Chewie

I always try to draw a Star Wars themed portrait for May 4th, which is Star Wars Day. Today I’ve taken my inspiration from a mini Chewbacca – I loved this little guy’s Chewie costume in a photo posted by Amber on the Museum by Sktchy app. He looked so excited to be dressed up in it.

Hope you like the portrait and have a happy Star Wars day. May the Fourth be with you!

International Womens Day 2022

Today is International Womens Day and the best way I know to honour it is with my drawings of women. I’ve drawn thousands of women from the Museum by Sktchy app over the years since I started drawing portraits – these are just a few of them. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to them all and especially to Jordan Melnick, the creator of the app, and his team at Sktchy.

Lake

I love making digital drawings that look as much like drawing in a sketchbook with analog materials as possible. Georg Graf Von Westphalen’s ballpointy brush is the best ballpoint pen brush I’ve come across for Procreate. This portrait of Lake from the Museum by Sktchy app was drawn with the ballpointy brush using a colour palette I created from my favourite Bic 4-colour ballpoints. I love how it turned out, especially the hair.

You can find out more about Georg’s Procreate brushes here

Isabel

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that every so often I lose my drawing mojo, usually because I’m struggling with my chronic pain problems, and I have to find a way of boosting myself out of a drawing block. One of the ways I do that is by taking a drawing course in Skillshare or Domestika, which are very inexpensive online drawing schools.

This week I took a background illustration class using Photoshop on Domestika to try to get myself back into drawing. I don’t actually have Photoshop and have never used it but Procreate does much of the same things at a more basic level so I was able to follow the course and learn a lot from it. Of course I don’t draw backgrounds, I draw portraits, so I was keen to translate what I learned to my portrait drawing.

This is a portrait of Isabel from the Museum by Sktchy app drawn in Procreate on my iPad Pro using the new technique I learned on that course. I love how it turned out. I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out well at all – but suddenly about two-thirds of the way through I could see that it was beginning to look good. I’m hoping that my technique will improve with practice too.

Janie

I’ve drawn a portrait! It’s the first one in several weeks and it’s taken a few days. This is the wonderful Janie from Museum by Sktchy.

Apologies for my absence but I had some surgery a few weeks ago to trial a partially implanted spinal cord stimulator (SCS) for the pain I get from Chronic Regional Pin Syndrome (CRPS) in my right foot. For the 2 weeks the electrodes were in my spine I couldn’t bend or twist my back in case I pulled them out so it was too difficult to draw – because I tend to hunch over my desk when drawing.

I’ve had the SCS removed now but the good news is that the trial was a great success so I should get a full implant next year. But I can draw again – although my pain is back now the SCS is gone. But I can look forward to a time when I have a permanent SCS so my pain is reduced and, once I’ve healed after the surgery, I can draw with much less pain!

Alyona

This is Alyona from the Museum by Sktchy app. For once I fell like I did a good job with the mouth here – hooray – and I caught the sense of her eyes but, as always they are way too big and I definitely have a bit of the second eye problem.

“What is that?” you’re asking if you don’t draw (definitely not I f you’ve ever draw a portrait because you wil have countered it). It’s the difficulties many (all?) artists face when they try to draw the second eye to. Getting it to match the first eye in size, shape, positioning, colour, everything really, often feels like an impossible task and even when you think you’ve got it right you finish a portrait and realise it’s wrong.

I always draw the right eye first. You can see here that the second eye looks smaller, less rounded and just wrong. I thought it was OK when I was working but now it just doesn’t look right. That’s the second eye problem. Since this is a digital portrait it would be easy for me to go back and correct it but I’d rather leave it as it is as a reminder to myself of the problem, and the importance of keeping stepping back, looking and checking as I work.