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Breaking Bad Christmas

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 9, 2012, 8:38 PM

No...I'm not a poet, but I do like to "wordsmith" for fun once in a while.
I just wrote this about my fav TV Drama Series "BREAKING BAD"

Breaking Bad Christmas – by Rick Fortson (

Twas the night before Christmas, and meth heads were sad,
Supplies had run low, it was time to Break Bad.
The meth Lab was waiting, and stocked with great care,
In hopes that Saint Heisenberg soon would be there.

The batch they would cook while evading the feds,
While visions of Blue Sky danced round in their heads.
Skinny Pete had his gas mask, and Mike had his own,
Pinkman knew the procedure, for he had been shown.

When outside the cook tent there came such a clatter,
They all grabbed their handguns, some brains they might splatter!
Mike ran to the window, while Pete hid the cash,
Jesse unzipped the tent door while checking the stash.

The moon off the breast of the new fallen snow,
Showed the twinkle of blue on their crystals below.
When what to their watering eyes should appear,
But a Pontiac Aztek and several reindeer.

On Marco, on Tuco, on Hector and Gus,
On Krazy, on Badger, he started to cuss.
With a broken front windshield, I heard Walter call!
Put the Cash away! Cash away! Cash away all!

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And he filled all the beakers, and flasks with a smirk.
He adjusted the dials as he started to dress,
He gave them a nod as he claimed a success!

He sprang to his car, to his team gave a shout,
And they all flew away, leaving them with no doubt.
I heard Tuco exclaim as they flew out of sight,
Have a tight…tight Christmas, and a Breaking Bad night!

SEE MY BREAKING BAD FOLDER HERE: rick-kills-pencils.deviantart.…
Aaron Paul - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil Luis Moncada ~ BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil
Max Arciniega - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil Charles Baker - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil
Got to meet Aaron Paul ~ Breaking Bad by Doctor-Pencil
Jessie Pinkman - Breaking Bad by Doctor-Pencil Walter White - Breaking Bad by Doctor-Pencil Jonathan Banks as Mike - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil Dean Norris as HANK SCHRADER of BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil
Charles Baker aka Skinny Pete - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil Aaron Paul - Jesse Pinkman - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil Breaking Bad - Gustavo Fring by Doctor-Pencil Breaking Bad - Bryan Cranston by Doctor-Pencil Max Arciniega as KRAZY-8 - BREAKING BAD by Doctor-Pencil

  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
  • Drinking: Monster

Drawing Requests

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 10, 2012, 3:00 PM
  • Not all of these have to be links!

Another title!
Some sample text!

We all like sample text :D

People on DA, Facebook, etc ask me to draw them all the time. My rate is $300 to $500 for an 8 x 10 depending on details. Please see Otherwise, I am no longer drawing for commissions. I appreciate that you like my work, and that you want me to draw you, but it goes way deeper than that. Not only do I have to spend 10 HOURS staring at the photo, I have so LITTLE time these days, that I might be lucky if I get time to draw 1 or 2 drawings a month. So when I get to draw, you can bet that it's ONLY going to be someone I feel INSPIRED to draw, based on the person, and-or the photo. Especially after having drawn over 200 portraits now in 3 years, I need to keep finding inspiration, and keep raising the bar. Not only to keep me challenged, but to stay interested. As it is, I may not even fully enjoy drawing until it's almost complete, and if I think it looks cool. Anyway, I wanted to type this out so I can copy/paste them this journal entry so I don't have to keep repeating myself. Thanks, but I do not take requests, and will only make a rare exception to draw for commission.

Remove this after you've read it!

Click the "How to..." button down below to see more things this CSS can do! If the bottom of your sidebar is not aligned with the bottom of the main text box, please remove extra linebreaks from the header! I cannot stress this enough! D:

Also check out… for a detailed guide on everything from modifying the header to changing the CSS itself! :D
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
  • Drinking: Monster

Reference Photo TIP GUIDE

Journal Entry: Thu May 26, 2011, 9:30 AM

I created a Reference Photo TIP GUIDE you might like and want to share with your commission clients. It basically tells them how to choose a good photo for you to draw.

