Thursday, November 29, 2012


This was an interesting request, especially because of the hand on the foreground. 

life drawing workshop : laura

I finally made it back to a life drawing class. My schedule didn't allow me to spend the time to go for the pass couple weeks, but I'm back!  It's crazy how a couple weeks off actually set you back a little. My 90 seconds gestures weren't the greatest so they are not here. Fortunately, I caught up with the longer poses. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

photobomb attempt

For my RGD #47 I decided to photobomb this request with a random dog . 

making faces

I really like drawing extreme face expressions it seems. This request was a no brainer for me. I had to draw all three. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

adorable annoyed dog

This RDG request (No 44) got my attention right away. I love the expression on the dog's face and the entire composition. I just had to draw it. Above is the process from start to finish. I made a mistake with the color of the eyes of the dog. They were supposed to be blue and I used a brown marker. Fortunately I was able to correct it with a watercolor pencil. I just dipped the tip of the pencil in water to soften it and basically turned the colored pencil into fine tip "paint pen". Good thing the area to correct was small :) Below is the final result. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

short hair cut

For this request, I decided to try a different technique and avoid the black pen for the outline. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a happy time

This was a request from a redditor who recently lost a friend and wanted to commemorate a good moment in their lives. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

valentine's rock poster

This was a request for a movie made by a redditor: a 40's style short movie featuring a puppet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

birthday girl

RGD No 40! Only 10 more to go to complete my personal challenge. This was a request from a redditor  to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

feather eye

Here's another RGD portrait I did a couple days ago. I like the placement of the feather. I thought it was a great idea. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

leaving vegas

This concludes my Vegas Urban Sketching Series. I had a lot of fun touring Vegas with my little sketchbook. It's definitely something I'd love to do again. On our way out, I also had the opportunity to do a couple more sketches during our trip back home ...

... waiting in line at the airport while United was trying to figure out how to organize the increasing people  while their computer system was down ....

... waiting at our terminal for the plane to come ...

... waiting on the plane to get to Chicago ...

... waiting at the Chicago airport for the crew to show up (?) so that we can finally get on our next flight. At least we got a chance to try some food from Argo Tea. I wish they had a shop near my home. The Mango Black Bean & Brown Rice salad was excellent!

Friday, November 09, 2012

seahorse fountain at the caesars palace

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Caesars Palace water fountain seahorse

This is another fountain you'll see outside the Caesars Palace. It's actually just a portion of it facing the main strip. It's nice to see so many sculptures and fountains as you walk on the street. I wish more cities would do this. I think it makes for a better living environment. 
MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Caesars Palace water fountain seahorse

Thursday, November 08, 2012


MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Caesars Palace Forum Shop David Statue
If you walk in the Caesars Palace to get the the Forum Shop you'll find a giant statue of David. A lot of people stopped by to take a picture with him while I was drawing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

caesars pool (part 2)

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban sketching - Las Vegas Caesars Palace pools

I decided to give the pools another go but by concentrating on a small area of the site instead. This is just a portion of the VIP section. It was a great opportunity to work on shadows. I was standing on a covered balcony in the conference area of the Caesars Palace. This place is huge. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

caesars pool (part 1)

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace pools

The pools at the Caesars Palace are truly spectacular. There is so much details, it was getting exhausting to draw everything. I've never seen anything like this before.
MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace pools

Monday, November 05, 2012

catching love bubbles

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Reddit Gets Drawn Portrait
Here's my latest submission on Reddit Gets Drawn. This redditor had a lot of great photos to choose from, which is always a good thing for inspiration. They look like such an adorable couple. I decided to coupled two pictures together joined by a bubble heart.  

vdara view (part 2)

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Vdara room view
This is the second part of the view from our hotel room where you can see a portion of the Aria Hotel. I like the curves on this building. But apparently because it's made of glass curving toward the hotel pool, you have to be careful not to get seriously burned by the "Vdara death Ray" as explained on a  blog post by Gnarly Architecture
MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Vdara room view
With so much solar power, I wonder why they didn't figure out of way to  actually make use of all that free energy. In fact that's something that I don't get about Las Vegas, how come there isn't more solar panels in Vegas? 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

forum shop fountain

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas water fountain Forum shop

This is one of the many water fountains around Caesars Palace. This particular one is right in front of the entrance to the Forum Shop. 

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas water fountain Forum shop

Saturday, November 03, 2012

forum shop

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace Forum Shop
I went to pick up some chocolate at Vosges in the forum shop. They are kind of addictive, especially the Caramel Marshmallows and decided to go upstairs to draw one of the giant statues in the mall. I think her head alone is taller than a normal human being. 
MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace Forum Shop

mj likes to draw you on facebook

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Facebook Likes Portraits

Above is the latest portrait I did for my collection of Facebook Likes portraits. I'm hoping to do at least 50 of them. So far I've done 7. 

I realize I hadn't posted picture of the previous portraits, so here they are:

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Facebook Likes Portraits

Friday, November 02, 2012

caesars garden

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace Garden
The Caesars Palace Hotel is truly spectacular and I went back quite a few times during my trip to draw various areas of this gigantic site. The designers and architects definitely did justice to Julius Caesars. Here I drew a portion of the garden at the main entrance facing the strip. The area is cooler dues to the shades provided by the many trees and the fountain. In fact, many birds seems to have found refuge here as well, and I could hear them I was drawing. Once stood at the edge of a bush long enough for me to sketch him. It's really an oasis in the desert. 

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas - Caesars Palace Garden

Thursday, November 01, 2012

studying physics with Sheldon

I haven't done Reddit Gets Drawn portraits in a while but when I got a personal request a little while ago, I couldn't resist. It's a depiction of the requester's friend who's studying physics with Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. 

bugsy and virginia at the Flamigo Hotel

MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel bird habitat
There's a wildlife habitat at the Flamingo, one of the original hotels in Vegas and I decided to go check it out to do some sketching. It took me a little while to find a good spot to draw but I did. I ended up drawing these two new members of the habitat. I was told by one of the staff that the male (lower left) is Bugsy, named after the founder of the Flamigo. He was not quite comfortable in his new home at the time. Virginia (on the right)  felt right at home rather quickly.   
MJ SKETCHBOOK | Urban Sketching - Las Vegas Flamingo wildlife habitat Bugsy and Virginia