I really enjoy sketching portraits in pen: quick and dirty, most often on a train to pass the time.  More recently during the coronavirus rahui I’ve started sketching people during online video calls.  Not quite as quick, p’raps not as dirty, and from a much greater distance than a shared train seat.  These are some experiments, some not too bad ones, and some cautionary tales …

If you’d like to be part of keeping me sane during this solo lockdown, and can deal with a half-hour of chitchat, please do get in touch 🙂


I need more practice drawing children!  Quite apart from the normal challenges of making something which is recognisable, there’s something about the relative size of the teeth and eyes with determines age.  Here Lucian looks older than he should … more practice required, but very cool to catch up with his mum, Ina, who is […]


Wahey! New ink!

Plessius family

Lockdown means that my pens have run out of ink 😦 so I had to do this one in pencil.  I found it quite challenging – pen means you just have to get in and do it, pencil means you can get stuck trying to change things.  Once I decided to treat the pencil as […]


I’ve known Gretchen for (gulp) around thirty-something years.  There aren’t that many people I can say that about!  


A well-overdue catch-up with a beautiful old friend.  Nothing quite like technology over the time-zones!

Andrea + Lisa

I reckon that the world would be a better place if we could share failures as freely as we share successes.  So.  Herewith, the success, but below it, the less-than-great attempts… I don’t know why this was so tricky … either I just lost my mojo, or I could blame it on the huge amount […]





Sam has had to put up with a whole lot of sketches over the years … at least this one is not sleeping on a train 🙂


Not as good a likeness as I would have (ahem) liked.  I deliberately left the glasses on so I could get some more practice at them … I think a little more practice is still needed.


Willow is my cousin’s cat … another experiment with inks over pen.  Not quite as much bleeding this time, but I think I should be using a heavier paper than a light sketchpad in future.

Kim-Ny and Nene

One of my oldest friends and her beautiful daughter.

Dave, Naomi and Theo

I had a little trouble with Theo in this one – babies are so tricky to make recognisable!  He looks more like a dastardly super-villain than a very cute little boy …


This was a trial run with inks over pen.  Had some issues with black bleeding around the mouth (which sounds more painful than I hope it was…) but have learnt my lesson!


I don’t think we’ve spoken since primary school … Rahui is a good time for decades worth of catching up.


My first online guinea pig.  Not too bad for a sketch across 12 timezones!