Gwen Stefani portrait in pastel

It’s a true scientific fact that drawing from selfies is a nightmare. The angles are all weird and the resolution is usually bad, leaving the artist to make up details (like noses and jaws) as they go along. In my case, usually fluffing it up.

Still, I keep doing it. Guess it’s me all over. Stubborn. Wanting to do things the difficult way. But who can resist this gorgeous, glamorous candid snapshop… and that contrast!? Like she’s emerging from the darkness. Very film noir actually.

068_gwen_pastelSMLI drew Gwen (oh, congratulations Mrs. Rossdale, another boy on the way) in pastels from this picture she posted on her Twitter.


Meet Sarah Elizabeth Orchard! This hilarious, pretty lady blogger often has me in stitches when posting about the slightly awkward things that happen to her. Like me, she was recently involved in a freak (what I call) British standoff. You know the situation: bump into someone, you go left, they go left, you go right, they go right. The stranger in question was… a pigeon. I get this with manky Leeds pigeons all the time!

pastel portrait of blogger Sarah Orchard
This pastel drawing was done with various selfies as reference. Camera phone low contrast and interesting self inflicted camera angles made this quite a challenge.

Head over to her awesomely named “And this is why I will die alone surrounded by cats”¬†blog if you want to know what it feels like to be a single girl artist and painter of crazy pictures that don’t even make sense.

One of my favourite freaky portraits by Sarah Orchard
blogger Sarah Orchard
Why not stalk this nice lady on twitter?

Me as a little girl

I used to be little once. Back in the mid-eighties when mainstream music was still good. Don’t be fooled with my big smile though. I was quite a handful.

portrait in pastel of little girl

Back then I was pretty creative as well. But with walls and my mother’s lipstick instead of crayons or drawing pencils. I have also been known to involve green beans and 5 cent pieces in my performance art. Please don’t ask.

Another one in pastel and pastel pencils, it took me about 5 hours. Obviously, it has been donated to the parents.

Merry Christmas from Bettie

With a slight fever and a throat infection, I present to you my¬†homage to Bettie Page’s iconic Christmas Playboy shoot. Merry Christmas! *shuffles off to bed*Bettie Page Christmas portrait in pastelAgain in pastel – crayons and pencils – in about four hours. Click the above link for the reference, but beware of…. BOOBS!

Missy Macabre in pastel

At my company we don’t do Christmas like most companies. This year we were treated to a bunch of dark cabaret acts, including a female fakir called Missy Macabre.

Missy Macabre portrait drawing in pastel

Missy Macabre portrait drawing in pastel sketchbook

I was very taken with Missy’s nail and hammer to the nose act as well as her striking face. For this pastel drawing I used this Missy reference.

Helena Bonham Carter in pastel

Pastels, sofa, cups of tea and Christmas tunes on the radio make for a lovely Sunday afternoon. And who doesn’t like Helena Bonham Carter, Queen of Quirk?

Helena Bonham Carter pastel portrait Helena Bonham Carter pastel portrait close up

Ancient Art Supplies

The inlaws had a garage clean-out and came across some old school art supplies. There were pastels, charcoal and all the paper in the world, including some vintage “Daler” (from before it was “Daler and Rowney”) watercolour paper. Stacks and stacks of it. Luckily, my boyfriend’s dad’s hobby never took off so he could kindly donate it to me… about 25 years later! These portraits of Amy Winehouse and Anna Calvi were quite a challenge, but at least I’m now no longer a pastel virgin. Eek, it smudges!

Amy Winehouse pastel portrait Anna Calvi pastel portrait

vintage art supplies
This isn’t even a third of it.