Gecko not Geico! – A drawing of a Leopard Gecko

Gecko on Log
Gecko on a Log

Drawing a Leopard Gecko

No its not the Gecko from the Geico TV ad’s  I have four Leopard Gecko’s.  They are small and interesting lizards.  Fierce hunters of crickets and worms, but gentle when handled.  They are one of a few species of Gecko’s that can actually close their eyes and lick them.  Most other species have no eyelids and are kinda freaky to look at.

I will be doing more drawings and paintings of them, but for now, here is one I did using graphite pencils, charcoal and a blending stump.  Took about an hour to complete.

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My First Spider – Tarantula Drawing

Drawing of a Tarantula Spider

Tarantula Spider
Tarantula Spider

During the Summer of 2014, my fiance then and wife now and I visited Florida.  It was her first time visiting and my second time going down.  We had a blast and took in some really good sights and also went to Gator Golf.

It was not your typical mini golf course.  This golf course, believe it or not, had moats with Alligators swimming around.  For one dollar you can actually get a fishing pole and old hot dog bits and feed the gators.  It was very fun to watch the gators getting ready to receive the food from us.

While we were there, there was a exotic pets specialist working for a group called Safari Todd.  Their Facebook Page is here  Some of the exotic pets were spiders, snakes, scorpions….oh my!!!!!

Growing up I was extremely phobic towards spiders and insects.  For some reason, not sure if it was the weather or the sense of adventure, I decided to face my fear(s).  I asked the handler to place the Tarantula in my hands.  I was nervous, but once I held the spider, my fears actually went away.  I could actually feel its little feet gripping my hand.  It was very gentile, and was very interesting up close.  I didn’t stop there, I ended up handling scorpions, snakes and all I could get my hands on.  I’m not the spider killer/handler for our house, according to my wife lol.

Inspired by my domination of my life long fear, I went back to the hotel room and started to draw.  I spent about two hours using graphite, watercolor pencils and illustration pens to make my drawing.  It was so much fun and I hope that this post inspires others to combat their daily or life long fears.

I want to thank Safari Todd for allowing me to photograph their animals for art.

Materials Used:

  • Watercolor/Acrylic Paper
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Illustration Pen
  • Graphite (HB) Pencil
  • Paintbrush
  • Q-Tip
  • Water



A Whitetail Buck Drawing

Finished "Buck" Whitetail
Final Drawing of a Buck Whitetail
Step 1
Step one, layout the drawing.





A Drawing of a Whitetail “Buck” Deer

I decided to use Gray Toned paper and colored charcoal and a HB Graphite pencil.  Took about an hour, broken  up throughout the day.  I started with a standard graphite layout, I decide to use a HB pencil.  Seems to work really well for preliminary sketching.  I used a angled paint brush for blending purposes.

I made some mistakes along the way, but I finally was able to make it to the end.

It is important to always use lite marks, never heavy pressure.  You should also have a kneaded eraser.  Looks kinda like putty, but it will prevent you from damaging your drawing surface.  I will try to make a tutorial later on the best materials to start with.

The materials used where:

  • Graphite (HB) Pencil
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Black Hard Charcoal Pencil
  • Colored Charcoal Pencil(s)
  • White Charcoal Pencil



Capturing Ronda Rousey Laughing

Rowdy Ronda Rousey Laughing

Laughing Ronda Rousey
A portrait of Ronda Rousey Laughing. Made with charcoal.

I just did this drawing today, starting at home this morning and continued at a local Walmart while my wife was shopping for groceries.  I was out in the car with a drawing book, brush and charcoal(s).

I really enjoyed drawing this picture.  Mainly because it was a pretty picture of Ronda Rousey, but also I got to test out different charcoal colors.  The total time on the portait was bout an hour including the home time.

I like to use a pant brush when I work with Graphite and Charcoal.  I find it more gentil than using a blending stump.  Blending stumps and hard paper products like that, seem to be very abrasive and will flatting and damage the tooth surface of the paper.  They diffidently have their place.  I do use them from time to time.

