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.


Getting in some ballpoint pen practice today on this portrait of Kseniya. I still have no real idea what I’m doing when I draw with ballpoint pens. It’s a very different feeling to drawing with Copic markers or painting with watercolours, I’m way outside my comfort zone and I’ve got no real method or way of approaching a drawing. I’m very much feeling my way in the dark. But I like to do this at least once every week or so, I think I learn so much more when I work outside that comfort zone. And ballpoints are so unforgiving- this is a very uncomfortable discomfort zone so it teaches me a lot.

I drew Kseniya’s portrait in a Moleskine sketchbook with Bic Cristal and Bic 4-colour ballpoint pens.


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.


Still struggling to really feel comfortable with ballpoint pens. There were times when I was drawing this whe I was getting a light touch and then I just lost it completely again. I’m hoping that eventually, with more and more practice, I’ll get there and it will begin to come naturally.

I drew Nande in a Moleskine sketchbook with Bic Cristal ballpoint pens.


Sometimes drawings just don’t turn out as well as you hope. This portrait of Maria actually looked fine at the halfway stage. I should have stopped there. I started drawing it on a train a week ago. And then it has been completed in bits and pieces over a very frustrating day when I started out with no broadband and had to wait for it be restored, I’ve been working on and off in online meetings and drawing in between. The end result is an overworked portrait where I really haven’t taken the time to stop and think properly about what I’ve been doing. I thought it was OK when I finished it (and it does look better in the sketchbook than in the photo) but now I can see the many things that are wrong with it. Maybe I’ll come back to it and work on it some more another day – or will that just be overworking it more?

I drew Maria’s portrait in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook with Bic and Paperchase multicolour ballpoint pens.


This was a good inspiration photo to use for ballpoint pen practice. I got to use a good range of colours and to work on lights and darks, and there wasn’t too much to worry about in terms of actually drawing Ahmed’s face because the circle provided a frame and I just had to situate a few features. What I love about this ballpoint pen practice is that I do feel like I’m making progress with each drawing. It’s tiny steps forward, but it’s all in the right direction. I love that experience of learning something new!

I drew Ahmed’s portrait in my tiny pocket Moleskine with a range of Bic multicolour ballpoint pens.