Category - Art Tuesday

Art Tuesday – Week 5: Gesture drawing 3 hands, 60 seconds each


After only a month of doing Art Tuesday, I’m thinking that maybe this will be the last one. I actually skipped putting this up last week (I was burnt out on Howard & Nester) and was hoping that maybe the extra week would in turn encourage more entries, but alas, not a single new entry! A sad day for Art Tuesday, even though I just said in the last podcast that I’d love to keep it going.

The fact is, all this stuff takes time. If there is no interest, there is no sense in putting in the time and effort. I’m not blaming anyone, as I said in the podcast, I was extremely happy and surprised with the initial turn out of drawings for Art Tuesday and was very grateful! The thing is, those first few assignments were, well, fun. The moment I started moving over into harder drawing exercises is when I started losing people. Essentially something fun all of a sudden became work. That’s sort of the thing with drawing, it is indeed fun, but to get good at it to that point where it is always fun requires work. You need to go through the hard stuff, the sort of things you probably wouldn’t normally draw, like some old boot, in order to really expand your craft.

I tried to balance fun with work in all of the assignments thus far. Negative space is a hard concept which is why I decided to use something like Link to try and get the idea across. With the hands, I wanted to go back to the speed of the 60 Second Batman in hopes it would catch the attention of people that tried that out. After all, it’s only a minute and thirty seconds of work.

Which leads us to our few entries into the Gesture Drawing of three hands in 60 seconds. The idea behind doing a sequence of gesture drawings is to loosen the artist up. I always found these fun to do in life drawing class, as the model would switch his/her pose every minute or so. It keeps you on your toes, and while the drawings start out awful they actually get better as time moves on. Eventually your mind starts to wrap around the concept of this constantly changing figure and your able to quickly capture the shapes better with each consecutive drawing.

Obviously drawing three hands at 60 seconds each is not going to recapture this exercise perfectly, but the idea is still the same. Here are our entries.

First, let us give Russel Casse a round of applause for being the one person to hand in something every single week. Like all of Russel’s work, I think his hands are pretty good! To be honest, I see a lot of drawing potential in Russel, I almost wonder if he knew he had this skill? With some actual serious training and drawing, I think Russ would actually get quite good at drawing. He has a pretty good eye for it!

His wife Emily also took part in this assignment. According to the comments, she does not like drawing hands. You can see this in her artwork, and I almost wonder if she only did it because Russ begged her to. That said, these aren’t terrible, and I believe if she was into this idea more she could have turned in something she would have been more proud of. This again goes back to what I was saying about drawing becoming work. She is disinterested in the subject and therefore the quality of the work suffers. I’m glad she turned in something though, it always helps to have to something you’ve done before to know where you stand. Maybe one day she’ll take up the challenge again on her own and really surprise herself.

Frank decided to take part in this assignment, and he kind of cheated. Sort of. He admitted that he spent way more than 60 seconds a hand and ended up drawing a whole bunch in the process. They do look really nice though! Frank is one of those people that enjoys drawing hands, and you can see it in his work. He had so much fun that instead of stopping after the three hands, he continued to move onto other ones. He even drew his hand drawing a (oversized, as he points out) mug.

My hands are okay. I’m not happy with my last one in the least. Usually the last one should be one of the stronger drawings in a sequence of gesture drawings, but I guess I didn’t have enough time to fall into the groove. It’s easily my worst. I actually thought about drawing more hands myself and cheating like Frank did, but I did these before putting this post together and I kind of want to get to bed at a decent time, ha.

So there they are. There is no assignment lined up for next week. My original thought was to let everyone draw a still life of an electronic object, be it a cell phone, game controller, iPod, etc. If you really, really want to, you can go ahead and do this and post it on the message board when you’re done. I’d still like to do one because it’s been nice doing these assignments.

Who knows, maybe Art Tuesday will return again someday, but for now, let us let it go back into hiding. Thank you to everyone that took part in these over the weeks, it was fun.

Art Tuesday – Week 4: Negative Space Link


Last week for Art Tuesday I asked everyone to draw a picture of Link from Zelda but only using the negative space of the image. Essentially, people would be drawing just the outline of Link using this method, and to help people along I took the artwork of Link I was using and made it a simple black and white image. Participants in Art Tuesday have already decreased greatly, so this gallery is going to be a quick one. Below are the results, along with next week’s assignment. Thanks to everyone who took part in this week’s assignment!

Negative Space Link Results

This was the image I had asked people to use as a reference for this week’s assignment. I chose this particular picture of Link mainly for the space between Link’s left hand (the one he’s holding the sword with) and his body. It’s the only real blocked off shape of the image, and it’s the sole part that can really make or break the result.

Negative Space Link

Again, I’m no expert so my comments will likely be kept to a minimum.

Nate's Link

This first Link comes from Nate, which is also Nate’s first time taking part in Art Tuesday. Nate’s picture is really nice, and he handled the arm negative space well.

Next up is Russell Casse’s Link, and I think he did another fine job here. Out of all of us that did this assignment, I think his Link looks closest to the original thing, and mainly because he did such a nice job on that arm space.

Phantom Spiker admitted he didn’t feel like shading in the background, and that’s fine actually. It wasn’t a requirement to shade in the background, just to concentrate on the shapes. A nice job overall.

Of the assignments we’ve had so far, I had the hardest time with this one for some reason. Maybe it was a combination of being both out of practice and being really tired, but I struggled with this image. I made a lot of corrections and redid parts several times and I’m still not happy with it. I really had a hard time with judging the arm space, most times making it way too wide. I’d have thought that doing the other assignments would help me with this, but I guess it didn’t!

Next Week’s Assignment – 3 Hands, 60 Seconds Each

For next week we’re going to sort of double back on the idea of the first assignment, where we had to draw Batman in 60 seconds. The task here is to draw your hand (the one you don’t write with) but instead of spending time focusing on all the little details, I’m more interested to see how quickly you can belt out the shape of it. Pose your hand in a particular way and draw it in 60 seconds. Change the position of your hand and do it two more times. You’ll have three drawings, all done in 60 seconds each. You’ll be using a combination of nearly everything you’ve learned here so far if you’ve been following all of the assignments.

As always, you can post the results on our forum or e-mail them to me at phil at Thanks, and good luck!

Art Tuesday – Week 3: Upside Down (& REVERSED!!) Leonardo


So I sort of made a bit of a crucial error when I flipped Leonardo in last week’s assignment. Usually when you do an upside down drawing you rotate the picture so that when you’re finished and rotate it back to its right position it looks like it should. Well when I rotated Leo last week, I actually flipped him, causing everyone to hand in not only an upside down Leo, but a reversed Leo! So that was completely unintentional, but it’s okay because it actually secretly helps my case anyway. For the sake of all of these images, I actually properly rotated all of the Leo drawings so that they can be compared the way they’re supposed to be. Yikes.

Anyway, before I start, I must say that this isn’t the ideal way to do this assignment. Back when I was taking a drawing class in college, my Professor simply put what appeared to be a bunch of nonsensical lines on a projector. He just told us to draw what we saw. Everyone in the class thought what they were drawing was just madness, but when we were finished, he told us to rotate our books. It was there where it was revealed we were actually drawing a work from Pablo Picasso, the Portrait of Igor Stravinsky. It was an eye opening moment, we actually made something that resembled a drawing, we weren’t just drawing lines after all.

The point of this assignment is to force people to focus on drawing what they see versus what they know. Spending time with our drawing, it forces our mind to switch into a different way of thinking, accessing our right side of the brain (our creative side of the brain). I had everyone draw the same image (not something we did in class) so that we could better compare the nature of our thought process. Below are the results of this assignment. Don’t forget that next week’s assignment is at the end of the post! Anyway, enjoy!

Upside Down & Reversed (by Mistake) Leonardo Results

Leo Up and Down

These are the images I had asked everyone to draw last week. Naturally (in most cases) the picture drawn the right way will be better than the upside down one, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn from the “not as good one.” Again, I’m not expert so my comments won’t be life changing, but they should at least help a little.

