Aleksandra

A short while ago I was posting this image on Sktchy and browsing my feed on the app. Over the past few months of lockdown Sktchy has been hosting a whole series of classes on digital portraiture, something I’ve been doing for years. Just all my artist friends are beginning to embrace the world of digital art, I find myself swimming once more against the stream and retreating from it back towards traditional media.

It’s not that I’m not interested any more in digital art, but I’m more interested in how I can apply the skills it has taught me to my use of watercolour and coloured pencils and pens – I see these skills as so interchangeable and inseparable. But I do sometimes feel as though I’m always destined to be in a very different place to most everyone else when it comes to art making. Do other artists who didn’t get here by traditional routes, who didn’t go to art school, feel the same way?

I painted portrait of Aleksandra with Sennelier watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and then worked over it with Polychromos and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Zoey

Totally lost the likeness with this portrait of Zoey from Sktchy but I’m enjoying pushing my practice with coloured pencils and learning as I go. They really aren’t in my comfort zone and I’m finding that everything I learn working on these portraits is proving really useful in my mixed media work.

I drew this in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.

Eva

I’ve been taking a new course on Skillshare – Chris Hong’s class on coloured pencil portraiture. This portrait of Eva from Sktchy is my first attempt at a portrait using some of what I learned from Chris’s method. I’m not someone who tries to copy other people’s techniques wholesale but I take some learning from them and incorporate it into my own methods. I enjoyed drawing this more than I usually enjoy using coloured pencils so I will probably try one or two more but I think I’m more likely to use Chris’s amazing colour lessons to inform my own process.

I drew this in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.

Mike in a (mandatory?) mask

Mike

Wearing a mask is mandatory on public transport in the UK from today unless you have a health reason not to wear one so I thought I’d mark the occasion with a portrait of Sktchy muse Mike wearing his mask. I’m glad that finally mask wearing is becoming acceptable in this country. I hope that with the easing of the lockdown it becomes more commonplace and that this helps to inhibit any second wave.

I’ve found lockdown incredibly difficult and, while I’m not rushing out of the house and heading to the shops today because I’m not convinced it’s safe to do so yet, I’m hoping against hope that people will be sensible and the death rate will continue to fall.

I drew Mike with Polychromos coloured pencils in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook.

Anna

Not feeling that well these past few days, it’s been a crazy work week month…) and I’m really feeling it, and I’m struggling a little to focus on my drawing. I feel that I’m losing the likenesses more than usual but I’m still enjoying the process as much as ever.this is the very beautiful Sktchy muse Anna – though it doesn’t look entirely like her!

I drew it in my Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.

Craig

I somehow managed to totally lose Craig’s likeness while drawing this portrait. That happens more when I draw with pencils than with any other medium, perhaps because I’m still finding my way and not yet entirely comfortable using them. I think I’m focusing so much on trying to find a technique that works for me that I pay less attention to the actual drawing of the face once I’ve mapped the basic shapes and so I lose the likeness. That’s my excuse anyway!

I drew Craig in my Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with Polychromos coloured pencils.