Drawing Faces

A couple of weeks ago I decided to learn to draw faces.  First off I scribbled along with a YouTube video and learned to draw faces looking in different directions.


After watching a few more YouTube videos, I followed their general instructions to draw a larger face. The result was okay, but not realistic.


I was particularly unimpressed with the nose, so decided that was the part of the face to start learning to draw better first. Watching more videos, and reading a few tutorials too, I attempted to draw some noses.

The key to drawing a nose is that most of it’s shading. However, despite the nose videos and tutorials, and also having watched a few shading videos, I still was very unhappy with my noses.


Recognising that I never intended to be a portrait artist anyway, I gave up, thinking I’d just wasted a couple of hours.

A few of days later I had a go at drawing some fairy faces with easier noses. This also involved exploring a little about drawing hair.

After that I decided to return to faces once I’d learnt to draw bodies. However a week later I decided to draw a still life of some leaves and logs.  Although it’s far from perfect, I found the shading so much easier to do. I also did it all with just a 2B pencil.


So I guess the time spent attempting to draw a decent nose wasn’t wasted after all.   And who knows? I might yet become portrait artist anyway 😉

Until next time,

Bekki x

Learning to Draw # 3 Shadows and Light

When we visited Lovely Eldest I found a short bit of downtime to sketch. Being me I only wanted to sketch natural things and all that was on offer was an apple and an aloe vera  plant. I took the wimps option…


I hate drawing apples and it shows…


However Eldest is a rather talented young lady, so I showed her my sketch and asked for help. In five minutes she drew a far more convincing apple than I could in 30 and basically pointed out that I wasn’t putting enough effort into my shading.

Next day I sketched the play aeroplane at the airport on our way home attempting to put more effort into my shading…

When we returned home, I found a dear friend, who is a very talented portrait artist, had made a suggestion about working on my shading in the comments on my blog post.  The universe was clearly pushing me to work on my shading, so the next day I drew the tree stump I’d drawn the first day I started drawing and focused on shading…


I knew there was still a long way to go, but was pleased with the improvement I’d made in four weeks…


Next day I found a YouTube tutorial that explained the light/shadows really clearly and used it to help me draw a much better apple – all be it an imaginary one…


Next I drew my strawberry planter…


The next day was busy, so I worked on squeezing quick sketches in when I had 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day…


Next day I shaded the trees in a sketch I’d half draw ten days earlier…


And finally I worked on a jug last Sunday.


I’m now learning about perspective, while, of course continuing to work on my shading.

Until next time,

Bekki x


Free Motion Embroidery – Shading

In my attempt to learn to draw I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube tutorials.  Since I’m learning to draw to eventually create images on fabric, I thought I’d try applying some of what I’d learnt about shading to create a 3 dimensional appearance to free motion embroidery.

I started by exploring shading a ball as when I’d drawn one previously

My first attempt was spreading the ‘shading’ lines out further and further the more I moved across the fabric (unnumbered images bottom right). This created more of a cylinder than a ball – even when I used  a thread that was closer in value to the fabric.


I then tried a thread version of cross hatching (1). This was a little better, but certainly not good enough.

The ‘ball’ top left is worked in a variegated thread. Although the ball is unconvincing, it inspired me to sew in patches of each colour as the tread changed (3). I thought this might be a good effect for sky or water. Does anyone have any other ideas of anything it might be useful for?

I would have liked to try shading the ball using several slightly different shades of a single colour of thread. However, since I didn’t have any that were very close in colour, I did my best at making a patch of shading with the closest set of 4 I had – (5) below.

I also played with other techniques used in drawing that might give a 3 dimensional effect….


(1) and (2) are basically curly scribbling. I’m thinking these might be good for curly fur, wool on sheep, bushes or leaves on distant trees. Any other offers?

For (3) I did curly scribbling, but tried not to let any circle overlap the other. Apart from maybe more curly fur, I’m not sure what I’d use it for. Any ideas?

(4) is my thread version of cross hatching. If I turn it 90 degrees it reminds me a bit of seaweed!

I’d love to know if you’ve thoughts of any other ways I could machine embroider to build texture/give the impression of an object being 3D.

Until next time,

Bekki x