As those of you who’ve been following my blog these past few months will know I’ve been struggling with my mental health and with finding the motivation to draw since the coronavirus lockdown in the UK. I’m having some talking therapy now and my therapist has giving me homework this week of doing 1-2 hours drawing every day! So this portrait of Cilla is my homework for Day 1.
I drew Cilla in my Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.
There is so much pain and anger in the world right now, I don’t really know how to respond to it all. My body responds with migraines, one after another. So my head still hurts but I’m still drawing as best I can. This is Ivanka, drawn from Sktchy,
I painted this in a Moleskine sketchbook with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.
I’ve been trying to access NHS talking therapy during the lockdown and it’s such hard work trying to navigate a system that makes no sense and I’m getting nowhere. The only other way I have of processing my emotions is to draw them out.
I drew Juliana in my Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.
This is Julie. I think it’s the first portrait I’ve ever drawn on black paper. I saw the photo of the plague mask and it made me think of the UK as the plague country of Europe, with the highest number of coronavirus deaths. So it seemed only right to draw on black paper and I changed the scarf to a Union Jack. The black mood, lightened by my drawing marks, seems appropriate.
I drew this on black Strathmore artist zentangle paper with Polychromos and Prismacolor coloured pencils.
Cody didn’t look sad in the Sktchy inspiration photo for this portrait but somehow all my portraits end up looking sad at the moment. It’s not deliberate, they just end up that way. They’re being affected/infected by coronavirus.
I used Zecchi watercolours and Prismacolor coloured pencils in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook for this portrait.
The Sktchy app, which is the source of almost all my inspiration photos, is mostly predominantly full of photos of younger people, and mostly young beautiful women. Of course men post photos there too and parents post plenty of photos of their children. But, as in society, people over 40, and especially women over 40, are largely invisible, and for older people , those over 60, even more so. This isn’t true for the Sktchy artist community, of course, just for the “muse” community, the people who posts selfies wanting to be drawn. Most of the images of older people you find if you hunt them down are of other artists who’ve posted a few pictures for their profile. But there are a few wonderful older muses who get drawn often (1) because they are fabulous to draw and (2) because there are so few of them. So if you’re an older person reading this and would like your portrait drawn by lots of different artists download the Sktchy app and upload some good selfies.
I wanted to draw someone older today because I wanted to honour the many thousands of older people who are dying in the UK at the moment and whose deaths are not even being counted properly. It must seem like many of them are invisible to everyone except their loved ones. So it felt important to say that they are not invisible, that they are not forgotten, if I am thinking about them then so are millions of others.
I’ve decided to try to draw a Sktchy portrait of an older person once a week in honour of those dying in the community of coronavirus, mostly older people, many of whose deaths are not being properly recorded.
I painted Lesley with Zecchi watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.
This is a portrait of one of my Sktchy artist heroes Mr Bandit. It captures my life so perfectly right now, since I mostly live it through a Zoom screen. I spend several hours each day remote working, having virtual coffees (with colleagues, family and/or friends) and participating in online classes. And then I spend an hour or two drawing and playing Animal Crossing on my Switch (yes, another screen) to keep me off Twitter.
I drew Mr Bandit in a Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.
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.