Laura’s husband

I’ve been taking a class on drawing with ballpoint pen in the Sktchy Art School taught by Robin Hilthouse. It’s a great course and the key technique is smooth transitions between colours. I’ve enjoyed it enormously and learned a great deal. However, I know don’t have the patience to work in exactly the same way that Robin does, so by the time I was halfway through this, my final practice portrait for the course, I was starting to adapt and move more towards the kind of hatching I do with coloured pencil. I simply don’t have the patience to create the kind of gentle invisible hatching that Robin creates, and I’m not a realistic artist anyway, so I think I’ll be taking what I’ve learned and using it for a more textured hatching, more like that which I use with coloured pencil, which conveys a sense of the person without creating a realistic portrait. I’ll be practicing more in the coming weeks and I’ll have to see where it takes me.

This was drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens. It took about 5 hours to complete.

Giada

I’m still working away at my ballpoint pen practice but those portraits take many hours, so I took some time out today to return to my Copic comfort zone and draw one of my favourite Sktchy muses, Giada.

I drew this in my A4 Moleskine with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Scout in colour

I drew Scout in black and white a few days ago for Inktober. I knew when I drew her that I would add colour at some point to that portrait. So here is that same portrait but with colour added in Procreate. She looks older than she should, which is one of the reasons I don’t often draw children – yes, I’m one of those artists who always manages to age children when I draw or paint them.

I added colour on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil in the Procreate app using Lisa Bardot’s gouache brushes and the Procreate luminance brushes.

Klara

I love watching artists draw and watching Robin Hilthouse draw in his Sktchy Portraits in Pen course is such a pleasure. I’m also learning so much. He takes around 8 to 10 hours for a full face portrait; I haven’t got either the patience or the skill yet for an 8 hour drawing but this unfinished portrait of Sktchy muse Klara took around 2-3 hours and by the end I was definitely making lighter better strokes than at the start.  So I definitely made progress over the time it took me to draw it!

I drew this in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens.

River’s eye

I’m taking a Sktchy Art School course offered by Robin Hilthouse on drawing with ballpoint pens and decided my attempt to draw an eye with ballpens could be my daily Sktchy, my practice for the course and today’s Inktober drawing for the prompt “frail”. I had surgery on my right eye in my very early 30s and I have some more problems with my eyes now which are bothersome more than worrying, but perhaps I know more than the average person how frail and precious our eyes are. I think I have some way to go before I can draw an eye as beautifully as Robin but I enjoyed the challenge.

I drew this in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens.

Scout

I don’t often draw children but the photo of Scout which inspired this portrait is so perfect for today’s Inktober theme “enchanted”. I drew this with the technical pen brush in Procreate, which I don’t think I’ve ever used before. I know for sure I’m going to come back and add colour when I have the time

Joni’s dog

This is a commission that I received through Sktchy. Commissions are always a double-edged sword for me; there’s the thrill that someone wants to pay me to paint a portrait for them, but then there’s the pressure of having to live up to their expectations, to produce something “good”, worth what they are paying.

The way it works on Sktchy is that the artist receives a request to draw a particular photo, which you can then accept or decline. When I saw this photo my first instinct was to decline because the thought of painting a curly haired dog filled me with fear. But, of course, I didn’t, because I love a good challenge – and I’m so glad I didn’t. This dog is a beauty and painting it was such a pleasure. I had to work hard to figure out how to paint that curly hair but I worked it out and I’m so happy with the finished portrait.

I painted Joni’s dog in a Laloran sketchbook with Zecchi watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.