My daughter has just landed herself a great job, starting Monday, in a different part of the country. It’s fabulous news, especially for someone just starting out in a creative industry right now (she works in film) but trying to find somewhere for her to live with four days notice (two of which are the weekend), get her packed up and moved with partial regional lockdowns spreading (plus it’s her birthday tomorrow) is no joke. So drawing is being done in fits and starts when I have time in between the 101 other tasks… This portrait of Taha from Sktchy is what I’ve managed in the past 2 days.

I drew this with Bic ballpoint pens in a Life Noble Note Plain notebook.


I decided while drawing this portrait of Hugo from Sktchy that ballpoint pens are now my favourite drawing medium. My skills have been improving gradually since I took Robin Hilthouse’s Sktchy course many months ago and I now feel very comfortable drawing with them. I’ve developed a style that I’m happy with and I love the meditative quality of just hatching slowly away, interpreting the planes of a face through the limited palette of my small collection of Bics.

I drew this portrait with 4-way multicolour Bics plus a couple of Bic Cristal pens in brown and Neon orange in a Life Noble Note Plain notebook.


This is the lovely Ayshin from Sktchy. I totally messed up the headscarf in the portrait so I had to change the colour from a creamy yellow to purple to disguise my disaster which works OK, but isn’t quite what I had planned. I wish I had left the scarf alone as a line drawing and hadn’t attempted to add colour to it at all. There’s a lesson there for me in putting a little more thought into when to stop drawing.

I drew Ayshin in my Life Noble Note Plain with Bic 4-way multicolour ballpoint pens.


There is always something very satisfying about drawing with that most humble of drawing materials, the Bic ballpoint pen. This is Henry from Sktchy, drawn in a Life Noble Note Plain notebook with Bic Cristal and Bic 4-way multicolour ballpoint pens.


Over the last 6 months or so, since I took the Sktchy’s Portraits in Pen course, I have gradually fallen in love with ballpoint pen drawing. After a lot of experimentation I’ve found my own style and I find ballpoint pen drawing so beautifully meditative. It’s what I turn to when I’m feeling most stressed because I know it will calm me down and chill me out.

Today was quite full on so I picked up my Bics and drew the beautiful Stephanie from Sktchy in my Life Noble Note Plain.