfect.

Again, I used just pencil, pencil crayon, and pens.


Working on a painting that included water offered a new challenge for me, in that I had to make sure to also draw the reflection of the AT-AT to the left. This one also hangs in my living room right now, and I’m always happy to see it each day.

Classical Star Wars

A while back, I saw some pictures on the internet of upcycled thrift store art. Someone had taken an old painting they’d found, and added a huge octopus into the scenic lake to make things more interesting. I wish I could remember where I saw this so I could link to it.

Ever since I first saw that type of fun art, I knew I had to make some of my own one day. Finally, that day arrived last year when I found two perfect victims at my local thrift store. I quickly decided that Star Wars would be my theme, and then I went to work!

I used a mix of pencil, pencil crayons, and pens.


They turned out even better than I was hoping, and they’ve been hanging proudly on my wall ever since. This has become one of my favourite types of project to work on, and you can bet that any time I’m in a thrift store, I’m on the lookout for more paintings to liven up.