From Sketchbook



I sketched this plant right at the beginning of this course, so wanted to see how things have changed since then. I don’t think any of these has really succeeded but I could sense that my approach was different – my drawing was more confident and I was looking at what I had to say about the plant, rather than trying to replicate it on the page.

I’ve just taken first steps with watercolour – what a slippery medium! – though my second attempt (top right) is way better than the first – I took my time to test colours and tried to benefit from the transparent qualities of the paint where light fell on the leaves.


I’ve take two life classes and the biggest difficulty has been getting heads to sit on necks – so I’ve been practising: sketching people from my window, using the oca drawing figures supplement, trying out the real-time life class Croquis Cafe online, and finally my boys revising. Just trying to get proportions right. The head seems to be the hardest bit to add on! Either too big, too small or not really attached to a neck. Sometimes I get the head right but make the face too small…



Pigeons – inspired by George Shaw’s Payne’s Grey series. I don’t have Payne’s Grey in my tiny Cotman box but Shaw describes it as a mix of ultramarine and sienna, first put together by artist William Payne. The Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna of the box gave me perfect pigeon grey. After watching another based guide to watercolours online, I experimented with paint on dry paper and paint on wet paper.


Figure drawing resource #145, Croquis Cafe

More of my home-made Payne’s Grey and though this poor woman looks as though her skin has actually been painted with grey emulsion paint I’m really happy with the face and the foot so I’ll try to keep them as a reminder that I just need to go in more delicately. I tend to rush – always trying to cram something in to a 10 minute slot of time.

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