Courtney‘s friend

A little bit of Bank Holiday drawing resulted in this portrait of Courtney’s friend, wearing his beautiful flower crown.



This is Jan from the Museum by Sktchy app. I’m taking a much slower approach to my drawing and watercolour painting when I’m not actually teaching in a class at the moment (when I have to work fast because we only have about because we about 40 minutes of class time to work on a drawing). I’m think I’m getting better results from working slower.

M’s hand

We’re working on drawing hands in my Drawing Faces class for Sketchbook Skool’s Spark programme at the moment. I love drawing portraits that include hands and once you feel confident drawing hands you can draw so many more poses – heads in hands, people drinking or on their phone, someone scratching their head, etc – so I think it’s really important to learn to draw them even if you only want to draw faces. So we started with a hand pose and we’ll move on to portraits including hands in later classes.


I drew this portrait of Devon while teaching Spark classes for Sketchbook Skool. It ended up very wonky but that’s OK – it was a valuable lesson in how to keep going even when you really aren’t happy with your line drawing. And the final portrait turned out fine.


I started drawing and painting Rosi in my Drawing Faces class for Sketchbook Skool and finished it after the class. This was one of those portraits where I think I had a likeness at the drawing stage, then I lost it, got it back at various points, lost it completely and at this finished stage have a sense of her but definitely not a complete likeness. I think the bottom half of the face is not bad but I’ve lost something around the eyes, hair and top of the face.

Of course drawing in class isa very different to drawing for myself. I have to draw flat so my document camera captures the process well for everyone viewing online. I have to work faster than I would normally (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing). And I use a thicker pen so that my lines are more visible for viewers – and I do find that makes a big difference. Perhaps I’ll start using a fountain pen again so I can have more line variability if I’m going to have a thicker line?


I taught a class on using alcohol markers yesterday and pulled out a Derwent Graphik bleedproof sketchbook I’ve had on my shelf for years during the class to test some markers on. The paper seemed to work better than a lot of the other paper samples I had available in terms of not leaving any stripes when filling large spaces. Students were curious so I promised to test it further with a portrait.

I drew this portrait of Mahan in that sketchbook today. It does absorb the marker ink well, leaving no stripes, but I don’t like the chalky appearance of the markers on the paper. The paper also isn’t bleedproof as claimed. I got a reverse image on the other side of the page (you can see it below) just as I do in other sketchbooks (although it didn’t mark the next page). I wouldn’t be able to use this page for drawing.

I don’t hate the paper. I will probably use the rest of the sketchbook because I hate to see a sketchbook go unused. But I won’t be buying another.


This is Anna from the Museum by Sktchy app. I’m teaching a pop-up class on alcohol markers for the Spark programme at Sketchbook Skool later this afternoon and I want to talk about a range of markers, not just Copics, so I’ve been breaking out some of the other markers I’ve got in my supplies that I haven’t used for a while. So for Anna’s portrait I used the Spectrum Classique fair skin pack for all the skin tones. They did a nice job, though they’re a little darker than I would usually use for fair skin.

I also did an interview recently with Danny Gregory, the founder of Sketchbook Skool, about my sketchbook practice. He posted this on the Sketchbook Skool YouTube channel last Friday and if you’d like to take a look you can watch it at


I love drawing glasses and sunglasses and any kind of reflected light in portraits. I had a lot of fun with the green sunnies in this portrait of Kathryn from Museum by Sktchy.

I drew her with a Unipin fineliner in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook, painted her with Daniel Smith and Zecchi Toscana watercolour and finished the portrait off with Prismacolor coloured pencils.