How to Draw More Often

We know we should draw more often.  But how?

The most effective way, I’ve found, is to simply keep a small sketchbook and a pen in our handbag.  So when we find ourselves sitting in a café, or watching the kids playing in the park, we simply take out our sketchbook and scribbling.  (Tip: It’s important to leave out our Kindle or book, unless you prefer to read than draw that day.)

When at home, it’s fun to just pick up our sketchbook and draw ourselves.

Want to See Inside My Sketchbook?

I love making quick sketches in my daily sketchbook.  Most of these sketches take about 5 minutes.

Why Use Pen, Instead of Pencil?

With a pen, we cannot erase.  So we will need to:

1. Be Precise. In other words, think where that line goes before we put it down.  When I just started, my first few drawings are full of scribbling lines.  Then I decided to practice being more precise, and have cleaner lines.  But there are many ways to draw, and this is just one of them.

2. Work with the mistakes.  Because we can’t erase a pen mark, we have to either make the “mistakes” work, or we start a new sketch.  Some of my drawings I just couldn’t fix, so I started a new page.

How often do you draw?

If you want to see more of my daily sketches, click here to find me on Instagram.  I post my drawings and work-in-progress images daily.  See you on Instagram!

Want to Draw a Selfie in Oil Pastel?

june selfie oil pastel

I wish I can oil paint all the time.

But being a single mother with two little toddlers, there are days I’m a bit too pressed for time.

I still need to practice on a daily basis. I’ve used soft pastel in my life drawing classes, it’s great for both drawing and using color. But […]

When Is Our Heart Pure?


Life Drawing in Soft Pastel, by Lucy Chen

In “The Lord of the Ring: the Fellowship of the Ring“, Elrond said that the race of men had failed when Isildur refused to throw the ring into the fire of Mount Doom to have it destroyed.

I wonder, what if it was Elrond who was […]

How to Paint an Alla Prima Portrait in Two Hours or Less

alla prima portrait

You saw this painting titled The Promised Eternity in an earlier post, and we even discussed what “eternity” meant for each one of us.

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My Story with Flat White


my one-hour still life study. oil on board.

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What Grandmas Can Do with an Artist Grandchild


What do you do after dinner in the evenings? Do you watch TV? Do you read a book? Do you consciously choose what you do?

My dad, step-mum and grandma have come to visit us from China since March. What grandmas can do while staying with their artist grand-daughter is to be her model. […]

On the Way to Becoming a Great Artist


This morning, my 5-year-old took a photo of my with his iPad (which he named Wii-Gee), and used it as a reference to draw my portrait.

I was very impressed as I told him, “Wow, Alan, it looks great! It looks quite Picasso!”

Alan asked, “Who is Picasso?”

“A very great artist.” I answered.