Go here to see this GOOGLE DOC

PS - If you are like me, you are not even getting this journal entry. I'm too busy to see and comment on drawings from the 100's of artists I watch, much less read journals, but if you DO get this, check it out. I guarantee you will like it!! :D:D

Pencil Killer

  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
  • Drinking: Monster
When people ask me to draw someone...

People on here, Facebook, etc often ask me to draw a certain celebrity for them, because they really like that person. If it’s someone I have been planning and wanting to draw, but have yet to draw, I will consider it BUT ONLY IF I can find an great reference photo of that person. If I don’t like the celebrity, there is no way I’m drawing them, and it is usually for their core beliefs, although I have made exceptions in the past. If I’ve never heard of the person or do NOT feel “inspired” to draw them, I also cannot bring myself to draw them either, as I will not enjoy it, or do my best work.

Here are the reasons why...I invest between 7 and 10 hours of my life into each drawing, and it’s always my “free time”. First of all, I have NEVER run out of inspiring people I want to draw myself. In fact, at any given time, I have several dozen photos saved of the people I want to draw next. Why would I want to draw someone I don’t know, when I always have so many photos that I’m dying to draw? I don’t think folks realize that an artist needs to be inspired by their subject to do their best work, but also in order to enjoy the process. I can tell you that the act of merely drawing is not enjoyable for me. In order to get pleasure from drawing, it MUST be a fantastic reference photo FIRST, and secondly, I have to at least admire the subject. When I have BOTH a great reference photo AND an inspiring subject, I can do my best work, and it is pure bliss for me. If I have neither, it’s a painful JOB, and the whole time I’m drawing, I am wishing I could be drawing someone I really do want to draw. I’ve experienced this only a few times with commission work. In fact, now when I do commission work, I MUST find a way to be inspired, or it will be a dreadful process, even if the photo meets my requirements. See my Commission Guideline for what I mean regarding reference photos

By the time I get finished with a drawing, no matter if it’s my favorite actor, I am tired of drawing that particular drawing. You can only imagine if I was forced to draw someone I could care less about, how laborious it would be?

So, I made this document to share with people who constantly ask me to draw a certain person. Hopefully this explains it so that they understand, and don’t have hurt feelings?

~ Your Pencil Buddy ~
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
  • Drinking: Monster
my boy Andrew Belle - Video by Doctor-Pencil
Our son had a song (The Ladder) on Vampire Diaries on 9/14/10 and now his song "IN MY VEINS" (appropriate title) will be on this weeks epi 11/4/10

Here is a FAN made video of scenes from the show, set to this song:

As most of you may or may not know, my amazingly talented singer/songwriter son, Andrew Belle (stage name) was named the MTV VMA Breakout Artist for Chicago 2009, along with many other accolades, and although he has a Promo company, manager, etc, I can't help but be a proud dad and send out a message on all the social networks when he has a song on a TV show, or a major Movie ("Something Borrowed" with Kate Hudson and John Krasinski - out in 2011).

So, with that said, listen for his song "IN MY VEINS" on "Vampire Diaries" this Thursday (11/4) 7pm Central time on the CW station!!

He has already had songs on Grey's Anatomy 4 times this year, including the finale, as well as 90210, Vampire Diaries, Real World, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, Kardashians, Ghost Whisperer, Rookie Blue, etc!

Listen to IN MY VEINS now…
Official Music Video for "STATIC WAVES"…
Listen to THE LADDER now…

Your pencil buddy ~ Rick (Mr.Pencil)
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I decided to create a journal entry for Random Tips, which will get re-sent as I update this entry in the future.

