Trombone Man From Steve's Sketchbook

Play That Tune

A man plays a soulful tune on a trombone in this latest drawing in the Steve’s Sketchbook series.

A man plays a soulful tune on a trombone in this latest drawing in the Steve’s Sketchbook series.

As you may know, I played the trombone once upon a time, way back in my high school days. But this is not me, because I never had hair like that. Plus, my trombone was silver instead of gold-colored. So this is just some generic guy playing a trombone somewhere. I’m sure he is good at it, though.

Unless he is a street musician somewhere, you do not usually see just a trombone player by himself. But I did not draw any other musicians. So feel free to draw your own conclusions. Or print out the picture and draw your own additional musicians if you want.


I was testing out some new watercolor-style brushes I had gotten for the Procreate app on my iPad. And when I was trying to think of something to draw, this is what came to my mind. Instead of looking like a more “finished” piece, I just intended this to look more sketch-like, and that is how it is.

Here are a couple of steps along the way. First off, I started with a really rough pencil sketch:

Trombone man - first sketch

I mentioned in the previous post that a lot of what I draw starts out looking like some scribbles. Actually, that is exactly what it is. I have a rough idea in my head of how I think something should look. I start trying to translate that to (virtual, in this case) paper, concentrating more on the overall composition and look than on the details. In this case, I knew how a trombone player should look because of my own experience. I used those memories to make this work, but only very roughly. I do these first versions more as thumbnail sketches. On my iPad, I am zoomed all the way out to see the full canvas. This is the big picture, so to speak. Details come later.

Second Stage

trombone man - second sketch

On top of that first sketch, I draw a more detailed sketch next. Usually, you can see both of them at the same time, since I am drawing on top of the first sketch. But I turned the first one off for this view so that you could see the second sketch better. I put more details into this version, but there are still a few things to be worked out, such as his feet, hands, and eyes.

When you compare this to the final version, you can see that I ultimately made his face more round, made his eyes less squinty, and changed up the trombone slide a bit. I left both of these sketch layers turned on in the final version, because that was the look that I was going for.

Also, I used some random colors in watercolor strokes for the background. I wanted to keep it simple and not detract too much from the main drawing. Empty space was too boring, so it needed something, but not too much of something. So some color strokes did the trick.

Bible Verse

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. - Colossians 3:23-24

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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.