I’ve been struggling to find time for drawing and painting this week as my workload increases in the rush to tie up project loose ends before things wind down for the Christmas break. But I’ve managed to paint a watercolour of Mikhayla from Sktchy this afternoon.

I’m partway through a Domestika course on watercolour portraits that I started last week and I can see the improvement in this portrait, the first I’ve done sine starting that course. My washes are lighter and much better controlled. Hopefully I’ll find some time to get back to the course before Christmas!



This is Laura, a wonderful Sktchy artist and my model for the day. I love her gaze in the Sktchy photo I used for this portrait and I’m really pleased with how well I managed to capture it. I’m beginning to feel like I’m developing a style with ballpoint pens that I like and can really work with. Drawing with them is starting to feel natural rather than like the battle it was just 5 or 6 portraits ago.

I drew Laura in a Moleskine sketchbook with a range of Bic 4-colour ballpoints.



In theory we can now go out for exercise as many times as we want. In practice I’m staying home and staying safe. I’m lucky, I’ve been remote working from home since the beginning of March and I don’t think that’s likely to change any time soon. But I did make a car trip to the chemist and the vets today to pick up both my meds and the dog’s meds – all socially distanced – and this was the first time I’ve been out into the world other than to walk the dog since lockdown. It felt like a huge exciting adventure. And then I felt guilty for being excited by it. But that fifteen to twenty minute return to what felt like “normal life” has lifted my spirits for the whole day.

I drew Sktchy muse Daisy in a Moleskine sketchbook with Bic Cristal and Bic 4-colour ballpoint pens.


Yesterday Sktchy held a Sktchy Live drawing session on YouTube with Sktchy teacher and crosshatching wizard France van Stone. I didn’t get to catch it live but I watched it today and drew along. France drew Jordan Melnick, the founder of Sktchy – so now you know what he looks like!

I drew Jordan in a Moleskine sketchbook with a Rotring mechanical pencil with an HB lead and Mitsubishi 2 colour pencil using the Prussian Blue end.


More practice with ballpoint pens for this portrait of Sktchy muse Rim. The most difficult part of ballpoint pen drawing for me right now is figuring out when to stop. I have a tendency to keep going and overwork my portraits but I think they look better underworked. I don’t know if I left this at the right point but I think I was in danger of messing it up if I kept going so I stopped.

I drew Rim in an A5 Moleskine sketchbook with 3 Bic multicolour ballpoint pens.


This is Sktchy muse Rain Rose drawn with ballpoint pen in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook. Feel like I’m definitely developing a personal style now, which means I’m much less hesitant to start drawing with my pens, and my ballpoint portraits are looking bolder as a result.


I feel like I’m beginning to develop a distinctive style in my ballpoint pen drawing. It’s not quite the same as my drawing style with other media, I don’t find it as easy to keep the likeness because I’m still concentrating more on my pen work, but I do like where it’s going. This portrait of Sktchy muse Teri is definitely my favourite so far.

I drew this portrait with Bic Cristal pens in an A5 Moleskine sketchbook.