On Sunday, I joined my first drawing session with the ‘Sketchy B*tches’ for a Zoom session called ‘La Dolce Vita’.


In this session, we drew each other in either the style of Rene Grau or in the style of Amedeo Modigliani. I loved it! We only posed for 5-10 minutes each, so there was lots of fast drawing in the limitation of using another’s style. Here’s us in action:

Here’s Dulcie Ball’s picture of me (I notice that this is now on her website ‘Sketch Appeal’ today). I’m wearing my friend Joe’s bowler hat with a dahlia from Peter’s allotment (Peter has the allotment adjacent to mine)- I did not have red nails though – this is artistic license!

It was surprisingly freeing to draw in the style of someone else. This leads to an idea for an exercise for cartooning workshops, where we create characters and strips in the style of someone else. There is also the possibility of creating a character-hybrid, for example, Liniers’ first ever cartoon character was a hybrid version of himself with the ears of Matt Groening’s rabbit from the ‘Life is Hell’ series, and the face of Art Spiegelman’s ‘maus’ character. This could also be freeing for beginners. (Note to self: two exercises there to create.)

Back to the ‘Sketchy Bitches’, Dulcie Ball (‘Queen Sketchy’ as I call her or ‘Head Bitch’ as she calls herself!) organises the sessions and is lovely and welcoming. She has been emailing me since to send me the above picture of myself in ‘Rene Grau’ and to say that I can be an ‘official sketchy bitch’ (yay!). I emailed back with two images of her from my comics diary. She liked these so much that she asked if she could put them online (which would be an honour).

This is my quick 5-10 minute sketch of Dulcie in ‘Rene Grau’ style. My favourite part is that I decided that the pencil had to smoke for the glamorous old style (this is drawn in graphite pencil quickly, then brush pens and Derwent ‘colour soft’ pencils): 

In the comics diary version, I replicated this image and then added her in ‘Modigliani’ style as well, while still exploiting the smoking pencil to celebrate the ‘smoking bitches’ of the group (same materials were used). Dulcie looks more like her real self here and less boss-eyed perhaps!: