My Open Sketchbook

I wanted to use this post to display some of my own artwork (old and new!), and give you a little insight to me and my art. Lately I’ve been hard at work on commissions for people, as well as some personal portraits of my own. I figured I’d give a little rundown on my history with drawing.

I began drawing when I was 11. I was a rather geeky 11 year old (who turned out to be a rather geeky adult). At that age I was obsessed with Pokemon, Zelda, and especially Sailor Moon. My best friend was really into drawing Pokemon, and I’d always liked drawing, so I started drawing some Sailor Moon characters (my personal favorite – Sailor Venus. She’s still my fave!).

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The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker fanart circa 2003.

Looking back ay my old drawings cracks me up. No sense of proportion, bold outlines – classic stuff. But hey, gotta start somewhere! Sometime during my freshman year in high school I made the switch from drawing anime to drawing more realistic people. I think what prompted me was the Lord of the Rings movies. Me and my buds were heavily into LoTR. Posters covered my walls, I had the action figures. And somewhere along the lines I started drawing my favorite cast members (usually Elijah Wood; he was definitely my celeb crush back then). That progressed to a real enjoyment drawing and capturing people’s expressions in portraits, and I just kept going!

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Elijah Wood, drawn 2003.          Khal Drogo, drawn 2013.
Ten years makes a difference it seems!

I went to art college for one year, and it was amazing. To sum up, I made the decision not to go back for all the wrong reasons, but it all turned out okay in the end. I love the life I have now, and wouldn’t change it for a thing. When my hubby and I decided we wanted a baby, I was just getting back into the swing of art again after taking a rather long hiatus from it after college. While pregnant, I did keep drawing, but close to the end of my pregnancy I stopped completely. Becoming a mom consumed me for the first year of my daughter’s life. And it wasn’t in a bad way. I just couldn’t get enough of my beautiful little girl; I didn’t want to miss a single thing she did, any expression on her face, any sound she made. I drank in every aspect of her. But around her first birthday I began to get restless. Eventually, I realized I needed more than just ‘being a mom’. I needed my own hobbies and activities back. And art was always such a big part of me. So I began drawing again, and haven’t stopped since. I’ve only recently begun sharing my art online again, and opened up commissions. I’m confident enough with my skill again that I’m proud to share it, as opposed to wanting to hide it! FYI, if you’re interested in a commission, check out my Facebook page, Pencil & Paper, or email me at kaylynyman@yahoo.com.

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A just for fun drawing of one of my friends and her son. The second was a piece just for fun too, but the woman loved it so much she bought it from me!

My drawing style doesn’t really follow a specific technique. Unless ‘winging it’ counts as a style, in which case that’s mine. I usually start with the facial features (eyes mainly, but sometime the nose first) and sometimes I start with something else entirely! When it comes to shading, I usually do things pretty routinely (click below image.)

Ian WIPS montage

I usually follow that pattern, but not always. Hair used to be the bane of my existence in the drawing world. It overwhelmed me. So many strands, so much movement; I didn’t know where to begin. Now, I have completely embraced hair. I’ve stopped looking at it as a whole, and started viewing it like a face – something to break down into individual pieces and draw. When I draw hair it takes on more of a graphical quality than an ultra realistic one, but I like it. It’s nice to now enjoy something I used to loathe – such an accomplished feeling!

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Hair like this would have crushed me a couple years ago. Now, it’s a challenge that I love finishing!

Nowadays I use drawing as a way to relax, but also as a way to challenge myself. Those sound conflicting, but they mesh together well. When I just want to chill and lose myself in art, I’ll grab some tea and work on a piece that isn’t too hard for me. But when I want a challenge I’ll purposely select a reference picture with something I know I’ll find difficult – a clothing texture perhaps, or a difficult pose. It all depends on my mood. Lately, for my personal pieces, I’ve been really picky about references that have expressions I really want to capture. I also think I want to start working more on full body poses instead of just head and shoulders ‘bust’ type portraits.

Why people portraits? I just find the human face fascinating. As different as people are, I find when I’m drawing so many things become similar. The curve of an eye, or lips. The subtleties between each person is what makes them unique – I love to try and capture that. And I love the lines of the face. Profile shots are one of my absolute favorite; the continuous curving line from the top of the forehead all the way down to the neck is just beautiful.

In my spare time I like to oil paint. I’m incredibly slow at it, but I love it!

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Some more Legend of Zelda fanart. I started this piece back in 2012, and every few months do a little more work on it. Lately I’ve had no time for painting!

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My hubs requested this piece – she’s a character from a game called League of Legends. I haven’t touched it in months. . .I should really get on that!

If you’re an artist, what medium do you favor? And if you’re not as into art, what do you do to unwind, or challenge yourself?

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6 thoughts on “My Open Sketchbook

    • kaycreates says:

      Why thank you! And that’s true, bold outlines were kinda the way to go with anime and the like. I’m sad I can’t find any of my old Sailor Moon drawings. . .talk about proportion disasters!! If I can dig some up, I’m gonna have to have a throwback post haha.

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