‘Gladiator’ drawing – 27 progression photos

Happy new year all UnicornPostbox blog followers! My latest blog post is 27 progression photos of an A2 size amateur art drawing of Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe from ‘Gladiator’, the iconic 2000 Ridley Scott film. Hope you enjoy! 🙂 🙂

And below is the finished drawing 🙂 🙂

[SPOILER ALERT] Ridley Scott’s 2000 ‘Gladiator’ is one of my all time favourite films. It tells the story of Maximus, a brave and moral man, a respected General who is enslaved as a result of the deceitful Commodus’ chicanery. Reluctantly at first, Maximus fights as a gladiator to the Roman crowds and at the Colosseum; to win his freedom, and ultimately seek vengeance on him who has wronged him;

‘The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire’ (Commodus quote – IMBD)

I shall not spoil more of the plot for you in case you have not seen it but ‘Gladiator’ a brilliant and superb film in my opinion, and I would highly recommend viewing!

I have drawn using Derwent sketching and Boldmere colouring pencils. I positioned both subjects Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and Maximus (Russell Crowe) facing one another with a famous quote from the film arching overhead;

What we do in life echoes in eternity’ (Maximus quote – IMDB)

This is to emphasise my interpretation of the meaning behind the quote; that the choices we make and actions we take in our life not only define us as people but have a lasting impact on the world even when we die – our choices and actions do matter. Obviously in the film, Commodus and Maximus are arch-enemies, who completely contrast one another in personalities and integrity – I wanted this to be visually symbolised in my amateur art drawing.

For future drawings, I think I would like to keep to the film theme at the moment and draw other characters from my other favourite films – possibly Jack and Rose from ‘Titanic’ and Baby and Johnny from ‘Dirty Dancing’ 🙂 🙂

Thank you very much for taking the time to read/view my latest UnicornPostbox blog post. Please do keep a look out for future drawings 🙂 🙂

…I would also however like to take the opportunity to wish all my followers well. I understand how difficult life is at the moment with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. I myself am caring for my mum who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s so I know how hard the current restrictions imposed on us all are. Please do stay safe and take care…

Much love, Lauren xx

More information:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/ [Accessed 06th January 2021]

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© 2021 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

‘James & Gina – Forever in Love’ – 30 progression photos

Hi blog followers, my latest UnicornPostbox blog post is 30 progression photos of an amateur art portrait drawing of my auntie Gina and uncle Jim. Hope you enjoy!

I used my A3 light pad to outline my auntie and uncle, and shaded using Derwent sketching pencils. For the border, I printed off paw print templates (they affectionately call each other ‘cub’, so I thought the paw prints would be a nice touch, hehe) and again I used my light pad to outline these. I also used a template for the love hearts so they were all identical. I coloured with Boldmere colouring pencils; I believe the contrast of baby blue and pale pink works pretty well. I used a black ballpoint pen to make the images really ‘pop’.

Overall, I am really happy with the end result 🙂

I am only an amateur artist drawing for fun as a hobby, however I feel as though this is one of my better ones – not the most realistic drawing ever obviously (I bodged up a bit on the jacket for instance!) but not bad for an amateur 😛

I chose a diamante sparkly frame to display the drawing, which is very much to my auntie Gina’s taste, hehe 🙂

And here is the end result!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read / view my latest art blog post! I really appreciate your support!

My next UnicornPostbox blog posts will be photos and a description of a caravan holiday to Skipsea Sands as well as another trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park 🙂 🙂

So please do keep a look out 😛

Stay well, stay safe, much love, Lauren xx

(Please visit my Facebook and Instagram page ‘UnicornPostbox’ to ‘like’ and ‘follow’)

© 2020 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

‘Beth and Josh – Forever in Love’ drawing, 27 progression photos

Hi, welcome to my UnicornPostbox blog, this blog post offers 27 progression photos of an amateur art drawing of my beautiful sister Beth, and her lovely boyfriend Josh. Hope you enjoy 🙂 🙂

I used my A3 light pad to draw the outline of Beth and Josh, once I had cut the reference images so that only their heads were being traced. I did this because I made the decision to draw Beth and Josh inside a big red love heart, in keeping with the ‘forever in love’ theme. I sketched as usual using Derwent sketching pencils and the colouring pencils I drew with this time were Boldmere premium artists colouring pencils. The background I incorporated block colour squares, similar to my previous drawings; all images were outlined using a Pilot FriXion pen.