I would like to say, I know Bob Ross likes to paint happy clouds.  I like to draw happy Ronda Rousy’s 🙂

I know this portrait may not look 100% like her, but I had fun making it anyway.  I’m not an expert, but I like to draw and have fun.


Materials Used

  • Multicolored Charcoal(s): Brown, Black and White
  • Gray Tone Paper – Fine Tooth
  • A paint brush for blending

Rowdy Ronda Rousey – Art – First Portrait

Rowdy Ronda Rousey

Rowdy Ronda Rousey
My first attempt at drawing this beautiful deadly fighter.

What can I say, this Mix Martial Arts female champion has captured my attention.  She is as good looking as she is fierce.  Definitely not to be taken likely.  Like quote from Rocky III – “She is very hungry”.  My art education is influenced by life around me and she has influenced me to attempt to capture her may different sides.

She really seems to be a hard working person, no doubt about that.  I took Karate when I was a kid, believe it or not.  I was an orange belt, but nothing I learned can come close to her fighting style.  If I needed a body guard that is deceptive to the eye and can get the job done, she would be it.

The drawing took about an hour, I was in Greenbelt Maryland for the week.  At the hotel each night, I tried to find something to do.  I saw an HBO Sports special and saw her interview.  I was like “That’s my next subject!”, I began my journey into drawing her beauty and power.

I used black and white charcoal on Gray tone paper to draw her.  It was my first time using these materials.  Definitely trial by error.

Media Used

  • Charcoal Pencils (Black and White)
  • Gray Tone Paper, Fine Tooth

The Journey Of Faith – A horse rescue story

A story about Faith

Karen And Faith
Karen And Faith

This is a very special project and an amazing story of a horse rescue in Virginia.  It’s not art, but a quick documentary of my wife’s accomplishment with restoring life and hope to a severely abandoned horse.

The horse was neglected and eventually sent to auction, where no one wanted her.  Her last change destination was a slaughter house auction lot.  Where if she was not bought, she would have been slaughter for meat.  An organization stepped in at the last moment and purchased the horse.  My wife was on a mission to find the perfect horse for her.  She searched many groups, looking for the right horse.  Then one day, we found Faith aka “Leap of Faith”.

She was located in Pennsylvania, not in Amish country, but the mountains.  Let’s just say it was a very long and tiring journey.  For just about two days of traveling, we pretty much lived in the truck.  Just me Karen and our dog Jack.

We finally made it to the second change farm to pick up our new family member.  She was very thin, had a lot of cold/infection coming out of her nose.  Not doing so well.  I have to admit, that I was very skeptical of her survival during transport back to Virginia.  It was during summer, and it was very hot.  However she made the trip without any problems.  Matter of fact, we ended up staying at a Motel 8, because we were so tired.  I told the front desk clerk that we have a horse and a dog.  He was accommodating and allowed us to park on the side where the big rigs park and our dog was able to stay in the room with us.  It wasn’t the best hotel but it was home for the night.

We finally got her back to Virginia.  I was so tired, that I literally passed out in the passenger seat and didn’t wake up until we were like in the Salisbury MD area.  I was asleep for like 400 miles.  Thank God for my wonderful wife, for driving.

Anyway, for Christmas, I decided to take all the photos from my wife’s Facebook Page and compile them into this presentation.  I was trying to keep a secret for a long time.  Our washer was having some problems during the same time period, so I was actually compiling the video at a laundry mat in secret.  The people there thought I was strange with Bose earphones on and constantly pecking away at the keyboard.  I finally composed the DVD and played it for her on Christmas morning.

(Note: For some reason the music to the video is only allowed to be played on non-smartphone devices.  So that means you will have to watch it on a computer for now.  Something to due with the licensing of the music I used.  Hopefully that changes.)


Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye

This was a fun project, I used a mixture of Illustrations pens and color pencils to create this blowup of a tiger’s eye.  For blending I used a little bit of mineral spirits and a q-tip.  Just a little, not too much.  The paper is water color/mixed media.  You can purchase it at most art stores.  I performed the drawing in layers.  I would then smooth the layer out with mineral spirits, wait for it to dry and then repeat.  Then I used some illustrator pens to create the thin hair effects and also the iris effects, the eye.  This project was a lot of fun.  I decided at the end to put the Mandarin Symbols for “Tiger Eye”.

I like to play with languages, so Traditional Mandarin is what I have been learning among German and Spanish.


Portrait of Patience 2 – Drawing – People – Women

Portrait of Patience - People - Women
A portrait of my friend of Patience with curly hair.
Patience - Source - Portrait
Patience Source Photo for her portrait

My friend Patience has been one of my sources for portrait drawings.  I am grateful for all my friends that allow me to attempt to capture them on paper.  I chose this picture from her gallery of photos.  Manly because of the bright smile, angle of the head and her current hair style.

This one I like better than the first, mainly because of the shading, halftone and highlights.  One of my friends noticed that some of the first portraits that I did, looked flat and not 3D.  My friend thought that it was because I was using photos as a resource vs drawing the subject in real life.  I believe she was right.  I was failing with obtaining the 3D effect because I was either shading the entire picture or missing out on the halftones and highlights.

The hardest part of drawing a human face is keeping the proportions and knowing how to make objects closer bigger and objects far away smaller.  Seems simple, but it was very hard for me.

The curly hair took time to complete.  I had to keep building the layers of graphite and using a kneeded eraser for pulling the highlights on the curls.  The blending was done with a brush and Tortillion.  The combination of a 2B and 8B were used to create the dark, shadows and halftones.

I have included the original photo so you can see my progress with my art education.  You can almost see a night and day difference.

Took about two hours to complete.  This is a rough estimate, I sketched her picture in sections off and on throughout the weekend.

Portrait Patience - Women - Drawing -Portrait
This was my first portrait of my friend Patience.

Materials Used

  • Graphite Pencils 2H, 2B, 5B, 8B
  • Tortillion
  • Paint brush


2 Hours off and on


Patience T.


Max’s First Portrait – Animal Drawing


Original Photo Used for Max's Sketch
Original Photo Used for Max’s Sketch
Max Portrait
My First drawing of our cat Max.

I was at the Mall one day in Salisbury, while my Fiance then, and wife now was shopping for some clothing and gifts.  So I decided to attempt to draw our cat Max from a photograph my wife took.  I sat down by the water fountains and started to draw.  I went into full tunnel concentration mode.  Totally zoned out, unaware of time and my surroundings.  It was a very relaxing and meditative feeling.

I based the drawing on a photo of Max sleeping that my wife took and posted on her Facebook page, so my reference photo was on my iPhone 5s.  If you own an iPhone you are fully aware of how small the screen is.  On top of the screen being small, the phone has a power saving mode, which would kick on every few minutes.  This made it kinda difficult to concentrate.  Although it does help with increasing your ability to remember details of an object better.

Animal Drawing of our Cat and Max Approval
My cat max approving of his drawing, or maybe adding the final touch.

The funny thing is that as the sketch started to look more like a cat, my nerves started to really act up.  This is because, of how nice the drawing was turning out.  I was afraid of making a huge mistake and have to start over.  My hands were pretty clammy and my anxiety was soaring.  I was very heavy handed with the shading and using 5B-8B pencils, instead of using a 2H for granular details.

I was very happy that it looked like a cat at the end.  I was worried that I was going to get lead poisoning from all the graphite I was adding to the drawing.

Supplies used and time

  • Graphite Pencils Grade 5B-8B for shading.
  • Graphite Pencil Grade 2B used for main outlined sketch
  • Tortillion
  • Sketchbook