Sketchy character…

Last year I was feeling the need to get back to drawing and sketching. Photography and photoshopping are both fine, but the creative skills required to get a decent photo aren’t quite as engaging as those required to produce an image on paper from scratch.


Science fiction doodles are my ‘default’ – my inspiration since childhood, and a genre I find easiest to get intoΒ  so an easy way to get back to sketching.

Apart from anything else, these days it’s too easy to edit out your mistakes. I wanted to recover the ability to draw with bolder strokes and fewer errors.


Doing sketches every day is a good way to get back into practice – forcing yourself to draw even when you don’t feel particularly inspired is a good way to develop techniques for when you do feel inspired again.

To add a bit of challenge, I decided to get back to pen sketches. Once you put pen to paper, that’s it: you’re committed. If you screw up, you can either run with the mistake, or try to hide it.


Either the people are too big or the boat is too small…

I bought myself a small, pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook, a Staetdler 0.3 pen, and a Sharpie, figuring that would cover most of my needs (at least initially). I’m finding that I probably need to start drawing on larger sheets – and maybe a better range of pens (studying art at school I used Staedtler 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 pens).


Faces are my big weakness – without being able to do a faint pencil sketch first, I inevitably get the proportions wrong… buildings and vehicles, though? Bring’em on!

Another way of getting into the drawing groove is by taking part in Inktober, in which you are challenged to produce one ink-based drawing or illustration each day during October, and post it to social media with appropriate hashtags.


This was quite challenging – not because of the pace, but because a lot of the stuff I draw simply isn’t good. The crap stuff had to go up with the stuff I was happy with.

To make things easier, there’s a list of prompt words every year to provide inspiration. I usually managed to link these prompts to something in popular culture I felt like drawing.


Some sketches were more popular than others (such as the lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Ahsoka, or the Houses of Parliament after being prompted by the word “broken”). The main thing was to attempt a wide variety of subjects, and see what worked and what didn’t.


So, my sketches are improving, slowly but surely. I still need to work on faces (I place too much emphasis on eyes and not enough on jawlines). I have a comfort zone – buildings, vehicles, landscapes – which I need to step beyond more often.

Having a sketchbook and doing something creative each lunchtime is a great mood-lifter. If nothing else, I can say I’ve created something every day. It’s also good to take on holidays – waiting at the airport, or spending hours on a plane isn’t so bad when you have a pen and paper with you. I’d rate it as being just as good as having a book to read!



Sometimes it’s worth spending a bit more time on a sketch to get the image you want… πŸ™‚

130 responses to “Sketchy character…

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  2. I love your sketches! I’m trying to find my creative side and it’s definitely a process. I’m nowhere near your level of expertise (currently coloring in my ‘coloring book for adults’) but I hope to unleash my creativity one of these days!

    • Thank you! πŸ˜€
      Creativity can be unleashed in all sorts of ways – the best ways are the ones that make you happy!

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    • Thank you! πŸ™‚
      There’s a bunch of ways of attacking a drawing – I only (re-)started doing pen sketches because I fancied a challenge… πŸ™‚

  5. It is true. So true. But sometimes we are so lost in our problems that we forget to keep ourselves happy. But it is never too late.😊

  6. Pingback: Facing Inktober | Observaterry·

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