The Eighth Sketch

Not got much to say about today’s sketch other than I’m happy with the progress that’s being made overall. Had a chance to use a mechanical pencil which helped a lot with really thin lines. I used my friend Callum Adams headshot as a reference for this one.


Once I started shading I noticed I had placed the eye on the right too far down the face. So I rubbed it out completely and starter the eye again. Still wasn’t happy with the eyes completely when I was finished. Something about them just looked slightly off but I couldn’t quite place yet what it was. If you can tell me anyway of improving I’d be more than happy to hear your advice. Cheers. Here’s the finished drawing anyway for today.



Using A Grid For Drawing Number Three

Yesterday I received some great advice that my drawings might improve with the aid of a grid. I decided to look into this tip further online and found a video that explained thoroughly how it could be done. The site also had a really good grid drawing tool which cuts the time it takes in half. Once the grid was placed upon my selected image (A headshot of an actor friend) I counted how many boxes had been made and recreated the grid scaled down to fit the page in my sketch pad. I used a ‘B’ pencil and a ruler to lightly draw in the grid.


I then placed in a light outline. At first I found it how strange the actual shape of the face was. It looked to me distorted at first but as I continued to add more lines it really started to come together.


The grid was really helping to get my proportions right and immediately I felt that my drawing skills had improved. I then changed pencils and started working with a ‘B4’. I made sure my pencils were sharp throughout the time spent working on the image.


I started shading back and forth between the two pencils and even invested in a small rubber to improve my accuracy. I wanted to sort of blend the darks and lights so instead of using my finger I wrapped a piece of kitchen towel round the end of my pencil. I finished the hair on top to complete the image then rubbed out the remaining grid lines. This was the final result.


All advice welcome and if you’ve just taken up drawing as well then let me know how you’ve been getting on.




How To Make Vegan Dinner Cheap And Easy

Ok, so I didn’t have much left in the fridge and Glasgow had been completely snowed in so going to the shops wasn’t an option which meant I had to make do with what I had. When going to the shops is a hassle for any reason you may find yourself in the same position. At first you might raid the cupboards and immediately start thinking well I guess I’ll just starve today then. Pretty soon though you’ve gathered together more than you first thought you had. Here’s what I found along with a small bag of pasta.


Courgettes – I love courgettes and you should love them to. I find that if you fry them till they turn a light brown then add a tin of chopped tomatoes (which you can get for as little as forty pence) add a few herbs from the spice rack and let it simmer then that will pretty much do as an amazing side or sometimes I just have it on a roll for a snack.

Mushrooms – Handful will do.

red onion – I used half.

Chopped Tomatoes – Any tin will do.

Spinach – Just what’s left in the bag

Pasta – Also what was left in the bag.


Cooking process
What I decided to do for dinner was pretty similar and works as a sort of Italian dish. I love penne aribiatta and would really recommend if you live in Glasgow to try out some of the dishes La Vita have to offer. I started by dicing up half a red onion then let that fry for a bit whilst I cut up the courgette and some mushrooms then added them in as well to keep the onion company. I didn’t have garlic but I would have thinly chopped a clove and added it in at this point if I had. All of these ingredients if I were to buy them fresh are really cheap. In total I would estimate this meal which I shared with my brother to be about £1.30 a head. There was still food left over when we had finished eaten as well. I make quite a lot in bulk that way if I’m still hungry later I can have something before bed. Anyway, I let these ingredients cook for a couple of minutes before pouring in a can of chopped tomatoes. Once stirred I let it all simmer for a few more minutes.


(I’m quite aware that picture looks shocking and my photography skills need some improvement)

In this time I had boiled the kettle which helps speed up the cooking time of the pasta. Simple as always added the boiling water into a pot with the pasta I had. I threw in some salt at this point as well for reasons I’m not sure of but I think I seen someone on telly doing it. Then put the lid on it to keep the steam in. I cooked it at a relatively low heat on the hob.
Once the tomatoes are looking good I decided to add in Italian seasoning which I bought for 80p in Tesco and has lasted me nearly a month now. I also threw in some paprika, mild chilli powder and turmeric along with some salt and black pepper. Once that was all stored in I washed some spinach leaves and let them sort of melt on top of the tomatoes with the heat. Then I gave it all a good stir and let it simmer again for about ten minutes. You can cook this a lot faster I just find that the more time spend on it improves the taste. Finally I drained the pasta and stirred it into the mix so it was ready to serve.


Really simple. Really quick. Really cheap. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

The Seventh Sketch

Seven days of drawing and looking back at the first to the last I’m really pleased with the progress that’s been made. For the sketch I produced today I used a picture of my friend Hannah Morrish. I also managed to get my hands on a small blending stump that prove difficult itself very useful.


I tried to put in a lot of the dark areas first after a light outline. I remembered not to put in such a strong line with the jaw this time. I’ve also started noticing peoples faces in life a lot more. The way the light hits them and the shapes that they produce.


I shaded in most of the left side of the image then finished by filling in the hair on top of the head.


Im happy so far with the way the sketchs are looking on paper but once the pictures are photographed I’m not sure they look as good. If anyone has any more helpful tips feel free to share, thanks.

Number six David

Feeling great about drawing today. I used an image of my good friend David as a reference and was excited to use the new battery operated eraser I had just purchased. I looked online first and there wasn’t that much difference in price. On recommendations I chose to buy the Derwent one.


I had had been wanting to highlight small parts of the images once finished and this tool came in even handier than I first thought. I used it throughout the drawing and was really pleased with the aid it gave me. Instead of rubbing out large areas I was able to concentrate the highlight to almost pinpoint accuracy.

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I used a ‘B’ and a ‘4B’ pencil today but I think the sketch could have benefitted from an even darker pencil. Happy with the progress that’s been made in the last week and hopefully will continue to see improvement as I progress. Would be great to get hold of a blending tool,that works better than a cotton bud.



Number Five

last night I watched a couple of tutorials online to get help on drawing realistic portraits. I found out a couple of tips that I tried to incorporate into today’s sketch. A simple mistake I had been making was drawing in quite a strong jawline. I discovered a helpful tutorial on hard and soft lines that can be made from shading.


Again I used the grid and lightly drew in an outline of the face and hair to help with proportions. I then tried to fill in the rest of the picture with dark and light shading. Something I found really helpful was the use of a cotton bud swab. Instead of using your fingers which will always have some traces of oil on them no matter how much you wash them.


I continued to shade in the picture until I decided to call it a day. What I think would help for future drawings is a rubber with a tighter point to it and a white pencil that I could add in a couple of highlights with.


Drawing Number Four

Just a quick post here to upload a couple of images if a sketch I produced today whilst watching the six nations. I used the grid again today however it wasn’t as helpful as before as there was basically the whole face of the image in the one square box. Again I started by mapping out a light grid and an outline of a good friend and actor Theo Solomon with a ‘B’ pencil.


After a some shading with a ‘4B’ I realised some of the facial features were a bit off so rubbed them out and tried again with a sharper pencil to try get a bit more accuracy. I’d really like to try get someing that was a bit better for smudging and maybe even a white pencil just to place in a couple of highlights. Once I decided to stop working on the image I rubbed out the remaining grid marks and signed the bottom.


I think I’ll try do a bit more research online of how to draw portraits realistically but if anyone else has some quick or helpful tips then feel free to leave a comment. Cheers.