Ian McKellen

Today's face: Ian McKellen. This is another page in my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project 2018. Ian McKellen is one of my favourite actors: how I'd love to have dinner with him and listen to his stories of making Lord of the Rings, playing King Lear, rabble rousing with Patrick Stewart, protesting against Trump, making George Ezra's Listen to the Man video, and so much more…. It would have to be lots of dinners! Drawn in a The Sketchbook Project Sketchbook with a Micron 005 pen, Copic markers and a white Posca pen.

Telling Stories with Sabine

The third week of Sketchbook Skool’s Expressing kourse was a fun rollercoaster ride with Illustrator Sabine Wisman. The week started with a lesson in creating infographics.  I loved created my personal instructional infographic on “how to raise a film school student”.

Sabine also showed us how to digitise our own drawings on the iPad using the Procreate app. I’ve spent far too much time since digitising my own drawings!

 The klass culminated with a great demo on how to use personal or found vintage photos  to create illustrations that tell invented stories. The SBS galleries have been overflowing ever since with a never ending stream of inventive and very funny stories. Here are some of my contributions.

For me, this has been one of my favourite week is skool. I’m beginning to feel that I’m really developing a personal style and Sabine’s emphasis on integrating sketchbook and digital work has helped to make the most of my love of Procreate and my iPad Pro.

Express it in lettering

The new year saw a new Sketchbook Skool (SBS) course, Expressing commence and I don’t think I’ve ever been busier planning, sketching, painting, posting and commenting in the SBS skoolyard. Expressing began with a klass by Koosje Koene on hand lettering.  Koosje introduced students to a whole range of hand lettering techniques and encouraged us to explore both serif and san serif alphabets as a homework exercise.

I had fun working in my sketchbook on these.  I found the dog alphabet on Pinterest but haven’t been able to identify the source – if anyone knows who created it please let me know so I can give credit where it’s due! It’s a wonderful alphabet and has received lots of love.

I was soon having so much fun that I started to play around not only with alphabets but also with illuminated lettering. This A was drawn on my iPad and is heavily influenced by a beautiful card I have featuring an illustration by artist Lesley Buckingham (the card can be bought at

And I loved drawing this illuminated S from an 19th century book.
Our final exercise was to letter some words – a phrase, lyric or short sentence. I chose a phrase that I’d seen on Tumblr recently and produced in my sketchbook with ink and watercolour. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy a week of lettering but by the time I was working on this exercise I knew I could happily spend the rest of my life doing nothing else! It seems to require just the perfect combination of planning and inspiration.

I was having so much fun I did two more lettering pages!

And then I did another one on my iPad…


Question now is, can I stop lettering and get on with my other assignments?