(9/13/10) TODAY'S TIP:
I try to draw as small as I possibly can. Why? To save time of course, so I can get to the other 50+ I have lined up to draw, ha! The drawing I just started is Reese Witherspoon. I'm drawing it REALLY small, because her EYES are very are large in the reference photo. When I design the SIZE of EACH drawing, I make several determinations about how large to make it. Since I do not frame my work, my object is NOT to make them as large as I can so they look good on my wall. I keep them in display books, which have plastic sleeves to protect them. I am forced to draw some larger than others, and usually larger than I want, because their EYES are too small, so I have to print a larger ref photo. After all, that is where I spend the most time (eyes), because that is where a person looks MOST like that person? Remember this, a drawing that is even 20% larger will take 50% more time to complete! If you have all the time in the world, have at it! If you are like me, and have a short attention span, and you get bored fast, you want to spend the LEAST amount of time possible BUT be able to get the MOST amount of details into your drawing. Each photo I use as a Reference Photo, has to be considered individually, depending on HOW I choose to crop it, or if it's a close-up, which in turn determines the size of the face you can fit into the drawing space on your paper. To do this, I set my printer to Draft Quality, and print 2 or 3 various sizes that are THE SMALLEST possible, but YET allows me to draw the details I like to draw. I then compare the Draft Prints to OLD DRAWINGS in my display books, because  I can remember how long they took to draw, and based on those estimates, I choose a final size. Then I re-set the print settings to a higher quality, and print my reference photo on Presentation Paper, so it is as much like a photo as possible. Of course I print Black and White, so I can more easily "see" the tonal values. (I first convert all of my reference photos to B&W using software). I hope this tip allows you to consider drawing smaller, so you can complete more portraits, or finish in less time? :D:D



(8/24/10) TODAY'S TIP:
I always start with an outline! I use different methods for measuring the distance between facial features. I NEVER just guess the distance! It became painfully obvious to me early on in portrait drawing, that there are precise measurements involved? It's a critical part of making a person look like the person that they are! For example, you can guess the distance between the eyes, so can I. But it will save you lots of time, frustration and improve accuracy and proportions if you measure the distance.

You can use rulers, markings on scrap paper, grid paper, etc. There are a TON of methods out there. The outline is not a fast sketch either. If you don't get it right, the whole drawing is off! :D:D
Bruce Willis - scan 1 by Doctor-Pencil    The Outline - A How To by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I've decided to send out RANDOM Drawing tips. :D:D
(7/4/10) TODAY'S TIP:
I hope you get the meaning by how I word this, but I always remind myself to get TONE BEFORE DETAILS!! In other words, BEFORE I work on all the details of a certain part of the face, I make SURE I FIRST get the tonal value correct BEFORE I draw in the little details. Other wise, I end up smearing them if I have to keep blending that area darker and darker, and having to draw them all over again. Does that make sense? HA! :D:D:D

TODAY'S TIP 2/1/10:
Instead of tossing out your DARKER pencils (B, 2B, etc) WHEN they get too small, I save them for doing JUST the black and darkest areas of a drawing, when all you are doing is just filling in dark areas. While they may be too small to have that familiar feel in your hand, I hold them sideways for dark areas anyway, so it works nice and lets me get the most mileage out of my pencil money! :D
Manson 2 - Mr Contrast by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I wanted to send a quick journal note to the 912 artists that watch me, and the 429 artists that I watch, and let them know a few things as they relate to comments on both my drawings, as well as theirs.

1) Due to my very limited time, and because I watch over 400 people, you can imagine how many new deviations I get each day. I sometimes get overwhelmed with comments on my own drawings (like Clint Eastwood). I logged on today and found over 1,200 new comments! Yes, over 800 were favs, and watches, but it will take me some time to give thoughtful replies, and I always reply to them all because I appreciate them very much!!!

2) I feel guilty that I cannot spend more time to give comments on all of the great works that I get each day from you. Just not enough time in a day, not to mention, Twitter, Email, Texts, Facebook and Calls each day lol. Oh, and not to mention I have to make a living, ha! :D:D

3) Again, due to my limited time, I cannot comment on photos. Sorry, but I do look at them, and they are all just great! One of my daughters is a professional photographer, and since all of my drawings originate from great photography, I appreciate them!! Check out her site?

4) I don't even know if everyone will get this, because I do not select journals when I Watch someone. Just too much!

5) Don't feel you need to comment on this journal entry. It defeats it's purpose LOL.

Anyway...thanks for all of your support and love yall. I greatly appreciate it!!

  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Why I no Longer Draw for Commissions

First let me say, that the ONLY exceptions to the below are good photos, and the right price, ha!

I've had to write this letter in response to the many requests I get for drawing. CURRENTLY I am not accepting commission work, for the following reasons. I hope none of these answers sound arrogant; they are simply my honest feelings.

