TAD: Little Imp

TAD: The Art Diaries

I Didn't Do It

When I was in the second/third year of my art A-Levels my school decided that, despite me being only a few months away from finishing, that they were going to stop paying for my lessons and cancel them all together. Given the amount of effort, time and how close I was to finishing you can imagine how gutting this would have been if they’d gone through with it.

I was lucky though and a lady my mum knew offered to subsidise me, allowing me to finish 

I only found out about this soon after I’d finished my graphic design degree. I wanted to think of a way to say thank you that was more than some cheap thank you card. I was going to make a full blown children’s book, but since I’ve only just started that (updates on that later) I wanted to send a little something now.

Tracing Paper

I decided to do a drawing of an imp, (based on an old photo I have of my little sister) and send her that, along with a thank you card. It’s not the best way I can think of to say thank you, but given the fact it’s been four years now since I finished my A-levels I wanted to give her something now and then, once I’ve finished the Children’s book, dedicate that to her and give her the first copy as a proper thank you.

What I used: Tracing Paper, Mechanical Pencil, Polychromos Pencils, Pro Markers, Pan Pastels, Paper Stump, White Ink Pen

I always do the sketch on a tracing paper till the proportions are perfect, I hate wasting paper with the first few rough sketches and with tracing paper you can flip it over to check the proportions. It’s quite funny how mirroring an image will show you flaws you hadn’t noticed.

On Paper

Next I traced the final image onto the paper I wanted to use. Since I was using my polychromos pencils I used a thick paper with a perfectly smooth surface. I’m still experimenting a lot with colour, I’m much more confident with portraits when it’s just pencil or charcoal, colour is still a major learning curve.

One of my favourite techniques at the moment is to use promarkers for the underlying skin tone and then layer coloured pencil over it

Once I’ve layered the pencil I either blend it with my fingers, a paper stump or a blending pencil. Layering the pencil is what took the most time (no surprise) I think in total I spent about three hours layering up all the colours on the skin.


Base Colour


When ever I do drawing’s like this I’m always tempted to leave them like at the stage above. I find half finished drawings so much more interesting than finished drawings.

They let your mind imagine how the drawing would look like when it’s finished, rather than just glance at it and go “Oh..that’s pretty”. But since it’s a present and not everyone appreciates a half-finished drawing I figured I should finish it.

In Progress

And that’s the final drawing! I have a full scan on my Deviant Art if you want to see it in more detail. Quite a lot of you asked me to do a drawing tutorial but I’m going to wait a while before I do one since I haven’t completely figured out my favourite method of drawing with the coloured pencils.

You can see the full drawing here

Messy Table

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  1. Tia says

    Your drawing is so cute. You have major talent. Back then in 1994 when I was 11 years old, I’ve been to a few art classes and OMG, my drawing skills totally and completely tanked. Any suggestions on how I can do better? Need advice please. Thanks. Love, Tia :) ♡☆

  2. Beatriz says

    It’s so cute! I’m sure that she is going to love it! You are so talented and I really want to know the updates about your children’s book! :)

  3. Jacqueline says

    I like unfinished drawings too. This is really good! I can’t wait to hear about your children’s book! I’ve attempted to start a children’s book. I loved doing the drawings, but the story itself was difficult for me. I’m used to writing full length novels. For now, that’s what I’ll stick to.