a look at one artist's experience in NYC

Posts tagged “painting


Painting a Portrait of Vince Lombardi

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t posted on here in MONTHS!  I won’t even try to make an excuse because it just boils down to updating the site with my recent work.

Anyway, here is a painting I’ve been working on of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.  I had a photo of him lying around in my studio and I thought I’d try a sepia toned portrait of him.  A bit of an exercise for me but I kinda like the direction it’s going.  Any type of feed back would be greatly appreciated. – Dave


My recent painting of Vince Lombardi


Subway Sketching

I had to do some work this week at the American Museum of Natural History and was able to do a few more quick sketches of people riding the subway.  I normally don’t ride the subway when it’s so crowded and I had a challenging time trying to see around people in order to draw the person sitting directly across from me.  These were two that seemed to work out alright.



Two Tired New Yorkers

A few days ago I had to take the subway again into the city and was able to do a few sketches of two people sitting across from me –asleep of course.   I think I should do a series of drawings titled “asleep on the train.”   It seems to be a common element.

It’s 102 Degrees in NYC- Time to Stay Inside and Sketch

New York City hit 104 degrees yesterday and today isn’t much better unless you consider a 2 degree difference refreshing.  My wife and I knew that our window unit air conditioners weren’t going to cut it so we grabbed our laptops along with my sketchbook and our daughter Emma and headed to the Tea Lounge.  We obviously weren’t the only ones with that idea.  When we got there we couldn’t even find a place to sit because  the place was entirely packed.  We didn’t care.  It was about 78 degrees inside and felt like we’d just walked into a meat locker.  As Emma polished off a red velvet cupcake and my wife caught up on some work on her computer, I pulled out my sketchbook and started to sketch the woman reading on the couch in front of me.

It was quite challenging since it was such low light and it was difficult to make out key features.  It’s funny, but I think I’ve become spoiled with the lighting on the subway and having a model only a few feet from me.  Anyway, I gave it my best shot and, best of all, stayed cool while doing it.

Comments are welcome.– Dave

A Cup of Coffee and a Sketch at Times Square

I spent the day up around Times Square on 45th Street doing a job and figured I’d get there a little early and take along my sketchbook.  On the way there I was able to do a quick sketch of a young woman that was sitting across from me on the F train listening to her ipod.  The sketch only had a brief work time though since she got off after only a few stops.  Too bad.  I was feeling pretty good about my start.

When I finally got to Times Square (around 8am) I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat at one of the tables that are throughout the closed off section of Broadway.  A guy sat down a few feet from me and I thought I’d try sketching him.  Like almost all the people I’ve been drawing lately on the subway, he too fell asleep.  It was really tough to focus on this drawing as cars and buses were racing directly behind me on 7th Avenue.  At one point about 5 firetrucks even rushed past with their sirens blaring as people darted to get out of the way.  I must say, it’s been a really long time since I tried drawing a cityscape like this and I definitely struggled.  Unfortunately I had to be at work at 9am so I wasn’t able to complete this drawing to my liking, but I thought I was able to get a good sense of the environment.

On the way home I sketched this guy that, of course, was passed out on the F train.  I mean really out.  His mouth was even open and he barely moved a muscle for about 6 stops before getting off at 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Overall I’m pleased with all three sketches and I can’t wait to try another cityscape.  Maybe next time though I’ll pick a location that doesn’t happen to be the busiest, most congested spot in all of New York City.


Comments are welcome.

A Quick Sketch and Big Hair

Another ride on the F train prompted a quick sketch of the woman sitting across from me.  I think it’s pretty obvious what inspired me to take out my sketchbook this time.   It’s too bad she got off the train a few stops before mine because I was really enjoying this drawing and felt I was starting to get into the flow of it.

It’s always a roll of the dice when you pick a model that happens to be on the New York City subway.


Comments are welcome.


Addicted to the ipad

It’s rare that my son Sebastian sits still long enough where I can actually attempt to draw him.  Teenagers usually aren’t real interested in staying in one place.  However, he recently purchased an ipad for his 13th birthday (yes, he saved enough money) and it seems to be the thing that will keep him occupied and frozen in time.  Well, that and reading- but he usually does that in his room.

So this was my attempt to draw him sitting on our couch

completely mesmerized by his new toy. I think I captured the look he always has on his face when he’s in his ipad coma.  I really could’ve used about 20 more minutes to develop the drawing further but I figure the 30 he gave me was about 20 more than what he thought he was going to do.

Now how do I get my 6 year old to sit still?

All comments or suggestions are welcome.

Sketching and a Chai Latte

My wife introduced me to  chai lattes a few years ago and I’m man enough to admit that they’re delicious.   With that said, I once again couldn’t resist one when I went to the Red Horse Cafe in Park Slope, Brooklyn.   It’s a great little coffee shop that always seems to have a wide range of creative people sitting around writing, sketching, or blogging while taking care of  their caffeine addiction.  I figured I’d sit down for a bit and try sketching some of the people inside.  Here is my attempt before I had to throw in the towel and head home.  Not before I finished my latte of course.

Sketching your hands

One thing I’ve always enjoyed is drawing my own hands.  Well, mainly my left hand since I’m a righty.  I remember sitting in class as early as elementary school and sketching my hand as the teacher would talk away.  I believed, at that young age, that you could draw almost anything else if you could draw a human hand.  I still think it’s a pretty good measuring stick.

Since I’m still only in my first week of getting back to sketching I thought I’d give it a shot and see if I could pull it off.  The rust is definitely there and will take some time to shake off but I could feel a little bit of the old artist coming back.  Just a little bit though.  Well, at least my measuring stick has it’s first reading.

Feel free to comment.


Rediscovering Creativity

I remember when I was about 8 years old and Kellogg’s brand cereal asked kids to send in their drawings of the characters that appeared on their cereal boxes.  Obsessed is the best way to describe my commitment to the endevour.  I made sure that my Mom came home with at least one box of Kellogg’s every week with a new character on it.  Needless to say, granola wasn’t a big part of my young diet.  The frog on Sugar Smacks, the macaw on Fruit Loops and  Snap, Crackle and Pop on Rice Krispies all helped to shape my young artistic mind.  Much like Da Vinci and his Mona Lisa, Tony the Tiger became my obsession and my own commitment to perfection.  The only difference was I was hyped up on sugar from polishing off bowl after bowl of those delicious frosted flakes.  After all, “they’re GGGREEEEAAAATTT! ”  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Looking back at that young time in my life, I realize now that it was probably the happiest I’ve ever been when it comes to creating something.  I know that sounds pretty sad but I think it’s true.  During that time you couldn’t pry a pencil from my hand and any free time I had was spent sketching anything and everything in sight.  It was a time when opinions didn’t matter and I created just for the sake of having fun and doing something that I loved.  I sketched just for the joy of it.

This blog is about trying to rediscover that feeling.  It’s about picking up a pencil and brush again and seeing what comes out of it.  Good or bad.  It’s about figuring out why I quit drawing and making artwork entirely and my attempt to be creative once again.  After all, having Tony the Tiger that embedded in my creative mind isn’t something I’m particularly fond of.

Dave Mitri (oil on canvas, 42 x 64)

Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope to hear from you.