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PENCIL: Muscle and Anatomy Study

How is everybody doing? I’d like to share my pencil sketches of the human muscle system with you today. Last week I shared my skeleton study and now it’s time to add some flesh to those bones!

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The point of this exercise was to practice drawing the muscle system so I cheated a bit by taping some A4 paper to my TV and traced the contour lines of this guy running.

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If you’d like to do the same, you can print out this contour drawing, tape some paper to your TV and trace over my tracing, or sketch the contour lines of some other person.

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I did a Google image search for “side view of arm muscles”, “inside view of leg muscles”, and “inside view of arm muscles” for reference. Leonardo Da Vinci had dissected over 30 dead bodies to gain his understanding of human anatomy. Thank God we don’t have to do the same. Only doctors will get every muscle exactly right so don’t worry about getting everything 100% perfect. You just want to practice thinking about the human figure under the skin.

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I remember trying to get all fit and ripped at the gym when I was young, but the skin really hides a lot of the muscles. I didn’t realize until doing this sketch that the ab muscles need to be separated a bit.

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If you don’t want to be a cheating tracer like me, but still need some help getting your contour lines correct, you can draw a grid over your subject and then the same grid for your drawing.

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Thanks for reading about my muscle sketches today. I hope that you found this useful or entertaining. Have a great day and never quit drawing!

My Collection of SPLINTERLANDS Sketches

I wish I could go back in time and start this game when it launched. Some of the reward cards I thought were junk a few years ago are worth a lot now. I really regret selling this card, but I’m happy I drew it. The pencil on paper looked OK, but the blur tool in Procreate on iPad plus some technical pen really made this sketch look sharp. This was my first SPLINTERLANDS inspired sketch.

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I’m a master deletor. I delete everything unless it has some emotional significance or looks really cool. I couldn’t find the finished digital version of this one, but I see why this one survived the delete button. I drew this right before covid-1984 came along.

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I love drawing hair. Looking back on this I think of how I would’ve done it better, or made it into a GIF, but I just figured out how to animate drawings in Procreate this month. I know a lot of people think that Elon Musk’s Neurolink is some creepy mark of the beast 1984 thing, but I think it would be really great for artists who can just sit down and think about their digital paintings and see them created from the power of thought on a screen. Maybe this sexy witch made me say that.

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I’m broke. I don’t have any money. I don’t have a job. Just like everybody else, this COVID-1984 ruined my life. I’ve had to sell most of my cards, but not this one. It’s a true SPLINTERLANDS keeper in my opinion.

I always give my own nickname to my cards, but Spirit of the Forest is perfect. This is a real star card when you MAX it out. When I got the stimulus I put it all into SPLINTERLANDS cards. I maxed all the BETA summoners and a few key cards including this one.

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I spent all day drawing this and was really bummed out it only made ten cents. Maybe that’s why I quit drawing SPLINTERLANDS cards. After all this time I know you shouldn’t get bummed when a good post earns nothing, you should forget it and move on, but it honestly does affect my motivation to continue with some things here. I think I’ve got one more SPLINTERLANDS inspired sketch in me. What do you think would be a cool one to draw? Thanks for checking out my drawings today. Get in the game!

Leonardo in Red

Some of you may be saying, Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t Leonardo have a blue bandana? He does now, but in the original comics, all the turtles wore red bandanas.

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See? Here is TMNT #4 where I got the source to this Leo sketch. The turtles started off a bit dark and got more kiddy over time. It was the opposite experience for the Harry Potter generation. They got to grow and mature with their favorite characters.

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I originally sketched this with colored pencils.

I’m glad I scanned all my art and saved everything to Google Drive a long time ago. I was able to clean this up with Procreate nicely. Thanks for checking our my Leo sketch today. Who was your favorite turtle?

PENCIL: Sacred Unicorn

This is my favorite Splinterlands Card and my students wanted to draw again, so we drew without cheating by tracing with the iPad Pro or projector.

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We used our phones to find some inspiration.

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It was getting dark so, I sketched the outline quickly. It wasn’t exactly like the source, but none of my students noticed.

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Once I got the outline and some of the unicorn’s mane, I was able to shut the screen off and add my own style. If you want to straight up cheat and trace drawings with the big iPad, that’s easy, but it works great as a smooth sketching surface and for holding A4 papers with the cover shut. I honestly don’t like Apple as a company, but I absolutely love the iPad Pro.

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I taught everyone how to use Qtips to blend pencil. I made a black spot for collecting the lead at different shades. The paper it was on served as a protector from my dirty hand too.

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My students didn’t spend as much time on their drawings as I did. When I was a kid, older people complained that we had short attention spans. It seems like things have gotten worse, but who knows?

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All the smudges were easy to clean up in Procreate.

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I gave the unicorn my style of eyes and hair for the mane. It’s been fun drawing again. Thank you for this great community where we can share our life, art, and thoughts together. If it weren’t for this blog, I doubt I would’ve ever started drawing again.

PENCIL: Marilyn Monroe


This photo of Norma Jeane isn’t well known and it looks perfect for converting to my favorite medium, pencil.

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I got the photo from Wikipedia, but I really enjoyed reading the Everipedia article.

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America is different than other countries for stars. It was supposed to be a career ending controversy that she posed in nude photos before being an actress, but it just made more people watch her movies which earned two billion dollars in today’s money.

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The stage name, Marilyn Monroe came from Broadway star, Marilyn Miller, and her mother’s maiden name.

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The authorities ruled her death a suicide and twice as many people followed her and did the same in the city that month.

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She actually caused the suicide rate to double in the City of Angels.

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I’ve been told that if you kill yourself, that your children are seven times as likely to do the same.

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What if she didn’t kill herself at all and many people ended their lives because of fake news?

Audrey Hepburn

I’ve always wanted to draw her, but didn’t get around to it until today.

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I got this photo from her Facebook page. Isn’t it weird dead people having Facebook?

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I wasn’t sure it looked like her at all yet.

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It still looks off.

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I decided to start giving details to the eyes. If I couldn’t get them right, I was going to scrap the whole thing.

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I like drawing black hair. It’s easier than other colors.

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A little technical pen helped bring out the important dark spots like the eyes, nostrils, and hair.

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Thanks for checking out my sketch. Have a great day!