We returned from Romania a few weeks back. Our goal is to go there every year.

Beautiful place. Beautiful people. And the people there know how to enjoy life.

We work too much in the States. When I grew up, I remember “work hard, play hard.” I still hear people say that occasionally but when I actually ask them “when was the last time you played hard?,” I get crickets.

Romanians on the other hand make a fraction of what Americans make, but in their time off, they let it all out. You’ll hear music going on past midnight every night on their beaches. Loud music.

Then you go to see what the music is. You’ll find people actually dancing. Busting loose.

We stayed at a family resort because our friends there have families. And the whole family would go to the dance floor and dance. Not just the grown ups.

You’ll see kids dance. Actually enjoying dancing, not just doing it to be in with their parents.

Then after we got back to Texas, we had a visitor. Allie, my first art model.

It was awesome seeing her and her family again. They’re good people.

Anyways, we did several photoshoots and drawing sessions.

I draw everything. Sometimes I go to the park with a drawing pad and pencils and just draw. But my favorite subject of course are my models. It was great to draw Allie live again.

Choose wisely to what you let in

You may have heard the saying recently to choose wisely to what you let into your life. For instance, if you watch nothing but movies where the main character kills himself in a horrible way, how do you think that will affect you?

Keep track of what you put into your body too. Are you eating healthy food? Or complete garbage? Yes, it matters. After all, you are what you eat, right?

More importantly, if all your friends are toxic, how do you think they will affect you?

On the other hand, if all your friends are going places and truly enjoying life, you’ll have a better life.

You don’t have to be happy happy joy joy all the time but choose wisely what you let into your life.

The same applies to art. I don’t draw mountains of garbage or decaying bodies. If that’s your thing, more power to you. But I have strict standards for my models and when I draw anything outdoors related, I’m picking beautiful flowers, beautiful birds, beautiful trees, beautiful backdrops.

I’m also keeping higher standards to whom I allow into my life.

If someone is negative all the time, whines all day, totally ungrateful, I cut him off.

And now for some good news, after we got back, Allie and her family came over. Just in case this is the first article you’ve read from this blog, Allie was my first model in 2018. She’s the one who convinced me to switch from cartooning to art after drawing her with colored pencils. She noticed I had both a passion for art and also a unique perspective, which is rare nowadays where everyone is afraid to be themselves.

Draw beautiful subjects every chance you get

If flowers are your thing, find yourself the most beautiful flowers and draw them. The same with the outdoors.

My main subjects are beautiful women. I’ve always admired pinup artists. I also loved the female characters back when I played Dungeons and Dragons in the early 80s.

Here’s Allie from our latest get together. We live in different states now so I won’t see her almost daily back when we lived in the same town. But we’ll make the best of each time we get together.

Plus I wanted to add one more thing. Allie’s a mom now. She’s a private figure, unlike Sophia, Diana, and Katie who are all public figures and want to be known.

So I’ll never disclose her last name nor which state she lives in now. But I will say that Allie is proof that a mom can still be absolutely gorgeous.

She looks great! I’m not just saying that because we’re close friends, but I really mean it.

Like me, she has a positive outlook forwards life. She wants to get the most out of life and it shows on her face.

People with a positive outlook towards life will simply have better lives. They are more grateful. They love more deeply. They have passion towards life rather than just being the living dead until Death comes for them.

These are the types of people you want to surround yourself with, especially if you’re an artist. Because being an artist is one of the most challenging professions. You already know that though because you’re living it.

I like keeping things simple. For my paintings, I’ll experiment a lot more. But for my drawings, I’m simply using the number 2 pencils you can buy at Target and Strathmore drawing pads. I like Strathmore for drawing because it’s decent paper and it’s affordable. I like drawing fast and those drawings above only took 15 minutes each.

I use my fingers for smearing. I know you’re not supposed to do that. You’re supposed to use cotton or a rag. I’ve even seen someone use one of those glasses cleaning rags.

Since these are just my practice sketches, I only use a few tools – the drawing pad, pencils, erasers, and my fingers for smearing.

The point though is to capture your model’s beauty. The technique. Not necessarily the tools.

And practice every chance you get. I brought along a drawing pad when we went to vacation to Romania and used it a lot. You’ll always have a little bit of downtime and I filled mine up with drawing.


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