Finishing a drawing is a bit like finishing a good book!


I feel quite bereft when I finish a drawing – I get so immersed in it, with all the different challenges along the way. My pieces are created in three stages really – and each part I love and actually worry about moving onto the next – but then I fall in love with that and then with the final stage. Once I get to the very end of a piece and I’m adding in all the tiny tiny details, like hairs and tiny wrinkles, I’m always a bit scared of starting a new piece, because how can I go back to the first stage which is a very different technique, and will I remember how to do it!

Plus I kind of fall in love with every piece I draw, and knowing that I won’t be seeing it on my drawing board makes me sad, just like getting to know the characters of a book and not being able to wait until the last page, but dreading it at the same time!

You can see the stages of my drawing:

  • Adding highlights first, then shadow, and then all the colours – this is done with water soluble coloured pencils, I use Faber Castell and Caran D’Ache
  • Activate the pigment using water – this really bring out the colour, reds become really vibrant as do the blues and blacks
  • Once dry, I add the detail, again using Faber Castell and Caran D’Ache pencils, but this time I use polychromos and pablos
  • The detail is added layer by layer, I add the colour very very softly and often layer over contrasting colours – for example a dark indigo, layered with a cool grey I, repeated over and over gives a lovely smooth rich finish.


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