Drawing a Nose (A Tutorial)

On my social media, I was asked to create a resource to explain how to draw a nose. So, after quite a while, apologies, here it is – a tutorial on noses! Its not perfect, we learned a lot doing it, so future videos will be better, but it has all the content that you need I think!

It is, hopefully, a very comprehensive tutorial, that explains how to construct the proportions accurately, how to look at a nose to see the shapes, how to shade and blend, to give you a realistic nose drawing.

This tutorial is suitable for beginners. You only need paper, an HB pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser and a cotton bud. A soft paint brush or makeup brush and softer pencils are great extras if you have them.

I would love to see your results! Please put them on social media and tag me! Let me know what you’d like to see next using the contact form or follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter

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Get the video transcript here.

10 Things to Get Right

10 Things to Get Right

Before you Buy Art for your Home

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are fully aware of the huge impact our surroundings can have on your mood.

Home is a big part of your life (even bigger now of course due to COVID).

It is hopefully somewhere where you can relax… where you entertain, often it’s where you work, play & of course where might bring up a family.

Your home reflects your personality, your individuality & the artwork you choose is a large part of that. The way you display/dress it sets a tone… creates the feeling…

Lots of people would like to invest in an original piece of art but there are stumbling blocks that stop them such as:

  • It is easier & quicker to get cheaper mass produced art
  • It can be overwhelming to visit a gallery
  • It’s intimidating to contact artists directly

Photo of a room with a brown side table against a white wall. Above the side table is a drawing of the singer Will Young.

Buying art was once a stressful thing, often seen as elitist. Thanks to the internet, the art world has become accessible to people like you and I. It’s easier than ever to contact artists directly:

  • Look out for local art events & social media where you get to meet the artists.
  • You can browse in person & on the internet until you find a piece that inspires you.
  • Follow the artists that you like / sign up to their mailing lists to stay up to date with their new work & events join my mailing list here xxxx.

Things that you need to get right when you are buying art:

It is important to be careful in authenticating if the work is an original or a reproduction. Visit reputable galleries, or even better come directly to artists like me.

  1. Art doesn’t have to break the bank. These days it is easy these start your own art collection & that can be made up of pieces of all values, as long as the art “speaks to us”. You can mix prints & even home made pieces, along with original art that will last for generations to come. Buying smaller pieces or giclée prints is a great way to start your collection. Original art prices vary hugely depending on the popularity of the artist, the materials used & time it takes to make the art.
  2. Stay calm. When you commission, or hunt for, the right piece of art for you, unless you have a strict deadline; take your time & enjoy the process, it is part of the experience.
  3. Emotions / Feel. Think about what emotions you want the piece to evoke. Your surroundings can have a big impact on how you think & feel. Do you want to be relaxed? Invigorated? Inspired? Being surrounded by pieces that evoke inspiration in you, can impact upon your creativity & overall mindset. A statement piece can set the tone of a room; seeing it when you wake up, can impact upon your day thereafter.
  4. Do you like a specific style? Look on Instagram, magazines, websites; find out what your style is. Then you can search for galleries or artists with similar styles.
  5. The Perfect Piece. Finding a piece that is almost perfect but something is “not quite right” can be problematic. Should you compromise on the size, the colour? Why don’t you ask the artist & commission a piece? That is they way to get what you’re looking for; the piece of your dreams. you are looking for that will give you pleasure for years to come.
  6. What size? Size maters, you don’t want a tiny piece of art lost on an enormous wall. Especially if it is an original. You will want it to be the focal point of the room. To do this, is must be the right size. Rule of thumb is for the piece to cover 2/3- 3/4 of the wall. Remember that includes the frame, so consider borders, mounts & frames too. If that feels too large, two good options are making it a gallery wall or a group of pieces. Smaller pieces are great for narrow spaces or maybe two or three pieces a vertical line.
  7. Is there a colour palette you are working with?

Matching – Look for colours that are in the same palette but don’t match exactly. Choose a colour then use a slightly different shades or tone of it & the affect will be subtle & elegant.

Clashing – Don’t be scared to clash. Opposites attract. Use the fundamentals: colour wheels help us to understand the relationships between colours. Choose a piece that has a main colour that is radically different from your decor. “Complementary colours” create dynamic colour schemes.

  1. Where you will hang the art ?

Look at the features of the room it will hang in, the furniture & accessories you already have. Decide if you’re going to alter the layout to make your art piece the room’s central focus.

Although there are exceptions to the rule, as there are for any other rule, try to aim for your artwork’s central point to be at eye level or approx. 60 inches from the floor, for rooms where you are mostly standing or if the ceiling is very tall. Rooms where you normally sit down such as the dining room or office, pictures can be hung a bit lower. If your art itself is very tall, you may want the top third or so near eye level. (Possibly make a joke about our height?)

Consider how it relates to its surroundings  Hang 6-12 inches from the back of a sofa or sideboard. This won’t work if the pieces very small, in that case consider hanging the piece as part of a group or with other objects, such as mirrors or ? pates. Groups can create drama & visual impact on a long or large wall. Look for pieces that ‘belong together’ i.e. they are the same size or they are linked visually by colour. Groups should have about 2-3 inches between each frame.

You can create a plan by laying the pieces on the floor & playing with the arrangement until it feels right. It is good to have a focal point in the centre, and use consistent spacing.