I am really happy with the way Beth has turned out. I believe I have been able to achieve a very good ‘likeness’. I accentuated her lips to make them bigger, as this is her personal preference, and made her eyelashes more prominent also so her eyes ‘popped’; moreover I contoured her face nicely with shading. Josh was much harder to draw for some reason. The amount of times I rubbed out his eyes and redrew, haha! 😛 I think he’s got a bit of a look of Freddie Mercury and Cristiano Ronaldo amalgamated, ha! Admittedly, I am only an amateur artist, drawing as a hobby! Therefore, I don’t believe I have been able to achieve as much as a likeness with Josh, however overall I am pretty pleased with the drawing. Beth and Josh are both over the moon with it, and it shall hang pride of place on their wall when they move in together soon, so that makes me very happy 🙂 🙂

I am not sure what I will draw next. I would still like to do a few family portraits as I would say I feel most comfortable practising portraiture, I have promised to draw my auntie and uncle at some point… however I would also like to experiment with different subjects and styles of drawing. I have purchased quite a few art therapy / adult colouring books, with mandalas, flowers, animals, paisley patterns inside etc, and a fantasy Art Nouveau colouring book, so I think it would be good to use them to inspire my own unique original amateur art. I would furthermore like to get some inspiration from famous artists and art movements, have a bit of a play about, so watch this space!

As me and mum are self-isolating due to the coronavirus pandemic, I’m afraid I will not be posting any theatre / travel blog posts for some time, as you may have guessed. I do have a couple of wooden stools however stored in a cubbyhole which I may upcycle outside on a sunny day. I haven’t upcycled in a very long time, so now would probably be the perfect opportunity, so again, watch this space!

I do hope you are all well during these unprecedented and extremely difficult times. Sending a huge social distancing hug to all my UnicornPostbox followers, I very much value your ongoing support. Thank you so much for taking the time to read / view.

Take care, all the best,

Lauren xx


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© 2020 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com


‘Spencer and Debbie – Friends Forever’ drawing – 60 progression photos

Hi all! Thanks for visiting my UnicornPostbox blog. My latest post is 60 progression photos of an amateur art drawing; ‘Spencer and Debbie – Friends Forever’ – drawn as a late birthday present for my mum Debbie’s best friend Joan, of Joan’s (very naughty, lol) bullmastiff Spencer and my lovely mum. Hope you enjoy!

Firstly, I used my A3 light pad to trace the outline of my reference photos. I then used Derwent soft sketching and coloured pencils to draw my amateur art, and a pilot friXion rollerball pen to define the images. I’m very much a fan of contrasting grey shades with block colour, it’s becoming my signature style 😛

It is not my favourite drawing I must admit. It’s certainly not a masterpiece by any means; I do not claim to be a professional artist. There are elements I am definitely not ecstatic with, such as the red chair being so abstract, and the random dark blue background was, in hindsight, maybe a mistake, in my opinion (Looked like the chair was floating in water so I tried to save it by incorporating some paw prints, ha!) Also, I wish my portraits were photorealistic, but I’m just not that good, ha! At least I’ve achieved some likeness 🙂

However, Joan was so over the moon with her gift, because of the sentimental value (with mum being so poorly), and the fact that I have dedicated hours upon hours of my time to create her a personalised present she can cherish forever… So that makes me very happy indeed 🙂 🙂

Here are some pics of the finished product!


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Thank you so much for taking the time to view / read, your support is very much appreciated! Feel free to ‘like’ or ‘comment’ or ‘share’ on my Facebook page.

Me and mum are off to Hull for a few days to see ‘Kinky Boots’ the musical at Hull New Theatre! So keep a lookout for a future travel / theatre blog post coming very soon!

Peace and love, Lauren xx


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© 2019 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com

‘Charlie the Chocolate Lab’ drawing – 45 progression photos

Good evening followers! Sorry it’s been a while! My latest UnicornPostbox blog post is progression photographs of an A2 size original amateur art drawing of Charlie the Chocolate Labrador, my sister Beth’s dog, I drew as a late 21st birthday present! Hope you enjoy! 🙂 🙂

I started off by tracing the outline of Charlie using my new A3 size light pad. I sketched Charlie with Derwent soft sketching pencils, and used different coloured pencils for the colour block background. I thought it would be a nice touch to incorporate some paw prints and bones in keeping with the dog theme. I also defined each shape, outlining with Berol handwriting pens, to make each individual image ‘pop’. Like my last drawing ‘Psychedelic Elephant’ (see previous blog post) I’m becoming fond of contrasting grey shades against bright bold colours, developing my own artistic style I guess, hehe 🙂 🙂


And here is the finished art piece! 🙂 🙂

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Charlie is getting really old bless her, she’s 13 nearly 14 years old! Our Beth has always wanted a drawing of Charlie she can cherish forever; she was so over the moon, happy and grateful when I presented her with the gift today, hehe!

