Looking back to move forward



“Not another soppy blog post!” I hear you say, well have no fear this blog post is going to be about my latest drawing above. Why the title? Well, I could be clever and relate it to the fact that it’s a drawing of soldiers during the First World War, but in reality, it’s for an entirely different reason. Since I have finished all of my college work (woohoo) I now have more time to draw again (hooray I hear you say!). So off I went eager-eyed pen in hand, a fresh sheet of paper in front of me and what I produced was something a two-year-old could have drawn, my enthusiasm was dampened. My hand wouldn’t do as it was told (no honestly, it was like a naughty dog running off from its owner!), so I decided to give it a rest for the night.


I couple more tries on consecutive days and still no results worth sharing (no honestly they’d be an embarrassment to see), so I thought I’d go back to what I used to really enjoy drawing. Representation of War.

My tribute to armed forces day

You might recall the image to the left, I drew it a few years ago. It’s interesting how my style of drawing has changed since then and how I’ve moved away from using Faber-Castell pens to simple ball point pens (okay I admit, I ran out of the Faber-Castell pens and never got around to buying new ones – whoops!). With new found enthusiasm and inspiration after watch Testament of Youth (a harrowing film but worth a watch), I turned the music up and lost myself in the black ink.

It took more than a few hours to complete the drawing above (doesn’t my hand know it), the foreground was a bugger to do, but I think it has the desired effect of looking like upturned earth and mud. What I really dislike about the drawing is the man on the right, well his legs to be precise, I feel like I could have shaded them better. Actually, the entire right-hand side of the drawing could have been shaded better. At least you can tell what the drawing is…right?!

Anyway, not my best drawing, but onwards and upwards. My next drawing will be better, hell I might even buy some new Faber-Castell pens!

I shall leave you all with a trailer for Testament of Youth (2014).

Ciao for now,




“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty” – Dolores Abernathy


So last night I was catching up with the TV series Westworld, if you haven’t already watched it, you definitely should! To put it simply it’s a futuristic theme park for adults full of human-like robots that the humans can do anything they like to them, only things strat to change as the robots go rogue (I know I’m not exactly selling it to you, but honestly it’s a brilliant series, slightly confusing at time but stick with it!). It also stars Anthony Hopkins (possibly the best actor out there), and you know just from his presence that it’s going to be worth the watch. Okay, that’s enough of me trying to encourage you to watch the show  (or failing, I’ve never been very good at these synopses! ), let’s get down to the drawing.

My favourite character from the show is Dolores, her character has grown so much from the start (but I haven’t yet watched the finale so no spoilers!) and I was inspired to draw her,  and that I did. I started just after 10:30pm and didn’t finish until around 1am but I really do like the finish on this one if I do say so myself (late night drawing must suit me!).  I did most of the drawing with pen and then shaded with pencil, something I don’t do very often at all, but after this drawing, I think I shall start using pencil more. I’m not happy with how her hair has turned out (I know, that’s a standard comment from me), I will try and get more practice in to improve.

Well it’s a short blog from me today, been busy with putting the outside Christmas lights up, which is always a nightmare (no seriously  it is, we checked that the lights were working before putting them on the tree and by the time we put them up…nothing, not even a flicker of hope from the silly things !) and now it’s time to write the Christmas cards!

I leave you with the trailer of Westworlds, see if you can spot the scene that I used to draw Delores 😉

Ciao for now!




‘Imperfection is beauty’ – Marilyn Monroe


You’ve guessed it, my latest drawing is of Marilyn Monroe – I’m hoping you all came to that conclusion from looking at the picture and not the title (right?!).

So after my last blog post I remembered what one of my favourite hobbies was (before the turbulent times) – drawing! (I know, how totally obvious right, I mean my blog, Twitter and Instagram are all called JBArtDrawings but…read my previous post, and you’ll understand). I have done a few sketches here and there but none that ended up being filed away (admittedly most of them ended up in the recycling or in the log burner), so I thought “Right that’s it, I’m going to get my pen and paper out and start drawing.” But there was a problem, a rather big problem for artists…I had no pens! My old faithful ballpoint pen that I used to use had lost it’s will to live, not even a bit a spit would get it moving (I know, kinda gross, but it works most of the time!). So I delved under the bed into my office reserves box and managed to salvage a black ball point pen – hope was not lost!

