Monthly Archives: May 2013

Everyday in May 14-31

Here are my drawings for Days 14 to 31 of Everyday in May. I blogged my drawings on 1-13 . Now here is the second half.
What was Everyday in May ?
It started on 1st May and we drew one item on the list from the flickr or facebook group  every day in May until finishing on 31st May .A great fun community of EDiM sketchers has grown.
 Have a look at the Flickr group  Add a comment (just join to get account to comment) as there are a few people were using Everyday in May to get into or back into drawing and would love a comment !
Sometimes I spent only a few scribbled moments on a sketch and other times a longer drawing (usually done with the tv on in the background) . The  fun (and sometimes challenging ) part was choosing how to interpret the theme! It was fun for a month, but I am ready to spend that time doing other drawings now….
here are most of my 14-1 May drawings





Drawing on envelopes 5 weeks to go (and other travel drawings)

The weeks will begin to fly by now – only a few envelopes left to draw on and mail before I am drawing the real thing. I thought of this concept again this week as I drew these ravens from the Tower of London from a photo in a travel book.

Why ravens?

The ravens of the Tower of London are a group of seven captive Common Ravens which live in the Tower of London. The presence of the ravens is traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the Tower; a superstition holds that If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it .

I hope that I get the opportunity to see these amazing birds close up – I wonder if I can get close and will they will stay still enough? I am used to drawing birds that move around – seagulls and ibis as they move . Once you start sketching an object over and over again, you become familiar with it.

If I start sketching a seagull and it moves away, there will be one nearby that is sitting in a similar position or one will fly in soon  or look at another bird to continue to see how the legs stand or long they are. I  draw with the coloured pencil that is the main colour of the bird and make notes if it is a colourful bird, such as a rainbow lorikeet. There is not enough time to be swapping coloured pencils when drawing a bird (unless it is asleep)  Hopefully the ravens will cooperate – if not I am looking forward to having some scratchy black ink crows on my page.

And this weeks travel drawing is of my London travel guide and my pencils. The page did not seem complete without them

Drawing on envelopes – 6 weeks to go (and other travel drawings)

My artistic countdown to my London and Barcelona holiday continues. Here is this weeks drawing on an envelope, posted to my travelling companion who lives interstate. I am only drawing London themed buildings and icons as my fellow traveller is not going to Barcelona , but staying in England for those days.

St Paul’s Cathedral
This week I drew on a lovely heavy cream coloured envelope. I was also experimenting with a new brown ink in my Lamy Safari Joy ink pen. For years I have been using Noodlers Black Ink and the new one is Noodlers Polar Brown. Noodlers brand have a wide range of ink colours, but not many in the permanent range, that will not run when I use my watercolour pencils and waterbrush.
The ink is a glorious sepia brown colour that looks antique. However, I did not feel ‘at ease” using it. I had filled the ink cartridge with  my new colour  earlier in the week . But when I went to do quick sketches in my Moleskine, I hesitated because of the different ink colour. In the past I have often thought that the black ink was too harsh for some pages, especially when it came to writing commentary next to a delicate drawing. In this case, I did not think that St Paul’s Cathedral sketch would look good with watercolour pencil colour added. So instead of  blue sky and white buildings, I went for the antique look.
 I think that I have to be more flexible in what I think looks “right” (I could be using green ink all the time !) or alternatively, change the ink in my pen according to my needs.
I have bought some currency this week (be quick, as the exchange rate is dropping daily!)
The English pounds were crisp and unused. I then found these two old, crumpled, tired looking five pound notes at home, left over from a previous holiday. I think that they have great character. they were fun to draw with all their creases and little tears.

