I drew most of this portrait of Evgenia in my class for this week’s Sketchbook Skool Spark programme. I didn’t have time to work on the hair during the class so I did that later and just focused on the face initially. I drew the portrait in my sketchbook and cleaned it up digitally on my iPad using the Procreate app.
I taught a class on using alcohol markers yesterday and pulled out a Derwent Graphik bleedproof sketchbook I’ve had on my shelf for years during the class to test some markers on. The paper seemed to work better than a lot of the other paper samples I had available in terms of not leaving any stripes when filling large spaces. Students were curious so I promised to test it further with a portrait.
I drew this portrait of Mahan in that sketchbook today. It does absorb the marker ink well, leaving no stripes, but I don’t like the chalky appearance of the markers on the paper. The paper also isn’t bleedproof as claimed. I got a reverse image on the other side of the page (you can see it below) just as I do in other sketchbooks (although it didn’t mark the next page). I wouldn’t be able to use this page for drawing.
I don’t hate the paper. I will probably use the rest of the sketchbook because I hate to see a sketchbook go unused. But I won’t be buying another.
This is Anna from the Museum by Sktchy app. I’m teaching a pop-up class on alcohol markers for the Spark programme at Sketchbook Skool later this afternoon and I want to talk about a range of markers, not just Copics, so I’ve been breaking out some of the other markers I’ve got in my supplies that I haven’t used for a while. So for Anna’s portrait I used the Spectrum Classique fair skin pack for all the skin tones. They did a nice job, though they’re a little darker than I would usually use for fair skin.
I also did an interview recently with Danny Gregory, the founder of Sketchbook Skool, about my sketchbook practice. He posted this on the Sketchbook Skool YouTube channel last Friday and if you’d like to take a look you can watch it at https://youtu.be/29P_Cqdp4rQ
I’ve recently started teaching a portrait class for Sketchbook Skool’s Spark subscription programme. Since I use Copic markers a lot there’s been some demand for more instruction on their use so this weekend I’m going to be teaching a pop-up class on alcohol markers. Since not everyone uses Copics I wanted to include a range of alcohol markers, so I dug out some of my other ones for the class and thought I would reacquaint myself with them.
So today I drew Tlali from Sktchy with Winsor & Newton Promarkers (& a few Copics since my W&N collection is very limited). I used the W&N skin tones 2 collection for this portrait in a Moleskine sketchbook.
You can find out more about Sketchbook Skool and Spark here.
I love drawing distortion. There is something very forgiving about drawing a distorted image. I think perhaps it’s because there is less pressure to create a perfect likeness – since the face is already distorted will any one looking at it really notice if you get it wrong and distort it a little bit more? I exaggerated her colouring too just because I felt like it, but I think I went a little too far with the pink and tried to pull it back a bit with coloured pencils at the end.
I borrowed Isabel’s face from the Museum by Sktchy app for this portrait and drew her with Copic markers and coloured pencils ain my Midori cotton sketchbook.
This is Chloe from the Museum by Sktchy app drawn with Copic markers and coloured pencils.
Sundays are good drawing days. I always feel like I have can take my time to draw on a Sunday, without feeling pressured by the demands of work. I’m never sure if that shows through in my portraits but I definitely feel that is draw slower at weekends when I feel more relaxed. Today I drew Scuzzilch from the Museum by Sktchy app with Copic markers and coloured pencils.
This is Rime from the Museum by Sktchy app. I drew her portrait with a fineliner, Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils. This is very much my comfort zone. I always feel most at home when drawing with Copics and in the past year or so I’ve added coloured pencils to this working method because I can add some softness and extra detail (both highlights and shadows) to the marker drawing with them.
Anais from the Museum by Sktchy app, drawn with Copic markers and coloured pencils.
I’m a long way away from my practice of daily portrait drawing at the moment – distracted by work, health issues and a gentle flow of commissions. In a few weeks time I’m hoping to have some surgery which might help a little with the health issues, we’ll see. My goal is to try to get back to a more or less daily practice of portrait drawing within a couple of months of the surgery. Watch this space to see if that happens.
In the meantime. I drew Ethan from the Museum by Sktchy app with Copic markers and coloured pencils in my Midori cotton sketchbook over a few days. The lack of daily practice is showing but I can only do what I can do right now. I’m glad to still be able to do some drawing right now.