I’ve gone back to Bics for my first portrait of 2022. This is Mahdiar from the Museum by Sktchy app (of course) drawn with my usual Bic 4-colour biros in a Life Noble Note Plain sketchbook. I’ve made him look a bit moodier than he is in the inspiration photo – he’s looking much happier in that but I lost his smile along the way.
I’d like to wish all my followers a very happy new year. I hope that 2022 brings you everything you would wish for yourself and your family, and I seriously hope it sees the beginning of the end of the Covid pandemic for all of us.
My drawing mojo is so up and down at the moment for a whole host of reasons and most days I’m having to push really hard to get myself to sit down and do any drawing at all and, especially, to stick with it when it’s not going so well. This ballpoint pen drawing of Avonlea is a good example.
I am really fighting with myself when it comes to drawing hair – anyone who knows me well will knows that this is a familiar battleground. I really struggled in the past when I only drew with Copic markers working out how to draw hair. Eventually I found a way that worked well for me with markers but I still haven’t got there with ballpoint pens and watercolour. And so when I’m struggling I just want to give up.
I know, from past experience, that the struggle is usually a good sign. It generally means I’m getting close to a breakthrough, to making some real progress. But this time around it feels like I’ve been stuck in this hole for a long, long time and I’m getting weary of it so I’m hoping that breakthrough comes soon.
I’m still struggling to draw at my desk due to lower back problems but it’s improving slowly with treatment. I’m managing a little bit of drawing most days so here’s a portrait of Vazha from the Museum by Sktchy app drawn with Bic 4-colour ballpoint pens.
I’ve lost my pencil case with my drawing ballpoint pens in it. This is a major disaster. It’s taken me several days to replace my 4 colour Bics (especially the one with turquoise & light green) and I can’t find another golden yellow ballpoint anywhere. Paperchase don’t make the one I had any more. Aargh! I don’t know what happened to my pencil case but very afraid someone (not saying who) accidentally knocked it into a bin bag when emptying the rubbish bin under my desk… So making do while I rebuild my ballpoint pen collection. Moral of the story is to treasure your precious drawing supplies and guard the hard to replace ones jealously.
This is J from the Museum by Sktchy app, drawn with the three Bic 4 colour ballpoint pens I’ve replaced.
This is Luis from Sktchy drawn with Bic 4 colour ballpoint pens. I made a mess of his hair – a series of poor decisions about how I was going to tackle it… But I like how a lot of the face shading worked out. I’m getting better at representing the different planes of the face with just vertical lines and it worked well with this expression.
I do like doing simple ballpoint pen hatching. There’s something so meditative about drawing all those lines going in one direction. This is so simple to do if you feel like having a go – just draw a simple outline of your main shapes and then fill them in building up the colour layer by layer. It’s easiest if you focus on your lightest and darkest areas first – I usually map them first with blue and then add other colours on top.
Playing with my ballpoint pens again for this portrait of Lee Lottie from Sktchy. I loved the graffiti on the wall behind her in the inspiration photo for this portrait and so I wanted to make that a part of my drawing too.