Feeling Around A Face

February 22, 2021

I did this sketch of Bill Bailey in a hand bound journal I’d made with 90 lb. watercolor paper (8 inches square). 

I was watching one of the several British comedy shows he turns up on—which is the best way for a US-based viewer to catch him. (It was probably an episode of QI which can be streamed on Britbox or Acorn, or both, some seasons not available on some services—I don’t understand the ins and outs of it.)

Detail from the post’s sketch.

I used a Tombow Calligraphy/Fude pen that was almost dried out.

I think it’s fun to feel around the facial features with such a pen. 

As I do this I fall in love with the scratchy lines, even when they aren’t where one would have hoped they would go (if one didn’t have double vision). And I know that I won’t be putting ink wash on the sketch because I love those lines so much.

There are a lot of faces I enjoy sketching over and over as I’ve discussed before on the blog. Sometimes these faces belong to family and friends, or life models at the drawing co-op and I get to sketch them from life.

Now during the pandemic I have to focus on faces of people I’ll never meet in person, but which are no less fun to draw.

I hope you’re actively seeking a variety of faces to sketch.

    • Diane
    • February 22, 2021

    Pens that are almost out of ink are highly underrated. Lovely drawing.

    1. Reply

      I know you know they are the best! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are getting some great landscapes sketched!

    • Paul
    • February 22, 2021

    Love that scratchy graphite-like look to this one. Characterful asymmetry of the eyes, the half smirk of the lips, and such great HAIR too! (…what’s left of it :o).

    1. Reply

      Thanks Paul, I thought I’d responded to this earlier. I’m glad you enjoy this. I think I was led astray by the gutter on my proportions on the right, but I’m really fond of the eyes, nose, and mouth in this one. I think I sadly had to let that FB pen go when I finished this one. I can’t hold on to them forever. As I sort through stuff here it’s amazing how many of these pens I have all around the house—I can’t even remember what some of the tapes on the barrel indicate any more so I’ve gone back to putting actual dates on them. I have to order some more!

      • Bonnie
      • May 12, 2021

      I’ve been laid up with shingles for 17 weeks. I am going stir crazy, not being able to sketch and paint, because it hurts to sit up. When I came across your site, it was just what I needed. So thanks.

      1. Reply

        Bonnie, sorry you are dealing with shingles. (My mother had trouble with shingles and because of that I had a vaccination as soon as I could. It’s not a guarantee, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.) I understand that the pain from shingles is excruciating so be sure to get as much rest as possible. When you’re able to sit up again without pain, I hope you’ll start sketching again. Start small in intention—perhaps just with graphite pencil or pen, so you don’t have a lot to juggle and your movements will be minimal. It’s more important that you sketch a little bit each day, than getting the paints out and having so much to juggle you can’t get anything done.
        I hope you heal soon.

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