297 – Brutus study, and happy New Year!

1000 drawings, Contrast sketchbook, Portraits

First of all a very happy New Year to you!

Usually this time of year I’m paying back for too much food and drink, but it’s been a quiet holiday season, in that respect anyway.

On boxing day (Dec 26th) the north of England was devastated by unprecedented flooding, with all rivers in Lancashire, and many more in Yorkshire and Cumbria reaching their maximum levels. We watched the rivers rise with dread, under the noise of WWII sirens and helicopters. Our town in the Calder Valley was not spared, though it could have been a lot worse. Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd just downstream, on the other hand, had 6 feet of water coursing down their main streets.

Following this devastation people have pulled together to clean up and volunteer, joined by kind souls from other areas, and all walks of life.

Still, many people remain affected, and in temporary accommodation while their houses are decontaminated (the river contained sewage water), or even rebuilt. Please spare a thought for them if you have a minute.

For us personally, we got off lightly. Ground water came up into our basement, which we were prepared for although it rose to an unprecedented level of nearly 5 feet, creeping up the stairs towards our ground floor. Also the river across the street was mere inches from overflowing into our neighbourhood. So the festive season for us was mostly spent volunteering at the Town Hall sorting donations, cleaning our basement, and then moving all our belongings upstairs as we were expecting a second round of floods (which thankfully never happened).

As such, I’ve not had much time or energy to draw, but for sanity’s sake I did make this sketch.


It’s a study of a bust of Brutus by Michelangelo, in my sketchbook where all pages on the left are in black & white, and on the right in colour.

Here was the process:

First, pencils and rough, block inking.

Next, adding some thinner lines with an ink pen


Light watercolour on the colour side.


And finally, more watercolour and extra pen lines to give it a bit more depth.

I hope you have had a good holiday. Here’s to an excellent 2016!


4 thoughts on “297 – Brutus study, and happy New Year!”

  1. That’s terrible these flooding. What a Christmas time. I hope that 2016 will be best for all these people. It’s is impressing we can’t do nothing against water just wait it starts. All my best wishes for you and yours for 2016. About your draw it is very beautiful and somewhere sad… It’s normal according the situation. Much love !

    Liked by 1 person

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