Still More about Scribbling

October 12, 2018

This is part three of a three-part series on some scribbling portraits I’ve been working on. Check Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts from this week for the others.

After a few sketches it seemed obvious to me that I needed to try a female subject. I find it difficult to sketch women. Wait, not difficult, simply less fun.

Whenever you find yourself saying you find something difficult you need to ask yourself what is really happening. If you really find something difficult then you need to practice more. But sometimes it’s a fun issue. I enjoy sketching men’s faces more because I enjoy sketching the structural nature of breads, and if there is no beard, well men typically have more angular faces, don’t disguise their features with makeup (though I have to say it is very fun to sketch men in drag with wonderfully theatrical make up), and as subjects they are typically also less concerned if you capture a likeness or not.


But if you’re practicing an approach you want to make a style you need to try it out across subjects.

Below is a short gallery of images that walks through my process. Normally I like to go right in with pen and ink, but since the whole idea was to make ink a feature, by scribbling, I first wanted to sketch in color pencil (something I did on the others in this series as well). That was part of my desire to still get a likeness.

Next you’ll see how I laid in initial watercolor watches; started to scribble, really didn’t like the scribble on the face of a beautiful woman, and covered the scribble with more opaque passages of color.

I still continue to experiment with this process, but I’m not sure that I’ll find it something I like to apply in general. I’ve found that on other paper I have no desire to be fussy with my pens, and there’s still the issue of smooth faces and scribbling. I will definitely give it more thought and practice. There is another direction in all this that is perhaps more fruitful. We’ll see.

In the gallery below you can click through it as you see it, OR you can click on the first image and the gallery will blow up. I recommend the latter. When the gallery blows up you’ll see a larger image version of each slide. Additionally at the bottom left you will see an arrow to hit to play it as a slide show (I’d leave that); an “i” which if you click will give you captions (I recommend this) and a speech bubble. Hit the latter and you can leave comments on individual images. 

There will also be a row of images at the bottom that you can navigate with. Explore.

Initial Washes

Image 2 of 5

This is the initial watercolor was lay-in. I actually like this image this way and on another day would consider this finished.

  1. Reply

    Loved seeing your process, Roz!!! Thanks for that! Happy October!

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much Laurie. So far I don’t have a process for this approach, I’m still feeling around for one. But I think I can see a process from here. Thanks for stopping by. I love your work.

    • Susan S.
    • October 12, 2018

    Thanks for posting your process. I actually really like the the image with scribbling over watercolour. I get what you say about scribbled lines on female faces, but I think in this case it makes her look really bad-ass.

    1. Reply

      Great, I’m glad that’s how you feel. I’ll try to remember this as I go forward and push these ideas a bit more.

    • Corinne McNamara
    • October 12, 2018

    You’ve helped me see I need a lighter hand – i.e., more patience and more layers would work better.

    1. Reply

      Corinne, more layers are always good—until of course they aren’t. But unless we play with more layers we never get to see some of the depth I think we crave in your work. Jump in and experiment with more layers. You can always do another sketch if things go awry.

    • KarlaRose Erhard-Hudson
    • October 12, 2018

    I kind of agree with Susan S; the portrait with scribbles over watercolor may not be an accurate likeness, but it’s a very interesting portrait: hard-edged and intriguing, probably something I’d be more drawn to in a gallery than the final product.

    1. Reply

      Thanks KarlaRose for weighing in on this. I think it’s helpful to hear how other people not hampered by my usual way of doing things view these!!!

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