Skulls and Sketchbook


Over the last month and a bit I’ve been trying to teach myself to draw with a tablet. In particular I am learning to use Sketchbook Pro, which is a windows drawing program. It’s a nice one for me as it’s exactly what it says on the tin, it feels (sort of) like drawing on paper, with a few added extras.

Last week I tried to teach myself a shading technique, and I’m going to talk you though the process with some imagery. Must of been feeling a bit macabre cause I decided to draw a skull.

Skull layer 1

First stage was a very basic sketch to act as a guide. My favourite thing about working with a pad so far is I can do rough outlines without having to worry about rubbing out later. I can just make the layer invisible.

Skull layer 2

Next comes the main line drawing built on top of the sketch.

layer 3 tone

Now for tone. I’m just working with a grey-scale here to test out the colouring tool in a moment. One thing I found really useful for this stage was to create a pallet on the page which you can see on the right. Just making some blobs of colour (or grey) means I’m never going to lose them, and I don’t end up searching though all the colours of the spectrum for a slightly greyer shade of grey.

On a side note this guy reminds me a lot of skeletor as this point.


And on to the colour. By setting this layer to “color” I can apply whatever colour I like and it will pick up the black white shades below and reflect it. Keeping up the children’s tv show villain for the colour scheme.

7 Finally I added the “glow” layer, which essentially makes the light super light and the dark very dark. I had to do quite a bit to get this right, the first time I tried it the skull was too white and I lost my retinas from the blinding light. I darked up the tone layer a bunch then worked my way back.

Hope you’ve enjoyed with week. I’m feeling in the mood for some material world stuff, so next week I’ll probably have a pen and paper drawing. Thanks for reading.

Let me introduce myself…

Well, here we are. Hello, I’m Nathan Little and welcome to my blog.

Here you will be able to find examples of my artwork, be it sculptural work, illustrations or anything in between. I shall be starting by making weekly updates, so expect to see a new piece of work on here every week, something resembling a schedule will hopefully arise. I’m not sure how wordy these things are going to be in future, but these ones require a little explanation.

I’m gonna start us off with a couple of things. First I’m gonna go back half a decade and look at a piece of work from 2012.

thoughts artwork

“thought bubble”, 2012, plaster, red plasticine, wood, white paint

This was back from my time at Bath Spa university when I was producing almost exclusively sculpture. I was making a lot of strange creatures that looked like the creation on the top right. Everything in the box is the “thought bubble” that led to the creation of the finished work in the top right, which had now escaped my mind.

Moving right up to the present, let’s look at the latest thing I’ve drawn.


This right here is more of a tester than anything. I got my first drawing tablet just a few weeks ago and I’m already loving it. There’s so much you can do with this thing, I can already tell that once I start familiarizing myself with everything it’s going to make drawing so much easier.

I’ll leave that there for now but please, tune in next week when I’ll have something brand new to show.