Skyarts Portrait Artist of the Week – Clive Myrie

Charcoal on A3 paper

Just something to keep me busy – the Skyarts Portrait Artist of the Week program uses¬† celebrity sitters, and last Sunday it was the journalist Clive Myrie. I thought I would give it a go after a long break from portrait commission drawing, to see how I get on. I don’t have the attention span and focus I once had, so tried charcoal to cover the ground faster. My choice of paper was silly as I just grabbed what I had lying around. It is very smooth and probably the most unsuitable paper for the medium that there is. Still, it kind of worked, I might do this again.


The Official Handshake

Drawing: "The Official Handshake" - Five adults at an official ceremony. Graphite pencil on watercolour paper, drawing covers approx 35x53cm, from a photograph supplied by client - 2019.03.01 7D FiveAdultsCeremony 2990Blog

Five adults at an official ceremony. Graphite pencil on watercolour paper. The drawing covers approx. 35x53cm. From a smaller photograph supplied by the client.

Another drawing commission completed and approved by the client.

For now I am sticking with quality water colour card as it seems to return the best results, although I ensure it is of the smooth variety. A fair number of different graphite pencils have come into use, as always, along with tortillons (blending stumps) and putty erasers, to achieve the required shading and effects.

A very enjoyable experience overall, in spite of the somewhat challenging reference photograph.


Portrait drawing of a little girl

Little Girl — Graphite pencil on water colour paper, approx 50x50cm


Bonds - 2017.10.18 Abbie 0998blog

Bonds. A recent commission, graphite pencil on watercolour paper.

Bluebell Walk III

I finally managed to get back to this, it has been sitting on the easel for absolutely ages. There is a fair bit to do but with a bit of luck I will have it done by the time the bluebells come out this spring ūüėČ

Not the best photograph, I will do a decent one once it is finished.

Bluebell Walk III - Pastels on 50 x 65 cm Pastel Paper

Bluebell Walk III – Pastels on 50 x 65 cm Pastel Paper


A recent commission. Pencil drawing on A3 paper.

Spaniel. A3 pencil drawing.

Spaniel. A3 pencil drawing.


It has been some time since I published a drawing, partly because I have been too busy with other things, and partly because of clients not wishing commissions uploaded to the internet. The latter I am not altogether happy about, but I have to respect their wishes, especially where children are concerned. Luckily it doesn’t happen often.

This one, which was taken from a photo showing a little girl on the seafront, was an enjoyable enterprise, as I was given pretty much a free hand as to which of the supplied photographs I used, and how I cropped it. The only stipulation was that it had to be a large work.

It turned out 50 x 58 cm in the end, that includes margins, and was executed with the usual selection of graphite pencils, paper stumps and a putty eraser. I have tried a new paper for it because the one I used previously does not come in the size I needed for this portrait. It is available from Jackson’s Art Supplies here, for those who are interested, and is another smooth watercolour paper.

2016.08.15 Leyla 1058Blog

Sunshine – Graphite Pencil on Watercolour Paper

5 Babies

Hi all, today I have a¬†portrait again, after a long while. This drawing of five children presented me with some challenges, starting with not having the paper that I would have liked to use. I have come to love working with the Aquafine smooth watercolour paper by Daler Rowney, but sadly, their largest size, A3, wouldn’t do for this commission. I have a pad of A2 acrylic paper, though, also by Daler Rowney, the front of which has an embossed linen like texture, but the back looks very smooth, so that is what I used. It wasn’t as easy to work on as I had hoped, in that I was unable to apply much graphite all at once, as it wouldn’t hold it, and had to apply layer after layer and work it in,¬†to achieve the depths I needed.

I was asked to use images which portrayed the children at roughly the same period in their lives, even though their ages differ widely in reality. The photographs mostly were small and / or lacking focus for such a task, although the poor client hunted high and low to find suitable images. Nowadays, in situations like this, I strictly stick to drawing what I see, rather than adding detail which the reference photograph does not yield. This inevitably means that paper stumps and putty rubbers see plenty action in order to defuse small detail and the drawing may look a little less refined than usual. But. That way it will look exactly as the photograph and I am not misinterpreting anything. Overall, the result is not bad, I think, as does the client.

I have spent ages online yesterday trying to get an idea what paper is best to use for photorealism/hyperrealism, but I am still somewhat undecided. It is a bit of a pain that everything is internet sourced these days, I much prefer to go into a shop and see/feel what I am buying. Living where I do, though, that is not going to happen in a hurry, so if any of you have any advice that you could share, please do.

5 Babies Drawing

5 Babies. Graphite pencil on the back of A2 acrylic paper.


Just to let you know I am still keeping my hand in…
This is Roly.

Roly 2015.10.27 6292reducedagain

Graphite pencil 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B and 6B on A3 watercolour paper

The World Is A Looking Glass

Calligraphy¬†¬† –¬†¬† Uncial Lettering

Calligraphy - Uncial lettering

Calligraphy – Uncial Lettering


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