Sketchbook: Watercolour, and Carbon Pencil Drawings

Two more pages from my sketchbook: you can guess what my New Year’s resolution is!


Walking Boots (carbon drawing pencil)

Thinking about possessions being autobiographical: I decided to draw my walking books since I wear them every day for walking the dog.

I’m currently reading Hockney & Gayford, 2016 and was interested in David Hockney’s observations about Chinese artists, who perfect their art by making as few lines as possible to represent an object or scene. I drew the rough outlines of these boots, then spent quite a lot of time on the right boot with shading etc, then tried to work quickly on the left boot. A lot more practise needed before I can use a few strokes to represent an object, though.


Make-up Palette with Reflection, and Lipstick (pencil, watercolour)

Another ‘autobiographical’ item. I started painting this during daylight, but by the time it got dark, I realised I had four light sources, hence the crazy shadows (another thing I was paying more attention to, following Hockey’s comments about shadows giving objects volume.) Recognisable rather than accurate is the verdict on these two pieces.

Yet more wisdom from David Hockney comes to mind when I think of his words about drawing and painting, and the layers of ‘seeing’ that the artist uses when making a picture – both over time and what he or she has noticed and given importance to, when looking at an object. For example in the piece above, I hadn’t noticed the reflection when I first set the objects out, then I became quite interested in what I could see in the mirror: a tiny view of the room behind me and a bit of me in my jumper.

My approach to sketchbook work at present is to use a variety of media and draw anything and everything that interests me. I work on loose sheets of paper of different sizes and types and colours for experimental purposes, or because it seems appropriate to the subject.



Hockney, D. and Gayford, M. (2016) A history of pictures: From the cave to the computer screen. United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson.

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