Coping with Copics

Just returned from Life Drawing.

Tonight, I took along the few Copics I have. I am sometimes ready to accept the challenge of a new medium. I have two pink, one black and a grey Copic. These are alcohol based Japanese Manga pens with a dual chisel and brush tip. They are probably best on a nice smooth surface — of which I have none. There weren’t many poses tonight, we got a lengthy lecture on portrait drawing and it was freezing cold, so the poses were pretty short (10 minutes) and the breaks long. I was surprised to see how the Copics mix and smudge and my fellow Life Drawing students were quite intrigued about the effect and the pens as such. I think I’m going to give them another try when I go out drawing tomorrow night.


20161108_nude-1 20161108_nude-2 20161108_nude-3 20161108_nude-4 20161108_nude-5


Pink about it

Not many drawings to show from tonight’s Life Drawing session.

Arriving at the drawing session, I had on me my Kuretake No.8 brush, 2 Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and a pre-painted spread of a A5 sketchbook.

I’d decided to switch tools to give me that little nudge to move from the comfort zone again. Still, I allowed myself access to the coloured pencils which I am very comfortable with … so comfortable that I need to consider leaving them at home in future.

We had a few 10 minute poses, a “draw from memory pose” and ended with a “please exaggerate a part of the model” (let’s see if you can tell which one goes with that last pose call).


Not a very exciting result tonight, but very relaxing and not in the least disappointing, if I say so myself.

Vindictive and Very Vaccinated (VVV)

Well, … do I have to say it? Figure Drawing Night! I got there just in time, after nearly being run over by a car and having had my cholera, hepatitis A and rabies jabs for a business trip I may be going on.

So, with stiff shoulder(s) and mind whirling around what I would liked to have done to said motorist, I unpacked my prep-ed sketch book and with a few quotes and ideas in mind, I set to work.

“Eliminate cast shadows. […] You want to feel that you have touched the entire figure.” – Kimon Nicolaides


You may be able to see something under the first coat of paint, it is a page from one of my wife’s mail order stores, covered with a diluted mix of acrylic paint and watercolour. I skated over it all with my nearly empty blue Tombow Calligraphy pen (it’s a lovely tool!) and then hacked away at layering shades of Faber Castell polychromos on the (far too smooth) surface.

I went home, quite cool and calm, knowing I had eliminated those blasted cast shadows and touched the entire figure.

Nude-less Nude Night (NlNN)

Just got back from … (you should know the rest by now) … Life Drawing Evening Class!

And … oh wonder of wonders … the model didn’t show up.
I mean … why go to Nude Classes and have no nude there?
I seriously considered taking my shirt off, but didn’t bother mentioning it.
(Thank the maker! I was embarassing enough tonight, without acting like the narcistic d**khead I obviously am.)

Still – even w/o me baring my chest – we had a very enjoyable evening drawing our mentor … who of course couldn’t come round and watch his fledglings’ attempts at sketching the human figure.

Three students were brave enough to climb the stage and stand their 15 minutes.

I had chosen the following weapons for tonight:

  • Lamy Safari “F” nib with Royal Blue ink
  • Seawhite of Brighton, A5 sketchbook (my “show-off” book)
  • preselection of Polychromos colour pencils (grey, 2 blues, red, magenta, green, flesh, pink)

And then the following pictures appeared one after another … any likeness with real living people is just coincidence.





I had fun and I’m looking forward to this happening again soon … no nudes …

Loads of Life (LOL)

Well, just returned from Life Drawing Class. The semester has begun and new students have arrived … still, we are a bunch of oldies and outnumber the “noobs” 5 to 1.

I arrived back from Malaga (Southern Spain/Andalusia) last Tuesday and skipped Life Drawing … which was very painful for me, believe me. Because, this is the real deal, this act of drawing the nude figure in real life is just amazing. I’ve been making some really strange compositional life drawing attempts in the last few months and I’d like to share three of them here. (Tonight’s is last.)

If there’s anything I’d like to draw well, then it’s people and it feels like a task that will take a life time to master, if ever. May the path be full of plateaus and tedious hard work, but I must remind myself to stay on that path and be true to my intentions and passion.


Freakin’ out with Frank

Just back from Figure Drawing (now, how often have I started a blog post like that in the past years?).

Some models will only have 2 or 3 poses available and on the surface an evening with such a model can only promise to be boring at most. However! … if you can trick yourself into making the evening exciting yourself or even get help from the “pose caller” … then you can have a really lovely, relaxing and entertaining evening.

