The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Beauty of Wrinkles...

I don't have as many sketches to post today because I have been busy working on my latest bear :0)
He's almost finished now and I am already playing with compositions for the next!

Between times I have been sketching more faces from the Internet, just for a good dose of healthy, artistic exercise!

Some sketches, like the woman above took just a few minutes.

But others, like this lady on the right took around fifteen.

It doesn't look like there's much in it, time wise, does there? 
But the difference is that unlike the lady above, this sketch to the right is a very good likeness indeed - even to my own surprise!
So much so that I am positive if the lady herself stumbled across my blog, she would know it was her! 
(Hmm... here's hoping that she doesn't sue me!!)

So, those extra few minutes make a lot of difference to the end result :0)

If I was out and about in a Cafe, I wouldn't be looking for a true likeness like this, but instead I'd be aiming for a vague similarity :0)

What I have found is that young faces (as much as we all want them) are very difficult and actually quite uninteresting to draw... 

...Unless of course it is a cute, pudgy baby, like this one :0)

...How is it, that even when a newborn baby is covered in cheese and resembled road-kill, we are somehow programed to see them as the most beautiful things on earth??? And we do!

Anyway, generally I find that the older and more wrinkled the face, the more of a story it has to tell and they are much more fun and easier to sketch! 

Do you find the same?

Of course it's no good sketching only faces when I'm out and about! The people I sketch will all have bodies!

And of course they will unfortunately be moving, so the results will be very different! 

So with that in mind, here I'm only aiming to capture the basic shapes of the figure in as little time as possible, just to capture their body language and without getting lost in detail 

... Like I have done with this man :0)

I hope I'm not boring you with my sketching frenzy! But for those of you who don't sketch, I can honestly say that these daily sketches are well worth doing and take next to no time out of your day. 

I can genuinely feel the improvement with each new one I do - and the best part? I no longer feel the need for a pencil at all :0)

I'll soon be starting my new sketch-book which I will probably use as an art journal. Then I'll  be injecting some colour to my sketches :0)

Meanwhile, I really hope that this bear is done and dusted prompto so you finally get to see it! 

Just before I go, I must point you in the direction of Pointy-Pix's latest post - The Art of Pretention.
There are some posts, which I just have to read twice and that really catch my attention. This is most definitely one of them! Not only does it come with a really funny sketch and hilarious narrative, but it raises some really interesting points about the art world. 
It is well worth the read!

Anyway, I wish you all a lovely Easter weekend :0)


  1. Great sketches, Sandra, and I enjoyed your explanation with each of them! You make me feel guilty to sketch more. :)
    I have just read Pointy Pix's post (including comments) and I could not agree more! I hope you saw more interesting paintings than that red dot painting in Amsterdam, like Van Gogh!

    1. Judy - Thank you! And yes, I'm sure I did. The annoying thing is that it's that painting that sticks to mind! Maybe it's for all the wrong reasons but maybe that's the point of it :0)

  2. It's snowing here as I write ... yesterday sunny spring, today Arctic Winter! Where else but Yorkshire?

    Love the sketches, Sandra, they really look like drawings of real people, hard to believe you are drawing them as quickly as you do.

    How's the Bear coming along? Is it still fighting back?

    I'm having a running battle with my Moorish Archway ... not sure I'm winning either. I'm so out of practice, so even if I throw the drawing away it will have been worth the effort. I'm still doing the drawing ...when the pen takes over from me I shall know I'm back in the saddle.

    I read Pointy-Pix's posting this morning. I'm sure she is a writer, the narrative flows effortlessly for her.

    And a lovely Easter to you & yours.

    1. I know John - Last week I was wearing shorts and this week a scarf, lol! It's sunny here but really chilly. I just hope my newly planted vegetables don't suffer!
      The bear is almost finished. It's very different from the last three I have done and for that reason I'm not confortable with it. That said, as I adjust little things here and there it is improving I think. I always seem to have a love/hate relationship with the bears. One minute I am really happy and the next I have a confidence melt-down! I have a good feeling about the next one though. Oh, and when I get to the final of the series (of possibly eight) I plan a bear painting that I'm sure will catch everyone's attention - But it's top secret for now ;0)
      Now John - I was always told never to throw a drawing away!! I'll bet Moorish Archway is as amazing as all of your other drawings. Some times it helps me to step away from my paintings for a while so I can see it more clearly the next time I have a look. I'm sending you positive vibes! :0)

  3. Your sketches are so great Sandra. SO much life and genuineness! And I know exactly what you mean about the newborn baby and how we're programmed to love them!! It's kind of crazy isn't it? In a good way of course. :))

    And I don't find young people hard to draw, but perhaps that's because I've spent so much time practicing them eh?? ;))

    Can't wait for the bear!!! :D

    1. It's funny because I thought of you as I wrote those words! I am sure you are one of very few Artists who find young people easy! But that is because you are an expert!
      I enjoyed drawing that wrinkled up baby! I think he had only just arrived! No wonder he looks traumatized! :0)

