30 Sketchys, 30 Days

Posted: September 28th, 2011 | Artist: | Category: Blog | 1 Comment
Lindsey Snyder #2 (Pink)

One of BMD's first Sketchys of September: 'Lindsey Snyder #2 (Pink)'

If you’ve been paying attention to sketchymiami.com throughout September, you know the name B M de Varona by now. With 24 posted portraits, the Puerto-Rico born, Cuban artist has submitted more Sketchys than anyone else. While she has been a consistent contributor to the site since its launch in late June, BMD decided to step up her game in September by doing a Sketchy every day of the month.

With October mere days away, now is as good a time as any to take a look back on her prolific month. Below you will find a selection of her Sketchys spliced with Q&A.

If you check out BMD’s artist page, you will notice that there isn’t a post for every day of the month. That’s not because she skipped a day — it’s because we couldn’t keep up with her! Not to worry: We will post every last one of her September Sketchys before long. In the meantime, enjoy the fruits — or should I say “eggs”? — of her loving labor.

What is your personal and artistic background?

BMD: Well, I’m 38, born in Puerto Rico and of Cuban descent… I did go to art school, though briefly. I attended what used to be International Fine Arts College (IFAC) for a few semesters and MDCC Kendall Campus, where I studied Art and Art Education for about a year. For the most part, I’m self taught.

“Heike Wollenweber #2 (Pink)”

What can you tell me about the “Egghead” series?

BMD: “Egghead” is my friend … hehehe. I’m kinda serious. He came to me during a bout of depression. He was a good symbol of frailty: his cracked head and feeble body, broken, vulnerable. And I think he represents a truth about every person — at some time or another, we can all “crack”.

“Myra Wexler #5”

Why did you decide to do 30 Sketchys in 30 days? What did you learn in the process? Are you exhausted? Do you never want to look at another Sketchy in your life?

BMD: I fell in love with your concept. I wasn’t producing very much at the time I ran into Sketchy Miami’s website and I thought, “What a great, loose, and fun way to practice, get a flow going and share with an audience.” It really did make a difference in my ability to produce work too! It’s like I was clogged and Sketchys were my Drano!

And I’m not sketchied out yet! But it’s been challenging. I think it’s evident in some of the Sketchys that I had my bad days. And I think I needed to have those days in which I just doodled some fast thing and moved on. If I pressured myself into some “standard” I would have lost the fun. And it has been fun.

“Erica Granda #2 (Pink)”

What materials/techniques/methods do you tend to use in your Sketchys?

BMD: Graphite, graphite, graphite. Pen, to emphasize some lines, but mainly graphite. For the Pink Sketchys, I incorporated markers and acrylic paint, and in Katya Bravo’s Sketchy I used pink glitter for the shades. That was fun.

“Katya Bravo (Pink)”

Do you have a particular philosophy when it comes to doing portraits?

BMD: Generally, I like to keep it in the face. I don’t care to go below the neck, usually. Heike Wollenweber [was an] exception because the pose was so inviting, and Geoff [Campbell] I just goofed with (The Shirtless Wonder). But for the most part, I just keep it in the face and I don’t add any more detail than I think necessary to invoke the person within the image.

“Erin N”


To see all of B M de Varona’s Sketchys, visit her Sketchy Miami artist page. You can also learn more about her at bmdart.com.

Follow Sketchy Miami on Twitter (@sketchymiami) and Facebook and email and RSS.

One Comment on “30 Sketchys, 30 Days”

  1. 1 David Harris said at 4:09 pm on February 18th, 2012:

    I’ll do a fast sketch of you free of charge,,,,,,,,,,

    developing new style