Personal Work

Today’s Sketch


This is a new character I drew today. I was thinking of the outfits in anime and manga and designed my own 🙂

I imagine she’s a peppy girl who is always cheerful and chatty.  She is cheeky and full of puns.  She cheats at cards but doesn’t mind if you catch her.  She’s learning to play ukelele and knit, but isn’t great at ether of them.  She has five cats and pretends they’re dinosaurs.  She often sneaks out of her chores to cause mischief.  She plays drums in a band with her friends, and hopes they’ll make a lot of money one day.

Personal Work

Sketching Skateboarding


Yesterday I went to Prime skate park and did some skateboarding with family and friends.  I had a lesson from Ash who explained the fundamentals like how you should take your back foot off the board first (I learnt that the hard way :I).

I did a bit of sketching of parts of the skatepark while I was there, but I wanted to try drawing dynamic sketches of skaters doing stunts.  So today I used photos from Google Images to do these continuous line drawings.  I think they came out pretty good and I might use them to design a skater character.

I also feel a little inspired to break out the Tony Hawk games..  : )

Personal Work

Keys to Drawing Chapter 1

Keys to Drawing and my sketchbooks for the projects

Late last year I began to work on my observational skills using the book Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson.  He says in the introduction that “drawing is primarily a process of seeing”, and each chapter has several projects with ‘keys’ to practice that are basically guidelines or rules to help improve drawing. The first chapter is about the drawing process and an important thing I learned was to have a rhythm in my head to ‘look, hold, and draw’.  Here are some of the drawings I made during this chapter:


The Keys covered in Chapter 1 are:

  • “Use practical dialogue” – talk to yourself about the lines and shapes you see, e.g. ‘the line is this long’, ‘this shape touches that one’ etc.
  • “Use triggering words” – repeat words to yourself that make you think about the subject e.g. ‘soft, soft’ or ‘sharp’.
  • “Draw blind” – practice drawing while looking at the subject instead of the paper for short bursts of time.
  • “Restate” – when you feel out forms by making more accurate lines alongside first attempts instead of erasing.
  • “Choose seeing over knowing” – ignore your mental image of what you think something should look like and instead draw EXACTLY what you see.
  • “Individualise” – be curious about everything you draw as if you have never seen it before, appreciate that each subject is unique.
  • “Simplify shapes” – draw in ‘the language of shapes’, not things.  Squint to simplify shapes.
  • “Look for shapes” – Bert Dodson gives four rules to identify shapes:
    • draw large shapes first, then small ones.
    • look for ‘enrichment shapes’ like highlights, shadows, textures..
    • tie shapes together (merge or connect shapes).
    • draw ‘trapped shapes’ (negative spaces).
  • “Focus” – concentrate on interesting areas and feel free to leave some areas unfinished.

Before I started, I hadn’t done much observational work, but this first chapter really helped me to get going.  The writing is very relaxed and easy to understand, and Bert Dodson has a kind approach.  Each project built my skills a little bit more and they were mostly enjoyable.

Personal Work

Watercolour drawings

I’ve just finished my sketch of Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  I watched gameplay videos of it at E3 online and I HAD to draw a picture:

Link Watercolour

I used Kuretake Mangaka fineliners and Sakura Koi watercolours.  Here is a picture of my watercolour kit:

Kitty's Watercolour Kit
From left: Seawhite A5 Sketchbook, Sakura Koi Pocket Field Sketch Box, Uni Kuru Toga pencils, Pentel Water Brush, Sakura White Gelly Roll pen, Zig Millennium 005, Zig Mangaka pens, Sakura Pigma brush pen, Tombow Spray Mister, Staedtler Mars plastic eraser, Koh-I-Noor Kneadable Eraser

I’ve had my Koi sketch box since early May and my Seawhite sketchbook for a fortnight and got them both from The Art Side.   Some of the other things here I got for my birthday, and some of them have been in my art kit for a long time.  I have three Kuru Toga pencils, all with different leads in them.  My silver one is HB and my most used pencil.  The green holds 4B lead and I have a blue one (not pictured) which holds non-photocopy blue lead.  I like to use water brushes because they are easier to take out and about.  I use the spray mister to make my paints damp before I use them.  The white gelly roll pen is great for highlights and covering mistakes so I have it with me constantly.  I have a wide variety of black fineliners and brush pens and at the moment I prefer using small fineliners so I can be really detailed in my work, and i’ve been testing different types of crosshatching with them.  I’ve also been learning to use dip pens and ink.

I’ve only been working in watercolour for the past two months and I think it’s really fun to do.  It’s slightly harder to work in than pencils and pens because you need to be careful about how much water you put on the paper.  Here are some examples of my work so far:

Ellie and Joel
Ellie and Joel from The Last Of Us

I just completed The Last Of Us (on easy..) and have been drawing Ellie and Joel a lot.

Girl and Fox
Girl and Fox

I invented the girl.  I sketched the fox on a visit to Delamore House’s annual arts exhibition at the end of May.  The original is a giant sculpture made from recycled materials (car bumpers!) by Ptolomy Elrington.

Ellie in Winter

Another picture of Ellie.  I worked on this last week.  She is a really fun character to draw.


Events and Exhibitions, Personal Work

Graduate Show at PCA

Illustrators at PCA
Illustrators clockwise from the left: Cameron, Alice, Emma, Lorna, Elena, Alice, Cameron

I’ve been to the Graduate Show several times this year, partly because I have something on display in the Young Arts Club section.  I’ve been really interested in the Illustration and Game Arts exhibitions, because those are the areas i’m hoping to study and work in, but I had a good look around the other galleries too.

This year I met Elena O’Neill and Lorna Davey who are graduating in Illustration.  They showed me around the exhibition and talked to me about their course.  Elena had some beautiful patterns on display and had pencil cases and pouches made from printed fabric of her work.  She also had really cute tiny clay(?) birds scattered around her section. Lorna had an amazing self portrait up on the wall in a comic style.  She also had a book of other portraits there and I love the details in the hair and how her portraits have loads of character.  Lorna is staying in Plymouth after graduation, so i’m really hoping we can meet again to do some sketching.

I bumped into Alice Kensington, who is also graduating Illustration, on opening night.  I’ve met Alice a couple of times before at DevCon (the local science fiction/comics convention) and we are both into cosplay, cartoons like Gravity Falls and Steven Universe and games like Zelda.  The first time I saw her she was in costume as the Other Mother from Coraline and I was Mabel Pines,  the second time she was Scarlet Overkill from the Minions movie and I was Frisk from Undertale.  I really like her illustration work, which is so colourful and soft and curvy.  Alice is really sweet and i’m definitely going to meet her soon to buy her a piece of cake and do some drawing together :3

There was a badge making machine in the Illustration shop and I made three custom badges with my own quick sketches.  One was for a friend and I didn’t take a photo, but here are the other two, one is a picture of my brother and the other is the character Ellie from the game The Last of Us:

custom badges by midnakitThere were so many amazing things in Illustration and I got a zine called Floating Around by Cameron Williamson.  It’s about someone who’s anxious about going to the Art College, but makes a decision to give it a shot. In the center theres a great picture of him staring out to sea on Plymouth Hoe.  It reminded me of what it felt like when I started at the Young Arts Club.  I also fell in love with the work of Emma Baker for zines, fanzines and the characters she designed to illustrate phobias.  I wanted to buy one of her zines but it wasn’t on sale, so i’m going to contact her about it to see if she has any copies.

I’ll do another post about the rest of the exhibitions another time.