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.


6 thoughts on “Finishing a drawing is a bit like finishing a good book!”

    1. Thanks Jo, and no please do comment 🙂 I kind of write how I talk, so not sure how it comes across sometimes lol!

  1. This was lovely to read. I am aggravated with an acrylic portrait of my granddog. I can’t seem to get the longish white fur to look right. This is the attitude I need to cultivate.

    1. I admire anyone who uses a paint brush – I just can’t get to grips with them lol! Fur is a funny thing to draw. I have a piece of paper stuck to my drawing board that says ‘keep layering, be patient, and remember that one mark can make all the difference’. I don’t have a set way of drawing fur, it just seems to happen and I get into the swing of things. I find it a challenge to go from a smooth shiny haired animal to a long haired one though.

  2. I love your process! I so relate to your feelings about the different stages of completion. You echoed my sentiments exactly!

  3. I know that fear and sadness too … but then the excitement of the next project starts tickling my eyes and fingers and zoom I’m off!!! The adventure continues!! ❤️

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