Bethany

Such a lovely face but some difficult light and shadows to capture here. Didn’t manage it with watercolour alone so I worked over the top with coloured pencil to add more definition. I was using my usual Zecchi watercolours in a Laloran sketchbook and Polychromos coloured pencils.

Giada

I have an ongoing problem with placement of portraits on the page. Giada’s portrait today is a case in point. I always start drawing with the eyes. I thought I had placed the eye far enough across the page to fit in the whole head but by the time I got to drawing the hair (pretty much the end of the portrait) it was clear I was wrong. And I’m much too lazy to start again at that point.

It also left me with the problem of what to do with all the space on the left hand side of the page. I did think initially of making a pattern out of the letters painted on Giada’s cheek, but I don’t know what they say and I didn’t want to be rude or disrespectful by writing them incorrectly or changing their meaning by writing them into a pattern. So I dug out my huge collection of washi tape and Japanese stickers and found a sticker that matched the mood of the portrait and used that to fill the space.

I painted this in a Laloran sketchbook with Zecchi watercolours and finished it with coloured pencils.

New Paint

I am so in love with Zecchi watercolours. I found the Zecchi shop on a trip to Florence a couple of years ago, bought some of their handmade watercolours and haven’t wanted to use anything else since. So once a year or so I place a new order and stock up. The paints aren’t expensive- €4 or €5 a half-pan – but the shipping is (€15.50 to the UK from Italy by Fedex) which is why I only order occasionally and I make sure I stock up well.  

But the joy of opening this little box is priceless. Especially this time because I ran out of Ultramarine Blue Light three weeks ago and Zecchi were closed for August! 

And yes, this time I splurged and bought entirely unnecessary half pans of silver and gold to play with.

If you want to half a look around the wonders of the Zecchi website you will find them here – http://www.zecchi.it/ Click on the 🇬🇧 at the top to translate the site into English.

Klara

Another patterned portrait, this time with watercolour and coloured pencils. In Klara’s Sktchy photo she was posing in front of some fabulous rhododendron bushes so I took my inspiration for the floral background pattern from those flowers.

I drew this portrait in a Laloran sketchbook with a Copic multiliner, painted it with Zecchi watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Apo

I find it hard now to believe I used to be scared of watercolour. These days it’s almost as much a comfort zone for me as Copic markers and yet I can look back even in the last sketchbook I used and find plenty of examples of horrible overworking. But right now I feel like I’m in a good place where I understand where to stop so that I don’t overwork – and I think perhaps that’s because I took Sketchbook Skool’s Coloured Pencil course and now feel much happier finishing paintings with coloured pencils instead of adding those extra layers of watercolour.

I drew this in a Laloran sketchbook with a Copic multiliner, painted it with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with coloured pencils.

Emmy

Emmy was so much fun to paint. Inspired by Charlotte Hamilton’s Patterned Portrait course on Sktchy I created a background pattern similar to the one on Emmy’s short. It’s a bit wonky and uneven but I still like it!

I drew this in my Laloran sketchbook with a Copic multiliner, painted it with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it off with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Blud

A couple of weeks ago I promised another Sketchbook Skool student to make a video showing how I paint my watercolour skin tones. So I filmed myself while painting today’s Sktchy face Blud. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel here. I’ll warn you, it’s 50 minutes long (and I only recorded painting the skin) because there’s several layers of glazing. But if you do watch it I hope you find it helpful.

I drew the portrait with a Copic multiliner and painted it with Zecchi Toscana watercolours, Horadam Schminke pearlescent watercolours and Jackson’s Art watercolours in a Laloran sketchbook.

Brit

I have two real Achilles heels (or areas I always struggle with) when it comes to drawing faces. One is drawing mouths, which I always draw too big initially, and the other is hair. It took me such a long time to gain any confidence in drawing hair but mostly these days I can manage it OK, except when I’m making a portrait with watercolour.

I still don’t know quite what to do with it or how to get it looking right. This portrait is a case in point. My anxiety comes through even at the initial drawing stage – I made a mess of the drawing here, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have done had this been the early drawing for a marker portrait. When it came to painting it again I didn’t really have a plan or a clear idea of what to do so I disguised the mess I created with some coloured pencil.

I know I’ll get there. I’ll develop the confidence eventually to draw and paint hair in watercolour confidently and well because I’ve been here before with marker drawing. In the meantime I just have to keep going. And to apologise to Brit, who has beautiful hair.

This was drawn in a Laloran sketchbook with a Unipin fineliner, painted with Zecchi watercolours and finished with coloured pencils.