I’m having a difficult drawing week. Nothing is going right. I’ve made a conscious decision to take more time over my portraits, not rush them, try to work a little differently, and right now it’s a bit of a struggle. None of my drawings are working well. Perhaps this is inevitable when you change things and step outside your familiar work patterns. It wasn’t helped today by a crushing migraine.

Anyway, Avril ended up up with a slightly deformed body – I over exaggerated the foreshortening (not deliberately!) and really messed up that front leg and foot. But never mind. It’s all learning.

I drew Avril’s portrait in my Moleskine sketchbook with a Copic multiliner and Copic markers.

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I love drawing things. These days I am rarely found without a pen, pencil or stylus in my hands. In my working life I spend a lot of time in meetings and classrooms, reading papers and strategies, so my home life provides a creative antidote to all that! I also have chronic pain, lots of it. I have scoliosis, fibromyalgia and CRPS, so my life is a balancing act, trying to balance work, which make me feel part of the real world, with pain, which is ever present, and art, which soothes my pain.

3 thoughts on “Avril”

  1. It’s hard to judge this piece. For one, I don’t know if how you drew certain details was intentional. It could just boil down to style. Maybe you normally color outside the lines. Maybe you normally draw the figure loosely instead of tight, accurate lines like you might see in a good comic book.

    If I can just point out what I don’t particularly like, from my own artistic perspective, I suppose the face is a bit flat, could use better contouring/shading. There’s a rough edge on the left elbow. I probably would have left out that line on the right shoulder where the crease in the upper body might be. The pants cuff on the right looks a bit thin/odd. There may be an odd line on the foot coming toward the viewer. The fingers on the hand on the left are nicely positioned but a tad thin in places, like they shriveled.

    But, on positive notes, the overalls look decent. The legs look good, particularly the one pointing right. The toes on the forward foot look good, too.

    I think some sunflowers arranged in the background would really jazz this piece up. Or, as I like to do with portraits, work in elements that correspond with the subject. What does she like to eat, play, listen to, watch on TV/in movies, collect, etc.

    Hare in the moon, ay? So, you’re into Chinese astrology/folk tales? Possibly a rabbit year yourself?


    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer so much constructive criticism. Your comments are really helpful and I appreciate them. And no, I’m not a rabbit year, I’m a dragon but I love tales all kind and have a particular fondness for hares and rabbits.


      1. Well, that is a healthy and kind response. 🙂

        Tell me more of this fondness for rabbits. A dragon year, ay? I’ve known many a dragon in pain; they are usually larger folks with plenty of fire in the furnace to keep them moving; but there is usually a part of their life that is very tragic, at the same time. They are both painful and discouraging to watch. Painful because I ache with them and don’t want to know about or see them suffer. And, discouraging because, usually, despite the pain, they are able to live a life better than the one I live. It’s like learning how to play a game and then going mad because the directions upset your stomach.


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