Also, all the upside images are on the LEFT of the screen while the right side on the RIGHT.

Emily's Leonardo

The first images I received are from Emily, who also took part in last week’s Scrooge McDuck assignment. She did a much better job on the right side up Leo, even taking some time to shade in certain areas, and then go the extra mile and make him riding a cloud with a bird in the corner. She was having fun with that one. That said, Leo’s foreshorten arm on the upside down version is closer to the original drawing. Surprisingly, she was more aware of the negative space between his lower arm and his leg on the right side one. That’s actually interesting! More on that later….

Russel's Leo

Russell Casse’s Leo is closer to the sort of thing I’m looking for here. Both drawings are actually very good, but I’d argue his upside down one is actually the better of the two. He nailed the shape of Leo’s head there, and the foreshortened arm is also nicer. Also, look at the hilt of his sword in the upper left of each image. It makes much more sense in his upside image when you compare the two of them. Clearly, Russel’s brain was working against him in the rightside up drawing, though not by much! Still, I think he got more right in the upside down one compared to the right side one.

LAdyDi's Leo

Art from a new person! This one comes from ladydi7557, and like Russel before her, I think her upside down one is the stronger of the two. She did a nicer job with the foreshortened arm in the right side one, but I think the overall shape of Leo’s body and head look better in the upside down one. Also, look at the shell on both of them. In the upside down one its properly curved, while in the right side one it’s very flat.

Spiker's Leo

Now PhantomSpiker’s Leo is what I’m talking about, THIS is what I want to see. In every single possible way, the upside down image is closer to the original image than the right side up one. Look at the space between the lower arm on both of them. The foreshortening of the arm, the shape of the head, the distance between the eyes on both, the arc of the shell. He nails it in the upside down version, but completely loses it in the right side up version. Spiker is the ideal candidate for someone that clearly uses their left brain while drawing. For the head and face he’s using what he thinks he knows about a head and face to fill in the details. He positions the eyes where he THINKS they should be, and in that drawing they work, but that doesn’t mean that is what the original version looks like. His right side Leo admittedly has a cuter face, but the other Leo is a closer representation of the original.

Spiker also noted on the forums when he posted this that he hates drawing hands, expressing he wasn’t happy with the hand on the foreshortened arm. I’m glad he mentioned this, because he did a great job with the hand on the upside down version. He admits to THINKING about drawing a hand on the right side version, and in the process he botches it. In the other version, he was drawing a hand, but it didn’t LOOK like a hand, so therefore he didn’t think about it the way he did in his second image. It is also worth noting that for your brain to “switch” its thinking that it takes someone a few minutes to get into a groove. Considering he drew this upside down, he started with the legs. By the time he made it to Leo’s arm (which would be one of the last things he’d draw) he was already in the right frame of mind. I imagine it didn’t even phase him when he made it down there. As for his right side Leo, that arm and hand was probably one of the first things he drew. He was NOT in the right state of mind, and the proof is on the page. The great news is that Spiker shows that he’s very capable of drawing when he’s in the right frame of mind. I love this one.

Demi's Leo

Next up is from my wife Demi. She is surprisingly the only one of us that put as much detail into her upside down version as she did her right side up one. Interestingly, like Emily, she also somehow did better with the negative space of Leo’s lower arm in the right side image. His hand should be touching his leg, where as in the upside down one it’s floating away from the leg. She also did the foreshortening better on the right side Leo as well. The shape of the shell and the belt are her biggest strengths in the upside down image. Because my wife has also had some previous training in art school (though years ago now!) she was well more aware of the concept of negative space compared to everyone else. She even drew bounding boxes around Leo in order to help herself better position where the top of his sword should be.

Phil's Leo

And finally, my Leo. I’m actually happy with both of them, though neither one is perfect. I botched his foreshortened arm on the right side version, again, most likely for the same reason Spiker did. It was THE first thing I drew on that one. Also, I had trouble with the shape of his shell on the right side one, you can see where I struggled with it, going over the area several times. I’m much happier with Leo’s face on the right side one, but I have the advantage of drawing Ninja Turtles for practically my entire life.

