I had my Covid booster on Sunday and I’ve had my usual post-vaccination sickness ever since so I haven’t been well enough to manage both work and drawing until today, when I did just get in this quick sketch of Vic.


Not quite a selfie

I’ve been slowly working my way through the back catalogue of Danny Gregory’s weekly Sketchbook Skool Draw With Me sessions on YouTube. I try to attend the live sessions of this on Thursday if I can but they sometimes clash with work so I’ve missed a lot and now I’m revisiting those missed sessions one by one.

Today I took the session on Drawing Distortion which invited everyone to draw a distorted version of Danny or themselves. I hate drawing selfies but love drawing distortion and have no issue with drawing a distorted version of myself! So I snapped a quick selfie and used a photo app on my iPhone to distort it. And then I went straight in with a fineliner drawing, then adding colour with some watercolour pencils I found in a drawer.

I love the end result. I think it’s instantly recognisable as me, while being very distorted 😂

If you want to check out a Draw with Me session you can find them on YouTube here.

Louis XVI

Every Thursday at 5pm BST Sketchbook Skool’s Danny Gregory hosts a one hour Draw With Me session on YouTube. Anyone can attend and it’s free. People attend from all around the world and, for about 45 minutes, we draw along with Danny while he chats about what he’s drawing, the nature of drawing, and anything else that comes up. It’s a very sociable occasion, with people commenting and chatting in the online chat, which is also hosted by Sketchbook Skool.

What we draw each week is usually a surprise. This week’s session was on Bastille Day so we drew Louis XVI. Obviously I love it when the sessions feature a portrait because I get to draw another face. I try to finish my drawings in the session because I love the challenge of trying to work much faster than usual, so I drew this portrait in 45-50 minutes (I did add the gold in just a few minutes after the session).

If you like to draw then why not join a session one Thursday? If the time doesn’t suit you then they are recorded so you can watch the recorded sessions at a time that fits with your schedule (but it’s more fun to join live if you can because you can participate in the chat). The entire back catalogue is available on Sketchbook Skool’s YouTube channel here. If you want to see some of the work created during sessions head over to Instagram and search for #SBSDrawWithMe.


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’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.