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October 22, 2011

Zoo Drawing Week 2 Sneak Peek

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 3:20 pm

Here’s a bit of a sneak peek at some principles of animal drawing that we’ll be covering in week 2 of my class, Dynamic Animal Drawing at the Zoo.


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September 26, 2011

Upcoming Class; Dynamic Animal Sketching at the San Diego Zoo

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 12:20 pm

This fall, I’ll be teaching Dynamic Animal Sketching at the Watts Atelier of the Arts.  The class will run from Oct. 16 to Dec 18, and will be held at the San Diego Zoo.

For beginners, this will be a great class to strengthen the basics of gesture, proportion and rhythm, as well as to build confidence and decision-making skills in your drawings.  For advanced students, this is an excellent opportunity to cross-train your anatomical knowledge and to push for your own voice and calligraphy in your sketches.

A student zoo pass is included in the class fee.  For more information, head on over to the Watts Atelier website (you can register here) or feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have.

Sign up soon, class size is limited..Hope to see you there!


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March 1, 2011

Of dexterity and tiny portraits.

Filed under: Studies — tb @ 10:49 am

For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to push my dexterity and indicating skills.  It’s something I’ve always meant to work on, but somehow managed to squirm out of, until recently.  Several weeks back I went ahead and cornered myself, so to speak, by cutting my stack of masonite down to pieces no larger than 5×7.  I gesso’d the boards up, and off to class I went, my hopes high that my indicating skills would up dramatically and (due to the smaller size of the canvas) I would get a more “finalized” portrait in a small window of time…

I found that during the first life-painting, I got *less* done that I would have on a 9×12 board.  To add insult to injury, it looked as if I painted the face with a baseball bat.

What the crap.

In situations like this, when you’re thinking ambitiously and your hopes are high, your mind acts like that guy with the shells game down by the subway stop, and it can con you out of a good painting if you’re not careful.  I hadn’t realized that I was working slower on the portrait than I normally would have, my mind subconsciously believing that I had more time, *not* that I had less canvas to cover.  There’s a big difference between those two things.  In addition, I was painting with a hugely-wrongly-terribly-sized bristle brush.  As a general rule of thumb, you often are told “use large brushes.”  That means use brushes that are appropriately large to what you’re painting, not “use large brushes,” period.  Alas, another trick my shady, subway con-artist mind pulled on me.

At the end of the day though, these are all things I already knew.  The lesson to be learned here is BE PRESENT IN YOUR ART!  Focus, think, analyze, execute.  Once I started exercising the rules and lessons I already knew, I started making progress on my tiny paintings.  I do feel my dexterity has been improving, but only because I’ve been making a conscious effort to do as much.  Progress can only be made when you don’t let your mind con you out of a good painting.

In closing, here’s a few of those 5×7 portraits that I feel were successes.  I had a blast doing these and I’ve learned quite a bit from them.  That said,  I’m planning on pushing forward and carrying on this practice of tiny portraits for a bit longer.  I’m going to win this game of shells, folks..  Or least lose 20 bucks trying.

 Feathers and Scarves



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December 9, 2010

He doesn’t like you.

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 1:50 pm



..don’t let that fact bother you though, because he doesn’t like me either.


As I missed my weekly animal painting class due to feeling a bit under the weather, I thought I’d go ahead and scan this guy since the paint’s finally dry.  What is he, you ask? Well, this rather cantankerous-looking fellow is a Boer Goat, bred and developed in South Africa for their meat.  I’m a sucker for animals with that domed “sweep” to their head (bull terriers, Takins, etc) so this buck was a pleasure to paint.  I’m a bit disappointed in the canvas I used…a free sample that came with some paints I ordered…because it seems to have “sucked up” a lot of the luster that existed in the colors before it dried.  Let that be a lesson;  Use quality materials, kids.




Get it?




Oh how I love you, wordplay.

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September 10, 2010

Charcoal figure drawing

Filed under: Studies — tb @ 10:30 am

Hey all,

Here’s an “Oldie but Goodie” figure drawing I happened across while organizing a bit. At the time of it’s completion, I was quite happy with it. I’ve been exploring calligraphy in my charcoal drawings these past several weeks, and will be putting up a “progressions” post of my past several years of study later next week..Think of this as a little precursor.



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July 20, 2010

Comic-Con Sketch Group

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 10:54 am

Here’s a little flier I did for TheIllustrationBoard.com’s Comic-Con Sketch Group announcement.




With Comic-Con just around the corner, I thought it would be fitting for TheIllustrationBoard.com to host a Zoo Sketch group and welcome all visiting artists in the area.  If you’re in San Diego for the ‘con and want to do a bit of drawing this Saturday, July 24th, meet up with our group in front of the zoo at 5pm.  All are welcome of course, so come on out and have a great time!


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May 15, 2010

Of very large cats

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 7:39 am

     Last week ended up being Cat Drawing day for the zoo sketch group from TheIllustrationBoard.com.  We had a pretty nice turnout, but rain, sickness and some rather shy animals hiding in their exhibits led to very little drawing getting done.  I did manage to pull out a decent lion scribble from the day, and I prepared a handout for those who attended.  If you didn’t get a copy of the handout for yourself last Sunday, feel free to print it out and keep it for your own personal use.

Aaand if you haven’t already, make sure to check out the other blog I manage for theillustrationboard and take a look at the sketches everyone else did for Big Cat Day.




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March 31, 2010

North American Mammals

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 11:09 am



Here’s another page from the ol’ sketchbook, which accidentally ended up being North-American Mammal-themed.  The skulls were done at home (Pronghorn skull, grizzly skull, and two polar bear skulls) and the animals were done from life at the zoo… Speaking of which, there’s another zoo trip coming up this Saturday, April 3rd at 9:30am.  Show up and do some drawing.  It’ll be grand.

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March 22, 2010

Bears of the polar variety

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 10:47 pm



Nothing much to show today, outside of a bit of studying for the upcomming demo and lecture at the San Deigo Zoo.  If you’re in the area and free Saturday morning, swing on by and say hello.

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March 19, 2010

What’s that? you want to see what I’ve been up to? Alright..

Filed under: A to Z monsters, Gribbly, Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 3:29 pm

My apologies for the lack of updates lately; I’ve been pretty busy with my new role as the Zorganizer (Zoo Organizer) for TheIllustrationboard.com.  Head over to the boards, sign up, and say hello.  While you’re there, check out the animal drawing blog I’m running for the board, and take a look at the “Events” section to jon us for our zoo drawing trips.

Anyways, you’re probobly wondering what’s been going on in my sketchbook.  Well, here you go…












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