Season’s Greetings🎄

With much love from Nonso’s world down to the adorable Groguverse, a merry and blissful Christmas to you and your household. Cheers🥂.

Cheemnonso

Freckled Smile. (Sketch)

Sketchbook: Bienfang Bristol Vellum paper

Media: STÆDTLER Graphite pencils

As a developing artist in portraiture, I have always wondered what an ideal and challenging reference portrait would entail. Could it be an elderly face where the mien is calm as the sea, and its wrinkles are like estuaries of flowing grace, or could it be the face of an adorable child with dimples that could entomb and smother likes of the Great Depression? The truth is, nothing is ever ideal, but my recent reference portrait is just as close as one can get. The partial eye squints, subtle wrinkles, freckles, dimples, smile connecting bulging cheeks, and pigtails, capture what I believe would be an artist’s dream in terms of realism studies, and trust me, it didn’t disappoint in difficulty given the challenging circumstances.

For this drawing, I had to make use of graphite pencils and Bristol vellum paper, as I did for my Bristol Baby sketch, but this was with a telling twist. I came across several YouTube tutorials that suggested that the back of a Bristol vellum paper is the most ideal for drawings as it is coarser and has more tooth which any preferred medium would love to cling onto, so, I decided to give this a try. However, this proved frustrating early on as it required lots of graphite layers to fill the coarse regions of the paper, and therefore translated to more hours of drawing compared to my Bristol Baby sketch. Hopes and smiles I had of drawing this portrait had become spotted, hence the figurative name of this blog post. It ultimately turned out to be the test of my patience levels in art, and you should have witnessed the sigh of relief I gave off when I completed the drawing; Phew! I was pleased with the final portrait at long last, and to be honest, I could not care less about how tedious the means to the drawing was, as long as it is justified in the end.

Notwithstanding though, feel free to use this surface for your artworks, and do let me know of your experiences.

Cheemnonso

The Macaw’s Perch. (Sketch)

Sketchbook: Arteza Drawing pad (80lb)

Media: Arteza Coloured pencils, 3B Graphite

Inspired by a lot of talented artists lately, I finally decided to have my first animal study (a very brief break from portraiture), and it’s no other than my favorite poetic bird; Macaws, particularly, the Scarlet Macaw. If you’re conversant with my works, you’d discover I’ve used her reference in some poems of mine including The Spree, The Parade and most recently in The Beauts, and these I really enjoyed writing.

What I particularly love about this bird is how her plumage exudes different colours, so much that one could sense rainbows getting jealous. Sadly though, blending these colors could actually prove difficult as colour segue could take time to be properly administered on the sketch.

However, I’m okay with how this drawing turned out and I look forward to hearing your favourite bird and how it rivals a Macaw’s beauty (Still undisputed though).

Cheemnonso

Coloured Conceptions

Sketchbook: Arteza Drawing pad (80lb)

Media: Black Widow colour pencils.

In coloured portrait realism, one common misconception amongst budding artists is that the more expensive the pencils used, the better the artworks. Well, that may be true in some cases, especially in the grip of professionals; however, for beginners, several factors come to play like patience, tone/depth understanding and also the art of gradations. The truth is, every artist has that wand of a pencil that seem to bend to his/her will and create magical art pieces. I mean, I’ve seen excellent artworks completed with Crayola pencils that could rival those completed with Caran D’ache luminance pencils; hence, it’s not just a matter of the pencils, but, the dexterity of the artist.
However, I’ve been exploring mediums lately to find suitable colour pencil sets for portraits. On my quest, I eventually crossed paths with this Black Widow colour pencils, which I used to portray the innocence of this child. Initially, I had a creepy feeling towards the pencil set, considering its name, but I gradually grew fond of it (nothing to worry about for arachnophobes). I particularly liked the dark skin tone variant, as it provided lots of vibrant colours to layer and blend. The pencils generally proved promising and have been included in my list of dependable pencils for portrait drawing.
Are there any other pencils you know of that is not part of the mainstream media and has presented excellent results for you? Do let me know and who knows, it could be my one and only.

Cheemnonso

Hued Inceptions. (Sketch)

Sunday Sketchbook: ARTEZA Drawing pad

Media: ARTEZA Coloured pencils

Inspired by my last post, I decided to make my first portrait sketch in coloured pencils after dabbling in graphite pencils for a while now; and I must say, it felt good; even though it took quite some time to complete than those previously sketched with graphite pencils.

