As in the first lockdown I’m struggling again to keep up with my daily portrait drawing habit. I know how much it helps me but I struggle to do it and can find a hundred and one reasons not to. So I’m happy to have managed this quick sketch of Tamar from Sktchy in coloured pencils today.



This is a tiny little portrait of Reihan in a little pocket Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook. When I first started drawing 5 or 6 years ago I thought that it was easier to draw small. Years of practice have taught meme how wrong I was.

Drawing small is much harder than drawing big. There’s no room for tiny details so you have to focus on big shapes, and small errors take up much space and so seem magnified. I messed up the nose here and it’s right in the middle of the portrait and taking up a massive amount of space, drawing all the attention. If you’re a beginner reading this take my advice, start with a large sketchbook, not a small one!


Totally lost the likeness with this portrait of Zoey from Sktchy but I’m enjoying pushing my practice with coloured pencils and learning as I go. They really aren’t in my comfort zone and I’m finding that everything I learn working on these portraits is proving really useful in my mixed media work.

I drew this in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.


I’ve been taking a new course on Skillshare – Chris Hong’s class on coloured pencil portraiture. This portrait of Eva from Sktchy is my first attempt at a portrait using some of what I learned from Chris’s method. I’m not someone who tries to copy other people’s techniques wholesale but I take some learning from them and incorporate it into my own methods. I enjoyed drawing this more than I usually enjoy using coloured pencils so I will probably try one or two more but I think I’m more likely to use Chris’s amazing colour lessons to inform my own process.

I drew this in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.

Mike in a (mandatory?) mask


Wearing a mask is mandatory on public transport in the UK from today unless you have a health reason not to wear one so I thought I’d mark the occasion with a portrait of Sktchy muse Mike wearing his mask. I’m glad that finally mask wearing is becoming acceptable in this country. I hope that with the easing of the lockdown it becomes more commonplace and that this helps to inhibit any second wave.

I’ve found lockdown incredibly difficult and, while I’m not rushing out of the house and heading to the shops today because I’m not convinced it’s safe to do so yet, I’m hoping against hope that people will be sensible and the death rate will continue to fall.

I drew Mike with Polychromos coloured pencils in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook.


This is Sktchy muse Sydney drawn in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook. I sketched her with a blue Pilot ENO mechanical pencil and then hatched over that sketch with a purple Pilot ENO mechanical pencil.

I’m not feeling well today. I’ve got a killer migraine and a horrible flare up of both CRPS and fibromyalgia symptoms,so this was really all I could manage to draw. Hoping I’ll have more energy tomorrow.