Archives for posts with tag: sketching

Feeling inspired after Stylist Live yesterday where I stumbled across the work of Ros Shier, I decided to practice sketching dogs today.

Having not drawn properly in ages there was a point where I wondered if I could actually draw life like animals. I tend to mainly draw cartoon creatures and the last time I drew anything at all was at a life drawing class over summer.

The first below picture is the point at which I got over my moment of panic. Before that, the drawing was merely lines and started to take on a ‘cartoon-like’ shape. I stared at the page for a while doubting if I could even finish it.

I began to draw more freely and stoped trying to be so sharp with features (especially eyes). After a few minutes of sketching fur things looked a lot better. 

I decided to put the little drawing in a frame and hopefully it will encourage me to sketch more.



Last week I finished my Introduction to Drawing art class at the Chelsea College of Art & Design. Despite the snow… and me generally just wanted to sleep on a Saturday morning I made it to every class!

It was definitely good to have a solid few hours drawing per week (10am to 4pm), as it made it easier to improve as opposed to me spending an hour or two a week sketching. Aside from using pencil, I also used charcoal, chalk and ink to create pieces. Surprisingly I really loved the ink drawing/painting. It left no room for mistake as I drew straight onto the page in ink with no pencil as guidance. I also really liked the effects of painting with ink and water.


For the second half of our last class I did a quick pencil sketch. The only thing I will say is I will be glad not to draw another bottle for a while!!!


I really want to do a life drawing class next… but it’s just a case of finding the time and money now!

Do you have any art classes you’d recommend?



I mentioned last week that I am doing a drawing course at The Chelsea College of Art & Design. In spite of the snow I trekked across London (and didn’t fall flat on my face again!).

In last week’s class we used charcoal and chalk. The above image was a practice sketch to understand shadows and how to make objects seem three dimensional. I really look how chalk and charcoal work together!

Here are some  other pieces I drew in my second class:





The final sketch was an exercise to use the objects from the top drawing and create anything we wanted. I made a little puppet type man! Although I didn’t get to finish it in class…


Do you like using charcoal to draw? Or do you prefer pencil?


I started an art class in the Chelsea College of Art & Design this month. I have wanted to start taking classes for ages but just didn’t know what to take up or where to even do a course. I looked at some courses at Central Saint Martins and Chelsea before deciding that, as much as I wanted to jump straight into animation or illustration, I really need to brush up on my skills.

I worried that if I picked a class like animation straight away that I would feel so behind everyone else and would lose confidence immediately. I decided to do Introduction to Drawing in Chelsea as the class seemed open to complete beginners and the times suited me too.

The class itself is 10am – 4pm so it forces me to draw for a much longer period of time than if I was sat at home sketching. It is also great to have a teacher in the class to help you and advise you on how to compose your drawings.

In my first lesson we focused on drawing still objects; first to get to grips with outlines and perspective and then moving on to shading.

These are my two sketches from my first class:



They’re certainly not perfect by any means but I wanted to share them to show you what this class is like. For me it is great to learn more about shading and drawing objects like these as I tend to focus more on cartoon/people and animal sketches so I’m hoping this will improve my overall drawing ability.

After this course ends I really want to explore more classes and try some in Central Saint Martins! They don’t come cheap so I will have to save for a few months and continue to practice in my own time before embarking on anything else… but I really want to get cracking on more animation/illustration based classes.

Have you taken any art classes yourself? Would you recommend them? I’d love to know what experiences any of you have had!


I am a bit of a dinosaur geek.

Well, by ‘a bit’ I mean massive. Yes. I have several dino tees, mugs, jumpers… I really want to start drawing some fun cartoony dino sketches soon. In the meantime I think I need to buy this eraser that I say in Liberty London yesterday!


As some of you may have noticed my ‘Sketch of the Week’ has been missing for the last two weeks. Normal sketching will resume shortly! Having a bit of a crazy time in the run up to Christmas. Hoping I will have lots of downtime to doodle when I am back in Ireland for two weeks.