So pen went on paper, and it remained unmoving for about 10 minutes as I tried to decide what or who to draw. Santa? No, I’d drawn him last year (or was it the year before?) and got fed up with all that hair. A reindeer? No, I’d try to draw one not long ago, and I watched it’s deformed head slowly being engulphed in flames before it resided in it’s final resting place at the bottom of the log burner (it was quite traumatic!). A celebrity? Yes! After much deliberation, I decided on the actress I used to be obsessed about (not in a pervy way, I was fascinated by her life), Marilyn Monroe.

I searched the internet for a pic that I could attempt to draw and realised that this wasn’t going to be an easy task. I was rubbish at drawing teeth, or an open mouth, (they always looked like they were about to eat an apple when I drew them, and no one wants to be represented looking like a horse) and I doubted that after months without practice I would have improved. Did you know, most photos of Marilyn are with her mouth open?! Anyway, I finally found one I thought I could draw. I started with her eyes, then her nose and then her mouth. It then came to the part I was dreading most …her hair. I always suck at drawing hair, I start off with such good intent but then as the drawing dragged on I got more and more impatient. As you can tell by the end, I was cross-hatching.

I don’t think the end result was all that bad, you can see who it is (right?)  plus as Marilyn herself said ‘Imperfection is beauty’! Although a fellow on Twitter did point out, her hair does make her look like Cruella Deville which is pretty hilarious but I can definitely see it. Maybe my next project should be to merge Disney characters characteristics (gosh that’s a mouthful!) on different celebrities!

Anywho today I leave you with Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell singing Two little girls from Little Rock

Ciao for now!




Being Single is Awesome!

Being Single is Awesome!

You’ve guessed it, this blog post is all about being single and how liberating it has been for me. I have been single for just over 9 months or so, in the beginning, it was strange, suddenly you have all this time on your hands. Like many, I panicked and joined as many dating sites as I could (the free ones of course, or I’d be broke by now!). I didn’t like this feeling of not knowing what to do with myself and thought I could fill the void with another man. I went on dates with men who clearly were not for me, but I didn’t care at the time. But then it hit me like I’d just hit a wall and seen sense, I ask myself, ‘why am I acting so desperate?’ I did some soul searching (as they say) and one night I dreamt about my ex (ugh!!), and it came to me. I’d been in a relationship with a controlling person, I’d gone from free-spirited Jess to Jess the robot, it was his way or no way, I had lost my confidence. I didn’t see it in the beginning, in fact, I didn’t see it happening until the end. I’m entirely grateful to my family, they are the ones who made me see the relationship for what it was. It’s funny really (in a very twisted way) how I was oblivious to it, I guess love is blind as they say, sometimes you need an outsider to point things out.

I saw this poem in a tweet not long ago, it kind of rang true of how I felt at the time of the break-up.


Once I had severed ties with him, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I’d lost my confidence and thought another man could ‘fix’ me. But I was wrong, the only person who could fix me was me. I ended up quitting all of the dating sites and went ‘cold turkey’ as it were and you know what, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, no more messages craving my attention like a Tamagotchi pet.

I decided to start enjoying my own company and doing things for me. I’d joined the gym previously in a feeble attempt to grab a guys attention (I know, how weak of me), but now I go for myself, hell I much prefer it when there’s no one there! I like the feeling of exercising off the day’s stress, of running that extra km on the treadmill, lifting that extra lb on the weights and holding that plank for just an extra second. My body is getting stronger and so is my mind, I am saying goodbye to the robot. I was having a clear out one day and came across the clothing that he’d picked for me to buy while shopping one day. They were baggy, unattractive and dull, so you guessed it, I threw them out and went on a shopping spree and bought classy clothes that showed off my femininity and made me feel like a woman. I even went and had a haircut!

Since being single, I have progressed my career, and I am well on my way to completing a diploma, which I doubt I would have been able to do if I was in a relationship. It took me nearly 3 months straight of back to back weekends of college work to complete part of the diploma, along with most evenings after work. I don’t know how many boyfriends who would tolerate that. I can go on as many shopping trips or holidays as I like; I went to Poland with the parents during the summer. If I was in a relationship, I doubt I would have gone and would have missed out on the opportunity of seeing Auschwitz, somewhere I have always wanted to visit (as you may know, I’m into my history). I can spend all day in bed if I really wanted to (I wouldn’t, of course, it would unravel the progress I’ve made at the gym!). I watch and re-watch the same film or programme for as many times as I want without having to explain myself, I listen to the quirkiest cringe-worthy music out there without a care in the world what people think, and no one forces me to go out when I don’t want to.