  4. Wow, it looks like a lot of sketches to me! You've been busy... and very successful!
    Happy Easter!

    1. Thank you Nora! If I spent a whole day sketching, maybe I could fill my book and move on to my new one that takes colour. I can hardly wait!
      Happy Easter to you too :0)

  5. LOVE your post, Sandra!!! I love the baby we all love that looks like road kill?!! But you're so right..we are all programed to see them as precious nonetheless! Too funny....I enjoyed painting my Dad with all those wonderful life lines in his does tell a story. These sketches are wonderful and I have taken your advice and started to sketch...I don't do well with fast sketches but it is definitely a wonderful exercise!! I look forward to seeing the bear!!! Happy Easter, Sandra!!!

    1. When I had my daughter, Adele, she looked as though she had just been squeezed from a toothpaste tube! And my son Charlie, well he looked as though he had been run over by a steam-roller! But still, you look at them and see something entirely different!
      I'm so glad you have started to sketch too! I really hope you'll post some of them on your blog :0)
      I'd like to do a portrait of my Nan some time. I've been meaning to look through my old photographs to see if I can find the perfect one to draw :0)

  6. You can tell the difference in the portraits the second shows a lot more finese. Can I suggest with the first one you were not really drawing what was there but what you saw in your head as it's very stylised.

    I agree with you about younger faces, I think it's because they have less character to capture.

    1. Oh yes, absolutely! Well, I was drawing what was there but with a little assumtion thrown in, which is not a bad thing to practice too. Mainly because I think when sketching quickly there is an element of it that relies on what I have learned about the human face as I have been drawing them, especially when it comes to drawing outdoors and the person actually gets up and leaves! So I'm okay with it - for a quick sketch. But, it is nicer to spend time to study the persons face properly and it does make a real difference :0)

  7. I enjoy your writing as much as your artwork! I realized how much I'm drawn to faces rather than bodies by looking at all my sketches from my commute. 95% are just faces. I laughed at your rant about blogger/google. That's why I use Wordpress. Our Urban Sketchers blog is required to be on Blogger and so I use it too, but it seems like Google just gives and takes whatever they feel like with no logic or warning. Wordpress is so much more civilized and has actual technical support.

    1. Thank you! I think I enjoy writing as much as I do drawing - if only I had more time to do it :0)
      I loved looking at all of the faces you had sketched from Downton Abbey. It made me think it would be a good idea to try sketching from the telly, from something like the news or some kind of interview. That way the person is moving around but isn't likely to walk off. It might be a great way to progress towards being out and about with more confidence :0)
      Wow - Wordpress give technical help? Blogger have a help button which is great as long as you understand HTML, which I have had to try to get my head around at times! One of my followers had their entire blog eaten by blogger! If that ever happens to me, I will know where to go :0)

  8. First things first. That baby sketch is just so sweet. A big smile erupted on my face when I saw it. And I am still smiling. And the other thing is that the last sketch is superb. Your lines are so sure and minimal. I just loved it.

  9. Thank you Prabal. Yes, he is cute isn't he? He looks far to small for his skin, lol! I'm glad you like the last sketch too. This is what I'll be aiming for when I am out and about eventually. Just minimal lines. But, I think it works :0)

  10. Hi Sandra, this new series of sketches is really beautiful. I love it. Especially the little baby is absolutely fantastic, you captured perfectly the expression. Have a good Easter!! Hugs!

    1. Thank you Tito! He is cute isn't he? Much easier to cope with in the form of a sketch too ;0)
      Happy Easter :0)

  11. Oh Sandra, you made me laugh with that baby face, who is quite puckered up! I like older peoples faces complete with wrinkles, as you say they make a story and character.
    Happy Easter to you too xx

  12. Hello Sandra,
    I love sketches, where we catch the movement and some physiognomic characteristics of casual models. You have shown in his drawings accompanied by comments very enriching. It's good to know how come the works of art, even the simplest sketches can be expressive and authentic artistic!
    A hug and a happy Easter

  13. Now old and wrinkly I understand and stories to tell I have many so glad you have not tried to depict that face. Great work Sandra well done.

  14. Wow, Sandra YOU have been busy! I can hardly wait to get caught up on all your work. Thank you for posting it - it is all very inspiring. Oh, and I had to laugh about the blogger and the word verification thing. I'm running into the very same issue. I feel like I'm in reading class....(hope I make it through this test). Cheers, Sandy.

  15. Sandra , a Happy Easter Weekend to you too ! BJ

  16. Your sketches are so good-the puckered wee prune of a baby is fantastic! you are so dedicated to practising these and the fact that you do them directly with pen is pretty cool- I think I'd end up with more screwed up bits of paper than decent sketches!

    thank you so much for mentioning my post, I'm chuffed you liked it enough to share!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)


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