Hannah

I got some new stippling brushes for Procreate and played with them while drawing this portrait. I have an electric stippling pen that I used to love drawing with, though I haven’t used it for a while, so it was fun to play with dots again, although i think I’ll need lots more practice with these brushes before I’ll feel confident using them. But I’m happy enough with this first go at drawing Hannah from Sktchy.

I drew Hannah on my iPad Pro using the Procreate app and True Grit Texture Supply’s Stippling Brush Set for Procreate.

Daria

Daria

I haven’t drawn on my iPad so much recently, I’m not sure why. Maybe because I do most of my iPad drawing in the evening and evenings are when I’ve been finding it hardest to focus during lockdown. But it was good to sit and really try to focus on this portrait, and especially to try to experiment with some techniques and brushes rather than going for the ones I usually use. I really like the sheen I got on Daria’s cheek and nose, though there are other parts of the portrait I’m less happy with, especially that hand. But all in all it was a good exercise.

I drew this on an iPad Pro with a 2nd Gen Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

Ada

Ada

I’ve been struggling a little bit these past few days to find either the time or the motivation for drawing. I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed again with work and I’m so tired when I’m not working it’s hard to settle down to drawing. But I have managed a Procreate drawing of Ada over several days – but boy was it hard work!

Frida

Frida Kahlo

I’ve been taking part in the Brooklyn Art Library’s 14 day portrait challenge. Today’s person to draw was Frida Kahlo but I decided that I didn’t want to draw the flower crowned iconic Frida that everyone knows. Instead I decided to draw the younger sterner Frida who wasn’t entirely sure yet who she wanted to be.

I decided to draw this portrait on my iPad Pro because I thought Procreate offered me the best tools for trying to recreate the vintage feel of the photo I was drawing from. I used most of my favourite brushes – the wet acrylic, the stucco, the Blackwing Pencil, and the Studio Pen.

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher as General Leia

I’m participating in the Brooklyn Art Library’s 14 day portrait challenge, although it’s now Day 4 and this is the first day I’ve felt inspired to draw a portrait. Every day for 14 days they email a prompt for a portrait but the first three prompts didn’t excite me enough to make me want to draw the suggested portrait. But today’s prompt was to draw someone, living or dead, who I’d like to have a meal with.

And I came up with a very long list, but I would love, love, love to have a meal with Carrie Fisher. And not the young Carrie Fisher, but the older wiser Carrie Fisher. Because while I love the actor I adore the outspoken courageous sassy mental health campaigning Carrie Fisher most of all. That’s the woman I would love to sit down and share a meal with.

This is the third portrait of her I drew. The first two weren’t right. The likeness was fine but somehow they didn’t capture her. And suddenly I realised why. She needs to be among the stars – that’s where she belongs. So when I drew this third portrait I was imagining her as a constellation.

I drew this on my iPad Pro with the Procreate app.

Christine’s husband

Today’s Sktchy portrait is of Christine’s husband. I don’t know his name; Christine posted his photo on Sktchy but didn’t add his name. I love his wistful expression. Last week I made a commitment to draw a portrait of an older person at least once a week in honour of all the older people dying in care homes in the UK in the coronavirus pandemic. This is this week’s portrait.

I drew this on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

A Seagull: Life goes on

Today’s portrait is a seagull drawn from a Sktchy photo uploaded by Kris. I live in Brighton on the south coat of England, a city with its fair share of seagulls. Some consider them a plague, personally I love them.

Every year two seagulls nest in our chimney pots and around this time of year their eggs hatch and for a couple of months I watch my chimney pots as the chicks grow into fledglings. I love the expectation, waiting to see how many chicks there are, trying to count them as they start to move around between the chimney pots, never entirely sure until they are big enough to fight for space in their cramped quarters.

This year the gulls are back again and I’ve been watched them build their nest and guard it for some time. I’m pretty sure the chicks have now hatched because one of the gulls is permanently stationed on the chimney and they appear to be feeding chicks, but they’re not moving around yet. It feels more important to me than ever before that they are there this year, because they are a daily reminder to me that the world is still turning, that nature is still doing what it does, it’s patterns are unchanged, if anything they are reinforced by the slowdown in economic growth. Watching the seagulls carry on with their lives just as they do every year is the most reassuring thing I have seen this spring. It brings me peace in a way that nothing else has done. I’m hoping there are at least 2, perhaps even 3, chicks this year. I’ll let you know.

I drew the full on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

Artur

Artur

This is Artur. Nothing deep and meaningful about today’s choice of Sktchy face to draw. I just liked that intense and more than a little grumpy expression and it was definitely fun to draw. I got lost in the pink and blue tones for a while.

I drew this on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app and Lisa Bardot’s fabulous pencil box brushes.

Akeem: Finding Peace of Mind in a Pandemic

I’ve practiced mindfulness for many years. It’s been one of my most important coping strategies when it comes to looking after my mental health and managing my chronic pain. In the many years I’ve been using it there have been only two times when I’ve really struggled with it, finding it hard to focus well enough even to practice and/or finding myself avoiding practice because to do so was so difficult. The first time was after I developed Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and the second is now. Both times the enormity of the situation has just felt too huge to allow my mind to be calm.

And yet, in the past few days, I am finally finding calm when I pick up my pens and my sketchbook or iPad and draw. I am beginning to find that mindful attention to the present moment returning when I’m focused on drawing portraits, more so every day. It’s taken five weeks to get here and it really is baby steps but I’m counting it as progress. I still can’t find the focus to sit down with my Mindful or Headspace apps, that’s asking too much of my frazzled, panicked mind, but an hour or so of portrait drawing a day is something I’m deeply grateful for.

I drew Sktchy muse Akeem on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.