Picasso had his ‘Blue’ period, I had my ‘black Bic biro’ one. The fine point version is very versatile, building up layers with cross-hatching, or in my case ‘scribble-hatching’. This drawing of the alluring English actress Frances Barber and her enticing evening gloves is an example. However, the medium is not always ideal for rendering certain textures such as black latex with it defining ‘shimmers’, so it turned into more of a doodling exercise emptying the ink of one ballpoint overworking the gloves. It worked for her hair though. Actually I found out that Frances’s most treasured possession is a piece of artwork, a painting of her adored bulldog Smack, who she had for 11 years. While not in the same revered class, she didn’t mind mind signing my sketch of the doodled-fur gloves for me during her run in Les Parents Terribles at London’s Trafalgar Studios in 2010.