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New Sketch Pages


These were done recently between the poking and prodding and ekg-ing I received at Emory.

Comments (7)


A word of warning John. NEVER be the last patient on a Friday afternoon for an EKG stress test. Unless you like a 'warm up phase' where you go from 0 to 30mph in 30 seconds or less. :(


I'm happy/relieved there's a new post. I've been checking in more frequently than usual--kind of my way of "making sure that John is doing OK." ("I need a life"--now tell me something I don't know.)

The one at the bottom left reminds me of one John did years ago--differences I can remember (1) the other one is tall & narrow, (2) the other one has a color background, & (3) the other one has the figure holding an umbrella.

That one makes me think of the beginning of "You'll Never Walk Alone" & one of the verses of Jimmy Rodger's (also sung by Elvis) "It's Over" (So I turn my back & turn my collar to the wind move along in silence trying not to think at all...)--it's about an intense love that became unrequited--I'm not making any dark reference.

JOHN--about how many pencils did you use for these 3 pages?

John Cox:

Hey T

Just a thick piece of graphite set in a large mechanical pencil. I can get much detail using a smaller eraser.

Steve M:

Whoah! Looks like you are right back on track. Love the mysterious hat guy.


I should have known the amazing stuff one can learn when he reads, but I'd never given "lead" hardness much thought--"A pencil is a pencil"--WRONG!

Put 4B & 6B in a couple of my old "holders" (drafting days leftovers) this afternoon. Only 30 minutes, & what a difference. Still have to initially define shapes with faint lines from a 0.3 mm 4H "clicker" (my old prelim "design/solution" pencil) for now, though (less to erase & saves graphite).

Thanks John.


Most excellent. THAT'S how graphite drawings attain all that detail; 2H for light sketching, 2B for darken shadows and establishing final lines, 4B for darkest details.

You may have noticed the last page had a section of smeary graphite on the right. That's how I start my sketches. I'll shape a figure into a silhouette with a fine eraser, then I'll fill that shape with appropriate shadows. Lastly I erase the highlights and add some final details with a 2B pencil.


I eventually learned about lead diameter & hardness, but when it came to freehand drawing, I never thought about it. It's just something I did as a kid to pass time (mainly to alleviate boredom until the bell rang). I used to paint the same way.

Hmmm. I just realized something. The only way past boredom for the vast majority of human endeavors is to endure through tedium. Don't let tedium kill curiosity.

I think I might be cured, Dr. Cox.


John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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