I spent a lot of time on this portrait of Monika but eventually ran out of steam and really didn’t want to work on it any more. This is my problem with both ballpoint pen and coloured pencil drawings – they take a lot of work to finish well. Sometimes they look good at a half done stage but you really have judge well when to stop. I worked on this one too long, past that stage so it really needs a lot more work to look much more finished to look good again. But that is a useful lesson for me in itself.

I drew this in an Emilio Braga notebook with Bic 4-way multicolour ballpoint pens.

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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.

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