If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that every so often I lose my drawing mojo, usually because I’m struggling with my chronic pain problems, and I have to find a way of boosting myself out of a drawing block. One of the ways I do that is by taking a drawing course in Skillshare or Domestika, which are very inexpensive online drawing schools.

This week I took a background illustration class using Photoshop on Domestika to try to get myself back into drawing. I don’t actually have Photoshop and have never used it but Procreate does much of the same things at a more basic level so I was able to follow the course and learn a lot from it. Of course I don’t draw backgrounds, I draw portraits, so I was keen to translate what I learned to my portrait drawing.

This is a portrait of Isabel from the Museum by Sktchy app drawn in Procreate on my iPad Pro using the new technique I learned on that course. I love how it turned out. I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out well at all – but suddenly about two-thirds of the way through I could see that it was beginning to look good. I’m hoping that my technique will improve with practice too.

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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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