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.

InkTober 2017 – Now with water

I wanted to start experimenting with ink washes for a long time, so I added water to this years InkTober. I had great plans on how to prepare for my 3rd InkTober, but the only thing I actually did was to buy some watercolour paper… But this was my general plan;

1. Pick a Sktchy picture the evening before.
2. Start by warming up with a continuous line drawing in fountain pen.
3. Do an ink wash drawing.
4. If I have another great idea for the daily drawing: Ignore points 1-3.

I also wanted to draw faster and have a fairly portable setup. So I had this great plan about a quick underdrawing in pencil, and then adding 2 light passes of diluted india ink, a slightly darker 3rd pass and adding final details with fountain pen.

So thats what I did… for 5 days…

The number of passes seemed to grow by the day and the drawings were taking longer and longer. To try to save some time I dropped the warm up drawing and started drawing only half of the face, now using diluted water soluble inks form Lamy to add some colour.

I really wanted to rely less on contour line and after day 9 I realised that I had to go cold turkey and loos the fountain pen all together if I wanted improve at this. Soon after I started using diluted acrylic inks instead of dye based fountain pen ink giving me more control on the details. Quite an expensive month as I kept picking up new inks to try new colours.

All the drawings have been done with one brush only; a travel dagger brush, sable/nylon blend from Rosemary & Co.. I got one a while ago after reading about several urban sketcher using it as a “one brush dos all” but I newer really used it. Its my first “good” brush and I’m never going back to “too cheap” nylon brushes again – not that it’s an expensive brush. I’ll be getting one more to use with water colours.

The white highlights in the eyes where an adventure in their own right. Even though the drawings where dry the ink would bleed in to the white. Lamy’s dark lilac ink will happily bleed through 6 layers of Molotow acrylic marker. I tried any brand of white pens I could lay my hands on, opaque acrylic inks, china markers, cheap gouache etc.. In the beginning I fixed it in photoshop but I finally found a working solution; almost undiluted high quality gouache – some of the dark dye based inks might need an extra layer but it’s the best solution I found.

If you are curios about any of the inks I used u can read what ink I used in the comments on Instagram and Sketchy. The paper is 300g/m2 Canson Montval Aquarell and it worked really well.

Time wise this InkTober was a disaster. I spend way to much time on it, especially on the underdrawings and I didn’t really enjoy that part. But I really learned a lot about matching tone, using a brush and I got to explore a lot of new inks (Yes, I am an inkoholic). I also got a new best friend; my travel dagger brush.

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.

One Week 100 People 2017 – 100 done!

Since I’m really slow at drawing – and because it sounds like fun – I decided to taking on the Marc Taro Holmes /Liz Steel #OneWeek100People2017 drawing challenge. The idea is simple; draw 100 people in 5 days. It sounds almost impossible to me but I’m gonna give it a stab anyway.

Day one:

Phew, first 18 done – that was tough. I had this great plan about drawing in 3 passes, very loose using continuous line and drawing shadow shape. Unfortunately my brain keeps making me draw contour lines instead. The idea was to do them in 4 min. each and I am really having problems just getting them under 10. I’ll have a big problem making the 100 if I don’t get the speed up.

Day two:

Speed improved a bit on the last 3 sheets. I am only using a mechanical pencil and a super fine Preppy fountain pen. Will be experimenting more with that again tomorrow. Drawing couples helped the speed a bit too. Still very far from my 4 minute goal. I really like the one with the 3 hat ladies.

Day three:

59 done. Over half way there! Had a bit of a mid way crisis today, the first 3 sheets were really tough to get through. The underdrawing in pencil is going better, maybe I’ll just stay in pencil tomorrow. It’s also becoming harder finding sktchy images to draw – 100 is a lot…

Day four:

81 Done. Markers from Letraset’s closing sale arrived today so I got a bit distracted playing with them. In a bit of a panic about tomorrow, only 3 Sktchy photos lined up – need to find 16 more…

Day five:

I did it – 100 people in 5 days. The house looks like a war zone and the washing bin and inbox is overflowing but that will all have to wait till tomorrow – I think I earned that cold beer in the fridge now. To save time today I just left the pencil in and didn’t add any hatching or colour on some of the sheets. The last sheet is the same as the first. I wanted to see the improvement. Speed has improved but not that much, accuracy has gone up though. Drawing the figure in the background went completely pear shaped because I was getting really stressed about beating the stopwatch. She ended up with a face like a smiley and I tried to fix it with a post-it note 🙂