This sketch of the week is a cartoon bear. It was a very quick sketch – so quick, in fact, that I thought it was going to be  a mess. I feel this is a good lesson for me as sometimes I get so preoccupied with making a drawing ‘perfect’ that my lines become harsh and the whole piece stiff. Just goes to show that I need to do more of these quick sketches to loosen up my drawing style.

I bought a new book about drawing cartoons. It’s called the Humongous Book of Cartooning by Chris Hart. I was so excited when it arrived in the post from Amazon! I bought a few other art books with it, including one that shows you how to draw 50’s style retro cartoon characters. I want to spend all my free time going through these books… but need to pace myself so I am focusing on Chris Hart’s book first.

I love it this book! It gives a great breakdown on how to draw various cartoon characters from bears, cats, rabbits to people. So far I have just practiced some bear and animal sketches. Can’t wait to progress through the book and do more detailed drawings.

Below is a three stage breakdown of a little squirrel character I attempted. I actually spent more time on this than the above bear, but I way prefer how the bear turned out!

Do you have any recommendations of books that teach you certain drawing styles?

Every Friday I will post my ‘Sketch of the week’.

Be it a quick practice sketch or something more detailed. I figure it will a) ensure that I draw at least once a week and b) help me see how I progress from week to week.

So here is my first SOTW in three stages:


So there you have it! My first SOTW. I got my inspiration for this from one of my How to: Manga books.



I am a big fan of ‘How To…’ books when it comes to drawing.

Lately I have been practising manga/anime style sketches. These are some of the books I’m using at the moment: Draw Your Own Manga and How to Draw Manga Style.

Both books give a good breakdown of different manga styles and how to draw eyes, hands, faces etc. Pretty good if you want to improve on basic skills.

I’ve been using these books for a few weeks now and have been experimenting with their characters and trying out my own sketches.

Below are some very rough examples of practice sketches of mine from a month or two ago. I have decided to showcase all my artistic attempts on this blog as a way of learning… so this will include absolute failed attempts, struggles with certain areas, as well as polished pieces. It is also a good way to see how to overcome certain drawing obstacles, for example the drawing of hands can be quite difficult, so I will try document my progress from start to finish.

I will post one of my  better newer drawings as my Sketch of the Week* on Friday.

Do you have any of you have any tips for drawing? Or book recommendations? Please feel free to share, I’d love to hear from you!

*Hmm I will try to think of a more exciting name!

Next weekend I am going to Somerset House to see Images 36: Best of British Illustration.

I love illustration so cannot wait to see this! I read about it in Stylist magazine and got very excited by myself on my tube journey to work.

The exhibition showcases the winning work of over 50 UK artists who entered the Association of Illustrator’s flagship competition ‘Images’.  It features new talent and established names such as Chris Haughton (Booktrust best new illustrator), Lizzie Mary Cullen (Design Week’s 50 Hot people) and Stephen Collins (Jonathan Cape/ Observer Graphic Short Story Prize, 2010).

The winners were selected by a specially chosen jury including agents, publishers and artists. Artists such as Noma Bar and David Foldvari were amongst this year’s judges alongside Art Directors from Guardian G2, Granta Publications, Hodder & Stoughton and Random House, as well as Creative Directors from leading design and digital agencies.

The exhibition is free and runs until 28 October 2012. Opening times are 10.00am to 6.00pm daily.

Find out more info HERE


Hello there dearest reader!

Thanks for visiting my new blog. It’s a little bare at the moment but stick with me and I promise it will all be up and running soon… I hope.

So what is ‘Kelly Illustrates’? This is my new blog about art, illustration and my mission to improve my drawing skills. My ultimate aim is to be able to design greeting cards that people actually want to buy (it’s a long way off!) or be as successful as Simon who created the absolutely brilliant Simon’s Cat.

I  just bought Book 3:

P.S. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @KellyIllustrate  or on Facebook