Thank you so much for reading / viewing! 🙂 🙂

Hope you all have a fantastic bank holiday weekend, enjoy the sunshine!

Please keep a look out for more blog posts coming soon, including an upcycling project and a travel blog (me and mum are off to see ‘Grease – the musical’ soon in Leicester, ohhhh can’t wait!)

Much love, Lauren xx


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© 2019 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com



Valentine’s Day 2019 – portrait progression photos

For Valentine’s Day this year, 14th February 2019, I decided to draw an A2 size portrait of myself and my lovely boyfriend, Howard. Please see below a collection of photographs illustrating the progression of my drawing, from start to finish. I do hope you enjoy 🙂

Drawing Howard:

I started off my portrait by firstly drawing my boyfriend, Howard. I worked from a photograph of us both when we went for a meal in Yates, Doncaster. I traced the outline, shushhhh, lol – however, many hours were spent on the shading, trying to achieve a good likeness. As shown above, I also drew a rectangular line around the drawing to match the size of the frame I had purchased, in doing so, eventually losing a small portion of the sketch (my own fault for not checking sizes sooner, silly). Overall, I was pleased with how Howard turned out 🙂

Drawing Myself:

The second subject I drew was myself. Because I have done quite a few self-portraits over the years, it did not take me as long to draw myself. Saying that however, I wish I had spent just a little bit more time on the fine details as I feel the drawing of myself looks more cartoonish, and less realistic than I was hoping to achieve. I definitely think the portrait of Howard is a better, more detailed sketch, nevertheless I was still quite happy overall with the final piece 🙂 I then started drawing vertical lines with a ruler, in preparation for the portrait background.


I decided to do a colourful rainbow background as I believed this would make the grey pencil portraits distinct from the background, and both would ‘pop’ as a result. I drew vertical lines with a ruler, and coloured each strip with a different colour bright colour pencil. I also used a black fineliner pen to distinguish the colours, and the sketch, again for a ‘pop’ effect 🙂

The finished portrait:

And here is the final framed product! It took me about a fortnight in total, a few hour blocks every day or every other day. Even though it is not the best drawing in the world, as I admit I am only an amateur artist, I think it has turned out rather well 🙂 Hope you agree?? Something this scale on A2 paper is pretty time-consuming, so I am very glad it was well appreciated 🙂 …


Above is the portrait gift wrapped up ready to be opened Valentine’s Day…

And this is Howard opening his portrait present on Valentine’s Day…


It was definitely worth it for seeing such a happy, smiling boyfriend, hehe 🙂 🙂


Thank you so much for reading / viewing!

Keep a look out for more UnicornPostbox art blog posts coming soon!

Peace and love, Lauren xx


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© 2019 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com

Family portrait: progression photos

This year for Christmas I decided to draw for my mum an amateur A1 size family portrait of her, myself and my sister. When I did Art A-level over 10 years ago, I drew portraits of my dad, grandma and late grandfather. My drawings were much more realistic and detailed then, when I was practising drawing on a regular basis, but my mum has always wanted me to draw her and her two daughters together… so with mum experiencing awful health difficulties at the moment, I figured what more a perfect time to (hopefully) make her overjoyed, than at Christmastime? So, here we are fellow bloggers; please see below progression photos (start to finish) of my latest family portrait. Hope you enjoy:

Family portrait:


My light box has decided it doesn’t want to work any more (stupid thing), so I stencilled the outline of all three subjects on A1 paper. I began by sketching my sister (left), I also thought it might look pretty to incorporate a lotus flower design border. (The subjects were drawn using artists’ sketching pencils, and the flower border charcoal pencils).


I then made a start on sketching my mum (middle subject). I wasn’t completely happy with the drawing of my mum at this stage. Her complexion was sketched a little too dark, and although quite detailed, mum didn’t appear as youthful as I knew she would like to be portrayed (too many wrinkles showing, haha)!


