Female Faces in Pencil #6/29

I haven’t been posting those darn sketch-a-days, so I am a bit behind. Will be catching up though! In which case, I will be posting a bunch today, one with the regular content and the other with some writing I guess (by some writing I don’t mean that their will be 16 shout outs today, but the regular number and then a bunch of back images with some creative writing alongside it that is unrelated to the image but just something I came up with in this moment).

6 of 29

Original image found on google image search by looking up african american punk girls (which lead to this image).


Only in Secrets

“If we spoke only in secrets
Would I hear your spoken words?
You mine?

Can you understand a completely unrelatable tragedy?
Would I understand an unrelatable and impossible to reference response?
Can words be foul enough to tell all but leave us without words to explain what is said?

We go back and forth in unrecognizable rhetoric and extreme speeches.
About things which are disastrous and disproportionate but all the while rational,
but how can we know?

How can we know anything other than confusion when we speak the loudest words?
What phrase could I give back that would reveal as well as grant understanding?

When we talk in secrets alone, no one can or will understand over the deafening and empty revelations.”

This came about yesterday, something about confusion when you only talk in unrelatable speech, which is in itself a secret. But what if the purpose is to enlighten someone or reveal a secret that is itself unrelatable? No language barrier, it is the words itself which are lost upon a person, the content. And when you ask for what is not understood and are just met with more of the same in response, how do elaborate or give examples when both people are pushing?


Sketch-a-Day: Recap of 5 Female Faces

This last week saw the beginning of my first “goal” or targeted subject for Sketch-a-Day, 29 Female Faces in Pencil. I like, like so many others, struggle with capturing a face onto paper so I am doing just female faces first so that I can “get good” at sketching faces, over 29 of them I should see some improvement. I would hope.

The end of this week marks the 5th entry in this goal, the 8th write up of a Sketch-a-Day and the 6th entry of Shout Outs! It also means I am now up to 55 published blog posts (44 of which were posted between 5/21 and now, and a decent number are just image only posts for Sketch-a-Day).

If you didn’t catch the last Roundup post, let me go over how it works. Each Sunday I go over my artwork for Sketch-a-Day that was posted during the week. At first we have a gallery of all the images then we have a listing of tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) versions of each post and their most mention worthy shout outs. Then today we have shout outs afterwards…

This week we started the female faces in pencil thing, and we had some good shout outs. Such as some art books (spectrum, viction:ary), some cool free rpgs (Final Girl, Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf, Lasers and Feelings) and then a listing of some of my favorite RPGMaker games (freeeee! vidya germs!).

  1. Tuesday, 28th; I drew the side-view girl that I made have a really long long neck! Shout Outs: my father’s long, long legs a online storybook that is very very creepy, the awesome tumblr that is Dungeons and Drawings (I just ordered two of their illustrated books so I will probably review them once they arrive) and then we had Sword and Backpack a short ttrpg made to be pasted into a moleskine notebook.
  2. Wednesday, 29th; the shotgun freckle girl drawing. At the end of the blog post is a 10 second video of a six minute storm that was quite impressive, really big hail on that one. Shouts Outs: Spectrum is a series of publications essentially a future dream of mine is to be in one of those big coffee table books, viction:ary publishes some showcase books on graphic and product design as well as different types of artwork (even some font showcase books) and finally we have Scout Books which are small pocket sized kraft notebooks (32 pages usually) and you can order them blank or have a bunch custom printed. Scout Books also have some great blog posts with cool uses for small page format publishing. A cool avenue for publishing certain materials.
  3. Thursday, 30th; the funny face girl drawing. The first one with scary teeth! Shout Outs: Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf a minirpg based on the hilarious musical video of the same name. Final Girl a horror movie rpg that takes direct and constant inspiration from slasher movies where the main characters are picked off one at a time until one last girl (usually a girl, lets be honest) is standing. Lasers and Feelings, a one page scifi rpg that is super duper popular and comes from John Harper! Then we have 3 podcasts: the No Sleep Podcast (horror stories from reddit!), Alice isn’t Dead (dang DANG DANNNNNG!) and finally Limetown (literally the most delta green 7 part story ever about a disappearance of somewhere about 300+ people).
  4. Friday, 1st; The front on face! With those eyebrows! Looks like a good one! Improveeemeeentttt! Shout Outs: this was all about free video games specifically RPGMaker games! Ib is about a girl who gets trapped in a world of insane and distorted artwork, Schuld is just conceptually terrifying… Yume Nikki is a trippy game, Middens has the strangest art and visuals… It Moves is a game I have yet to finish, also kinda scary, and finally we have Stray Cat Crossing (the only one of these games that isn’t free, but it is like, $3)!
  5. Saturday, 2nd; the latest image has not the greatest teeth, but better than the last one with teeth visible. Instead of shout outs, I am doing a giveaway for two video games. Just comment on that blog post and you can win a copy of either Stray Cat Crossing or Don’t Starve Anywhere. Chances are pretty good you will win… since no one has commented yet…