The “pose caller” actually had some very classic ideas tonight:

  • the model poses for 2 minutes w/o you drawing, then draw him from memory for 10 minutes (sound very “Kimon Nicoleides”)
  • the model poses for 2 minutes w/o you drawing, then draw another model you know, in this previously seen pose
  • additionally, get the model to lie down, if he usually sits or stands … that’s increased the number of poses of this model to 3 now!

Anyhow, I have a number of sketchbooks to fill, so I took along my Strathmore A5 500 Series Mixed Media. And with the help of my Micron pens (0.2, 0.4, 0.05(!)), my Koi water brush and Winsor&Newton Colman’s traveler kit, I came up with a really lovely last double spread to the sketchbook.


And something I really wanted to say here is … whether the model only has one, two or three poses for use … it doesn’t matter … there is a living breathing human being infront of you … 1 or 2 metres from you and nobody can tell me they have already mastered figure drawing so well that there is nothing to gain from those few thrilling minutes of study …

birds birds birds

SBS (SketchBookSkool), “Seeing” Klass, week 4 with Cathy Johnson.

Have you ever tried to sketch a tit? A starling? A sparrow? Wow, they are so fast, why can’t they stay still? But … one moment … they are doing the same 5 things over and over again. Bingo, squiggle here, curve there. Just … let … me …. … ok … bit of blue there. Wow, there’s a robin in the magnolia! Is that a pidgeon up there on that tree 200 metres from here? Oh, the lawn is crowded with blackbirds, how did that happen?

So, now I sketch birds in 5 seconds and give them a bit of colour based on memory. And I try to find out what type of birds they are, and I was never interested in birds before … well not this type anyways.

Today I sketched the birds on the spot. On the first day, I took photos of “my backbird” and drew from the photos. On the second day I looked out for birds, and the ones I saw, I drew from reference photos of The Internet. Then I tried to draw from memory (birds I’d seen one hour earlier).







Watercolouring w/ Brenda Swenson, Part 2

Ok, last day of this kourse, but I still sat down now (9 pm) and last night to fling some paint onto those watercolour sheets. It’s getting hard to find still life objects … I thought! These have all been drawn using a Lamy Safari “F” nib with water soluble, royal blue ink. The lines are continuous-contours. There’s just a break for the ring and the book. These were really great exercises and I’ll try to keep up with them.

Watercolouring w/ Brenda Swenson

Into the 3rd week of “Seeing” at SBS (, my second kourse there. Watercolouring over water soluble continuous contour lines.

This is the latest painting (Tuesday night) (about 10 minutes), going with the flow:


This was Sunday night (the date is wrong on the pic) (20 minutes), keeping those whites free, letting the paint roll:


Sunday morning (30 minutes) … very exact … using glazing, letting things dry:20160313-0830

Saturday night (artificial light), seemed messy to me, but now it’s one of my favourites, the shading, the messiness, I’m sorry, I think it’s gorgeous:20160312-2201

A Collection of Stuarts

Ed got me going with this one … I enjoy seeing his results and the progress he is making with his toolset ( Every now and again, he will upload a bunch of self-portraits. Now I’ve got into the habit of drawing, painting, sketching myself once or twice a week too. Here are the results.

I’m using different sketch books and scrap paper. I use different tools in no specifc order they are

  • a Lamy fountain pen
  • Faber Castell Pitt artists pens (S, F, SB (soft briush))
  • a dip pen (numerous nibs)
  • Pelikan wax crayons
  • F-C Polychromos colour pencils
  • F-C Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils
  • watercolours, with Kolinsky paint brush, or Koi waterbrush
  • biros (nothing special, just what’s handy)
  • pencil (very very very seldom)

The Lamy is great for on-the-go, I use it to jot down anything (e.g. telephone numbers) or sketch people. At home, I switch to biros or Pitt pens. It’s then nice and relaxing to use the dry colour tools (wax crayons, Polychromos or Abrecht-Dürer), but if I want something really demanding with the chance of achieving a sense of success (no, scratch that, it is always worthwhile), well, then I’ll get out the dip pen, Dirk Weber ink and Horadam watercolours, not to forget the Da Vinci Kolinsky brush. That reminds me, it’s time to spend a few hours with those lovely tools again and “ruin” a few pages of watercolour paper.