So what can we learn from these? Nearly all of us did worse on the foreshortened arm in the right side version. A sign that we were putting too much thought into how it should look, and how we think it should look, rather than actually just drawing what we see. We make assumptions about what we know, and that in turns screws us up and doesn’t allow us to concentrate on what is there. Also, a lot of us tended to have more fun drawing Leo in his right side position, spending more time shading him, fleshing him out, or adding other odds and ends. We had fun with the Leo we knew, but we were scared of the Leo we didn’t know. He felt like work where as the other Leo felt like fun. Though sometimes drawing isn’t about fun.

Next Week’s Assignment – Negative Space Link

Being that it’s The Legend of Zelda’s 25th Anniversary, I figured I would make Link the subject of our next assignment. This week we’re going to focus on negative space, the space between the objects we look at. That’s right, instead of drawing the object itself, we’re going to draw the shapes AROUND the object. In all honesty, I should have done this assignment BEFORE we did the upside Leo. What you’ll learn here would have helped in the above drawings, that said, I like that we didn’t know about negative space yet. People actually did better with Leo’s negative space on the upside images versus the right side ones (with the strange exception of Emily and Demi’s Leo images). To make it easier for you, I’ve already made a silhouette of Link so that we can just focus on drawing those areas.

Negative Space Link

So what you’re going to draw are the black areas. I advise making a bounding box so that you can mark points as to where your shapes are going to go. I counted and there will be five shapes you’ll be drawing here. Find those shapes first so you can better understand the subject (for example, the upper left by the shield is a shape), and then take your time and put together the image at your own pace. As always, you can put these images up on our forum or e-mail them to me at phil at

Have fun!

Previous Assignments:
Week 2 – Blind Contour Drawing of Scrooge McDuck
Week 1 – 60 Second Batman

Art Tuesday – Week 2: Scrooge McDuck Blind Contour Drawing


I’m really happy with the turn out we had from last week’s assignment. There were a lot of people that took part in it that I wouldn’t have expected would turn something in, so that’s kind of cool. I guess because there is a surprise element to a blind contour drawing. It kind of levels the play field because unless you’re some sort of blind contour wizard, chances are everyone is going to have what they would consider an awful drawing.

The point of this exercise wasn’t to make an amazing drawing. It’s more about teaching yourself how to follow the lines of a picture and to help yourself remember the details of any subject. It makes the artist stay away from relying on symbols, things they think they know how to draw, and focus on the subject completely. Some really fun and interesting results came of this, so let us take a look at the gallery. At the end of the gallery you’ll also be able to find next week’s assignment, so don’t miss it!

Scrooge McDuck Blind Contour Results

This is the image I asked everyone to draw last week, so all of the following pieces are based upon this image.

I’m no expert in this assignment by the way, so my comments on everyone’s work will be kept to a minimum.

PhantomSpiker did a nice job keeping things kind of where they should be. This surely looks like a blind contour drawing, with lots of details being accounted for.

Dante369’s is interesting in the direction he took it. Instead of the body going towards the bottom of the page, he moves to the right, giving Scrooge an almost ghost like appearance.

John did a really nice job capturing the overall shape of Scrooge. Pieces like the coin in his hand and the cane are close to where they should be.

Russell Casse’s drawing is very close to Spiker’s in that it’s what you’d expect to see of a blind contour drawing. Lots of little details. His focus isn’t on the whole shape, but rather the details that make up Scrooge.

Russell’s wife got in on the action as well with the above two images. In the first one she did a nice job capturing the outline and shape of Scrooge. Unpleased with her work, she decided to focus on the more detailed end of him. Her first attempt is more appealing, because it is clear that on the second attempt she was focusing on the areas that she felt she failed on with the first image. The result is that she did those parts better, but left the rest of it up in the air. She cheats with the hands and simply makes circles where she thinks hands should go. Interesting to see how the brain works. This is a prime example of drawing actually. In the first image she let herself go and trusted her instinct. In the second image, her brain takes over and complicates things, forcing certain ideas of what she thinks the image should be, like the circle hands as symbols. I think the results speak for themselves.