The last subject I sketched was myself (subject on the right of the drawing). I have drawn a few self-portraits in the past, so it didn’t take me as long to sketch myself. As you may be able to see in the photo above (bottom right photo), at this stage, the three subjects together did not quite ‘click’. My sister and myself stood out more than my mum in the middle, as I had sketched mum with more grey tones, but less definition.


So, the next task was to work on the portrait of mum. It was my intention to rubber out some of the shading, to tone down the shade of her complexion, whilst also using sketching pencils to darken some of her features, to make them ‘pop’ more. I tried to add more definition to her hair, lips, eyes etc.


Lastly, I subtlety sketched the background in light yellow, around each subject in a light blue, and around the lotus flowers in a light purple (these colours match the decor in our living room, where the drawing will be displayed, above our fireplace). I continued to improve all three subjects as I went along, finishing drawing the lotus flowers too; working from the left hand side of the paper to the right, as not to smudge.


And here is the final piece! It was framed by a local framing shop – a gorgeous dark brown frame and cream border – ready just in time for Christmas. Happy days 😛


I wrapped it up nicely with some beautiful festive Clinton’s Christmas wrapping paper, and blue ribbon…


And finally, here is my very beautifully festive, and extremely grateful and pleased mum opening her gift on Christmas day! 😀

Overall, the family portrait took me a total of quite a few weeks (many individual hours) to complete. It is rather difficult also to make adjustments to your subjects, on request – contoured cheekbones, larger lips, nice eyebrows, less wrinkles etc (I kept my double chin, haha) – and still keep at least some semblance to the people you are drawing,! This is obviously what I aimed to achieve in my family portrait, a likeness, as well as of course, putting a big smile on the face of a lady very special to me… my best friend, my mum 🙂

A very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year to you all!

Thank you for reading / viewing. Much love, Lauren x


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© 2017 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com


17 Pencil Portraits – a personal portfolio of drawings

Here is a selection of some of the pencil portraits I have drawn over the last few years. All my pencil portraits are usually A3 size, and I work from photographs. I either use Chuck Close’s method of using a grid system (the long method), or I use a light box / stencil to draw the outline, and then shade from looking at a photograph (cheater, haha!).. I tend to draw famous people, musicians / actors / actresses etc, or film / TV characters, as I am an avid film / TV / music fan… hope you enjoy looking through my lil selection, hehe…

Film / TV characters:


(My drawing of Daenerys Targaryen, from ‘Game of Thrones’)


(My drawing of Jack Torrance, from ‘The Shining’)


(My drawing of Rachael, from ‘Blade Runner’)


(My drawing of Norman Bates, from ‘Psycho’)


(My drawing of Freddy Krueger, from ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’)


(My drawing of William Wallace, from ‘Braveheart’)


(My drawing of The Joker, from ‘The Dark Knight’)


(My drawing of Hannibal Lecter, from ‘The Silence of the Lambs’)


(My drawing of Yoda, from ‘Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy’)


(My drawing of Edward Scissorhands, from ‘Edward Scissorhands’)


(My drawing of Neytiri, from ‘Avatar’)

Famous people:


(My drawing of Bob Dylan – musician)


(My drawing of Jimi Hendrix – musician)


(My drawing of Marilyn Monroe – actress)


(My drawing of Angelina Jolie – actress)


(My drawing of Amanda Palmer – musician)


(My drawing of Bill Hicks – comedian)

I studied Fine Art at A-level (10 years ago, damn I’m getting old lol). My drawings were super hyper-realistic when I was younger, I’ve sort of ‘lost it’ as I’ve got older, because I practise less perhaps, but I still think my attempts are not tooooo bad (hope you agree…haha!) …

I absolutely love drawing, especially portraits. I don’t know why but I just love ‘capturing’ an iconic moment, which is probably why I’m also interested in photography, the idea of ‘capturing’ something pretty, hehe… There’s nothing more therapeutic for me than sat with some pencils and paper, earphones in, cup of tea on the table…that’s my bliss, just lovely.

I intend to draw more personal portraits for people, such as of friends and family (just as a hobby, not professionally). I’m actually working on a big family portrait at the moment, an A1 size of three subjects which is much bigger than I usually attempt, I hope it turns out alright! I might even incorporate some flowers around the edge, and a watercolour effect…

…so watch this space! 🙂


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© 2017 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com