Art and artistry from the mind of Aaron Smrke

Enjoying the summer and the chances to draw that come with it. Most of my drawing is on the subway when I’m riding it to go to work. I feel like there’s something interesting about the subway and the stories that people on it have. It’s like little windows into life (although most of the people are buried in their phones, but to each their own.) So I try to keep it loose and raw, seems to be working.

There’s also some PAN AM games Basketball in there. That was a good show and those girls can play!


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School + Summer

Well, it has been a while. I’ve come a long way from last time (both in school and as an Artist). Here we have some outside of school art, just to show what I can do when I’m not focused on school. I’ll include some school work too, (at least the stuff I’ve saved.) Enjoy

(School work is up top)

2D - Layout DAN - Layout (2) Gaspar Design Portfolio Layout - 1 ToonBoom Design Smrkey_Thumbs_001 Smrkey_Thumbs_003 Smrkey_Thumbs_008 Thumbs_1 Thumbs_2 Thumbs_3 Smrkey_Thumbs_004 Smrkey_Thumbs_005 Smrkey_Thumbs_006 Smrkey_Thumbs_007 Thumbs_2

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Life Drawing

So, I was going into the summer really confused and struggling with Life Drawing. That’s not new. It happens to me. But, this time, I couldn’t seem to break it. I was throwing lines down that didn’t make any sense. I was firing lines around like a machine gun, but nothing was hitting. So, I decided to talk to my long-time drawing instructor, and he straightened me out. He told me to just draw, to loosen up and not be so focused on the small lines and details. I would sometimes just do a series of small or random lines for no reasons, or for reasons that were not the most suitable. He told me to look for shapes and just to draw and trust myself. Now, I’m trying to do that. It’s working well so far. I’ve gone to two back to back life drawing sessions after a passing, and I really want to make sure I keep up with a 3 day schedule. I need to. I know if I keep this method through the summer, it’ll really pay, and I think it’ll give me a stronger understanding to do when I struggle.

Whew! Let’s get to the art now. Enough words.


Summer – 4

Last Cafe sketches for the month(s)

Summer – 3

Studies and some layouts

Summer – 2

Here’s the stuff I missed from the last post. Should be one more.


Yeah so remember how I said I wasn’t going to just post Life Drawing? Wellll…

Alright. SO there is some Life Drawing, but look! Layouts, animals, ROM stuff, I’m branching out.

When you have time in the summer to enjoy yourself and get more focused in your work, good things happen. I just wanted to show some of the stuff I’ve been doing all summer since my last post.

So, enjoy. I know I have been.


Refresh And Resume

Hey now. I just go through a whole year of Animation school. What a trip. My dad always told me that college was something that you wanted to go to since it was the best years of your live. After going through all the hell and rough pataches, I realized that too. It’s your formative years, and the key ones. When I went to Seneca, I was going hoping I would develop as an artist, but I also ended up doing the same thing as a person. I know myself better now, and I what I need to do to get better. I’m surprised how young I am, being one of the youngest in my class (just 19! I’ll be 20 soon). So, what I’ve done for that age is pretty good, but, as always. I need to get better.

I look at some of my older stuff and I realise how far I’ve come and how much more I can do. Life Drawing is so complicated, and yet so rewarding, and I’ve got to keep in mind a few more key things to really get better. Line quality is everything with that. I throw too many lines down, I’ve got to get better at doing definite, fine, and large lines. Accuracy, but expressive accuracy. It’s a constant battle.

Here’s the work that I picked to go into our classes Art Book for this year, and really the only stuff I’m proud of. You’ll notice (as should be a theme) that there are a lot of life drawings here. But there’s also a layout. I’m branching out..slowly. Expect more to come in the summer, when I really kick this thing into high gear.

Hopefully I won’t be too far off when I come back from my trip to Europe (where I plan to be drawing as much as I can, of course. Looking forward to that chance). We’ll see..

