Determined: It's Been Ross-y Lately

So, in my last post about my sketchbook adventures, I talked about the journey of learning to draw, and you may have gotten a taste for why a certain coffee cup is gaining a place in my life. Well, I've made a little progress since then. I finished the second coffee cup, and started in on the third. Then, I found myself distracted by other projects, and my sketchbook and I went on a break.

The second one had excellent tonal values in the cup and handle, but the foam in the cup was still a little out of perspective. The top rim is a little messy, but I'm getting a handle on the cup. (HA!) The cup looks like something I could pick up, so there's more tangible value to it, but the latte (caramel, in case you were wondering) does not look drinkable. Here's how the second one turned out.

Finished second cup.

The third one is very dark because I did a lot with my 7B-9B, as well as my 9H. The 9H is great for laying down the structural lines, because they need to be able to disappear easily. When you see too many clearly defined lines, it starts to lose its realism.

The foam in the coffee is more accurate in terms of perspective, but the curves could be a little more dramatic and more graceful. I need to fix the highlight on the side of the cup so it doesn't look like it's curving out. On the next iteration, I should leave the 8 and 9B's alone. The side of the cup is far to dark and doesn't have nearly enough tonal variation. In order to bring out the whites in the milk, I think I'm going to use white colored pencil to brighten it up a bit. I think my big struggle came when I thought the super-soft graphite was a great idea. That's the whole point of this, though—to learn!

Unfinished third iteration.

The next endeavor of mine (after I get tired of this coffee cup) is to study the illustrative styles of a good friend of mine. He's a talented illustrator, a podcaster, and a fantastic person. You can see and appreciate his work here and here.