Shout Outs

I have been sick. But, I can say that the video game SOMA is the literallyyyyyy shhhhhh!ttt…

Female Faces in Pencil #5/29

Alright then! Busy busy busy! Well, I have been a bit underwaether/not-feel-good-like so my energy levels have been not too stellar. But! Female faces need sketching! So here we go right into it…


This time we have some shortish hair and a different mouth shape. I have started a new pinterest board just so I can organize all of these subject images, so you can go check out the original image over on Pinterest here. As for the sketch…

What I liked: The mouth shape (not the teeth), the general shape of the nose (but the right side looks off, too straight of a line?, too much shadow?). The eye and hair look good. I think I am actually getting pretty good at doing eyes, also this sketch took a lot less time than previous ones, I think that it is pretty easy to notice that just be how the hair looks.

How did I improve: The eye is crazy close to the image. Like, mind boggling for me, the only way it could be closer is if the rest of the face was spot on. The lips for the mouth are a huge improvement from yesterdays or the before its. Mostly because it actually looks like it curves and isn’t a misshapen sticker. It curves along the surface of the face properly.

What I disliked: those teeth are awful, they just make me think of a beaver. Like, the original image looked great! But, my teeth look not so good. Probably because I haven’t drawn many teeth hidden by lips or as part of a smile?

How can I improve: continue the line technique. For the teeth, I think it is just a matter of practice, make the gums less dark than the inside of the mouth, make the teeth have the appropriate shapely-ness of teeth. So, curve in the right place and straight in the other. For hair, I think I cut it too short in time, or was in too much of a rush. It didn’t help me that her hair was almost white blonde against that background to the right. For the nose, better shapely-ness? Have a tone across the entirety of the face so that I can have highlights.

Shout Outs, Games I just bought

Since the steam sale is ending on July 4th I bought a splurge of games last night (I have missed the last few sales or didn’t see anything worth getting so this is big news). I got:

  • Dishonored
  • SOMA
  • Stray Cat Crossing
  • Firewatch
  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Spelunky
  • Don’t Starve Bundle
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  • Tital Souls

Contest! Win a Vidya Germ!

In celebration of my splurge on Steam, I am going to run a contest. I will draw two names based on whoever comments on this blog post, the first name will get to choose to receive either Don’t Starve Together* or Stray Cat Crossing on Steam. The second winner will receive whichever was not chosen by the first, either way, free game am I right?

To enter, just post a comment and tell me about the last session of a tabletop rpg you played/GM’d!**

I will draw the winners on Tuesday morning (the 12th!). If you win, I’ll send you an email (to comment on the site, you have to enter an email address which is not made public but will be visible to me).

*If you choose Don’t Starve Together, we could go on steam and not starve together!
**I wasn’t feeling good, so I didn’t GM this week, help me live vicariously.

