after Van Dyck's ' Cornelis van der Geest'

My studio was bloody freezing this morning!! And all week actually as the central heating has packed up.

London this morning was 1degree but felt like -3degrees. This is not as bad as some parts of the UK at the moment but too cold to paint all day with no heating.

Anyway I thought I'd spend the day constructively and went to the National Gallery (in the warm) to do some drawing from the Old Masters instead of painting in my studio.

I drew a Van Dyck painting also a Ribera and 2 Velasquez paintings.

There is great softness and subtlety of tone in these old Master paintings.

I think drawing is a really good way to study paintings as you have to look really carefully for quite a long period of time. This way you see new things in them you had not at first noticed.

I have always felt the need to practice drawing a lot, it really helps practicing as much as you can. This way you don't need to think too much when you are painting as your eye is sharp.