Phoebe’s Sketchbook Drawings

Phoebe’s Sketchbook Drawings

I wanted to take a moment this Holiday weekend to share a pretty cool sketchbook with you. Phoebe is an incredibly talented student enrolled in my foundation drawing class at the School Of Visual Arts in Manhattan New York. First off I have to thank Phoebe for sharing her sketchbook. Phoebe is wonderful to have in class. She puts her full effort into every assignment.

What I love most about Phoebe’s work is the diversity in her character design. No two characters look the same. She has a natural ability to draw a characters personality with little effort. Her characters show both emotion and movement. Certainly not an easy thing to accomplish.

Phoebe’s life drawings and character designs are one in the same. She can really draw people with their emotions shining through.

This is certainly a unique gift Phoebe has been blessed with. Phoebe’s work will certainly grow and mature with time. I am really looking forward to watching her progression, it will be amazing.



Thanks for watching.


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Candy Cane Stripe Gesture Lines

Candy Cane Stripe Gesture Lines

Okay I know what your thinking, candy cane stripe gesture lines, really? Yes really. This funny name came about in class one day. I was trying to explain how to draw with flowing gesture line. However there were a few students who were just not getting it.

I could tell they were starting to get a little frustrated. So the first thing that came to my mind was a candy cane stripe. Who knows it might have been right around the Holidays.

You see when we draw the portrait and the figure for that matter we tend to become too timid with our lines. We start drawing, attempting to get the likeness and we draw with short choppy lines. Sometimes drawing with a short choppy line is appropriate. Especially in the initial stages of the drawing.

You want to start integrating a looser more flowing continuous line early in the process. Almost as if your are drawing a ribbon wrapping around the features of the head.


Whether you want to call it a ribbon line or a candy can stripe, it doesn ‘t matter. What matters is that you try to draw in a state of flow keeping your pencil on the paper for two to four second intervals.

There is not one specific place I can point to start using this candy cane stripe gesture line. You’ll know it when you see it. It will be different on every portrait you draw. Perhaps it could start with a flowing stand of hair. It can start with a shadow shape shown in the critique video below.

You want to start drawing with these loose flowing lines early in the process when you are starting to flesh out the portrait. You know I’m a big proponent of using the angles and measurements technique. Adding this loose gesture drawing technique into the mix early adds balance to your process.



I challenge you to actually practice drawing cylinders with a ribbon like stripe wrapping around them. You could also think of drawing a mummy’s head. Wrapping a strand of linen around the structure of a head.

There are many words for me to use when trying to describe how to draw in a loose manner. Drawing with candy cane stripe gesture lines is just fun playful way to help you remember to draw with continuous line that wraps around form.


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Jun’s Sketchbooks

Jun’s Sketchbooks

I have to say that I’m one lucky guy. I keep meeting these incredible students, their raw natural talent is awesome. Their work ethic is certainly over the top in some cases. Jun is certainly one of those cases. Not only does she have a natural ability to draw, her work ethic is incredible.

Jun is super young. She is in her first year of college and boy o boy has she sprinted out of the gate. I’ve really been impressed with Jun. She is an easy going quiet gal who puts her head down and cranks through each exercise in class. She also cranks right through the homework always going that very long extra mile.

Now Jun knows that she is just getting started. She certainly has a lot to learn. She always asks me how to improve. Right now she just has to keep doing what she has been doing, putting in the pencil time. Working on the exercises taught in class.

However on her own time Jun has to study more anatomy. She also has to study more about form. Plus she needs to understand the patterns and rhythm of the body.

However let me tell you, there were no students like Jun when I was a freshman in college. She is really kicking some serious butt. I would have loved to be in this class back when I was eighteen years old. Of course my fragile little Italian ego would have been beaten up a bit. But man I would have learned so much just hanging around Jun. I can certainly say her work ethic would have rubbed off on me the most.

I ask my students all the time about their dream job. It’s a super important question. It’s sets you up for clear thinking in terms of which direction you should take your practice.

Jun wants to be a character designer for video games. I’m pretty confident in saying that’s exactly what she will be.

My favorite Jun quote, “I don’t like to go out and party, I like to stay inside and draw in my sketchbook all night”. Unstoppable focus comes into my mind.


Now get out there and draw. Don’t be perfect, just draw.

Nope Jun doesn’t have a Tumblr, Deviant account nor Instagram. She says she is too lazy to update that stuff. I’d say she is right on track to conquer the world.

Jun draws completely from her memory for some drawings in her sketchbook. For others she uses photo reference for inspiration as well as to copy. She also draws a lot from life . Jun uses Prismacolor Col-erase pencils as well as HB mechanical pencils.

Jun's Sketchbook Drawings

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