The Storm P. Museum

I’ve drawn very little since december. I really need to get back drawing daily again!

So today I had a great Creative Friday; First I vent to the Stom P. Museum – a fantastic place for some InkTober inspiration. Afterwards I sat at a café across the street and drew the museum. It was amazing weather and I realised how much I missed sitting outside drawing with a good cup of coffee.

Mirror portraits

I was a bit shell shocked after InkTober but I wanted a project to wrap up what I had learned during InkTober. Thanks to some great photos on Sktchy I came up with this idea about a series of mirrored portraits in blue and orange to see how far I could push it.

The orange colour was a bit tricky. I tried several inks but could not find any orange that could go dark enough to match the tones of Schmincke’s turquoise blue Aero Color. In the galley at the bottom is an example where I was trying out one of Goldens fluid acrylics (transparent Pyrrole Orange). Although the result wasn’t too bad, getting there was an absolut nightmare – these fluid acrylics does not behave like acrylic inks.

By the end I gave up just using a single colour and ended up using mixtures of two Aero Colors, Cadmium Orange hue and Burnt Sienna. You can see my mixing chart and the progression of my test drawing below.


I am really happy with the result of the finished drawings, going from never drawing faces to this in a year has been a fantastic journey. I love working with the brush and ink washes.

One thing I have not enjoyed since I started on the ink washes, is how I ended up doing the underdrawings. I have used a grid and spend an idiotic amount of time finetuning it until I got I right. I feels more like copying then drawing – actually it is copying. I need to find a looser/faster and more interesting way of doing this. I will probably still do underdrawing this way form time to time, but only when the likeness have to be absolutely spot on like say a family portrait.

One Week 100 People – take two

I somehow ended up in a drawing funk for 2 months. To try to get out of it I did another round of OneWeek100People last week – this time only doing continuous line portraits directly in fountain pen to save time.

100 done, 2 full sketch books in one week!

After the first 75 I was getting slower trying to be more accurate so I started to use a Japanese extra fine fountain pen (much finer than a european EF ). Started to draw much faster going over the same lines several times. I like the result, the drawings got faster and a bit looser again.

It’s been great drawing again and it’s completely surreal to look at 2 full sketchbooks and realise that I filled them in just 5 days…

I normally always draw an underdrawing in pencil – which can make the drawings a bit stiff/tight – and I’m generally very slow at drawing. The continuous line drawings have been a great exercise for loosening up and starting to draw directly in ink. I’m only posting a few of the drawings – they are a great exercise but not necessary very interesting for everyone else to look at – to quote my son; some of them are epic fails.

I also added my first two attempts drawing/painting with Aero Color acrylic inks. Great fun, but I don’t really have a clue what I’m doing yet. It was very hard controlling the amount of water, the inks where much more saturated than I expected. It’s really hard/strange for me not to use any lines but since I’m trying to draw looser and lose the contour lines it was a great exercise too. Can’t all be ink so the last drawing was mostly done with my favourite pencil; Polychromos dark indigo. I really like the photo, it’s been in my queue for quite a while. Didn’t quite capture what I wanted to in the face so I might take another stab at it another day. I drew the eyes quite wonky but I almost saved it by placing one set of eyelashes high and the other one low 😉

Sktchy30 drawings in April

My daily drawings during April have all been part of Sktcy’s #sktchy30 drawing challenge. It’s been a great experience and another month of drawing portraits has definitely helped me improve. All the drawings were done in a 19x19cm Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook. The paper is all media and I used just about everything in it (even spray paint) and I finally started experimenting with ink and water washes – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

March drawings – it’s getting better

I took my time on a couple of the drawings. Without all the daily drawings I would never have made it this far.

Never before have I drawn as much as i did in the last month. Apart from the 100 people in 1 week I also kept up the daily drawings. Some days I started to practice life drawing so I can start putting some bodies under the faces I’m drawing. So far I’m only drawing from video on Croquis-cafe. They have some great recordings of 10 poses in 20 minutes, it’s sort of like a traditional figure drawing class. They are also great if after a long day I still haven’t done my daily drawing, then I just start one of the videos and know that I’ll be done in 20 minutes. I already filled a pile of A2 sheets with quick sketches. They’r great practice, but not interesting enough to post.

Today I filled the last page in my sketch book. The next sketchbook should behave better with wet media, so hopefully I can have some fun with watercolours and ink washes too. Hope it’s good because it has 95 sheets in it so I’ll be carrying it around for a long time – even with a daily drawing.

Sktchy are doing a drawing challenge in April where they send a daily assignment. I of course joined, now I won’t have to worry about what to draw all month 😉