Fever Dreams and Drawings

So while I’ve been unwell I was awake at night a lot of the time with a high fever and asthma.  When I’m feeling like that, especially if the asthma is bad I have to keep calm.  If I get fearful it gets worse.  Now my number one calming activity is drawing!  So I occasionally made a middle of the night drawing while trying to cope with all of this stuff.  A lot of the time I couldn’t draw because the steroids make my hands shake, but when I could control it I had a go.

I also watched a lot of fishing videos on youtube from bed with my android tablet and this led to some fish and fishing drawings.

Here’s a fiesty little Perch…


[Ink on sketchbook paper (plus I used a waterbrush to make some greyscale tones).]

And here’s fisherman who’s about to get the bite of his life from a gigantic sailfin catfish…


[pencil on sketchbook paper]


While I was working through this illness I kept having this recurring dream that I was trapped inside a gasmask which was full of pond water and bubbled everytime I breathed.  I guess it was just my mind’s way of dealing with illness.  This is the picture I drew of that…




[pencil on sketchbook paper]


Another night I had a go at sketching a hood – always difficult to do well and essential for any artist who is a Jedi fan…



[pencil on sketchbook paper]


I also drew a bee.  I’ve had half a bee and my background hexagons in my sketchbook for 6 months or so and  I thought it was time to finish her off…



[Ink on sketchbook paper]

Lastly I made an ink drawing of my favourite tropical fish Betta spendens – the siamese fighting fish – and a more technical sketch of a ecosystem in a lightbulb which I saw on YouTube…






My plan for my blog now is to paint a full-size proper painting every week to two weeks here now rather than continuing to sketch lots of tiny stuff like this.  I want to see how all of this sketching and ink practice has changed my overall painting skills.

I began one bigger painting just before I got sick, it’s of a koi carp, but it’s been taped to my drawing board and resting on the piano stool for so long now it’s beginning to put down roots!  As soon as I’m fit enough I’ll paint it.  Can’t wait!


6 thoughts on “Fever Dreams and Drawings

  1. Thanks for your encouraging comments. I agree about bigger art. I think for me daily sketches and other daily art is more about practicing in my sketchbook, whereas bigger works are about the real thing. I know what you mean about preparation time – I’m a teacher too!


  2. Very good drawings! I was sometimes looking at daily paintings, daily sketches and similar daily creations, and that really makes one ask a question: what do you do with all that tiny stuff? People who buy art want most often something big. If you are trying to finish a painting a week that is quite possible. I find that my biggest disturbance is giving classes because that takes abnormal preparation time. I totally agree that going for bigger art is much better. It is easier, as well, not to mention, larger paintings have much more impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dave, thanks for your encouraging words! 🙂 I think the fighting fish would really suit some colour too. I’m wondering whether to use that sketch as the basis for a full painting using an ink wash with watercolour. I can see it in my mind but I’m not sure my hands can pull it off as a painting! I agree about depression – it’s a horrible illness to have. I was prone to it in my twenties and it was a very difficult few years. I don’t get it anymore thank God. Thanks again, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. your sketches are amazing Jo. I would love to see the Mexican fighting fish in full colour. waiting to see the finished product of the Koi. Hope you are feeling better. I hate asthma, but I hate depression more.

    Liked by 1 person

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