I have a beautiful set of Japanesque watercolours in shades of black. I don’t use them very often but when I do they always perform beautifully and I tell myself I must use them more often. The Sktchy inspiration photo of Seyede that I used for this portrait cried out for me to use them and I’m so happy with the finished portrait. I used the blue black, red black and green black.
This portrait is the last one in my latest Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. you can see a flip through of the entire sketchbook on YouTube here.
Cody didn’t look sad in the Sktchy inspiration photo for this portrait but somehow all my portraits end up looking sad at the moment. It’s not deliberate, they just end up that way. They’re being affected/infected by coronavirus.
I used Zecchi watercolours and Prismacolor coloured pencils in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook for this portrait.
The Sktchy app, which is the source of almost all my inspiration photos, is mostly predominantly full of photos of younger people, and mostly young beautiful women. Of course men post photos there too and parents post plenty of photos of their children. But, as in society, people over 40, and especially women over 40, are largely invisible, and for older people , those over 60, even more so. This isn’t true for the Sktchy artist community, of course, just for the “muse” community, the people who posts selfies wanting to be drawn. Most of the images of older people you find if you hunt them down are of other artists who’ve posted a few pictures for their profile. But there are a few wonderful older muses who get drawn often (1) because they are fabulous to draw and (2) because there are so few of them. So if you’re an older person reading this and would like your portrait drawn by lots of different artists download the Sktchy app and upload some good selfies.
I wanted to draw someone older today because I wanted to honour the many thousands of older people who are dying in the UK at the moment and whose deaths are not even being counted properly. It must seem like many of them are invisible to everyone except their loved ones. So it felt important to say that they are not invisible, that they are not forgotten, if I am thinking about them then so are millions of others.
I’ve decided to try to draw a Sktchy portrait of an older person once a week in honour of those dying in the community of coronavirus, mostly older people, many of whose deaths are not being properly recorded.
I painted Lesley with Zecchi watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.
These are the very lovely feet and hands of Sktchy muse Caroline. My feet used to look like this. I was once happy to have what I thought were “pretty” feet. And then in 2016 I had a neurectomy to remove a small tumour from a nerve in my right foot and developed CRPS (which stands for Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome), a rare disease, as a consequence of the surgery.
CRPS can be cured if it’s rapidly but if it isn’t treated successfully in the first 6 months the prognosis is poor. NHS waiting lists in pain services meant that I didn’t get seen for 6 months, by which time it was too late. My CRPS had spread from my foot up my leg.
It’s a neurological condition which affects the way nervous system responds to stimuli – basically it over responds to any and all stimuli. So a light touch or slight breeze can feel excruciatingly painful. As you’ve probably guessed it also causes change in the appearance of affected limbs. My foot is misshapen now and changes colour when I’m having a freezing or burning pain flare. The freezing pain flare isn’t so obvious, but when I have a burning flare my entire foot can turn red, then purple and even black. It’s not a pretty sight.
CRPS can also mirror in the opposite limb and I have some mirroring in my left foot too now, though thankfully not in the whole foot. But part of that will also burn and change colour to match my right foot – I call it “coming out in sympathy” for my other foot. So I never, ever draw my feet any more. I used to when they were pretty, but no these days. But I hope I’ve raised a little bit of CRPS awareness by talking about it here – probably worth saying you can also get it in your hands.
I painted this in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Zecchi watercolours.
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.
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.