This portrait of Sktchy muse Veera is my submission for this week’s Old School Sktchy challenge, the word for which is “masterpiece”. I didn’t really want to try to reproduce an Old Master and I’m not brave enough to attempt the style of a great painter but I loved Veera’s photo of herself standing in front of a projection of Van Gogh’s ‘Almond Blossoms’. So this seemed a good choice for my masterpiece.

I drew this portrait in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.


I bought a small pocket Moleskine sketchbook so I can practice with ballpoint pens without having to spend 5 or 6 hours on a portrait. This is my first portrait in the book. I also bought a set of Kum ballpoints – there is a great yellow, much less fluorescent than most ballpoint yellows, but the pens are a bit dribbley. I was also struggling to get light marks with them but I’m reasonably happy with what I produced in less than 2 hours.


It’s hard to focus on drawing today while the future of the UK is being decided in Parliament but I’m doing my best. Diana has provided a good distraction. I drew her in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with Copic multiliners, Copic markers and some Polychromos coloured pencils.

Alessa’s boyfriend

Back in my Copic comfort zone, today’s Sktchy muse is Alessa’s boyfriend. He was irresistible really because he has such fabulous freckles and anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know that faces with freckles are my favourite ones to draw.

I drew him in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with Copic multiliners and markers and coloured pencils.

Laura’s husband

I’ve been taking a class on drawing with ballpoint pen in the Sktchy Art School taught by Robin Hilthouse. It’s a great course and the key technique is smooth transitions between colours. I’ve enjoyed it enormously and learned a great deal. However, I know don’t have the patience to work in exactly the same way that Robin does, so by the time I was halfway through this, my final practice portrait for the course, I was starting to adapt and move more towards the kind of hatching I do with coloured pencil. I simply don’t have the patience to create the kind of gentle invisible hatching that Robin creates, and I’m not a realistic artist anyway, so I think I’ll be taking what I’ve learned and using it for a more textured hatching, more like that which I use with coloured pencil, which conveys a sense of the person without creating a realistic portrait. I’ll be practicing more in the coming weeks and I’ll have to see where it takes me.

This was drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens. It took about 5 hours to complete.


I’m still working away at my ballpoint pen practice but those portraits take many hours, so I took some time out today to return to my Copic comfort zone and draw one of my favourite Sktchy muses, Giada.

I drew this in my A4 Moleskine with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.


I love watching artists draw and watching Robin Hilthouse draw in his Sktchy Portraits in Pen course is such a pleasure. I’m also learning so much. He takes around 8 to 10 hours for a full face portrait; I haven’t got either the patience or the skill yet for an 8 hour drawing but this unfinished portrait of Sktchy muse Klara took around 2-3 hours and by the end I was definitely making lighter better strokes than at the start.  So I definitely made progress over the time it took me to draw it!

I drew this in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens.

River’s eye

I’m taking a Sktchy Art School course offered by Robin Hilthouse on drawing with ballpoint pens and decided my attempt to draw an eye with ballpens could be my daily Sktchy, my practice for the course and today’s Inktober drawing for the prompt “frail”. I had surgery on my right eye in my very early 30s and I have some more problems with my eyes now which are bothersome more than worrying, but perhaps I know more than the average person how frail and precious our eyes are. I think I have some way to go before I can draw an eye as beautifully as Robin but I enjoyed the challenge.

I drew this in a Moleskine sketchbook with a variety of Bic and Staedtler ballpoint pens.


Coco’s portrait is my entry for this week’s Old School Sktchy wax challenge on the theme “literature”, referencing the novel ” Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden. It was a really difficult draw because the heavy face makeup means there are so few skintones to work with – and that’s where I focus most of my energy. So I had to concentrate more on the hair decoration, the clothing and the parasol, which aren’t really my strengths. So it was a good challenge for me.

I drew this in a Moleskine sketchbook with Copic markers and coloured pencils.