258 Watercolour pencil Portraits

I’m slowly getting back into sketching, but I’m taking the lazy way by sketching in my lounge chair studio in the evenings. Now that it’s getting near winter here and chilly in the evenings it’s so much cosier in my living room rather than my cold art room. It’s easy to grab a few pencils and a journal and scribble away. 

This was the first since my eye surgery which took me longer to recover from than I expected. I developed fluid behind the eye which affected my  focus so I was restricted to one eyed squinting.  It will be a few months before I have follow up surgery so I’ll spend that time juggling glasses and squinting a lot. But hey, worse things happen and at least I can still see 😊

I decided to work through my list of followers on Sktchyapp, choosing everyday shots of “normal” people rather than posed model types or wacky selfies.  Thanks to Amanda C and Sktchyapp for the reference photo for this sketch.

That was a hard one as I forgot how to draw, or at least where to start. I started messing around with a selection of Faber Castell watercolour pencils – flesh, burnt sienna, olive green and indigo with a bit of violet in the hair. I got there in the end.

As I work I often take a photo to help me see where my mistakes are. I thought I’d share this process.  I started this next one with a Polychromos pencil in Indian red. You can see I’m pretty rough in the initial stages. Excuse the bad night time photos.

Yep, the angle of the nose and the width of the jaw needed some surgery 😄 I’m using the same colour pencils as above for the flesh with the addition of a pinky red, washed over with a waterbrush.

I added Yellow ochre, violet, cobalt teal, burnt sienna and indigo for the hair. The flesh tones and shadows  were strengthened with burnt sienna, violet and indigo. The eye highlights are done with a tiny dot of white gel pen. Thanks again to Sktchyapp and Charlotte H for the reference photo.

Watercolour pencils are fun to play with, used dry, blending with a wet brush and drawing back into the damp area. If you haven’t tried these pencils before you’re missing out on some fun. They are clean, portable and versatile, and a great solution for armchair sketching 👍

124 Albany Plein Air

How to make the best use of time.

I have been gallery sitting this week for the exhibition that I am part of. Very slow going, not a lot of traffic today, but I was prepared with my little journal, waterbrush and mini palette. It was a beautiful spring day so I sat on the verandah and sketched the view with no interruptions.

The exhibition is being held in a hall opposite the city on the other side of the harbour. A bit off the beaten track but it has a lovely outlook.

little grove

The view.


This little journal is becoming my favourite – at the present time at least. If it had watercolour pages instead of  cartridge it would be perfect. It is nice and small 11 x 15 cm or 4 x 6 inches, easy to hold along with my palette and doesn’t feel as daunting as a larger format. When I feel more confident with this outdoor sketching lark I might graduate to a larger size.

Last weekend the weather wasn’t suitable for working outdoors so I tried something different – water colour pencils and a waterbrush so I wouldn’t make too much mess while working in my lap. 

 fields of gold

Photo ref courtesy oldrockchick

 for WetCanvas 2 hour weekend drawing challenge.