My watercolour sketchbook

I finished my first watercolour sketchbook today. I’m very proud of this sketchbook. I’m very much a beginner with watercolour so when I started it last June it was going to be a general sketchbook but, as you’ll see if you watch the video, I soon began to use it mostly for portraits. What you’ll also see is I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing at the start but as time progressed I gradually improved, my skill level grew and I developed a style similar to my Copic style.

I’m so proud of this Sketchbook because as I look through it I can see how my skills developed with practice, how I learned how to manipulate the paint and gained an understanding of how it worked, and so my portraits improved. I love looking at the last few portraits and comparing them with the first few to see what I’ve learned. Practice, practice, practice every day and it pays off. 🙂

If you want a slower look at the sketchbook I’ve uploaded a longer video with commentary on my YouTube channel here.


Today’s face: Leeza, inspired by Sktchy.

Leeza is the suggested face for Day 11 of Sktchy’s 30 Faces 30 Days Challenge for January, although this isn’t the suggested inspiration photo. I chose an alternative photo – perhaps not such a wise decision because I really struggled with this portrait! I didn’t place it well on the page, didn’t do a good job placing the features, and overworked the portrait and ended up having to do some digital editing to clean it up. Maybe I’m tiring a little at a third of the way through the challenge 🙂

Drawn in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook with a Micron 01 sketchbook, painted with Greenleaf and Blueberry watercolour paints and edited digitally on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.


Today’s face: Hannah, inspired by Sktchy.

This portrait is for Day 3 of Sktchy’s 30 Faces 30 Days challenge. I realised as I posted it that I have the angle of the head completely wrong but never mind. I’m relatively new to watercolour – I’m working in the smallest size of the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook and have almost finished it. I did my first watercolour portrait in it on 26 June (I do 2 or 3 watercolour portraits a week) and if I compare this to that first one and just flick through it I can see the improvement page by page and I’m also aware of it as I paint. I just understand how the paints work so much more and I feel so much more confident of what I can do with the paint as I work. I don’t regard myself as a watercolourist yet, but maybe one day!

Drawn in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook with a Micron 005 pen and painted with Zecchi Toscana and Greenleaf and Blueberry watercolours.


Today’s face: Megan, inspired by Sktchy.

Drawn in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook with a Micron 01 pen and Greenleaf and Blueberry watercolours.

Italian Sketchbook

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in Florence. The trip was a wonderful birthday present from my husband. What’s more, because he knows I love to draw and because I have CRPS which means I use crutches and can’t walk very far, he booked a hotel with roof terraces and the most amazing views over Florence. He also sweet talked the staff and got us a room with a view too! And he booked a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia for the morning of my birthday so that I could see Michelangelo’s David.



So, although I’m not really an urban sketcher, I was able to do some genuine urban sketching over the course of the week and I got some wonderful art viewing in too, seeing some awe-inspiring Michelangelo’s, Botticelli’s and Giotto’s, amongst others at the Accademia.

Florence 2

Florence 3

We also ended up with a couple of days in Pisa after our flight home was delayed by 24 hours due to a strike in Italy, so I got to draw the Leaning Tower too!


All of these were drawn in a hand•book sketchbook with a variety of media including Micron and Unipin pens, Zecchi and Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolours, Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth colouring pencils, a Signo uniball white gel pen, a dip pen and ink and various tickets and papers.


Today’s face: Lolita, inspired by Sktchy and the Mexican Day of The Dead.

Drawn in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook with a Micron 005 pen and Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolours and edited digitally on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

Nicole’s Twisted Carrots

Today’s face isn’t a face but a watercolour of Nicole’s twisted carrots, inspired by Sktchy and today’s Inktober 2017 prompt “United”.

Drawn in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook with a Micron 005 pen, a white gel pen and painted with Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolours.