mj likes to draw you on facebook

portrait illustration freelance lettraset markers | MJ's Sketchbook
A couple weeks ago I started a new facebook page for my drawings. To challenge myself and work on my drawing skills, I decided to draw portraits of people who would like my page. Above is a preview of the first five. So if you like my page I will draw your portrait and post it.   [ EDIT : It's been a while since I posted this, this offer has expired ] 

I'm currently using old Letraset markers from the Pantone collection. I purchased them a long time ago for my interior design classes and they've been sitting here waiting to be used. I'm finally making good use of them. But unfortunately I won't be able to keep them since I found out that Letraset don't even make the Pantones anymore. I started to use the Promakers instead. There doesn't seem to be as many color options in the collection, but we'll see. 
Letraset Pantone Promaker markers


blow covers the new yorker fashion
Last week's topic for the Blown Covers contest was "Fashion". I decided to draw models walking the streets of New York as if it was a runway. I'm not sure if it was clear. Perhaps by giving each outfit something in common to evoke the idea of a collection would have made it clearer? Anyway, it was fun to put together. 

walls notebook

MJ's Sketchbook wall notebook grafitti

A little while ago I purchased a Walls Notebook to expand my creativity. The book is essentially a graffiti notebook which various pictures of blank walls to express yourself. It's not meant to be serious but for some reason it's always a little intimidating to start something like this. This book has been sitting on the shelves for a little while because I don't want it to look crappy. Anyway, I finally put pen to paper and came up with this little robot couple and their robot dog. 
MJ's Sketchbook wall notebook grafitti

It felt a little empty so I added a random quote I read earlier. So there. Hopefully it wont' take another month before I draw something else in this notebook!
MJ's Sketchbook walls notebook grafitti

omg! I'm in the new yorker's blog

The New Yorker Weddings 2012 The New Yorker Weddings 2012

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from the art editor of the New Yorker stating that my submission to the Blown Covers contest on Weddings was going to be featured on THE New Yorker blog along with the other winners for that week! Woot! For real!? Yup! If you go on their website here, you'll see my submission on the slides as a runner up with the other winners. I'm really happy to be part of this. The actual New Yorker cover this week is also from a Blown Covers participant. I can only imagine how exciting this must be for her :).

the beach

This week's topic for the Blown Covers contest was the beaches. I didn't realize there was that much beach real estate so close to New York city. It's rather impressive. I submitted the two following drawings with the idea that sometimes, the ones that seems to enjoy the beach the most are dogs. Unfortunately, I didn't make the top 12 this time, but as always, it's great to see what others artists come up with .

Blown Covers Contest illustration by MJ the beaches Blown Covers Contest illustration by MJ the beaches

latest redditors portraits

I recently drew these portraits for redditors. In the first one, she wanted a before drawing of her before starting her weight loss journey.  It reminds me of the Dove commercial. I'm really happy she likes it. Hopefully I get to do the after.

And the second drawing depicts a redditor in a neat outfit.
Reddit Gets Drawn redditor drawing weight loss by mj Letraset Markers Reddit Gets Drawn redditor drawing performer by mj Letraset Markers

4th of July

Blow Cover Contest 4th of July MJ Illustration iPad

I made Runner up #12 this time on the Blown Covers Contest last week. This time the topic was the 4th of July. I decided to stay away from fireworks, which was part of the majority of the top 12 submissions (including the winner), and decided to take a on the fashion aspect of the celebration as my main topic. So there you have it, American flag stilettos to celebrate the 4th of July.

This week the topic is "The Beach". 

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

This is another sketch I did a couple months ago for Reddit's Sketch Daily. It's my favorite so far.

Reddit Sketch Daily Yoda vs Chibble Star Trek vs Star Wars

404 You Broke Reddit

I find Reddit to be a great source of inspiration to draw interesting things. From time to time, I participate to Sketch Daily, where the moderators chose a topic for participants to draw. A couple days ago, the topic was "Make a 404 and/or "You Broke Reddit" scene."

I decided to draw the alien in the same position as Deadmau5
Reddit 404 Page You Broke Reddit

Then I couldn't resist using some rage faces like this one...
Reddit 404 Page You Broke Reddit

And this one :)
Reddit 404 Page You Broke Reddit

the strangest secret

This will be my third sketchnote. The first one was from Michio Kaku and the second one was from Joe Rogan. This time the speaker is the late Earl Nightingale, from the 50s.
The Stangest Secret Earl Nightingale illustrated sketchnote

It's interesting to see the commonality of what he had to said then and what a speaker from today, such as Tony Robbins, has to say now. Stay tuned for more

the lovely couple

reddit gets drawn couple Lettraset Markers

This is the 32nd drawing from my Reddit Gets Drawn collection shown below. The goal is to get to 50. Almost there :) reddit gets drawn Lettraset Markers

nicki minaj's outfit 03

The sheer fabric was a little challenging, it's but not bad for a first attempt. :) I think I'm starting to get a better hang of the watercolor pencils. This time I only used the black pen for the eyes. I'm really happy with the hair too. This is from Nicki's Pink Friday photo-shoot. The detail on the bustier is really neat and I the pink hair is fun. 

nicki minaj's outfit 02

Here's another interesting look. There's more paint than clothes on this one. It reminds me of the girls in an "old" Kanye West video called Love Lockdown. It has a bit of a tribal feel to it. I used a black pen to contour the body before applying the color... bad idea. The black ink starts bleeding where it's not supposed to. 

nicki minaj's outfit 01

I've always been fascinated by Nicki Minaj's outfits in various videos and photo-shoots. They are so colorful, bold and unique. While it's highly unlikely that I'll ever wear a similar style, I definitely like to draw it. The originality of her outfits inspired me to start a series of drawings based on some of my favorites looks on her. This is a photo of the first one. It's slightly anime-like. I think it suits her. 

I'm planning to finally put my watercolor pencils to use. They've been sitting on my shelves for years. I never used this medium before so it will take some getting used to but so far so good. 

blown cover contest

A couple months ago I stumbled onto this really neat weekly drawing contest from the NewYorker's art editor Françoise Mouly called Blown Covers. Although it is not associated with the New Yorker it gives you an insight on what the editors look for in a cover illustration for the New Yorker. The winner and the top 12 submissions are announced on Fridays with comments from the editors. I'm learning a lot from this and it's really neat to see all the ideas and and various styles from the submissions.

Weddings : My latest submission made it to No 10
Above is my latest entry. I was Runner up #10. I've been submitting my sketches ever since I found out about it and I made the top 12 a couple times, which is awesome! 

Submissions that made it to the top 12 so far (in chronological order):

Weddings : Runner Up #10
The one-point perspective of the bridge seals the kiss and gives it gravitas. Besides, that is the bridge that would take this Brooklyn couple to City Hall. 
The Gays - Runner Up #11
Support for gay marriage or opposition to it is a political issue right now and this image expresses that thought clearly by painting one symbol over the other. And since they’re both striped flags, there’s something there.
The Rich and the Poor - Runner Up #11
Sweet! Cartoonists can do so much with facial expressions and body gesture (not to mention pink.) It showed good thinking on the part of this artist to move away from ostensible signifiers (no top hats or poor people here) and simply comment on the attitude.
Love in the city - Runner Up #7
This is a simple trope, but it's also a good composition. The image uses an extreme close-up on the birds with an extreme long view behind them (you can see New Jersey!)

Submissions that didn't quite made it : 

There's still time for me to take the winning position before the end of the year! Stay tuned to find out.