Right in Front of Me On My Desk

Coloured drawing of a desk and all the pens and books on top.

I was flicking back through my copy of Keri Smith’s How To Be An Explorer of the World the other day and not for the first time I realised that some of the explorations in there are quite good drawing prompts.

I may do a series of drawings based on these but for now I’ve done this one. Like a drawing I did last year of 8 Things Right Where I’m Sitting, I started with the first exploration and went with what’s right in front of me.

I have a tiny desk in the corner of one room in our flat, right next to a big window and this is where I do a lot of my drawing now. I suspect it might become a bit chilly in the winter though so I may retreat to the dining table if that happens.

For now, though this is an aerial view of what was on my desk yesterday. Apart from Keri Smith, I’d say this drawing was also inspired a by the work of Andrea Joseph and Tommy Kane.

If you want to see this drawing in more detail, just click on it to view a higher-res version.

2 Full Sketchbooks


These are the first two sketchbooks that I’ve filled since I started drawing regularly again at the beginning of last year.

The top one was my first. Before this one I just drew on pieces of paper but I moved on to a sketchbook pretty quickly. This was the book that I used to test my commitment to drawing. It’s a plain paged journal from Paperchase that I had lying around at home. It had a few scribbles in it so I cut out the first few pages and started drawing in it.

All the drawings in that book were done using the pens I mentioned back when I’d just started this sketchbook. There’s no colouring in because the pens weren’t waterproof and I was colouring in my drawings my scanning them and colouring them electronically.

When I started Drawing August last year I started my first Moleskine sketchbook, the bottom one in this picture. It’s an A5 watercolour sketchbook but even so, the majority of the drawings in it are pen and ink, using Copic Multiliner pens. Towards the end of that book I started using watercolour paints and I went back to fill the final few pages in this book with my tiny drawings for this year’s Drawing August.

I’m now almost at the end of my third sketchbook, another Moleskine watercolour book but this one is full of mostly coloured drawings, some experiments with paint and a few mementos that I stuck in after my trip to New York in April. Most but not all, of the drawings in there are from the two semesters of Sketchbook Skool that I’ve taken part in.

At the same time I keep doing an occasional drawing in a Daler Rowney sketchbook that I’ve so far used just for ballpoint pen drawings. It’s not my favourite book to use because the paper’s quite thin but I’ll persevere with it.

It’s interesting looking back at how many drawings I’ve done in these books. I want to do lots more and I hope I can fill more than 2 sketchbooks over the coming year but we’ll see. It’s also interesting to look back and see how my drawing has progressed and changed. I’m a bit embarrassed by some of the ones in that first book but I know they have value because they sort of map my progress for me as I keep up with my drawing habit.

The Unintended Drawing

Black ink and watercolour drawing of jewellery

I sat down yesterday thinking that it would be nice to do a quick drawing of a group of objects. Something simple. Not buttons or keys because I’d done both of those recently. Eventually I decided to open up the little jewellery box that used to belong to my Gran and draw some of the things in there.

Some of them are things that I bought or acquired (like the badge from when I was a Brownie) and other things in there were what I inherited with the jewellery box (like the bracelet and the rings).

No sooner had I started drawing the bracelet than I wondered what I’d got myself into. This wasn’t the quick, simple drawing I’d intended at all. It was intricate and time-consuming. But I’d started it so I was committed.

I drew the outlines in short bursts throughout the afternoon and added the colour today.

It’s not my favourite drawing and I didn’t enjoy drawing it as much as I’d hoped. It felt like a bit of a chore at times and I got a splodge of green paint right in the middle of it just as I’d almost finished too. But it turned out better than I thought it might and it’s finished now so I can move on to something that might be a bit simpler and quicker.

I Declare This Drawing Finished!

Black pen drawing of scattered keys

It seems like ages ago since I started this drawing. It was a homework from Andrea‘s klass during the most recent semester of Sketchbook Skool, which ran during July and August.

I kept adding a bit to it each day for a while and then Drawing August came along so this took a back seat for a while. I finally came back to it again yesterday and realised that at some point I would have to decide that this drawing was complete.

I added the keyring this morning and immediately regretted it and then I added about 4 more keys to the drawing to balance things out a bit before declaring the drawing finished.

I scanned it in colour mode and it’s interesting to see not only how the cross hatching has become a bit bleached out but how the different black inks show up as slightly different colours. Other than a few ballpoint pens, I used a multiliner on one key (and decided that that was a mistake) plus some black and grey coloured pencil to add some softness and to do the final shadows under each key.

As before, you can click on the drawing to see a higher-resolution version of it on my Flickr.

Drawing of a Building

Ink and watercolour drawing of Bayer House Golden lane
Bayer House, Golden Lane. (Click on the image to see a larger, higher resolution version)

This drawing was a Sketchbook Skool homework that I didn’t manage to complete during the course. Liz Steel set us 2 homeworks with the idea being that you didn’t have to do both. I did the first and decided that the building drawing could wait for when I could get outside – energy and weather permitting.

Dry weather and a decent amount of energy didn’t seem to tie up for me so it was a long time before I got round to this. The building I chose to draw was the rear of Bayer House on the Golden Lane Estate in London.

Black ink preliminary sketches of building details

The bonus with this place was that I could do a lot of the preparation work from the comfort of a friend’s living room so no need to sit outside in the unpredictable weather!

I did some preliminary sketches, like I did with my other homework for Liz so I could get to know the thing I was drawing and then started laying out the final drawing in pencil. I also took some photos because I couldn’t finish this in one sitting so I used them for reference when I was working on it back at home.

Because this particular building is made up of mostly squares and rectangles I did use a ruler (is that cheating? Maybe…) to get things set out, although even that wasn’t perfect. When I inked it in though I drew freehand over the pencil lines so the drawing still had some kind of looseness to it.

It was more complex than I think I’d anticipated and maybe the repetition of shapes throughout the building made it more difficult, I’m not sure. This is also the first drawing I think I’ve done where it’s spread across onto a second page.

That made scanning a bit of a problem because my scanner is A4 sized and the double page spread wouldn’t fit. I scanned it in two parts and spent some time learning how to merge the two images into one, before tidying it up, cropping and resizing.

The final image on here is very tiny just because of the space available but if you click on it you’ll be taken to a much higher res version of it on my Flickr stream.