Female Faces in Pencil #4/29

Today’s sketch was pretty good, a big improvement and I think it has to do with the new method of lines across the face when sketching it out which I mentioned in the How can I improve the other day. Today also had more work on a small game job (art and layout!), I will give a shout out to where it can be found once it is finished and the kind kind man says I can. Also had some stuff that I posted onto da’plus in a new collection called “Nicholas stole his sisters necklace“. Then I also came up with an idea regarding improving my dungeon mapping skills, make maps in some minor free time then once I have about 8 or 10, put them into a creative commons download pack for people to use commercially (but need to credit me for the map). I will do at least one pack, if it works out and I enjoy it or something, then it may become a thing.

The Fourth! an expression face

For today I did another quick google image search for a face and found this one, I love the expression. And, upon looking into it, it looks like yesterdays sketch was the same person and I didn’t even know it. Makes me feel a little like a creep, or maybe google images just has her floating to the top of the results? Thanks google, now I will be seeing if everything connects… it is a conspiracy? Nah, its just someone really good at expressing emotion using funny faces named Cara Delevingne.

So, what did my sketch turn out to look like?

What I liked: The eyes look really really really good this time. Using the line method I mentioned yesterday really made the face itself overall a huge improvement over the last couple faces I have done. But, I am proud of those eyes. Really proud. I also think the lips are some of the best I have done? Like, they don’t look like ripped or stretched bandaid elastic this time…

How did I improve: The eyes, the eyes are the biggest improvement that is visible. The hair looks better than the last, more strand-y? But the eyes win.

What I dislike: The face looks “off”. Probably a combination of width along where the jaw curves just below the ear and that it is too tall? From chin to forehead it just looks too tall. So, a mix of skull proportions resulted in this looking off. The nose also isn’t really close to me, it is too round? Not wide enough in some aspect but also the wrong general shape. Nostrils are not the right angles too.

How can I improve: for the nose, I am thinking looking at the nose and sketching out some general shapes then erasing till it looks good may work. Like, there is a curve here, lightly sketch a circle or a full curve, it is kind of a trapezoid overall feel draw a trapezoid. Draw those shapes till it seems well positioned as to where it should be on the face. Then lightly draw over these shapes using them as visual guides, all the while staring back and forth between the book and the reference image. For the face proportions, I think the line method I used with the eyes would help, if the eyes look great, then use them as a unit of measurement to kinda measure the face, lightly line it then do a few more, erase whichever one isn’t is. If it is close but still off, draw 3 more lines, two inside and one outside, erase all but the closest. Repeat.

Shout Outs

I used to play rpgmaker games all the time, I love them so much and they will always hold a dear spot in my heart. They also hold a tiny couple gigs of hard disc space on my laptop, and my own abandoned game files will always be a distant dream to finish something of substance and release it for free. So, all of today’s shout outs are games that are available for free (Windows only) and were made with rpgmaker.

  • Ib; oh man! I am pretty sure everyone in the rpgmaker community knows of most of these, but everyone knows about Ib! Little girl gets trapped in the world of a weird artists paintings and sculptures in a museum. She has to solve puzzles and explore to escape. Such as, giving an ant a painting of itself. Or running away from mannequins, avoiding the shadows on the wall, otherwise claws may reach out and take you. It is highly recommended by everyone I know that plays these types of games, plus I recommend it too! If you don’t want to play, you probably could find a huge number of Let’s Plays of it on YouTubers. Or you could download it from here.
  • Schuld (English Translation); it has been awhile since I played Schuld. But I do remember the body parts falling off, the people who sell their body parts to those that are sick so that they can eat etc. It is a really dark setting. It was originally in german only, but then someone went along and translated it. So you can now grab that download from here.
  • Yume Nikki; trippy bicycle girl in a dream diary thing anyone? It has so much fan art and almost a cult like following. Probably because it is hecka trippy weird. It can be downloaded from here. If you like weird, surreal ish stuff, go give it a try. Again, it is free so go wild!
  • Middens; and then there is middens. While Yume Nikki is, as far as I can remember. A little lighter graphically? Middens is almost straight up scary disturbing really bad depression fueld drug trip. But, visually being this way is a really good reason to give it a shot, give it 15 minutes, if you don’t enjoy it, you will still be able to appreciate it. So download it from here.
  • It Moves; I have not played through much of It Moves, probably because I always die when a giant floating head gasm scary monster thing jumps me in the underground right at the beginning ish area! But, based on just that bit alone, I have re-downloaded it and will be trying to “get good” and beat it. If you want to give it a try, it is about a small boy and scary stuff from what I remember. download here.
  • Stray Cat Crossing; This is the only game on this list that isn’t free. But it is really cheap and well made! I can’t rightfully describe it (I guess none of my descriptions really have described much?) so go watch this trailer and then decide if it is worth it. It can be purchased for like $3 on Steam!

