Today’s face 99/99  16/08/16

Vin, inspired by Sktchy and Sketchbook Skool! Drawn in a Moleskin sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers.

This is the 99th face in my #99faces project.  I began this project back in May while I was in the middle of taking the Sketchbook Skool Polishing kourse. In the third week of that course we had a klass with Vin Ganapathy on drawing portraits, during which Vin introduced us to Sktchy. I had already found the Sktchy app but couldn’t really understand why anyone would want to draw other people’s selfies!  However, I was totally inspired by Vin’s klass, and began to appreciate that there might be some value in this app after all. Suddenly I found myself wanting to draw portraits.

The following week in Polishing we had a klass with illustrator Nelleke Verhoeff, who encouraged us to draw more creative faces using letters, cut out pieces of paper and magazines, whatever struck our fancy really, as starting points, so I started drawing imaginary faces. Nelleke also encouraged us to take creative risks and to think about beginning a long term project as a way of both taking a risk and developing an audience and a style.  I was enjoying drawing faces so I decided to start a #99face project.

When I started this project I envisaged that it would be a collection of real and imagined portraits and for the first few weeks that what it was. But as time passed my Sktchy addiction grew and my interest in imaginary faces waned. My portraiture skills were developing and as they got better I just wanted to work with them more and more, both in my Moleskine and on my iPad Pro, and as I did I could see my style evolving. This whole process has just become more exciting as I have become more skilled and I would recommend it to anyone.

99 portraits ago I had no idea that it was possible to improve your drawing skills so quickly by focused effort. Now I know what can be achieved by simply sitting down and drawing for a couple of hours a day. I’m not going to stop drawing portraits. I’m definitely addicted.  For my 99th portrait I had to draw the man who showed me what a fine thing it is to draw people. I owe you a big debt of gratitude Vin Ganapathy. I owe you one too, Nelleke Verhoeff, for starting me off on this project. And, of course, I will always owe one to Sketchbook Skool for helping  me to draw every day.


P.S. I was planning a celebration this evening but I was burgled in the early hours of this morning and my car was stolen. I owe two other debts of gratitude, one to my hero hound Binx for chasing the thieves out of the house before they could steal more than my car keys, and another to Sussex Police for recovering my car within eight hours, although it’ll be a few days before I get it back. Having been up most of the night I’m far too tired now for celebration…


Today’s face  97/99  14/08/16

Celin, inspired by Sktchy.  Drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers.



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Today’s face 95/99  13/08/16

Today’s face is a little more personal than usual. It’s a portrait of my Mum, who died a year ago today. I drew this portrait yesterday. It’s not the first I’ve drawn of her and I still can’t quite capture her likeness. I almost did: about halfway through it looked so much like her mother, my grandmother, it was scary. And then I lost it somewhere around the mouth. I still struggle with getting mouths right.

Drawing mouths and teeth is always the hardest part of a portrait for me and on a portrait of Mum it’s definitely very difficult. So much so, it made me howl with laughter. Because let’s be honest, she’d hate this portrait. If she was still here, she’d insist that I took it down straight away and never let it see the light of day! She hated her teeth and she hated any photo that didn’t flatter her and this portrait  both shows her teeth (and not well) and isn’t a good likeness but, worse still, it’s not very flattering either. A poor likeness would be OK if was flattering.

So a thousand apologies Mum but this portrait is important to me because it was made with so much love. And I didn’t want to get to 99 faces without including one that really matters in this week that is so important to me.

Drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers. And if you’re wondering about the lettering – I’m doing the Sketchbook Skool Creative Lettering kourse at the moment taught by Andrea Joseph and this is lettering from one of this week’s lessons, drawn with my non-dominant (left) hand and then embellished.


Today’s face 86/99  04/08/16

Natalie, inspired by Sktchy app. Drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers.



Today’s face 83/99  02/08/16

Dione, inspired by Sktchy app. Drawn on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil in the Procreate app.

Little Frida

Today’s face 82/99  01/08/16

Little Frida, inspired by Sktchy. After five days in Manchester at the Urban Sketchers Symposium it’s good to get back to my new comfort zone of portrait drawing (and good to realise what a comfort zone this has become!). This portrait was drawn in a Moleskine sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers. Then it was uploaded to an iPad Pro and the background was painted in digitally using the Procreate app.



Linda & Dagmar

Today’s faces 80 & 81/99 31/07/16

Linda and Dagmar, drawn at the Urban Sketchers Symposium 2016, Manchester, England. I began drawing these sketches of my two Sketchbook Skool friends live and then finished them off using photos that I took during the live drawing. Drawn in a Stilman & Birn Alpha sketchbook with a Unipin pen and Copic markers.