Evolution of a Drawing


“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing.” – David Hockney

Earlier this summer, my friend asked me if I would do a drawing for an auction to raise funds for her neighborhood swim team.  This was technically my first “commission”, so I was nervous that I would not meet her expectations. But since Stacie and I have a strong connection to that pool (we used to belong to that club, and we have a lot of friends who still do), I agreed to give it a shot.

I don’t normally take pictures of a drawing as I am working on it, but I wanted my friend to understand what I was creating, so I sent her these updates as I worked through the drawing.  And since I saved the photos, I figured I would share them here, as some of you may be interested in the steps I took to create this drawing.

To make sure I had the basic building blocks and the correct proportions, I started with an outline using a 2H pencil.  So far, so good.

Then I drew over the pencil with a Pigma Micron 005 black ink pen.  At this point, I was feeling confident that the drawing was on the right track.

image-2Okay, the ink is largely complete.  Do I really need to add color? This is looking pretty good as a black and white.  What if I screw up the color now?  Alright, fine – time for color.

image-3The sky – never easy to capture the sky, but since it’s mostly blue and cloudless during the summer at the pool, that’s the impression I went for.

image-4Now for the water – Tombow markers with a wash.  There was major potential for mistakes, but I like how the wash made the water look like water.  Do I really need to paint the trees?  Aaaah, the color green – Nature’s delight, but an artist’s burden.


I played around with some different shades of green, stole some techniques from Pete Scully, and finished the trees.  I wanted to keep the drawing airy and light, but at this stage, the drawing still looks flat.

image-7So, I added some black ink to the palm trees to give them more contrast.  And to complete the drawing, I drew Kermit and the Woodlands flag on the shed.  Done.

A big thanks to my friend, Angie, for asking me to do this drawing, and for taking all of the source photos.  It was a team effort.  Go Woodlands!

P.S. Since I haven’t yet convinced Stacie that we desperately need an artist’s drafting table in our back room, I sometimes take over our dining room table.  This is what my creative process really looks like.
image desk

P.P.S. This is my 100th post.  I was feeling rather proud that I was about to write my 100th post until I remembered that Seth Godin recently published his 5,000th post.  I could say that quality trumps quantity, but Seth Godin’s stuff is really good (albeit unrelated to sketching or art).  Nevertheless, thank you for visiting The Hipping Post, particularly to those of you who have stayed tuned through two years of my evolving experiment.  There’s more to come – so please stick around.

6 responses to “Evolution of a Drawing

  1. Doug, this is so special. I l feel honored to be the first (of many) people who will ask you to create a memory that they will cherish forever. I loved the piece so much that I was the one who purchased it. Thanks you for a beautiful piece of art and a memory of our kids swim team that will last forever.

  2. This step by step is very interesting! Thank you for sharing this process. Its a great insight ! -Laura F. Vasquez

  3. I love your blog! Thanks for helping me find my creativity again after 10 years of commercial design without judgment 🙂 I really appreciate your thoughts on processes and creative thought. Great work!

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