Monthly Archive for July, 2006

My Favorite Pencils

I love the feel of a wood pencil, but for the sake of never having to sharpen that wood away to get to the good stuff, I’ve taken to the mechanical pencil more of late and this recent purchase has made me even more of a fan. Check out the gushing comment I sent to Pentel:
The Twist-Erase is my new favorite pencil! I do a lot of erasing and am annoyed by most brands’ way of using the eraser as a plug, so the design of this pencil is really ideal. Also, the quality of the eraser is superb. It yields a greater range of erasure from just a lightening of the line to a total clean erase and rarely ever smudges. Thanks, Pentel! Please don’t ever change this design or compromise the quality of this product.
For those folks who would turn a nose up to drawing with a mechanical pencil, note that a lot of the doodles, and café and beach sketches that I’ve posted on here recently were drawn with one. You can still get a fair amount of expressiveness out of that 0.5mm lead. With a light touch, extend the lead out a little further and hold the pencil to the side, and you can get a bit of tone as well (see the shading in Dave’s suit jacket in my previous post for an example). For the broader strokes and shading, though, I pick up my 2mm mechanical drafting pencil with a 4B lead. Here’s a pic:
A nice thing about the drafting pencil as a sketch tool, is that it often doesn’t need to be sharpened. If drawing at an angle, the lead seems to keep itself sharp enough just rubbing against the paper. In fact, I’d say you get a more interesting point than one straight out of a sharpener, because it has a bit of bevel to it, so you can get a wider variation of lines. But when I do want that pristine point, as is pictured above, I use a lead pointer. Because you’re only sharpening the lead and not the wood, it’s much faster to sharpen one of these. You also don’t have to fuss with cheap sharpeners always breaking your lead because they can’t cut through the wood.
By the way, all of my recent life drawings posted here were drawn with this last pencil.


I’ve been pretty busy with work lately, so I haven’t been able to post very often. Here’s a quick sketch of Dave Letterman I just did to try to make up for it. I’ve been a fan of Dave’s since I was a wee lad and staying up late was the real cat’s pajamas. Back when he had all that curly hair.

Sketch of Dave Letterman

Late Night Doodles

A page of doodles drawn late at night. Caution to the extremely sensitive, these doodles contain some naughty humor. A couple of hole-punches were incorporated into the drawings, slightly visible here. Note the top one: Just insert the eraser end of your pencil through the back of the hole to enhance the cartoon. No pills required.


Psychobabble Character

This is a real character spotted yesterday in Psychobabble Café in Los Feliz. This is only slightly caricaturized and in fact, there were a couple things I could’ve pushed a little further for a more accurate representation. An irresistable draw.


More Post-It Doodles, Plus

Here are some more of those wacky doodles…

More Venice Beach Sketches


Venice Beach Sketches

Some sketches from Venice Beach on Sunday. I might post a couple more of these tomorrow. Happy Fourth to those of us in the States. The smell of lighter fluid and gunpowder is in the air.

1950 Ford Coupe

Jamie and I came across this handsome old car while out in Venice yesterday, and as we pulled into the spot kitty-corner to it in the parking lot, we couldn’t help but acknowledge its resemblance to a certain Paul Newman-voiced character. It even had a stunning dark-blue paint job. Jamie ran a quick errand while I hung out and did a quick sketch.


A couple minutes later, the owner showed up and we got to chatting. Turns out that he’s a retired technical illustrator. Primarily jets and cars, from what I recall. He also mentioned that he had a friend named Nicola Wood who does paintings of cars and with some pretty interesting techniques. He was very friendly and even invited me out to have breakfast with he and Nicola sometime this week!

Later, Jamie and I were watching The Fog of War on DVD and saw some old stock footage of what looked like this very car or perhaps the sedan model, rolling off of the assembly line.

Serendipity at work.

By the way, I also have some beach sketches from yesterday, which I will post later.