Bowie kept things safe and also went with the general shape of Scrooge, foregoing detail for the silhouette of Scrooge. He did a nice job keeping the feet level with the ground. The hands are also close to where they would be.

My wife Demi decided to take part in this one and came up with this Scrooge. She hated it, but I think it’s really nice actually. She managed to get all of the important parts in there, and did a nice job with the fingers holding the coin, along with the feet and glasses. It looks pretty close to the original artwork.

Stillies’ Scrooge shows a different type of thinking. He works his image downward, with the important parts of the head slowly sloping downward. He spends more time on the arm with the cane and the coin but then goes for a more simple approach to the rest of the body.

I guess I felt the hands and feet were the most important part of my drawing because I went a little nuts with the proportions there. I really thought I had his left hand attached to his arm, but I guess I didn’t as it’s totally floating around in his chest. I thought I had a more complete head, but I forgot to do areas there too. I’m happiest with his right foot. It’s also worth noting I did mine on a tablet, I probably should have done it on paper. I think I would have had a better drawing if I went with paper.

Anyway, lots of real good drawings here. I’m happy with the gallery we have here.

Next Week’s Assignment – Upside Down & Right Side Up Leonardo

Hopefully I’m not scaring anyone away with this next one because it’s going to require a bit more patience and effort as it has two parts to it. Last week I tried to get you to really pay attention to lines and details, and this week you’re going to take that and apply it to something familiar, but not in the way you’re used to doing it. What you’re going to do is draw the following image as it appears here.

I want you to draw Leonardo, starting from the top and working your way down. It is extremely important not to think of it as drawing Leo and to instead focus purely on the lines. Your brain will be taxed and you’ll probably get thrown into a fit questioning your every move. Try not to let that happen, instead focus on the lines, not Leo. Now, when you’re finished set the drawing to the side and do not look at it. That is when you’ll move onto the next phase.

Now draw the same image right side up. You can draw this picture how you would any other picture. There are no rules, just draw it how you feel most comfortable. When you’re finished drawing it, take your original upside down picture and flip it to compare to the one you just drew. I think that you’ll find very surprising results.

Quick run down of what you’re going to do:
1. Draw the upside down Leonardo image from the top to the bottom. Take all the time you need. Don’t rush or it won’t pay off.
2. When you feel like the drawing is complete, put it to the side and do not look at it.
3. Move onto the next picture and draw it right side up. Draw it how you see it in any way you please. Take all the time you need.
4. Compare your pictures and post them on our message board. Post the upside down image right side up so we can see the result without having to flip it.

As always you can either post your images on our forum (the easiest way) or send them via e-mail to phil at, or tweet them to me.

Looking forward to seeing these, have fun with it.

Art Tuesday – Week 1: 60 Second Batman

Batman by Dante

While last week was our first official week of Art Tuesday, this week marks the first time we have results. Our first task was to draw Batman in 60 seconds, no more and no less. The results have brought us a fun group of pictures, all of which are included in this post. Along with that, you can find this week’s assignment at the end of the post. Sound good? Good!

Drawing something in a minute is no small feat. It calls upon the artist to think and react quickly, but at the same time I was hoping it would bring out unique ideas within everyone. I chose Batman because aside from the fact he’s awesome, everyone is familiar with him. We all most likely have symbols of what Batman is in our head, so getting those onto the page quickly while hopefully creating something interesting was the goal here. The time limit doesn’t let us dwell on what we think are the facts, instead it forces us to make bold and quick judgments.

60 Second Batman Results

Batman by Dante

I found Dante369’s interesting because he decided to make a work around. He completely cheated it, but sometimes creativity pays because I found his the most quirky of the lot. It’s not what I was looking for at all in this assignment, but that’s part of the charm I guess.

