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.


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.


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.


This is Agathe from Sktchy. I was trying so hard here to hold back with my watercolour and not end up with mud. I’m really struggling with the paper in this Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. It’s not taking watercolour as well as the previous ones I’ve used; the paper is becoming soaked after just a few layers and subsequent layers are becoming muddy. So I was trying here to keep my layers lighter and use much less water. I think it’s less loose as a result, but there’s no mud!

I was using Zecchi watercolours and Prismacolor coloured pencils in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.


I slowed right down for this portrait of Sktchy muse Rocio and I think it shows. I feel this is a return to my traditional Copic style and I’m so pleased I’ve found my way back.

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



Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading books (both fiction and non-fiction) written by black women in an attempt to educate myself more and become a better ally to the BLM movement. Although I’ve had many black friends throughout my life I never realised until I read these books how fundamentally different black hair is to care for from my very thick curly Caucasian hair. And hair is a big theme in every book I’ve read so far! So when I saw Joy’s beautiful photo on Sktchy I really wanted to draw her hair. I spent longer on it than I have on any hair I think I’ve ever drawn and I still don’t think I’ve really captured its beauty, but it’s a start.

I drew Joy in my Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.

Big Al

Big Al

Day 2 of my drawing therapy and I’ve drawn Big Al, Sktchy artist and muse. I used a new dip pen I bought recently and India ink – hence the blob of ink on Al’s ear. I forgot that pen and ink can be messy! But it’s also fun.

I made this portrait in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with pen and ink, Zecchi watercolours , Prismacolor coloured pencils and a white gel pen.



As those of you who’ve been following my blog these past few months will know I’ve been struggling with my mental health and with finding the motivation to draw since the coronavirus lockdown in the UK. I’m having some talking therapy now and my therapist has giving me homework this week of doing 1-2 hours drawing every day! So this portrait of Cilla is my homework for Day 1.

I drew Cilla in my Midori Cotton sketchbook with Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.


The Brighton-based life drawing school “Draw Brighton” started a Patreon at the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown to provide an income to help support the teachers and life models while the school is closed. I’m a patron and receive enormous bundles of amazing photos to draw from every month but I haven’t got around to drawing from many of them. But finally I painted this from one of their “Drawing Circus” collections. I’m afraid I don’t know the models name.

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

If you’d like to know more about Draw Brighton and/or their Patreon you can find more details here.