Now onto music, what should you listen to. Oh! I know!

  • “From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues)” – You+Me (2014)
  • “Kill the DJ” – Green Day (2012)*(such an addicting song…)
  • “R U Mine?” – Arctic Monkeys (2013)

Female Faces in Pencil #3/29

Yesterday I continued the female faces in pencil thing, this time by doing a very mocking emotion filled face. Definitely a little sillier. On another note, the camera on my phone is absolutely terrible, hopefully in the next month I will be able to set up a proper camera and soft light so that I can take better pictures of my physical stuff. Until then, it looks like my phones camera will have to do… sadly. Oh and some other notes, I will be running Delta Green on Sunday and I need to write-up all the back catalog of Apocalypse World 2e Preview campaign APs.

Funny Face gurl

So, going through google images under the terms “tumblr punk girl” I found this lovely lady (tumblr was a feed, so just an image link here). Chose this face because it was different, it also seemed like a good try at a new expression.

Time: ~2 hours (maybe less, since I was chatting on hangouts and finished before leaving the chat)

What I liked: The hair looks pretty good in this one. Specifically it looks like like a dark blob dripping from the head (silly putty hair) and more like textured cloth, if I can go the next step and have it look like actual hair that’d be nice. The nose was really close, that blank forehead looks close.

How did I improve: The hair, I improved my hair sketching skills. The eye on the left side of the page looks actually really good to me, as long as you compare it to my previous eyes on people. It looks like it has the emotion which the subject in the original image could have been feeling. A mocking “I want to be silly because duhhh” face.

What I disliked: That mouth. The teeth and the lips look off, almost like the left side needs a fishhook pulling the edge of the mouth slightly up and away. The lines of the face on both sides of the nose look pretty bad, not too proud of them. I think it is because they started as lines when they should have only been shading.

How can I improve: with the right eye? Probably laying out some lines first off could help. Like how you would draw a face from scratch, draw those same lines but following the subjects face. For the hair, more practice? More individual hairs plinging off the side. For the cheeks lines, I will try to think of it as shading first next time. For the mouth, those “lines following the subjects face” may help.

Shout Outs

Oh man, what do we have for shout outs for this post… hmm… let’s see…

  • I used to spend some time on reddit, I still have my now dead subreddit called theFreeRPGHunt (looking at free games kind of sub), but during that time I did see a game called Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf a microrpg. The creator made a subreddit for it, and the pdf of the rules can be downloaded on their pinned post. If you don’t know what this game is about (please say you do…), then go watch this music video for Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf.
  • While I will be avoiding posting links to rpgnow or onebookshelf (if I could use those links, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge to scour for shout outs), but this short zine rpg called Final Girl was originally only available to those that bought the bundle of holding it was in. Now it is there on rpgnow for Pay-What-You-Want. Directly from the description “The Final Girl is a horror movie roleplaying game meant to emulate slashers or any other horror movie where the characters are picked off one by one until only one survivor remains to confront the killer. Gather your friends, create your own movie, and find out who will Survive.” (RPGNow product description). It has also gotten some publicity from The Gauntlet Podcast (I think it did? I remember seeing the discussion somewhere on da’plus).
  • Finally, a one page sci-fi rpg called Lasers and Feelings, very popular and pretty well known (at least among my circles?). It is quick to setup and play, make some characters, make your ship then face space dangers unknown without your Captain Darcy (he is just healing up in medbay, don’t mind him, psychic afflictions or something). It is by John Harper and can be found over here. Oh and its free!