1) Inspiration: Drawing is my main escape from all the stress and pressures of life. It's my down time, my ME time, my time to enjoy one of the few passions I have found this life. Just like everyone, my free time is very limited. When I find time to draw, I want to make the most of it! First of all, I discovered that I am FIRST motivated to draw by INSPIRING Photos! I am FIRST attracted to HIGH RESOLUTION photos that offer a WIDE RANGE of CONTRAST, light sources, and TONAL VALUES. The SUBJECT also inspires me, but on a secondary level. HOWEVER, when I set out to find a quality photo of a specific person (that meets the above description), and I am unable to find such a photo, either because it doesn't exist, or is too small to print for a reference photo, then I must find someone else to draw.

Needless to say, if I hold myself to these standards, when making a yes or no decision to draw someone, what are the chances that someone will give me an inspirational photo? Sadly, it’s very rare. Besides hopefully improving my drawing skills over time, I know I have gotten MUCH better at selecting reference photos from the Internet. I got tired of people giving me uninspiring, boring photos that offer no contrast, or were too blurry, too small, or had poor light sources, etc, etc, etc. Never mind the fact that I am uninspired to draw a stranger. The ONLY exception I have had to date is my daughter Maggie's photography at because she takes the kind of photos of people that hit me right in the face and makes me say, "I MUST DRAW THIS!!!" She just has a gift that way?

2) Time = Money: I never started drawing with the idea that maybe I could make some money. Thankfully, I have never drawn because I needed the money. Even the class I teach is just for fun, the challenge, and because everyone I know thought I should do it. On another note, I draw very small. I NEED to. I can cram a lot of details into a small space. But who wants a small drawing? A larger sized drawing affects my techniques, wrist movements, etc and even a 5x7 inch drawing takes me 5 to 10 hours to complete (details, hair, etc contingent). Up to now, I simply cannot bring myself to charge the amount of money it would take to make it worth my time? And I understand why folks would not want to pay $150 for a 5x7 drawing. Just a 20% increase in SIZE equals a 50% increase in time. Bottom line, I would end up making minimum wage or less, so as for income, I am better off investing that time into sales and using my drawing time to draw what I want to draw.

3) Pressure: I hold myself to a pretty high standard when it comes to doing my best effort on a drawing, but there is no pressure, just a self-imposed challenge? In the past when I drew for someone, I found a pressure on me to do my best, but a fear that the client would not be satisfied.

You may have heard the phrase, "do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life". That would be true for me, if some corporation hired me to draw celebrities for a living, but that's not the case (haha). When I found that I had a true passion for drawing, in October of 2008, I later had the thought that if I drew for money, it would become work, which is exactly what I discovered when I drew for commissions. The WHOLE time I was drawing for someone, I was wishing I could be drawing some other great photo I had just found, or was fearful it wouldn't turn out good, etc.

So, as I think this all though, I would be open to commissioned work in the future, but for now, the ONLY exceptions would be if the client were to provide me with AMAZING photos, and be willing to make it work my time. Again, I realize this must sound arrogant, but I wrote all of this to explain my thinking on the subject, and to give a little better explanation rather than just telling someone NO?
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I knew I was going to be teaching a 2nd portrait drawing class, at a local college this summer, but I got an email YESTERDAY, that my class started YESTERDAY!!! NO PREP TIME!!! WTF?!?!?

FIRST, let me say, that I had the opportunity to teach a non-credit portrait drawing class at a local college last fall, all because a stranger in a store saw my work and told me I should. They had no such class, so I made one, ha! Loooong story short, I called Waubonsee college near me, and I ended up designing and teaching a 5 week Portrait Drawing class last September 2009. We only met once per week for 2 hours (10 hours total) but I took 8 students through the basics, as well as advanced techniques. We ended up completing 2 portraits. Well, they did at least :D

It turned out good LAST NIGHT. A total of 6 women students with a variable amount of experience. Last night (1st class) I explained my goals for the class, my background, etc, passed around my display books with ALL of my original drawings, explained the tools I use, and then I had them introduce themselves and tell us what their art background was and what they wanted from this class.

We finished by drawing some eyes, and then decided WHO we are going to draw first, which will start next week. The 2nd portrait we draw, I will let them choose who to draw, and then I will find worthy photos on the web, print them and bring them to class, then help each one start to finish. Cool huh? The thing that freaks me out is, I have NO teaching degree, and NO art degree. 100% self taught and I've only been drawing for 18 months haha! I dunno, that just sounds funny to me :D:D Just thought I would share...

