Ballpoint pen portraits

I’ve wanted to draw something with a Bic biro for ages—that indigo blue kills me. Then I found that spraying a bit of isopropanol makes the ink run, and you get this great watery effect. (Though it seems to be only the magenta pigment that runs. The cyan doesn’t seem to run much).

Drawn on 300g brilliant white Clairalfa inkjet paper.

The Bob Mortimer (the bottom one) was the first I tried this way. It looks OK… but there are probably too many lines going on. Less is definitely more when you get it right. The drawings above Bob are more like it.

Self-portrait with red pupils

Self-portrait with red pupils. An attempt at something I could use as a profile picture. I’m so glad I was born before the internet. I’m glad I’ve known both sides of the story. Made in brushed ink, pencil, colour pencil, gel pen.

Things on the fridge

Things on top of the fridge. This was one of the first attempts for an idea of random still life drawings. The unplanned, random arrangements of things as they appear on various surfaces around the home. For some reason there always seems to be a pair of pliers in there. Drawn in ink, gel pen, pencil and colour pencil.

The learner

This is drawn (and painted) in ink, pencil and charcoal and depicts one of my students in Jakarta (where I pretended to be an English teacher for a few years in the early 90s).

It’s all about the lines, I’ve realised. No too much shading. When you first get into drawing, you think it’s all about the shading. But actually, if you get them right, lines work much quicker on the eye.

Edmundo on the job

A drawing of Edmundo drawing. This was in a restaurant at the Zaanse Schans (on Gail and Dudley’s combined birthdays). People are particularly good to draw when they’re also drawing. Their minds are on their drawing, so they are quite ‘real’ for a change.

Drawing made in ink, pencil, gel pen and graphite. The yellow background is with one of those highlighter pens, but it ran out towards the end, which is why it’s a different yellow on the right.