This time, podcasts not music…

  • The No Sleep Podcast; I haven’t listened to them all yet. Because they are totally creepy, and that is a huge back catalog to catch up on. But I do recommend S3E08 with the numbers station.
  • Alice isn’t Dead; this is some scary stuff. A woman become a trucker because she couldn’t handle a breakup (as far as I can tell) and some Delta Green level stuff occurs, but from an outside viewpoint. Like a passerby catching a glimpse or a slight touch of the weird. It is addicting. Also it is from the guys who put together Welcome to Nightvale!
  • Limetown; I will say it again and again and again. Listen to this SEVEN part series. It is excellent, it is captivating and I recommend sitting on a stool with your feet off the ground in a pitch black room with headphones on for this one. You won’t hear a spoiler from me, go spoil it to yourself by listening to it. Now. It is weird. My kind of weird.

I am taking requests for artwork now. Like, send me a weird suggestion that I can bounce off of. If you want, go use this form

Female Faces in Pencil #2/29

Today was a bit of a drudge of a day. I barely hit my word count quota for Runaway Hirelings: Ultimate Peasant Edition, my sketch didn’t make me all too happy and I was barely able to keep my head from falling onto my desk. But somehow I managed and also got to have a 6-minute storm (with hail!).

Today’s Sketch had Freckles

For today’s second of 29 in an exercise with the hope of improving in my use of pencils and in being able to draw female faces, I fell for a trap which I had a bad memory of… freckles.

I remember back in high school that I used charcoal to try to “make arts” (since draw or sketch sounds weird in this instance) of a class mate who had freckles and volunteered to sit still. I also remember the freckles looking like someone had used a shotgun on her face, little flecks of metal could be imagined just beneath the skin. So, freckle flashback.

So why did I choose a person with freckles for day two? Ugh.

Once again I got my image from google images. This one exactly (I’d link to the page, but the page is a stream so it wouldn’t be visible if clicked, so I linked to the image itself).

How mine came out

First off, I apologize for the bad picture. I really need to invest in a camera so that I can take proper pictures of my physical stuff. You can’t really scan heavy pencil without messing up the scanner.

What I liked: The skin overall looks like I go decent shading, I think that without the freckles the skin texture wise alone would be okay. Certainly, something I want to replicate in the future as a base shade or tone (before getting nitty get gritty).

How did I improve: The hair looks better. Still rough, but at least, this time, I can see that it is hair and I can understand it a little better.

What I disliked: The eyes kinda stunk. The freckles were like shotgun flecks, not as bad as in high school, but still not happy with it. The lips look close, but not close enough. The right side cheek is off, I erased and redid it over and over and this was the closest I could get at the moment. Not happy with it and actually, I think the reason why I couldn’t get the eye or the cheek right was probably because my reference for the cheek was the eye and reference for the eye was the cheek…

How can I improve: Basic shapes. Think more about what the face looks like facing me first, then how the position effects what is seen. Don’t just copy the picture, but think about why “this shape is off” and look at how it could be fixed. A “think first” kind of thing, not just fuddling. For freckle improvement, I think I just need to draw more freckles from more people. So, next time focus on examining shapes and thinking of possible solutions if there is an issue, before erasing. 

Shout Outs

I don’t normally think about it, but I actually love art. I love artists. And some artists are inspiring. So this shout out section is dedicated to the uber talented JEShields. He has a Patreon which puts out packs of stockart which can be used for tabletop rpgs. They are some sweet Character Compendiums. I am at the $8 tier. At least check out his site. If you contact him, tell him I sent you, that might give him a chuckle. So, all of these shout outs are art related or design related…