Here is the ad I created for last fall's class
The Art Class I Teach by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Sorry, but I just had to share this!

I was just contacted today (4/14/10) by Rosebud Magazine in California, USA ( They offered to buy a digital copy of this William H. Macy drawing for use in an upcoming article on William H. Macy! How exciting! Just knowing that Mr. Macy will see my work is thrilling! I told them that I would even be happy to send Mr. Macy the original at some point. They also mentioned me possibly doing other drawings of celebs for future articles. They have distribution of 100,000! HOW COOL IS THAT?!? I never started drawing with the intention to make money or changing careers, but who knows? :D:D


William H. Macy by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Our son ANDREW BELLE officially released his new LP "The Ladder" on itunes today. So far, his CD has remained #1 for "Singer/Songwriters" category, and as of 2/24/10 he has moved to the #29 for "TOP DOWNLOADED ALBUMS" for ALL categories and genres on itunes!!! HOLY @#$T!!!

He is offering his 10 song CD "The Ladder" this week only for $5.99 on itunes. You can also listen to all 10 here
OR buy the physical cd at OR go to itunes here:;www.i…
Andrew Belle Performs by Doctor-Pencil
my son Andrew Belle by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Hey, just thought you may want to check out the "sit back" slide show of the 10 step drawings I did of Kiefer Sutherland on my home page. It's cool to watch :D
You can go there or go here…
Keifer - step 1 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 2 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 3 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 4 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 5 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 6 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 7 by Doctor-Pencil Kiefer - step 8 by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
OMG! I have been taking digital photos of my drawings for the past 1 year. I realized when I got my new all in one printer last summer, that I never tried scanning my drawings. Well, I spent the last 4 hours SCANNING ALL OF MY RECENT DRAWINGS, specifically my FEATURED GALLERY.

This is GREAT!! Now I don't have to wait until morning to take a photo, which means I can easily do STEP tutorials now. Not to mention, I get ALL of the details that are in the original drawing, consistency and CORRECT CONTRAST. I realize now, that a lot of my photos were over contrasted, due to an "auto-enhance" feature in the PhotoSuite software I used to use to adjust my photos.

Have a look and see if you don't see DOUBLE the details now in the drawings in my FEATURED GALLERY?
Jared Leto by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Taking a good Photo of your Drawing

After a drawing is complete, I use a "workable spray fixative" by Krylon. Besides protecting the drawing from smudging and yellowing over time, it reduces glare. I use a digital camera to take a photo of it, and I NEVER use a flash. At first I used a scanner, but it lightened the drawing, and I could not see all the details.

I take the photo in the daytime, in natural lighting, on the floor near a window, but careful NOT to put it directly in the sun. I also rotate the drawing, so the light source in the room is the same as the direction of the light source in the drawing :D

After I take several shots, I upload them; pick the best one, which is usually the one where my name and date are IN FOCUS. Then I crop out the borders, and I also REMOVE the SATURATION, which removes any color that the camera picked up, turning it back to pure black and white.

I learned not to settle for a bad photo. After all, you invest hours of drawing time to get it just right, it makes no sense to rush through the photo process? Hope this helps :D
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
One thing that just came to mind, that I thought I would pass along, is how we are actually training our eyes and minds to detect minute details in shading and features.

Here are a few things I do to help me try to notice the differences between my drawing and the reference photo.

Sometimes I rotate the drawing sideways and upside down. It helps me see things I don't normally see?!? Especially when drawing eyes, and when I'm trying to determine exactly where the eyebrow borders are. I don't need to tell you how a few hairs in the eyebrows can make all the difference in the world?

I sometimes tape it to my desk too, because the edges of the paper curl up, and it effects my pencil strokes?

Holding it in front of a mirror helps too.

But the MOST effect way I detect differences between my drawing and the reference photo, is when I think I'm finished, I take a photo of my drawing (before I spray seal it) and then I view it on my computer, side-by-side in THUMBNAIL version, next to the reference photo. For some reason, seeing them in thumbnail format helps because they are both smaller versions of what you've been staring at for hours.

Better yet, I view them back and forth very fast using "Windows Picture and Fax viewer". You will be amazed at all the differences you can now "SEE" that you could not see before?