Finished Layout LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_1         LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_2 LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_3 LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_5 LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_6 LIF241_AA_Smrke_Aaron_Xlife_Wk9_7 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Cafes_Wk9_001LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Cafes_Wk9_002  LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Cafes_Wk9_003 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Cafes_Wk9_005 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Feet-Studies_Wk3_1 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Lifedrawing_Wk3_9 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_001 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_003 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_004 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_005 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_006 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Cafes_007 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Feet_Studies002 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_2 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_6 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_8LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_7 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_10 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_ReadingWk_Xlife_11 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Wk_8_XLife_1 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Wk_8_XLife_3 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Wk11_XLife_5 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_Wk11_XLife_9 LIF241AA_Smrke_Aaron_X-Life_Wk6_4


Took a trip to Kensington with a bunch of Seneca kids for a drawing trip. Went pretty good, got about 15 pages. Here’s some of my favorites from the day.Image      ImageImage  Image

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Ain’t No Grave..

Hello all. It’s been a long time since I updated, which I credit to both being busy and just forgetting. Nonetheless, it’s been quite the ride these last 3 months. I’ve been going to life drawing constantly (roughly 3 days a week) and the ROM once a week. It’s a lot of drawing. For a while there, it seemed to go ok. Eventually though, things started to get a little off with my life drawings and with my regular drawings. Now, I’m no stranger to having streaks, and I deal with those when they come. Usually it’s a day, day and two, three if it’s bad. But I bounce back.  Around the middle of June, I was having a lot of trouble with my life drawings. Things weren’t working, and they were off becuase things just weren’t coming out quite right. So I saw my former instructor Chris and we figured out what was wrong. No problem, I thought, I can fix it. It wasn’t happening, and I was still struggling. I couldn’t get it sorted out, and it was really driving me wild, because all the core skills and ideas were there, but they weren’t coming together.

Fortunately for me, or rather, unfortunately, I should say, I got a bad flu a few weeks back. I was out for a whole week, and I didn’t draw all week, didn’t think about it, didn’t even listen to my music I always do. Then the Monday when I was better, I started to draw again, and it worked! Everything that I was struggling with was becoming natural again. I wasn’t thinking or overthinking, I was just doing it as it happened, going with the moment like I always did. I think I was over-extending my mind and thinking too hard about what I was doing, trying to make sure I was approaching things properly, thinking out loud “ok, now we have to do this” “remember that”. My mind was buzzing and I couldn’t “see” things properly. Now, with a it of mental rest, things are working better.

The reason for this development is the way I draw. Having internalized the methods I was taught (boxes, proportions and other such ideas), I decided that forcing myself into boxes (which provide a good sense of mass and give indication of the major parts of the body) stiffened me up and wasn’t producing the best results. So I keep those always in the back of my head, and just focus on the model and what they are doing and draw it. I like to think of myself as a “method-drawer”, for the reason that I don’t operate on a set plan ( I keep those ideas with me at all times), but choose to just go with the pose and draw the movements and what I see. My “sight” or ability to internalize shapes and solids and forms is strong and has to be, since it’s tied to how I draw. That’s why I feel I am strong with blind contours, since it relies so much on that sight. Sometimes, when I’m really “on” I get the Maurice Richard eyes. This sort of looser, freer style is good becuase it gives you a lot more emotion and life.

The problem with it is that becuase I don’t operate on a “schedule” or plan, I have problems with bad days, since I don’t have a lot of approaches. If I’m not “seeing” right, it’s tough. I also have to keep my mind from over thinking or thinking about things, hence the music, but that can be an issue sometimes.

Anyway, here’s the artwork for this month/week/time..

Horsea Gesture 11 Gesture 13 Gesture 12 Gesture 10 Gesture 9 Gesture 8 Gesture 7 Gesture 6 bird cowboy side cowboy dinsoaur Gesture 1 Gesture 2 Gesture 3 Gesture 4 Gesture 5