  • First off, Spectrum produces these beautiful better than coffee table art books. Kind of a cream of the crop limited publication thing. I can’t rightfully describe the beauty in the art within, but it is inspiring. It is also my hope to someday be in this publication, or even have something worth submitting (in my eyes). So go check it out.
  • Next, we have a group that puts out a ton of high-quality books showcasing various uses of type in graphic design, they also have various collections based on different color palettes and tons of art books. They are viction:ary, and I totally recommend that you check out their Typoholic books image gallery, or take a look at their blog (which links to a store page).
  • Finally, if you want to publish something small, like 32 pages back pocket small, you may want to check out Scout Books. They have blank DIY books you can order in case you want to do something yourself, or you can have them print and bind a big box full of little booklets that you designed. I am not just giving this shout out because I am itching to put something into a scout book and order a bunch of copies, say some short horror poems would be a cool idea… But, theyre blog is full of awesome images of what can be done with a small page. So, more inspirational materials yo.

What about music? Well, let’s see…

  • “River” – Bishop Briggs (2016)
  • “You and Me” – You+Me (2014)
  • “I Get a Kick Out of You” – Frank Sinatra (1998 album collection)
  • “Don’t you know how busy and important I am” – Tom Rosenthal (2015)

Finally, what about that storm…

Female Faces in Pencil #1/28

Alright, so I have decided that for sketch-a-day the first subject matter that I will be focusing on is female faces and I will just be using pencil for this. I have changed it from being a week (which is honestly pretty short, I won’t see too much change/improvement from just that) to being 4 weeks. It should be fun and on Sundays I will go over progress and how the week turned out. At the end of the 28 days, I will figure out what improved most noticeably, what didn’t improve noticeably and if anything went backwards in progress.

#1; Google Punk Girl

I went onto google images and looked for a girl to draw, and I found this one. Now, I consider myself a work-in-progress when it comes to faces (thus why I chose what I chose for the next 28 days!).

So what did I get wrong? The neck is too long, now that I look at it it looks like a giraffe or a chicken. The head isn’t tiled at the right angle. The nose is close, but not close enough, the outer edge curve of the silhouette looks like the curve is a little too high. The shoulders make the chest seem like it is pointing in a different position than it should be, this combined with giraffe neck makes it kind of awkward to look at.

Things that I do like or think that I got close. The jaw line shadows seems pretty good, the hair (for being quick hair) looks acceptable. I say this about the hair because I didn’t consider it the main thing to look at. The visible eyebrow is pretty close, I think it just needs the tail tapered a little differently.

What should I pat extra attention to next time. While the shading and shadows need work too, I will be focusing more so on getting the proportions and angle of different features. If the nose doesn’t seem right, look at it and figure out why. Then erase slightly and rework it; before moving on to shading, make sure the outlines and rough looks good.

Shout Outs!

Oh man, what do we have for shout outs today…

  • A super creepy storybook (think interactive fiction, “I smash rock against lock”, but instead of a dialog box you choose options, this case hyperlinks) called “my father’s long, long legs“. I didn’t know that it was more well known until it was brought to my attention, but it doesn’t surprise me. It is creepy and a good story about a boy whose father starts digging a hole in the basement and as it gets deeper the family falls apart more and more until the hole becomes a pit into limitless black. There are occasional sound effects so wear headphones!
  • There is this tumblr called Dungeons and Drawings, these two awesome people have been illustrating and re-imagining classic D&D monsters. Scrolling through their blog you’ll find some beautiful art, and colorful descriptions. But what the real candy is is that they have produced two illustrated collections as books, they are pretty cheap (£8 each) and I can only imagine fun to flip through (I am throwing one into my cart right now on etsy).
  • Going back to tumblr quick, here is another game for the emergency gaming folder, this time it is a small printout fantasy rpg called Sword and Backpack. I think it is cool because it is made to be printed out then pasted into the pages of a moleskine notebook. Then, write and log your adventures in the notebook! Imagine if you filled the notebook and looked back on it 6 years from now or some other thing? It is one of those games where I can see myself just filling the notebook with supplementary material and notes, then passing on to a friend to add more pages to it.

Don’t forget the musakk!

  • “WOR” – Django Django (2012)
  • “Harlem” – New Politics (2013)
  • texas reznikoff” – Mitski (2014)
  • Something Soon” – Car Seat Headrest (2015)