Cybernetic Hand (original, 1990)

Cybernetic Hand (Sept 1990)
“Cybernetic Hand”, Sept 1990. Ink on sketch paper (scanned image: 648 x 804 pixels)

The theme for Illustration Friday (21 Apr ’06) was “Robot” (suggested by Dan Santat). Robot = Artificial device to perform human tasks (see definitions from How Stuff Works and also the Wikipedia entry). I dug around my earlier works and thought this fitted the theme, although when I did this back in 1990, I was thinking more of Cybernetics (the field of control and communications in living things and machines — see this, this or this).

The sketch came quite by chance. I was attempting a sketch of my left hand & forearm. For some reason, I ended up adding cables, wires and assorted machine parts to the picture. It was like what they say about eating potato-chips: “Once you start, you can’t stop!” Heh.

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Tree in Park (Apr 2006)

Tree in Park (19 Apr 2006)
“Tree in Park”, 19 Apr 2006. Pencil on sketch paper (scanned image: 976 x 875 pixels)

I took the day off two days ago. Woke up that morning and suddenly had the urge to sketch trees! Packed my sketch book, a mechanical pencil, and a digital camera into my sling bag, leashed my dog and off we went on a pleasant cloudy morning to the park. Spent about 10 minutes walking my dog while looking out for suitable trees to sketch. Finally spotted one particular tree that caught my fancy. Put my dog on the bench, took out my sketch pad and pencil and started drawing.

It was one of those moments when my mind was clear, my hand steady, and I instinctly knew what to do. I estimated the overall space needed on the sketch paper, started drawing the roots first before outlining the tree:
190406 Tree In Park 017a

More details were added — leaves, branches, bark texture. I kept reminding myself not to go overboard with the details:
190406 Tree in Park 017b

Finally I finished off the sketch by adding an aspalt path and a bench that was in the background (somehow the picture didn’t look complete without something behind; lacked depth):
190406 Tree in Park 017cTree in Park (19 Apr 2006)

I’d considered inking the sketch over with Indian Ink but decided against it. Ink lacked that subtlety and tonal variation with pencils. Final step was to scan in the sketch, and I touched up the scanned image by adjusting the contrast (the pencil lines don’t show up as well in the scanned image).