Friday, March 10, 2023



3/2/23 Colored pencil in Uglybook

France van Stone recently sent a free video demo to her email list subscribers. The demo featured France drawing “Keith,” her skull friend (named after the Stones’ Richards and his skull ring). The 75-minute recording included a still image of Keith so that participants could draw along with France, but of course, I wanted to draw a skull from life.

I’ve long wanted an anatomically correct human skull to practice drawing, and France’s demo finally gave me to push to get one (easy enough to find in various sizes and styles on Amazon; mine was $13). Meet Skully (inspired by the X-Files character, of course). Her jaw is attached with a spring, which doesn’t allow her to open her mouth in a natural way, but it probably doesn’t keep her from talking if she has something to say. We’ll see.

France had mentioned how drawing Keith has helped her draw portraits, and I can already see how Skully could do the same for me. When I draw and shade the planes of her revealed head bones, it’s suddenly much easier to understand the planes of any face covered with muscle and skin!

2/28/23 Kuretake Gansai Tanbi Graphite
watercolors in Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook

The two watercolor sketches above were made with the Kuretake Gansai Tanbi Graphite Colors set that I just reviewed at the Well-Appointed Desk.

Skully makes no bones about it... she can help me
draw portraits better!


  1. I never thought about how sketching the skull will help you learn the contours of the face better because you can see the bones. Duh!!! I hope you and Skully have many productive sessions together.

    1. I do, too! But even if we don't, she looks great on my desk! ;-)


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