Hannah

This is Hannah, who’s photo was posted on Sktchy by photographer Andy. As you may know by now if you’re a regular visitor to this blog, I’m not a huge fan of drawing hair so I’m always happy to draw models with very short hair like Hannah here. And it makes it so much easier to focus on bone structure when there’s no hair getting in the way. Having said all that, I totally lost the likeness in this portrait, though I still like the way it turned out.

I drew this in a Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

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.

Sydney

This is Sydney from Sktchy. I’m really happy with this portrait. I think i did a good job of combining watercolour and coloured pencils. I can see mistakes, of course, but I’m enjoying the direction my work is going at the moment.

I drew Sydney in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with a Unipin grey brush fineliner, painted her with Sennelier watercolours and finished the portrait off with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Catherine

This is drawn from an inspiration photo on Sktchy of Catherine posing as Frida Kahlo. Since Frida is one of my favourite artists and inspirations it should be no surprise that the photo found its way to the top of my Sktchy queue as soon as I saw it. I used Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils to draw it in my Midori cotton sketchbook.

D

This is a portrait drawn from a photo posted by D on Sktchy so I’m afraid I don’t know the model’s name. i usually name my portraits after the model so in this case I’ve named it after the person who posted the inspiration image.

I drew it in my Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils but I wasn’t happy with the hair so I uploaded it to my iPad Pro and then worked on the hair a little bit using the Procreate app to soften the edges and make it look a little less like a wig. I’m still not very happy with it but this is a huge improvement on how it looked before!

Nik

For me, part of the fun of drawing is choosing the media to use for a portrait. That’s why I use so many different drawing materials rather than just sticking with one favourite. This portrait of Nik from Sktchy is a great example. In the inspiration photo she’s looking a little dishevelled in the middle of clouds of coloured gas and haze and the question for me was how I could best portray that. Watercolour and coloured pencil seemed the best option and I think they’ve worked well here, especially for the gas in the background.

I used Sennelier watercolours and Prismacolor coloured pencils in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

Daria

I decided to switch things up a little by putting my favourite Zecchi watercolours aside for a while and get some of my other watercolour sets out of the drawer. I have several different sets and most of them sit unused for most of the year, especially if I don’t travel at all, as has happened this year. So for this portrait of Daria from Sktchy I used my Sennelier paints.

Sennelier are my favourite of the mass market watercolours – like Zecchi they have a honey binder, and that seems to be what is distinctive about all the paints I like the most. As usual I painted this in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

Melek

I can’t resist a good mirror selfie, especially when there’s a little bit of distortion to make it a bit more fun! This is a portrait of Melek drawn from a really fabulous mirror selfie she posted on Sktchy.

I drew this portrait in my Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Lucia

Sometimes an inspiration image is so great it tells a story all by itself. You don’t need to do nothing except draw or paint it. Once you’ve done that the story is there on the page for the viewer to see and interpret as they see fit. The inspiration photo for this portrait of Lucia from Sktchy is one of those images. It’s such a perfect photo of a young woman with her hair in big pink rollers, not the kind of image very often these days, yet something that speaks of a very familiar past to anyone born more than 30 or so years ago. I love it and I loved painting it.

I drew this with a Unipin dark grey brush pen, painted it with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.