New year resolutions?

Actually, I am not a believer of New Year Resolutions. I don’t see why I should wait 365 days to start doing something for the better, so I don’t write that list every January. Why bother? Why not start a resolution in July?! Or March?! However, with January being associated with giving up all the things you gorged on in December, below are a few illustrations that will be apt for this time of year. These women obviously are lifting more than just cream cakes, and there is nothing like a bit of muscle definition to make a life drawing class interesting. I remember a life drawing class years ago where the teacher lamented how difficult it was to get people who have definition, all our models tended to carry a few pounds. This is interesting to draw in itself but it’s hard to work out the anatomy of the human under loose skin and a bit of flab. Note to all those skinny people out there: life drawing classes will embrace your bony frames!

My portrait process

Mixed media portrait of Debbie Harry, lead sinder of Blondie
Mixed media portrait of Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie

When painting or drawing, I have always been attracted to portraits. Oh yes, I really do love illustrating all sorts of things, and go into a bit of a panic if I come across something I haven’t drawn before (ever drawn a bush baby, anyone? Me neither) but human faces are a favourite. As humans, we all rely on complex social interaction and our faces and expressions play a key part of that. I also enjoy portraiture because it’s so incredibly difficult. Get the petal on a tulip wrong and no one is going to notice, even the other tulips. But draw a feature on a face incorrectly and instantly, it isn’t the person you intended. Even with other animals I feel there is more room for error. I’ve painted loads of birds in my lifetime and one of the reasons I enjoy them as a subject is their cold twitchy appearance. I really do sense their faces have a robotic quality. Maybe because it’s hard to smile when you have a beak. However, even with other more expressive animals like dogs and horses (I have drawn oodles of those too!), there still is something not as challenging.

I’ve probably drawn over a thousand faces in my time, and because of the variety of our fantastic species and the ability to express ourselves visually, it’s always guaranteed to be interesting.

Portraits in coloured pencil, a few examples

Small child in hat, coloured pencil
Small child in hat, coloured pencil by Clara Nicoll
Bride at her wedding, coloured pencil, by Clara Nicoll
Bride at her wedding, coloured pencil, by Clara Nicoll















I have oodles and oodles of great stuff to share on this blog so thought I would start off with pencil work. I love a bit of pencil though my fingers don’t like it so much as I do press down a bit too hard. However, sore fingers is the price you have to pay if you want rich those colours.

Well, where do we begin?

The purpose of this blog is to showcase previous and existing work in my area of expertise – illustration. I have loads of great stuff in my office/cupboards/behind the sofa and have done great stuff for other people but none of that matters a jot if no one knows about it! Over the coming months I will be updating this blog with all manner of lovely things so please don’t be shy and say hi or send me a comment. It’s lovely to hear from you!

If you want to collaborate or commission me for any particular projects – you are very welcome to get in touch.

T: UK +44 (0)7854 346033 / NL+31 (0)627285702



A private commission in progress. A pencil and acrylic painting. Spooooky!
A private commission in progress. A pencil and acrylic painting. Spooooky!
Half way through the finished article