There’s an even bigger benefit of being single…you don’t need to buy gifts, cards or anything else for the boyfriend, their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties or uncles on Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries, or even funerals. My bank account is very grateful for my new found singleness! Instead, I’ve donated some money to some charities, money better spent if you ask me!

Being single has increased my confidence, in fact, it has skyrocketed. I no longer shy away from raising my concerns or for saying no (especially to guys I’m not interested in), I even complimented a complete stranger on her coat the other day, something I would never have dreamed of doing before. I have been back on the dating sites, just to see who’s on the market (I’ve since deleted all accounts again!) and sure I’d like a relationship in the future, but not right now, I want to enjoy being on my own if only for a tiny bit longer.

So I leave you today with Meghan Trainor’s – No.

Ciao for now,





Cillian Murphy aka Thomas Shelby


Well I’ve become addicted to Peaky Blinders, not only is Cillian Murphy a right attractive badass in it, Tom Hardy is also in it! Like double whammy!

Anyway as I’d already drawn Tom Hardy, I thought I’d give Cillian Murphy a go.

It didn’t start off well…I think I’ve had to recycle about 30 sheets of paper with barely a drawing on it before I was happy. It’s always the beginning that’s the problem for me. I always start with the eyes and then work my way down and around, so if the eyes start off bad, there isn’t much point me carrying on with that attempt because I’ll know the mistake is there.

I knew this one was going to turn out through, everything just went well, practice really does make perfect! I actually combined pen and pencil in this one, it’s not obvious, but that’s how I wanted it. If you look at his cheek and under his hair you can just about make it out, and some in the background too.  I think it adds a nice effect to it!

Who to draw next, that is the question!





Finally a new drawing! Tom Hardy


I know what you’re thinking: ‘She’s started drawing again!’ and you’d be right to think that. After a year and a bit, I’ve finally picked up that pen and started drawing again.

I decided to draw Tom Hardy after watching This Means War ( I’m such a romanticist! Haha), I know he look nothing like this in that film but drawing Tom Hardy with a beard was easier than without!

Anyway for a first attempt at drawing again, I don’t think it turned out all that bad. Okay so one eye looks a bit bigger than the other and his nose…I’m sorry Tom, I just couldn’t get it right! But it’s not a bad effort I don’t think.

I’m hoping to get my next drawing done next week once I’ve been on holiday!

Ciao for now,



Ladies, send the first message already!


I have entered the vast world that is online dating; it’s a daring place to go with endless opportunities, fails and damn right ‘what the hells’. Going on dating sites and apps can at first seem intimidating, having to upload flattering photos of yourself to impress your prospective onlookers. Having to write something that doesn’t make you sound boring or desperate, but unique and desirable. Once all that is done, the waiting game begins.

So you swipe right on a few guys you fancy chatting to or check out their profile. You wait for the message, only the message rarely come. If they do they often begin with ‘Hey’ ‘Hey sexy’ ‘Hey gorgeous’ ‘Hey, are you?’ or even worse ‘Hey, how r u’ (like seriously, didn’t you go to school!). I sometimes feel like pulling my hair out, someone that is going to get a reply will be someone who picks up on something in my profile, who makes an effort. I’m quite a traditional person, so I expect the guys to make the first move, but it would appear that times have changed. So why don’t the majority of guys send the first message?

So I asked a couple of guys who use dating apps and sites if they send the first message and if not why not? The general answer I got was that they did send some first messages, but saw that as it’s the 21st-century women should be making the effort too. I asked if they seriously thought someone had potential would they send the first message, the answer I got? Well yes was the answer, but a lot wouldn’t hang on for a reply as a large percentage go unanswered. What I’ve also discovered from talking to these guys is that there are a lot of bots, fakes and women selling their services (no I’m not talking about Avon, we’re talking the unmentionables), so it’s not surprising that guys don’t bother sending the first message.

So, ladies, it would appear we need to man up, build up our confidence and send that first message. I send plenty of them and like the problem the men have, a large percentage go unanswered. But I recently sent out the first message, the fellow replied, we’ve chatted for a few days, and now we’re going the first date (I only instigated the conversation, he was the one who had to ask to meet me, I am still a traditionalist in that manner)

Good luck ladies, we can beat this online dating! (although admittedly it does make me feel like I have more than one Tamagotchi pet attached to my phone at times!)

Over and out,