Hypogeum 2 lrThe feedback and comments from my last article have been really interesting and helpful. Most of all it’s been good to know that people are actually reading my ramblings!

I thought that some of my replies to comments might interest you too….


Cath said she liked my sketch of hands, and that they were the most difficult thing to draw – to which I replied

“The trick to drawing hands is to approach them in the same way as everything else – look at the shapes they make in space, the shapes in between the fingers, the shapes of the things around or behind them – the air shapes and the un- shapes!

That way you draw what you really see instead of worrying about the bunch of bananas or fat sausages that your brain compares them to. We should be able to draw our hands really well- we have a spare one hanging around all the time to practice on :-)”


John said “Your versatility is amazing. I love your professional touch.!”

I said

“I think I just get bored easily – and like the challenge of trying something new all the time….”

And it’s true – I love trying to draw on an unusual surface or capturing something that’s moving, or dimly lit. This evening I am going to try drawing at a Flamenco workshop. It might work, it might not, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I did the basic paintings for these during a performance by the same group earlier this year. I have only just seen how they could be finished though. I ruined another three, which was a shame, but that’s the way it goes.


Sally said “I love the fact that your work is spontaneous and accurate at the same time. Do you check proportions much or is your eye trained to the point where you don’t need to check? I have recently started going to a life class. It is very good practice as they do a variety of very quick and some longer poses. So far I have been using charcoal and chalks or pencil and some pen and wash. I might try your idea of gesso and acrylics.    Your enthusiasm is very inspiring.    Hope you get plenty of feedback.”

It’s always great to hear from Sally – we went to art college together SO many years ago!

I said “ Do you remember way back at college that I did those clown mobiles? I made cut-out clown figures which latched onto one another and hung from a circus tent thingy. I probably still have it all somewhere in the depths of my studio! Anyway, I needed to make lots of little figures in strange positions, so I started drawing footballers on the TV. That’s where it all started really, when I think about it. To draw things that quickly, you have to sort of freeze-frame the image in your mind and then draw it before you look back again. In time you are able to work really fast and it gets easier and easier.

I go to life classes regularly too. Life class is great practice and it kind of helps you to feel inside someone else’s body, which is the other part of drawing them (the weird part!). The longer poses give you time to measure and consider how the body works, but the short poses are great for just getting the essentials down.

Do try gesso – I love the stuff…. it’s great with ink too. When I was in the UK last time I bought some watercolour ground (Daniel Smith, I think), which must be similar but more absorbent. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure it will be fun -there’s so much to play with!!!”


Do keep your comments coming – I’ll try to help in any way that I can. The internet is such a gift to communication and information sharing…..