Ballpoint.

Original drawing by Suzanne Forbes October 2015 BerlinI adore life drawing with ballpoint, because there’s nothing to hide behind.

Either you have the skills to depict the space in front of you, or you don’t, and every hesitation mark and mistake is there forever. I’ve made a few ballpoint drawings over the years that I really love. And of course over the years I’ve made a lot of drawings of men sleeping, particularly my third husband.

A sleeping person is an amazing subject for life drawing, because they’re far more still than anyone awake will ever be.Sideways1_Suzanne_Forbes_2015

My husband is a particularly good sleeper, and his clean features and sharp Black Irish coloring make him a easy subject from any angle. So I’ve been doing an exercise where I take my glasses off and actually lie down beside him and make the drawing with my head on the pillow next to him, sideways. The drawings look off while I’m doing them, on the sideways sketchbook, but once I rotate the sketchbook to its proper orientation, they correct. It’s totally weird and interesting!

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