Hope that helps? :D
Kurt Cobain by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I'm a BIG believer in Goal Setting! :D

I have all different categories, but I'm just showing my Drawing goals here. But if you want to set goals, you should break them into these

1) Personal
2) Financial
3) Fitness
4) Relationship
5) Business
6) Drawing
7) Spiritual
8) Friendship
9) Short term goals
10) Long term goals

Then make goals for each category.
* Be Specific
* Set a goal completion Date
* Don't give up!

1) Complete a minimum of 2 drawings per week
2) Teach 2nd portrait drawing course at Waubonsee College
3) Draw at least 1 commission drawing per month
4) Push my skill level by trying more difficult lighting conditions
5) Try 3 new types of drawing papers
6) Improve on drawing ears and hair
7) Complete 1 marketing idea per month for drawing

Hope this both helps and encourages you to SET GOALS!!!
Hugh Laurie by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Random TIPS:

* One of the last things I do is add fine, stray hairs, if applicable, to the edges of the hairline. I also take a sharp F or HB pencil, and make very small and short hairs along the forehead, where the hair meets the forehead (if required).

* Whenever I think I'm done, I sleep on it. Invariably I notice something I swore was not there before.

* Most every artist signs their work, in some form or another, but my dad gave me the idea to DATE each one as well, so that I could remember the order that I drew them.

* I also use a "workable spray Fixative" by Krylon, to seal the drawing when it's complete. It prevents smudging, keeps them from yellowing and also takes down the shine from the darkest areas of graphite.

* When I use clutch pencils, I no longer use a hand sharpener, which I used to string around my neck. I use a "Lead Pointer Tube" sharpener, which also holds the shaved graphite.

* I use an old paintbrush to remove graphite dust, etc from a drawing surface. It keeps me from rubbing it off, or spitting on the drawing when I blow it off. I didn't notice one time, and accidentally spit a minute amount on the surface, and when I rubbed over it with my blending stump, it smeared, and I could not remove it!!

* Taking Photos of your work. After a drawing is complete, I use a digital camera to take a photo of it. I first used scanners, but they lighten the drawing, and you cannot see as much details. I take the photo in the daytime, in natural lighting, on the floor in front of a window, careful NOT to put it directly in the sun. After I take several shots, I upload them; pick the best one, which is usually the one where my name and date are IN FOCUS. Then I crop out the borders, and I also REMOVE the SATURATION, which removes any color that the camera picked up, turning it back to pure black and white.

* The brain can be fooled to believing that what it THINKS it sees is real. One of the best illustrations of that is when I noticed that blurry, out of focus backgrounds, in some portraits, made it look like a photo.
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
Selecting Photos: Boring Photo = Boring Drawing

It has become very apparent to me, that I am FIRST inspired to draw by a great PHOTO and NOT the subject. When I find a GREAT high contrast High Quality photo of the person I ALSO want to draw, I get very excited :excited:

On the other hand, NO MATTER HOW MUCH I want to draw a certain celebrity, IF I can NOT find a "good" photo, then I do not draw them. Too many times I have tried to use low quality photos, and end up getting stuck because I cannot see the details half way into the drawing. I'm not one of those people who tear up their drawings out of frustration, though I have calmly feed them to my shredder, ha!

CONTRAST is always just been obvious to me, in that it is one of the main things that will take any drawing to the "next level"?

I have learned to select a photo that has a wide range of contrast and as many variations in between! Ideally, it has the blackest black, and the whitest lights, and everything in between.

One way I have trained my eyes to see Contrast, besides printing the photo in Black and White, is to sometimes, TURN the DIRECT light AWAY from the drawing. You will be amazed at what you see in darker lighting conditions! :D
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
I see some artists put their reference photos next to their work. Not me! People ask me to do it sometimes, and I tell them...

As soon as you place your reference photo next to your drawing, it become a "Where's Waldo" contest to pick out all the mistakes. It's human nature to do that. No matter HOW good one of my drawings turn out, I can ALWAYS see several places where I was off. So, the focus then shifts on trying to find all the mistakes and differences, instead of focusing on the drawing?!? A drawing SHOULD be your artistic interpretation of the person. Of course, this is just my opinion :D
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle