Sketching progress

It’s fascinating to put together a timeline of your work in one medium to give a sense of how you are progressing. This is particularly useful if you’re experiencing a creative block or negative thoughts about your ability.

Below I’ve put together a timeline of my ‘cafe sketches’ over the past two years (oldest to newest). Improvement is slow but I think my mark making is gaining confidence as I gain muscle memory about the undulations of the human form. The last drawing at the TATE is, I think, one of my best as it has real character, the eyes have both been captured well and I’ve been concentrating on adding a few dark areas (particularly in the hair) rather than adding too much detail. I think it works much better – must remember that.

I would recommend regular sketching of humans to any new artist – it’s one of the hardest things to get right but there is a simplistic excitement of just sitting in a cafe without knowing who is going to be there or what the results are going to be like. The beauty of drawing the human form is that it’s very apparent when it works, and more so when it doesn’t.