Given the unlimited shades of hue, sketching in coloured pencils could prove daunting when one tries to blend several colours, just to match the right skin tones, capture the golden mesh of a lass’s tress or portray the azure eyes of an adorable child; and if the artist isn’t ready for PATIENCE 101, he or she could easily be dispirited. But, I’m glad that wasn’t the case here, and also happy to see the drawing to its reasonable completion.

With this, I’m ready to introduce the newest member of the dry media family (Coloured Pencils), hoping she, alongside graphite pencils will be my knights in shining armor when new shading challenges come forth, particularly in these troubling days that needs a lot to keep sane.

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Cheemnonso™

Billie. (Sketch)

Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 8

My recent reference for portrait sketching is a lady who has proved that no one is ever too young to attain the greatest heights of success, thus, making her a source of inspiration to teenagers all over the world.

For the upcoming 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony slated for the 26th of January, 2020, she has bagged an impressive haul of six nominations, including the big four categories (Album, Record, Song and Best New Artist of the year), making her the youngest person in history to do so in the same year. She may as well be the youngest to win them all at once, who knows??

She, for me, has been the best prodigy to break out in the music industry since Lorde, not just for reanimating the sleeping ears of goth pop fans around the world, but for the impact she imparts with her music.

So, without much fuss, here’s my somewhat botchy sketch of the 21st century born, Billie Eilish.

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Cheemnonso

The Gift. (Sketch)

So it’s Christmas, yay! A season where the atmosphere brims with joy and the love is so palpable. As it would be, this day happens to celebrate the birth of some special people including baby Jesus and guess who, (whispers) my brother.

After drawing my sister a few months ago, I had to make a promise of sketching him before his birthday; I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a pencil depiction of someone celebrated by the whole world.

I’m very happy to have finished this sketch before the year runs out, as it means I’ve completed the sketches of the best things that happened to me this decade.

So with this, I’d like to say happy birthday brother and a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Cheemnonso

The Bow Baby. (Sketch)

Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 6

Here’s a sketch of this cute baby I came across while scrolling through Pinterest just the other day.

Immediately I saw her, I began to imagine the quirky world babies immerse themselves in. A world where tantrums aren’t ignored but cared for. A world where one could wear a smile for days and not think much about its laundry. A world where everyone’s so eager to hear the first words of your story. A world where there’s no deriding of one’s incessant mistakes but always a helping hand. Simply put, a world without worries; at least I think.

What most will give to be in this version of the world every moment.

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Cheemnonso

Inktober – Day 28. (Ride)

Inktober has turned out to be a fun-filled movement every artist would love to be part of, and because of this, I’ll be responding to a prompt or two before it finally draws the curtain in the coming days, starting with this.

Without further ado, here’s my little sketch depicting two famous best buddies embarking on one of their silly joyrides.

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Cheemnonso

Pennywise. (Sketch)

Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 5

Pennywise is back!! The ever eerie clown from the movie IT, adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same title, just released its Chapter Two (Its third cinema adaptation) some days back and it promises to be one to send shivers down enthused audiences’ spines.

Before its 2017 release (IT: Chapter one), I had seen a lot of horror movies, so much that the horror genre of movies actually became my favorite due to its unwavering thrills and sometimes, gore, but I hadn’t quite seen one which centered on a terrifying clown preying on the fears of little children. I very well enjoyed the movie, so well that I became enamored with clowns (Coulrophobes will find this strange) and made my very first attempt at Pennywise sketching.

The role Pennywise plays in IT can also be related to pencil artistry. Pennywise can be seen as that aura of darkness smeared in graphite, while the little children can be viewed as budding artists. As budding artists, we’re scared of delving darker in any of our drawings with the thought that we may end up ruining our art piece, so, we instead, use light shades on our sketches, just to be on a safer side.

The use of dark shades and shadows with a mixture of good highlighting and mid-tones, tend to give form and depth to drawings, hence, making them pop out of our canvasses. This is one fear I’m still particularly struggling to overcome in pencil realism, but we all know what happens to Pennywise at the end of the story.

So, without further ado, here’s my recent attempt of the ominous clown, Pennywise. You’ll float too🎈.

Cheemnonso

Ugochi. (Sketch)

Sunday Strathmore Sketchbook – Page 4

Over the course of last fourteen months , I’ve had three drawings of my baby sister, who, by the way, happens to celebrate her birthday today. Woo hoo!

