Making Them Visible

8 Jul
a full mouth

An older woman in graphite and conte crayon

I’m getting really enthused with these 10 minute sketches from Googled images of elderly women. I started just as a quick bit of practice but after 4 or 5 I find myself really getting into it. There are so many beautiful older faces to choose from and it dawned on me that for me this is a feminist issue, this is an age group that is usually invisible, ignored, marginalised in our youth obsessed culture. So I’m going to carry on drawing them. I don’t know who they are, there is rarely any information about the people in the photos but it doesn’t matter; I think the important thing for me is to focus on them and draw them and make them visible through my art. I might not do one every day because I am working on other art projects as well, but I think I’ll make this a long term thing.


I’m drawing into my A4 hardbound sketchbook, prepared with brown wrapping paper, ripped and stuck randomly, to give me a midtone to work on top of, with graphite and conté crayon. This woman had an extraordinarily lined face, covered in patterns from her life’s experiences. As I was drawing, the scribbly markmaking became quite psychedelic. I want to fill the whole sketchbook with these elder women  and then maybe do something with them digitally, because otherwise it’s just about impossible to display a sketchbook without taking it apart.

7 Responses to “Making Them Visible”

  1. kestrelart July 23, 2015 at 06:55 #

    Hi Rose
    I’ve just shown this picture to my children. They really like it. My daughter says she would like to draw like you some day. Actually so would I. We will try this line and highlight together this weekend.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 23, 2015 at 10:20 #

      aw that’s lovely Neil. Thank you. I think the brown paper makes all the difference and also setting a strict time limit, mine’s 10 minutes. Have fun 🙂

  2. Carol Lois Haywood July 8, 2015 at 23:20 #

    Go for it! You are inspired!–Carol

  3. Mary July 8, 2015 at 21:58 #

    I love the way this project grew out of a simple idea for practicing your drawing skills. I’m really enjoying watching this unfold, and looking foward to all those faces to come.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 9, 2015 at 06:12 #

      Thanks Mary, it’s surprising where inspiration comes from and it only takes 10 or 15 minutes in the evening to do the drawing. I like the way it’s taking over my sketchbook 😊


  1. A more recent discrimination: Old Age | From guestwriters - July 23, 2015

    […] Making Them Visible […]

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