Russell's Batman

Russell Casse did his Batman with a mouse, and fully admitted to going over 60 seconds. If there were such a thing, that would make him disqualified for this week. I’ll give him credit for doing it with a mouse though because it’s very hard to draw with a mouse. I imagine for him it was much harder to get into the right frame of mind with this assignment because he was battling his device. Still, credit for the effort.

Spiker's Batman

This comes from phantomspiker, whom actually managed to get Batman’s entire body in the shot. With the exception of Frank, he’s the only one to do a full body shot, which is actually a good thing! I also love the addition of the “Boom” in the corner, which I wonder if that was included in his 60 seconds.

Steve's Batman

Steve’s Batman set us up the bomb. I kind of love this because Steve decided to choose a semi-famous Batman scene from the old Batman film where he’s literally running around with a bomb over his head for about five minutes. I like that Steve’s picture tells us a brief snippet of a story.

John Still's Batman

Stillies actually recorded his Batman process as well. He went with a quick portrait style shot spending his time on Batman’s head and facial expression. I kind of wish he also took a real picture of his drawing so we could better see the lines (I had to steal the above off of his UStream video).

Frank's Batman

Frank managed to get a full body shot done by mainly using one simple shape to his advantage. It’s a clever use of the time, and the shape could go in so many ways. Remove Batman’s head and fist, throw some eyes on there and you have a Pacman Ghost, or Bloo from Foster’s Home. There are options with that shape. Thanks to this, it allowed him time to add some tone to his image giving us the most complete image of the lot.

William's Batman

William Smith went with a simple cartoony style angry Batman face. His was also done digitally, and I’m going to venture to guess he also used a mouse to do it, which held him back on his timing like Russell above.

My Batman shot isn’t what I hoped for because I aimed for too much. As you can see in my video, I did attempt to draw his whole body when I felt like I had the time to do so. I really should have just abandoned that idea and stuck with his torso. I also lost a second when I adjusted my screen position in the middle of the process. Doing so threw me off, and the rest of the picture suffered as a result. We live and we learn!

Next Week’s Assignment – Blind Contour Drawing of Scrooge McDuck

This is a tricky one and always ends up with fascinating results. A Blind Contour Drawing is one in which the artist copies an image (or object, like their hand) onto paper without looking at the paper and without lifting the pencil so it’s one continuous line. The idea of it is to help improve hand eye coordination and to help the artist trust exactly what they see and not what they perceive to be seeing. I chose Uncle Scrooge because, why not? We will all draw the following image.

So remember, do NOT look at the paper as you draw Uncle Scrooge (don’t worry about the background, just concentrate on him). Do not lift your pencil, it needs to be one line, like you’re using an EtchaSketch. Spend as much time on it as you choose, it’s not a race. It’s about focusing and concentrating, the complete opposite of what we did last week. You want to try and record every single detail you come across. When you’re finished, you can share the results in our Art Tuesday thread or e-mail them to me at phil at

Looking forward to them, have fun!

I swear to you, Art Tuesdays are back.

swear to me!

swear to me!

A few years ago we used to take part in an “Art Tuesday” thing on our forums. It was only a few of us and we just kicked around some simple sketches. It eventually died down and went away completely, but you know, I’m bringing it back. I’m bringing it back for my own selfish reasons (despite working on cartoons, I’m extremely out of practice) but it’s okay, maybe some of you other guys will benefit! It’s kind of therapeutic drawing with a group, even if it is over the computer.

So here’s the deal, every Tuesday I’ll be creating a new topic for us to work with. From there you’ll have a week to post it on our boards (or hey, you can even tweet it or e-mail it to me) and I’ll do a little write up about each of them and include my own work too. I’ll also post the next assignment through that update. We used to switch off and have other members choose the subjects each week, but I’m sorry, I’m taking the reigns completely here. Think of this as more of a class type situation.

That said, our first assignment is a simple one. Draw Batman in 60 seconds. That’s it. All you need to do is see what you can come up with in 60 seconds. No multiple takes or anything like that. One picture, one minute, one shot. Easy enough, right? Anyway, feel free to post your results in our Art Tuesday thread, or like I said, tweet them or e-mail them to me (phil at You have until Monday night.