With her beguiling smile, charm and a little bit of petulance, she was able to lure me into this recent drawing of her, which I very much enjoyed to say the least. She has also been one of my dynamic references who I can actually attribute her real time growth to my artistic growth, so, I can’t thank her enough.

After attempts one and two, I’m quite tempted to say that “the third time’s the charm”, but looking back at it, I can only be amazed at the progress from each of them, hoping for more development in the coming years.

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Cheemnonso

Strange thoughts. (Sketch)

Page 1 of my Strathmore Sketch pad.

Here’s my recent attempt on El (Millie Bobby Brown) from the Netflix original series, Stranger Things.

Upon the completion of this drawing, I conceived some thoughts on artistry, particularly pencil drawing:

•I’d like to think drawing as the portal between two worlds: our world and oblivion, where the artist is its gatekeeper and his/her media, the keys.

•I’d like to think artists as those who not only possess the deftness of visualization, but also the ability to percept ultrasonic screeches from entities stuck and forgotten within the walls of blank canvases, waiting to be let out. Strange.

•I’d also like to think a pencil artist as a “compassionate sorcerer” who with the subtle strokes of his/her wand and the seething darkness spewing from its tip, conjures up his/her deepest epiphanies from a clean slate. Dark magic, huh.

•I’d finally like to think that just like alpha numerics, drawing should be learned and not necessarily inherent, thus, all humans are artists, making us gods of some sort from the aforementioned thoughts. Hence, before that bob start clanking repeatedly on our aluminium coated mindscapes, yelling, “I’m not talented, so I can’t draw; or I’ll never reach the levels of elite artists”, remember that not all Greek gods reside at the summit of Mount Olympus, not even the nine Muses; but we budding artists can only strive to get there.

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Cheemnonso

Villanelle. (Sketch)

Page 5 of my sketchbook.

Over the years,some stone cold female assassins have graced our TV screens including Mystique, Nikita, Talia Al’ Ghul, Elektra, Jane Smith and even Arya Stark, but none caught my eyes the way Oksana Astankova does. Her mecuriality, charisma, femininity and scathing sense of humor makes psychopathy seem charming and fun. She is truly one enigmatic and exuberant serial killer portrayed by Jodie Comer brilliantly.

So, here’s my sketch of Villanelle from the amazing TV series, Killing Eve.

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Cheemnonso

Jenny. (Sketch)

Page 4 of my sketchbook

After my camaraderie with HB pencils, I decided to get a graphite pencil set ranging from hard to soft grades (2H – 8B) in order for me to plumb the depths of sketching and shading. To be honest, having a wide range of pencil grades to choose from, seem to ease the attainment of value and depth in portrait drawings.

So without further ado, here’s my recent stop, Jenny, on my progressive artistic journey.

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Cheemnonso

Dany. (Sketch)

Page 3 of my sketchbook.

At long last, the totally absorbing series, Game of Thrones, drew its curtains after eight fantastic seasons albeit a somewhat drab series finale.

Nonetheless, here’s my sketchy tribute to Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, The rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Queen of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons,regent of the realm.

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Cheemnonso

Ralph and Vanellope. (Sketch)

Page 2 of my sketchbook

Last year, the world witnessed some wonderful animated movies including Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Isle of Dogs, The Incredibles 2, Smallfoot, The Grinch, Mirai and the likes, but, one that particularly stood out for me was Ralph Breaks the Internet. The way its plot relayed the real world social media to an in-game fantasy sphere was second to none.

So, here’s my portrayal of its protagonists (Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz) in HB.

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Cheemnonso™

Baby Steps to Realism

Page 1 of my sketchbook:

It’s been a while since I sketched something, so, I got hold of this sketchbook and a couple pencils, then decided to portray Arya from the Game of Thrones series.

Still off by a long shot, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let’s see where these baby steps to realism lead and how many souls I’ll draw out from the walls of these blank pages.
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Cheemnonso

Happy Birthday

That moment when the hands of time stood still,

beknownst to me, a salient star is born,

brimming with joy from her head to her heel,

in a world prepossesed in angst and scorn;

I saw her for who she was to become,

not even a single sane soul could compare,

with her beauty rendering Aphrodite numb,

and her mien as cold as Medussa’s stare;

Fifteen seeds festooned in her garden by God,

fifteen years it took the first to germinate,

umpteen fruits harvested from thy first pod,

umpteen souls her Midas touch will make sate;

Really pleased blood strangled us with its ties,

leaving us with good times and not goodbyes.

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Cheemnonso ✍️✍️