This is the lovely Julieta from Sktchy. I used to work only in Copic markers but I think it’s fair to say that I couldn’t imagine working only with markers these days. I always work over them with coloured pencils to add more subtlety and sheen to the skintones and highlights in the hair. They are also great for working over smalll errors in my linework!


Álfrún was one of my first Sktchy draws and every so often I return to her gallery to find another photo to draw. She has a wonderful collection of inspiration photos to choose from and such a beautiful face to draw. Capturing such fair skintones and light hair effectively is also a challenging exercise for me to return to. I used Lisa Bardot’s new upadted Pencil Box brush collection for Procreate to draw this portrait on my iPad Pro.


This is Bennett from Sktchy. This portrait ended up looking rather stylised, more than I’d intended, and I’m not sure if I like it. I don’t think it’s any one element, it’s more a combination of the quite blocky hair, the overly lidded eyes and the too small mouth. I unintentionally exaggerated all these features just a little too much. Every portrait is a lesson.


I love it when people upload photos of themselves pulling faces onto Sktchy. It’s so much more interesting to draw unusual facial expressions than the regular “straight to camera” smile.

If you’re a Sktchy muse reading this and wondering what kind of photos you need to post to get drawn, this is something Sktchy artists are always talking about off-site. Personally I like clear crisp photos with great eyes, interesting skin tones, good shadows, freckles, lots of reflected light, hands… no photo will have everything I want but those are things that catch my eye. Photos I avoid are ones that are too blurry, anything that has been touched up to create clear smooth skin (it might look great in beauty photos but it’s totally uninteresting to paint), and lots of teeth (teeth are most artists’ nightmare and I struggle to make them look good), and ones with Snapchat filters of any kind.

But at the end of the day everyone has their own personal preference and what I don’t like might well appeal to someone else – so don’t be put off from posting your favourite photos. Most importantly, as with all social media, interact with people and comment on their work. I always check out the photos of everyone who comments on my work to see if they have photos I might want to draw.


I lost the likeness a little in this portrait of Lindsay from Sktchy but it was fun to draw. I was back in my comfort zone of Copic markers and coloured pencils which always feels so much more controllable than any other medium to me, so I was maybe a bit too relaxed and forgot to keep an eye on the likeness!



I enjoyed drawing this portrait of Jenell from Sktchy so much. I had my second Covid vaccination a few days ago and once again it’s made me fairly unwell so I’ve taken a few days off work and haven’t really been able to sit at my desk and draw. But I can hold my iPad for a little while and draw on it in short bursts and I’ve drawn this over a few days. And once I finished I played around with the colours in Procreate and couldn’t decide which one I liked best so I put all four together.

I’ve posted the original below too so you can see what it looks like as I actually drew it.


Today I’ve been working on another page in my little sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project 2021. My Screen Queen for today is Villanelle from the wonderful BBC drama “Killing Eve“, played by Jodie Comer. I’m beginning to realise that most of my Screen Queens are kick ass women with assertively violent streaks. Not sure what that says about me 🙂


This is Judith from Sktchy. Her skin is so pale I had to work very hard at getting those very light layers of skintone down without overworking them – I used a lot of water and the paper buckled even more than it usually does! And the. I had to go in with coloured pencils and add a little more shade (especially under the chin) than I usually would just to get a bit of definition but trying not to lose the ethereal quality of her very beautiful look. I think I just about pulled it off – but this is one I’d like to come back to in a year or so when my skills have progressed to see what I can do with it by then.