I’ve abandoned the Emilio Braga notebook that I was using for my ballpoint pen drawings. After just five drawings it started to fall apart and there was no way it was going to cope with many more of these sketches. To be fair, it’s a notebook, not a sketchbook, and ballpoint pen drawing requires a lot of moving a lot of the page around and some layering of pen work so it does need a book that will take some rough treatment. The Emilio Braga notebook is a beautiful notebook, it’s just not made for this kind of work.

So for this portrait of Nadia from Sktchy I started a new sketchbook that I bought recently, a Life Noble Notebook with plain paper. This is another Japanese notebook that I saw in an online shop that was relatively inexpensive and irresistible to a Japanese paper addict like me. And the paper is beautiful for ballpoints! It’s a dream for drawing and would be great for writing or calligraphy too.

I used my usual Bic Cristal and Bic 4-way multicolour ballpoints for this portrait in a Life Noble Note Plain notebook.

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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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