Mr Bandit: Life through a Zoom screen

Mr Bandit

This is a portrait of one of my Sktchy artist heroes Mr Bandit. It captures my life so perfectly right now, since I mostly live it through a Zoom screen. I spend several hours each day remote working, having virtual coffees (with colleagues, family and/or friends) and participating in online classes. And then I spend an hour or two drawing and playing Animal Crossing on my Switch (yes, another screen) to keep me off Twitter.

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

May the fourth be with you: Happy Star Wars Day

Today is one of my favourite days of the year – even lockdown isn’t going to burst my Star Wars bubble and stop me drawing my annual May the Fourth Star Wars portrait. This awesome Yoda cosplay portrait is inspired by a photo posted by Beth on Sktchy.

I drew this in a Midori cotton sketchbook with Copic markers.



Something totally different today, a mermaid for Mermay. Mermay is a daily drawing challenge during the month of May, when the idea is quite simple to draw a mermaid every day, but I’ve never participated in it before. but then I saw Angela’s inspiration photo on Sktchy and decided that I would draw at least one mermaid this month.

It’s not my best work, I’m definitely having a few days when everything that can go wrong when I’m drawing does, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s usually a sign that I’ve either been working too much in a comfort zone (probably true) or I’m about to make a breakthrough (that would be nice..). Either way when I’m wrestling with my drawing it generally means I need to accept it and I will eventually move forward.

I painted this in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and then work Ed on it initially with Prismacolor coloured pencils and then digitally in Procreate.

Laya’s Love: Still Obsessing Over Face Coverings…

Today’s portrait is of a photo posted on Sktchy by Laya of someone she describes as her love. I’m not making any assumptions about whether that’s a partner, husband, best friend or family member! What I do know is that I’m still obsessing about whether or not to cover my face when I go outside – most people still aren’t, and while I know it’s a sensible thing to do I hate feeling conspicuous. I want to be invisible.

I painted this portrait in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Jackie: No Words

The Financial Times has analysed figures released by the Office of National Statistics and estimates that the real figure for COVID-19 related deaths in the UK as of yesterday was in the region of 41,000, more than double the government’s official figure (

41,000 people dead, and I’ve seen today’s figure put at 43,000. I have no words to adequately express my feelings. I can barely breathe when I try to imagine that number of people grieving for their loved ones. How many more…

I painted Jackie’s portrait in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Mussu in a Mask

To mask or not to mask is becoming more of a conversation every day in the UK, but they are still very difficult to get hold of. But you can make your own now, so long as you don’t need them to be medical quality – YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are bursting with instructional videos for sewing your own and even hacks for making stitch-free versions using scarves and elastic bands. I ordered a couple of washable ones from Amazon a month ago and they finally arrived this week so I have some if I need to go to the shops or chemists. But official policy at the moment is that they don’t need to be worn in public.

This is Sktchy muse Mussu. I drew her in a Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.


This is Richard, today’s Sktchy face. I’ve lost his likeness a little and made him look more melancholy than he does in the Sktchy inspiration photo, but I like the painting a lot nevertheless.

I drew the portrait in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with a Unipin fineliner, painted it with my everyday Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it off with Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Avril Needs a Hug

This portrait of Sktchy member Avril captures very well how I’ve been feeling these past few days.

I drew it in a Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Tara and Living with Zoom

Today’s Sktchy portrait is of Tara. I chose this inspiration photo because it reflects how I look on Zoom midway through most afternoons these days – though considerably older and less attractive, it’s the expression and posture I’m referring to really. I’ve always done some of my work remotely via Zoom but I’m finding spending the day going from one Zoom meeting to another with little time to breathe in between exhausting.

Spending so much time in front of a screen is also making my chronic migraines even more frequent than usual. So, despite all the advice not to touch our faces, I’m afraid I’m head-in-hand or head-clutching even more often than usual.

Having said all that, I know I’m lucky to still have work. In fact, I’ve got more work now than I had before the lockdown and I don’t want to complain about that, not least because I don’t know how long it will last. As anyone reading this who’s also self-employed will know, the curse of self-employment is that you have to take the work when it’s there because you never know what the future might hold, and that’s especially true in these Coronavirus days. I’m just hoping that my eyes, body and brain will adjust and the migraines will ease over the next few weeks.

I drew this portrait in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook, painted it with Zecchi watercolours and finished it with Prismacolor coloured pencils.