Dragon skull

I found a little skull on a walk a few years ago. Maybe a rabbit skull? Something with a printed snout. No teeth and no bottom jaw. I kept it as something to practice drawing on. Trying to get accurate details and shading. It struck me that I could use it as an idea for a dragon. I had an idea where the jaw would articulate, it would be a carnivore so teeth would be all along the jaw, (herbivores only have incisors and big molar teeth at the back). Now I have to think where the skin would sit and the size of its eyes….

Strange eyes

According to scientific research symmetrical features are supposed to make people more handsome or pretty.

As an experiment I took a photo of someone’s eye then mirrored it. I tried to get the right width for the bridge of the nose. I have to say this looks strange. He does have uneven eyes in reality, with one obviously higher than the other.

The only other example of this I have seen was with a photo of Edgar Allen Poe. He has a very unsymmetric face and as with this experiment if you mirror the opposite sides the faces that result are truly weird, at least to me.

Retinopathy test

I have had my annual retinopathy screening and all looks fine.

We are really lucky to have this service on the NHS. We pay for this in our tax and National Insurance contributions.

A technician puts some very stinging drops in your eyes, that’s the worst bit. The drops open your irises to let the light into the back of your eyes. Once your eyes are dilated you sit down in front of a machine. You put your chin on a rest and lean your forehead on a bar. Then you stare at a green flashing dot. First directly in front, then to the side. Each time the technician takes a photo of your retina.

Finally you get a set of four pictures of your retinas. The technician let me take a photo of one of them to show my hubby. I’ve included a close up of one of them here, plus my (still) dilated pupil. The technician could not see any problems but I should get the full results in a week or so.

I was lucky to get the appointment locally. I had been offered one 10 to 20 miles away, but as I was not allowed to drive with the eye drops in it would not have been feasible to travel.

Old digital doodle

Faces, I love them, portraits, doodles, there’s something that makes me draw them. Trying to get features right. I’ve always drawn eyes as well. I try to get them right, but I have a default eye or face, the way as I sketch I try and it from memory. Things like the size of the eyes. The eyelids, the shape of lips. The size and shape of eyebrows. Hairline. I find hair the most difficult. I need more practice, even after sixty years!

How do you measure features on faces?

When you draw a face there are lots of tools to help. One I think of is using the width of the person’s eyes. It is not always right but it gives you an idea… All this is approximate…

One eye width between the eyes..

Two eye width for length of nose

Two eye widths for width of mouth

Three eye widths centre of eye to corner of mouth.

And one eye width from bottom of mouth to chin….

One eye width for bottom of nose.

Also if you draw a line down from the centre of the pupil it should hit the corner of the mouth.

Remember, this is just approximate. It depends on the face you are drawing, not measurements. Everyone is different! Also if you look closely faces are lopsided. One side of a face is often bigger than the other!

I miss my Mom

I miss my Mom, its been around ten years since she died, but I often wish I could just phone her up for advice. I did a painting of her in 2008 and I just did this sketch from it. I can see so many mistakes. I need to set an easle up. Trying to draw while holding the painting… Tired arms…

The best thing are her eyes, they are right…


I was just talking about drawing glasses and how eyes look behind them and decided to do a sketchy diagram. I am drawing with my finger so the pictures are a bit wobbly….

When you draw the eye behind the glasses, always look to see if the face and eye look bigger or smaller. You can tell if they are long sighted (bigger) or short sighted (smaller). It makes it more realistic if you notice this sort of thing. If the eyes are the same as normal it means the glass is flat in the lens, not curved!

There is a film staring James Stewart called flight of the phoenix. One of the characters wears glasses. But the lenses are flat and the light glints off them like window panes!