I chickened out of starting the freshly bound book and carried on using a spiral bound Seawhite sketchbook which contains “all-media” paper, a sized cartridge paper which I’ve found can take a watercolour wash or several layers of fairly dry gouache. Too much pen work with a fine nib will roughen the surface enough for water to get in and break up the fibres.
These heads were inspired by seeing the court drawings of Jane Rosenberg and heads drawn by James Gurney. Both artists manage to divide the head up in to distinct planes which are painted with confident strokes. In trying to imitate that approach I find I fiddle and blend too much, especially when I mix up the wrong colour, with a result that some of the vitality of the figure is lost.
The stone head was snapped in a church doorway near Stoney Littleton, Somerset. The portrait on the right was drawn from a paused video of a David Malan lecture. Paused videos can be a great way to find a specific pose or expression for a quick sketch.