Colette

This is a portrait of Colette from Museum by Sktchy started in my Sketchbook Skool Spark class yesterday and finished off after class.

Vic

In my last post I shared a portrait that I started during a workshop last weekend with watercolour artist Mario Robinson. Yesterday I began this portrait of Vic from Museum by Sktchy with the very deliberate intention of using my usual watercolour and coloured pencil approach BUT incorporating what I had learned from Mario’s workshop last weekend.

So instead of rushing the watercolour stage as I usually do I slowed right down. I started yesterday and finished today, spending at least twice as long as I usually do on it (2 hours +). I also used water in a second brush to soften the edges and preserve the highlights. And I tried to replicate some of Mario’s very swift brush strokes, designed to keep the brush on the paper for a short a time as possible.

I also didn’t do a number of things that I would usually do. I didn’t use any masking fluid – and I really like the end result just using water to preserve highlights, even if it takes longer. I didn’t use my usual darker fineliner – I’m not so sure about this decision. I feel like that’s part of my style and the portrait does look quite right without it. And because I did go in to finish off with my coloured pencil hatching I think that’s looks a little off (too strong ) without the fineliner outline to balance it. But I think my watercolour work is definitely better than it was a week ago, especially in the hair which is where I always lack the most confidence.

So I think going forward I will certainly be taking a lot of what I learned and incorporating it into my own method and adapting it to make it workable within the shorter timescales that I generally work with.

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.

Meredith’s child

It’s not often that I draw a whole person and even rarer that I do a portrait of a child, but who can resist a child in a dinosaur jacket? Not me. This is from a photo posted by Meredith on the Museum by Sktchy app.

Danny

Today’s portrait is not a Sktchy face. This is Danny Gregory, founder of Sketchbook Skool and all round art guru who is celebrating his birthday today. I owe Danny a lot. He is the person who got me drawing for the first time since childhood when I was in the depths of major depressive illness after a serious breakdown some years ago. It’s no exaggeration to say that drawing, and by extension Danny, was one of the things that helped to save my life.

Since that time chronic mental and physical illness has become a part of my life and daily drawing is part of my toolkit for maintaining my wellbeing. Sketchbook Skool and Sktchy, and the online communities that surround these, have become an integral part of my life and crucial to my mental and physical health. I’m hugely grateful to the people who make up these communities for their ongoing friendship and support and to Danny, Koosje Koene and Jordan Melnick for their foresight and hard work in creating and sustaining them.

Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that a few months ago I became a teacher for Sketchbook Skool. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to go from student to teacher. The very least I can do is draw Danny on his birthday and wish him a very happy birthday!

Wendy

This is one of those portraits where I lost the likeness completely but I nevertheless had fun with the process. I’ve drawn Wendy from Museum by Sktchy several times before too, and have never struggled to capture her likeness before – maybe it was the slightly upward looking angle that confounded me?

Vincent

Every week Sketchbook Skool founder Danny Gregory House Draw With Me session on YouTube. Anyone can attend and draw along with Danny. Each session has a different theme and after the session people post their drawings on social media (although this isn’t obligatory).

During this week’s s Draw With Me session we drew a 19-year-old Vincent van Gogh. I did a simple sketch in ballpoint pen. But many other people did wonderfully colourful drawings in true Van Gogh style and when I saw them posted online I decided I had to have a go. So I uploaded my sketch to my iPad and started playing around in Procreate with a TrueGrit TextureTown brush and the Liquefy function. This is what I ended up with. I love it.

You can see my process on YouTube here. If you’d like to watch a previous or attend a future Draw With Me session ( they’re absolutely free and open to anyone worldwide) you’ll find them here – make sure you subscribe if you want to receive a reminder of future sessions.