Skip to content

currently reading


Slowly reading Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci so I’ve been filling up my sketchbook with words instead of drawings.

I’m only 39 or so pages in, but most fascinating so far is Leonardo’s ‘mirror writing.’

Up until now I had considered his mirror writing a mystical facet of his ‘genius,’ however, Isaacson has completely demystified it for me.

The technique was merely a way for lefthanders to keep their hand from smearing the ink as they drew letters across the page.

Isaacson even mentions that there’s a 15th century calligraphy book that teaches lefthanded writers the technique.


notes on vertigo


Vertigo is such a strange film. I think its easy to forget how strange it is because it shows up on so many best of lists.

Vertigo must be Hitchcock’s most dreamlike film, particularly when Jimmy Stewart’s Scottie, is tracking Kim Novak’s Madeline through the city.

And once Scottie runs into Judy, the movie completely jettisons the mystery at the center of the narrative and focuses solely on Scottie’s obsession with Madeline, made even creepier by the age difference between Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.

The film is made even creepier by watching Jimmy Stewart behave so obsessively.

inktober retrospective


turns out watson was irene adler the whole time. day 31 ‘masks’ alternate drawing


Inktober is over. Time to look back through the month and see what I can do better.

The Bad

Brush pen skills didn’t really improve over the course of the the month, but my confidence in using them did.

The first day may have had some of the best linework. I like the delicate line that my timidity with the brush pen gave me, but as my confidence grew over the course of the month I was soon just slapping down the ink.

Day 2 was one of my lowest points in inktober. Watson’s gesture is so stiff and awkward and his arms are too long.

Day 14 was a missed opportunity. The original idea was to recreate the cabinet photograph of Irene Adler that Sherlock took as payment for working on the case, but the result is boring. My idea was that Irene Adler (I found inspiration in photos of Helena Bonham Carter, which you can see more of in the above sketch), was fierce, and I did nothing to capture that fierceness.

The Good

A shift occurred for me on day 4. I spent more time designing the page, using the shape of the paper to help tell the story. Black areas became vital. Day 20 took those ideas to an extreme and was a lot of fun from a design standpoint.

Day 5 and 7 were strong, but 6 is one of my favorites. The design just works. It is one of the few Inktober 2017 drawings I am proud of. It also freed me up imagination-wise. If Sherlock Holmes could find the Sword in the Stone, why couldn’t he also deal with Martians or giant robots?


Day 11 and 12 aren’t great drawings, but I felt like they do capture the poses.

Attempting a Robert Downey Jr/Guy Ritchie inspired Basil of Baker St on day 26 had me paying closer attention to costume design and attempting to capture some of those textures helped give the drawing some richness, and it was the last drawing of the month that I felt great about.

Though I’ve done inktobers in the past, this was the first inktober that I managed to do a drawing every day, and it made all the difference. Having a daily deadline forced me to do the drawing rather than worrying about doing the drawing. Maybe that’s the most important thing.