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Entries in Sketchtoons (24)


John Coltrane: Impressions Music Sketch

John Coltrane: Impressions SketchLast week, I had to get my mind in a logo sketch groove after working on the computer most of the day.

To do this, I sometimes choose a music-driven exercise to get into the rhythm of sketching.

Music Sketching
Pick a fresh page in your sketchbook, then queue up and listen to a piece of music, while expressing what you're hearing and feeling on the page.

Don't worry about making it "right" because it's based on how you feel at the moment. Because it's open and free, this can relax you to enjoy the feel of pen or pencil on paper.

This process really helps me focus in on the music, loosens my hand up and gets me in the right frame of mind for sketching.

Above is the sketch created while listening to Impressions by John Coltrane, a wonderful piece which itself helps me loosen up for sketching.

Give it a try sometime!

Related Links
Music-driven Moleskine Sketches


Springy Motorcycle Sketchtoon

Springy Motorcycle SketchtoonLast weekend we had a nice visit to see family in Baraboo, Wisconsin. While there, we visited Oschner Park, right across the street from where my dad grew up. We saw the small zoo, and wound up at the play area of the park.

I'd packed my Moleskine sketchbook, and saw this funny little spring-loaded motorcycle ride. My son and several of the other kids were jumping on and riding this thing, bouncing around in random patterns.

I liked the mix of tan and red paint on the cycle, so I captured this young girl riding it in maybe 3 minutes. I really like how the drawing has structure but remains loose and chaotic.

This sketch has been added to the Illustration Friday topic: momentum.


Sketchtoon: Two Bald Guys at Chipotle

Two Bald Guys at Chipolte SketchI received a free burrito coupon from Chipotle in my neighborhood and today, decided to redeem that sucker and enjoy a lunch away from the office, and the first day of summer.

While enjoying my steak burrito, guacamole and chips, I pulled out my Moleskine planner and made this quick doodle of two bald guys eating lunch on the patio across from me.

I thought it was interesting that they were both bald, apprently by choice. Been seeing more of the "bald by choice" lately, either to hide a receeding hairline or just for the look of it.

The sketch was done with a Niji Stylist felt tip pen and colored moments ago with Prismacolor pencils, before I scanned and posted the image on Flickr.

Got the date wrong. It should be 6/21, and it's Chipotle not Chipolte, whoops! :-)


What Would My Great Grandfather Think of Me?

John Martin Rohde SketchtoonHave you ever wondered what your ancestors would think of you, your life and the time you live in?

About a month ago, I received a book of family history, which traces our family history from Bobitz, Germany in the Mecklenburg region (near the Baltic Sea).

My great grandfather, John Martin, came to the US in 1873, and settled near Juneau, WI where he lived, established a farm, and had children, one of which was my grandfather Edwin.

What Would He Think?
Reading through our family's story, I've begun to ask: what would John Martin think of me, my life and the time, place and culture I live in?

I ask this probably for validation, but I think more for curiosity sake. I'd be very interested in his reactions, and to hear his wisdom, learned from years of hard experience as an immigrant, husband and father.

I wonder if he would he be amazed at the Internet, which allows me to work from Milwaukee with colleagues, clients and friends around the world? Being a farmer, what would he think of the virtual world I live in?

Would the "magic" of computers and tiny gadgets surprise him or would they seem like cheap flashing toys to him?

I wonder what he would have been like, quiet or talkative? A reader? An artist?

Obviously, I may never know, but it's interesting to ponder.

If I Were to Guess...
I think he would be proud to see the family continuing on, adapting to the world in which it found itself. John Martin lived through some amazing shifts in culture: the German Revolution, the turn of the century and the rise of industrialism, World War I, the Great Depression and more. How cool it would be to hear his stories now.

The sketch above was done early this morning, as these questions bounced around in my head. I wanted to capture an image of John Martin as a way of personalizing and honoring him as my great grandfather.

John Martin, I hope I'm making you proud.


Sketchtoon Coffee Calendar Preview

espresso300.jpgWhile riding the train to Chicago with my friend Sean last week, he reminded me of a sketchtoon calendar project that's been on the backburner due to my very busy schedule.

Sean saw the black and white sketches in my Moleskine sketchbook, and heard my idea of selling the calendar online, to people and small coffee houses. He seemed very excited about the coffee calendar idea.

Now I'm reinvigorated to finish the project! :-)

While I'm wrapping up the final art, I've decided to share previews of 4 calendar pages, to gauge interest in a Sketchtoon Coffee Calendar for 2008.

Would a calendar like this interest you? Feel free to leave comments here or on Flickr. I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts.