Janet

My drawing therapy is working. I’m finding easier each day to get lost in the process of just drawing, of finding the lines and playing with colour and gradually I’m making my peace with the world again. I know it will be some time before I’m back where I was a year ago, but that’s OK. I’m going in the right direction and I know what I need to do. And this portrait of Janet from Sktchy was today’s step in that direction.

I drew Janet on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app. I’ve uploaded a Procreate timelapse video to YouTube. If you’d like to see it you can watch it here.

Mike in a (mandatory?) mask

Mike

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.

A Seagull: Life goes on

Today’s portrait is a seagull drawn from a Sktchy photo uploaded by Kris. I live in Brighton on the south coat of England, a city with its fair share of seagulls. Some consider them a plague, personally I love them.

Every year two seagulls nest in our chimney pots and around this time of year their eggs hatch and for a couple of months I watch my chimney pots as the chicks grow into fledglings. I love the expectation, waiting to see how many chicks there are, trying to count them as they start to move around between the chimney pots, never entirely sure until they are big enough to fight for space in their cramped quarters.

This year the gulls are back again and I’ve been watched them build their nest and guard it for some time. I’m pretty sure the chicks have now hatched because one of the gulls is permanently stationed on the chimney and they appear to be feeding chicks, but they’re not moving around yet. It feels more important to me than ever before that they are there this year, because they are a daily reminder to me that the world is still turning, that nature is still doing what it does, it’s patterns are unchanged, if anything they are reinforced by the slowdown in economic growth. Watching the seagulls carry on with their lives just as they do every year is the most reassuring thing I have seen this spring. It brings me peace in a way that nothing else has done. I’m hoping there are at least 2, perhaps even 3, chicks this year. I’ll let you know.

I drew the full on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

Na’channa

Na’channa

I chose to paint Sktchy muse Na’channa today because I’m feeling a bit vulnerable. Painting her helped to exorcise a few demons 🙂

I painted this in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Zecchi watercolours.

May the fourth be with you: Happy Star Wars Day

Today is one of my favourite days of the year – even lockdown isn’t going to burst my Star Wars bubble and stop me drawing my annual May the Fourth Star Wars portrait. This awesome Yoda cosplay portrait is inspired by a photo posted by Beth on Sktchy.

I drew this in a Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers.

Klara: Just Keep Drawing

Klara

Some days you just feel like giving up. Today has been one of those days. In fact this week has been one of those weeks. Just keep drawing… going to get through coronavirus and whatever follows one portrait at a time.

I drew this on my iPad Pro using the Procreate app.

Laya’s Love: Still Obsessing Over Face Coverings…

Today’s portrait is of a photo posted on Sktchy by Laya of someone she describes as her love. I’m not making any assumptions about whether that’s a partner, husband, best friend or family member! What I do know is that I’m still obsessing about whether or not to cover my face when I go outside – most people still aren’t, and while I know it’s a sensible thing to do I hate feeling conspicuous. I want to be invisible.

I painted this portrait in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Cola: A Good Drawing Day

Japan is very high on my list of places I’d love to visit, though for a whole host of practical and health reasons I’m not sure I’ll ever get there. So I loved every minute of drawing Sktchy muse Cola’s Portrait, drawn from a photo taken in Yukata. I was very nearly transported away from lockdown Britain to a tearoom in Japan for the couple of hours I spent drawing this – it was possibly my favourite drawing session ever.

I’m so glad I learned to draw, especially now. Anything that can give me an escape from the anxiety of lockdown is precious indeed.

I drew Cola in my Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Posca pens.

Adamo: Roar-Out for the Mental Health Community in the Lockdown

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you probably didn’t know a month ago that I have a history of mental health problems. It’s not that I hide it, I don’t. I may we’ll have mentioned here before, I’m not sure. It’s just that it’s generally not that relevant to my drawing. But that all changed with the C-19 lockdown.

Drawing, painting, any kind of art, has been an essential therapeutic activity for me since I started to draw 5 or 6 years ago. But it’s only in the last week or so that I’ve actually used my choice of portrait to process my emotions. I tried to write about how I was feeling last week but it was too difficult.

I think many people don’t understand how triggering this situation is for people with a history of mental health problems. I had severe depression and anxiety which left me agoraphobic for a long time. Learning to leave the house again regularly and relatively easily was a long slow difficult process. Not being able to triggers very difficult memories and the fear of a relapse. It’s hard to write about all the feelings I have without provoking intense anxiety, it’s much easier to draw a portrait that reflects my feelings, and doing that reduces my anxiety.

Today this is the image that best fits my mood because I want to roar. Not in anger, this is more of a shout-out, a roar-out, for all those amazing people in my online mental health community who are managing those difficulties in this lockdown with minimal help, if any, from mental health services AND supporting each other. Yes, healthcare workers and delivery drivers are amazing but so is someone who has ever had OCD who is coping with all the public health messages about a virus and handwashing. I’m so grateful to my mental health community both on and offline for being there for me and for everyone else who needs them right now.

Thanks to Sktchy muse Adamo for being inspiration for today’s portrait, which I painted with watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.