Days 32 to 34 – Sketchbooks and portraits

Since I started drawing regularly on a small sketchbook which is more the size of a notebook (13cm x 21cm) I’ve found it much easier to draw than before.
My Notebook


I don’t really know why.  In my big sketchbook (I have an A3 and an A4 so they’re not really that big) I worry about wasting paper and I get the feeling that everything has got to be good.  Both of these things make it more difficult to draw freely which is what I’m trying to do.  In my new little notebook style sketchbook it’s so much better.  I can always find something I want to draw and I’m much more able to take risks and try new things.

In this portrait I was really aiming for a loose feel to the linework and to just get a feel for my subject visually.  This is a lady who sometimes comes to our church and has a remarkable face.  She looks so calm and regal and I really want to make a painting of her one day.  She has given me permission, but I’m still at the sketching stage.

Here’s the sketch – it’s done in pencil with some fineline ink outlines.


Once I’d scanned my drawing into the PC I also had a go at adding some colour using the cell shading technique I used before.




PS:  Apologies about the handwriting on the top of this portrait.  I still have this blooming chest infection so I’m taking a lot of Ventolin which gives me hands the shakes.  I can manage to draw with some difficulty when this happens but my handwriting is terrible.

6 thoughts on “Days 32 to 34 – Sketchbooks and portraits

  1. Cool! I will try it when I next need to. I’m really lucky, my local GP will nebulize me when I need it, which helps me avoid the hospital, although they have said that I’ll need a chest x – ray and a respiratory referral if things don’t improve soon. It all seems to be getting better though 🙂 Thanks again!


  2. I agree steroids are the worst! The ventolin 4 x 4 trick is the same as going onto the nebulizer in hospital…was told by my doctor. If that doesn’t work, something is really wrong and you need to be in hospital to be monitored.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Goodness, half A5 is tiny! You’re right, this new notebook I’ve got is a great size for taking it places with me. I’ve never used an A1 piece of paper for art. It sounds really freeing. Having art stuff in the car sounds good too.
    With my asthma I’m on the highest does of a preventer which is a bit stronger that symbicort. If the ventolin won’t work my next step is steroids which are horrible. I’ve not heard of the 4 breaths between doses thing – I’ll give it a go! Many thanks for you encouragement and help! 🙂


  4. Hey Jo
    I used to draw small. My smallest book is half A5 size. But A5 is good to tuck in a bag when going somewhere on public transport. Nowadays though I find public transport difficult to use with my legs so I just drive everywhere. I have a wagon so keep all my art stuff in my car.
    If I am drawing in the studio at uni or in the city though I like to draw on A1 size. I can use my shoulders a lot freer instead of just my wrists or fingers.

    With your asthma, ensure you take 4 breathes between doses of ventolin and limit to 4 doses at one time. This should stop the shaking. Also see about the preventative medication called Symbicort. This you take only twice daily but it will reduce your ventolin intake dramatically.

    Love the drawing BTW.


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