Is the space landscape or portrait? The piece you are hanging should echo the shape of the wall behind:


Light – The piece should receive little to no direct sunlight. If you can’t help this, make sure that your art is framed using UV acrylic plexiglass to protect it.

Humidity – A room with low humidity & no direct contact with water is best for art.

Other Room Considerations…

Kitchen – Often the kitchen is the heart of the home. It may be the most used, so you will see art work there a lot. Countertops & spaces above cabinets are great places for art & usually smaller pieces are best so that they don’t overwhelm the space. Here, prints that make you smile are very appropriate as are energetic colours . Be aware of humidity and of course heat!

Bedroom – Your bedroom is your retreat, a place for relaxation, so soothing tones work well here. Artwork is good placed directly over the bed or on a wall opposite the bed. Here large scale pieces are impactful hung at eye level. Look for tones to highlight in the decor, or even, decorate the bedroom inspired by the piece.

Office – Art in the office can keep you inspired. A good way to keep your space feeling fresh is to make a rotating galley; maybe on a long shelf over or near your work space. Select an assortment of art that inspires/drives you, big & small, all similar or all different frames work equally well. Change them around every few weeks. Screen saver art is a great option too!

Bathroom – clearly be careful about humidity & water here. Art in bathrooms looks lovely in pairs that have a similar theme or feel, hung side by side or stacked. Good places could be over the toilet or bath tub, over towel hooks or alcoves.

Living room – this is the room that guests will perhaps spend most time in. It important to focus on your personality, the feel or vibe you want your room to reflect. Places that are usually good for hanging your art are:

  • Above the sofa – one piece or a group It should measure about 2/3 of the width of your sofa.
  • Over the mantel piece – 4-12 inches between the bottom of the art & the top of the mantel piece or lean against the wall on top of the mantle.
  • Flanking a window but if the curtains take up wall space it may be too crowded for a piece. Really you should have 4-6 inches from the edge of the curtain to the artwork.
  1. Framing – Frames should not complete with the art for attention. Remember the size of the frame & the piece as can change drastically depending on the mount & frame you choose. It make a huge difference to the look & ultimately the success of the piece so explore different techniques & styles. The artist can often help you decide.

Look at the other materials in the room. Is there wood, black light cables, other frames, marble tops? Try to coordinate with the neutral tones of the room so that the accent colours in the art can shine!

Remember to factor in the cost of framing as it can be very expensive & should be thought about as part of your budget.

Buying second hand frames, creating your own from driftwood, repurposing an old frame, can all be good ways to cut down on this cost and re-use/re-cycle; but always ensure your artwork is properly protected from sunlight, dust and moisture.


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Colouring the World

With Rock Solid Compassion (and Paint!)

The role of art in self esteem & equality are immeasurable. This month, I was very interested to note, that a “well known crayon manufacturer” has joined forces with a “well known cosmetics company” to release a set of 24 crayons that can be used to represent 40 identified skin colours of the world. It’s so children can accurately represent themselves, when they are drawing.

Sounds amazing right?

Or so I thought!

Being a vigilant type of vegan, I thought I’d check on the ingredients of said crayons & I was horrified to find out that they are NOT vegan! Not even close! In fact, that distinctive smell of our childhood crayons is rendered down cow fat! Yuk!

Your happy memories of colouring in, racing to get that particular colour blue crayon, destroyed in an instant!

You want to encourage your children to draw; loving art & expressing themselves is hugely important. But most children also love animals!

Do you want them to draw & colour pretty things with bits of dead cow?

Heck no! So, I have made a little video to show you how to mix flesh tones with paint, so you & your children, can represent yourselves & your friends accurately (without harming animals in the process).

N.B. Please always:

  • check the paint ingredients / manufacturer
  • check that the brushes are not made of animal hair
  • check the paper is vegan too not made with gelatine

In doing the video, I had a revelation, something that I knew, but never really thought about: we are all made up of the primary colours, just in different, amounts!

Thats a pretty cool thing to show your children that using the crayons wouldn’t!

Primary colours are red, yellow & blue. Then there are the shades, i.e. white & black which are really just how much light is reflected or absorbed… that’s another big topic, I think this might be for another post …back to our focus today..

Have a look & see how easy it is :

So, in order to make anyone’s skin colour, you use a veritable rainbow of colours for each of us.  Even those with Albinism (missing one or both pigments that make colours), to make their skin tones, uses quite a few colours in fact!

Some interesting notes about skin colour:

  • Your genetic inheritance determines the starting point for your skin colour, but this is just your “base colour” if you will, many things influence the colour your skin is right now & that changes
  • We get our colours in our skin, eyes & hair from a pigment called “melanin” & this is produced by the skin cells when they are exposed to the sun, which is why some people get freckles the sun. (My husband is always fascinated with just how freckled I become!)
  • Some people burn very easily & others never at all, & then there’s every variation in-between
  • There are 2 types of melanin, a type that gives us a brown colour & a type that gives us a red colour. How the body produces melanin changes as a person ages. People who are born without the ability to produce one or  both of these types of melanin are have a condition called albinism
  • Exposure to sunlight changes your skin colour by increasing the melanin in the skin, more/less red or more/less brown
  • Human skin comes in a wide variety of colours, ranging from shades of very dark brown to almost white. It also comes in a variety of patterns too!

Knowing this information & how skin colour is made up, can help us understand all sorts of things from how to colour correct foundation when using make up, to why dogs noses can change colour in the summer & so much more. Maybe I should explore these topics further for you too…?

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