Sketching in Pen

I have, in fact, been around and drawing lately, getting supplies and references together, as well as learning from books and other references.  Particularly, I am looking at a method of sketching called Dynamic Sketching, and so far, this is my result page.  Other than starting list after list of reference for my studio, this is what I’ve been doing with my life.


Each sketch is really, really fast.  Like 5-10 minutes tops.  That may sound long, but it’s not, not to get a semi-accurate, instantly readable sketch.  This has been really great to learn.  Here is a look at some of the steps it took to get here.



^ Yes, that’s a pasted T rex.  There is also an Aurora Optima Sole Mio pasted somewhere in my sketchbook to remind me of what I want 😀


Thanks for reading!


What I do in my Spare Time – Daily Portrait Art Tips by K.L. Britton Los Angeles

Every now and then I get an idea that I want to do a painting that challenges me.  Sometimes it’s a still life, sometimes a figure, sometimes a portrait, and I know it’s going to take a bit longer to get everything in the right place than usual.  One such is this portrait.

When we paint someone or something we know, we tend to fill in the blanks or make guesses based on what we “know” about that person or thing.  For example, I could say I know that this portrait’s eyebrows go at an upward angle with little curve, however when we’re painting or drawing, it’s really essential to let go of all of those pre-conceived notions.  While you may think oranges are round, they’re a series of angles that form a not-perfectly-circular form.

For these kinds of challenges, where I know in advance I will be possibly messing up – I do a sketch.  This isn’t really a “drawing” drawing, it’s more of a quick idea with only as much detail as I need to figure out what challenges I will face when I actually paint.  In this case, I had started the face too wide, the shadows too far from the center of the face.  It’s these kinds of mistakes I would run into when painting, but at that time I may not be able to put my finger on what’s wrong.  Since drawing is the foundation of painting, it’s always best to start with a sketch to check your idea.  Figure out what bothers you before you’ve invested a day into an under-sketch.  Then fix it, and remember to keep an eye on it when painting.  It makes the process much faster!

How to Draw Portraits art tips by contemporary artist K.L. Britton

Here you can see my lay in.  I already corrected the eye on the left that went out too far.

How to Draw Portraits art tips by contemporary artist K.L. Britton

You can see some of the issues have been corrected here – the right (our right, his left!) part of the face has been moved in, the eyes have been corrected, even the nose’s bottom has moved up quite a bit.  All of these are things I’ll look for when I paint.

How to Draw Portraits art tips by contemporary artist K.L. Britton

Here I’ve made several more adjustments.  I’ll probably keep working on this sketch just for fun, but for now, it’s shown me what I need to look out for in the future.

Thank you for reading!

In the Wise Words of DJ Khaled – Another One

Los Angeles Gallery of art artist K.L. Britton Bouguereau study

Graphite Study of Bouguereau painting featured in the digital study I did in an earlier post.

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Gallery of Art Oil on Linen 20x20

This one is for sale – I believe it’s 20×20, and here I really had a great time putting the ground on.  You can see the beautiful crackle of paint in the background.  Another thing I love to do is put those colour bursts in the core shadows.  Mmmm.

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This was my first pastel.  I like pastel, but don’t love it.  I think pastel can indicate landscapes in an incredible way, I admire deeply those who have skill with it (but it’s certainly not me!)  I would like to use it more often and learn it.  Very fun.

Los Angeles Gallery of Art Artist K.L. Britton Gouache

My Gouache on moleskine study from quite a while ago.  I’m surprised this one didn’t get posted.  It was 36 degrees outside when I sketched this and I couldn’t use gloves for some reason.  My hand was killing me by the time I was satisfied.  Good times.  I loved Philly!  Probably not as much as I love L.A.

Tattoo Shop Special – K.L. Britton +Drawing Tips

In case you missed it, I spent six months apprenticing with Isaac Newman, now of La Cosa Nostra Ink, formerly at Art District Tattoo in North Hollywood.  I learned how to tattoo, starting with the basics, setting up, taking down, and hygiene.  There’s nothing more important than being meticulous about avoiding cross contamination.  I did lots of tattoos, some bad, some great, some took hours, some took minutes.  I loved it.  It’s a new medium I am very interested in.  Added bonus: Painting and drawing when the customers are light is completely expected.  I had a great time, experienced a really wild life, and can’t thank the incredibly talented Isaac enough for the opportunity.  I’m sure there’s some wild stories to tell, they’ll have to wait til later.

K.L. Britton floral painting Modern Art

Peony, Digital study (when I first got my ipad pro!)

Digital Drawing tip #1

My focus on this piece was to really think about broad, loose shapes that would still slightly indicate my subject.  I tend to get pretty interested in details and this occasionally leads me to miss those larger, more important shapes.  One advantage of using the ipad and Procreate is that I can “click out” of the picture – the digital version of stepping back.  When I click out it’s easy to see if the thumbnail makes sense.  If there is a huge drawing error, I can correct it.  We always say it’s very important to use a mirror to see your drawing errors, or to walk away and look at your painting from afar, and I can’t emphasize this enough.  With digital, it’s even easier.  Just check your thumbnail.

Another advantage of this method is that you can do several quick sketches and see them together.  When you see them, it’s easy to understand where you went wrong (or right) in the drawings time and time again, so when you’re putting your pen, pencil, or paint down, you can be ready to avoid or correct those errors in advance.  It makes you a better artist over all when you know what your problems are.

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I was challenged to do a very good portrait in under an hour 😀  This is one that I have painted before, if you recognize it 😉

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I liked to keep this one at my station 😉

Thanks for reading!

Art dump Round 4

Los Angeles Gallery of Art Artist K.L. Britton

Digital again, a portrait.  I love to experiment with styles and not have to worry about anything.  Digital gives me a lot of freedom in that way.

Los Angeles Gallery of Art Artist K.L. Britton Portrait

A quick alla prima, oil on panel, 11×14, of one of my most inspiring muses.

K.L. Britton Bargue Study

Bargue Study in an Ogami Paper sketchbook.  I dig the ogami paper for acrylics, but found it didn’t work as well with watercolour, etc, and doesn’t take fountain pens at all.  I am a fountain pen addict… so that doesn’t bode well.

Bonus: Acrylic study on ogami paper:

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Gone digital – Updates Round Three (fight!)

Many of my recent works, due to moves and other hindrances, have been digital works.  Here are just a small selection of my recent sketches.  These are all done on the ipad prowith the Apple pencil.  I enjoy it almost as much as Wacom – there is just a hint of lag that differentiates the two, but it’s not enough to bother me.


A study of a Sargent study 😉

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Artist Gallery of Art digital study

A study of the Bouguereau at the Getty Center.  My favorite piece in the museum, and a stunning, rich display of light and perfect drawing.  What a master.  We can all nearn a lot from him.

Updates Round 2/10

K.L. Britton art Los Angeles paintings 18x24 oil on linen

I know you guys saw this one in progress from sketch to underpainting.  Here she is in her finished glory.  This is a huge painting, over 18″x24″ Oil on linen

K.L. Britton art Keighsie digital art Los Angeles paintings

In digital sketches like these, I can see how I have developed a maturity in my drawing.  I pay a lot more attention to accuracy than I used to, and put my love for funky colour drops as a secondary plan.  This is what the last couple years have helped me develop.


Another digital sketch, a copy of a Bouguereau hand.  Very interesting to look so closely at his decisions when he was painting and drawing.  Things like the fact the fingernail is the same value and hue range as the finger, but there is just that subtle dip line and highlight that help indicate the different texture and communicates the fingernail.