Drawing on envelopes – 7 weeks to go (and other travel drawings)

It is seven weeks until we leave for London on holidays. And here is this weeks envelope to my interstate travelling companion.
A historic London building. The Tower of London is our list as a “must see” sights. We have both been before but agree that there is so much history associated with this area that it is definitely worth spending more time here and appreciating its place in history.
Also, as I draw these buildings that I am going to visiting and exploring soon, I wonder how I will capture them in my sketchbook. It is one thing to draw from a photograph, but another to be looking straight at the building, with crowds of tourists around you.
I draw buildings and urban scenes in Sydney and I AM going to the Urban Sketching Symposium Barcelona while I am there. I regularly sketch the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge,  so it should not concern me . I think that it is the thought of drawing iconic London buildings specifically , as I am not concerned about sketching buildings  in Barcelona. I (ashamedly) have no real knowledge of Gaudi’s architecture or the older style of buildings. And as I have no preconceived ideas, I have no worries.
It will be interesting to see what my sketches are like the week in London before Symposium and the week after. 

This weeks travel drawing is of some recent books that I have borrowed from the library. 
I still have my general travel guides, but these books are about more specific . I have already started browsing through the and can tell they are going to have some ideas

  • The Stones of London a history in 12 buildings
  • Eccentric London
  • Open House London: an exclusive insight into 100 architecturally inspiring buildings in London

Everyday in May 1 -13

Here are my drawings for Days 1 to 13 of Everyday  in May
What is Everyday in May ?
Start on 1st May and draw one item on the list from the flickr or facebook group  every day in May until you finish on 31st May with number 31.We don’t stress if we miss a day – just go on to the next one and catch up . combine a few, or to jump around if it suits…but the ideal is to do the right one on the day like everyone else….but most importantly have fun! A great fun community of EDiM sketchers has grown.
Have a look at the Flickr group and have a look. Add a comment (just join to get account to comment) as there are a few people who are using Everyday in May to get into or back into drawing and would love a comment !













Drawing on envelopes – 8 weeks to go (and other travel drawing)

This weeks drawing on an envelope (in the countdown to our holiday to London) is a squirrel. The previous three weeks envelopes (on my blog) have had iconic scenes and buildings in London drawn on them.

This week is more “up close and personal” – a squirrel. It is drawn from a photograph I took in the UK in 1994! I know that they are pests in the UK and do terrible damage to the environment and other animals , but I still think they have so much character and look so cute . My travelling companion has been to London previously, but did not see a squirrel. I saw lots when I lived there, but I am still fascinated by them.

 I drew this on a heavier thickness of envelope, and one that is cream/yellow in colour. The watercolour pencils worked really well on this paper. I could have  sat and sketched on envelopes all day after I did this one. It worked out just how I wanted it to !That is a good feeling


 my travel sketch this week is my NEW suitcase . It is actually secondhand. The suitcase has a few too many pockets for my needs, but that’s ok .


in it I found a  EURO coin .A good sign for my 5 days in Barcelona ! Today’s Everyday in May challenge was “draw something you got for free” , and my coin fits perfectly to that theme.

Urban Sketchers Sydney – Cockatoo Island

Today was an Urban Sketchers Sydney event. We went back to Cockatoo Island , n Sydney Harbour, as the last time it was cold and rainy. Today had beautiful blue skies throughout the morning. There were about 20 sketchers. We all went off in our different  directions alone or in groups and met up at lunch time to show and discuss our drawings and paintings. There are so many styles and mediums and it is such an motivation and inspiration to be involved in days like today. Sketching can be as sociable or solitary as you wish. Most of my friends in Sydney are sketchers.

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But first I sketched a boat at the ferry terminal as I had arrived early (on purpose – to sketch a boat or scene)

 Once on the island it was hard to know where to begin. This is the usual problem at Cockatoo Island as there is so much to see.  I had decided to sketch in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (13 x 20 cm) as I just did not feel  like drawing  “big” today.

The old industrial cranes and the sandstone cliffs of the island have such wonderful colours – stains of age and time. I have become familiar with the colours of my watercolour pencils and the marks they make on the paper and the way their colours change when a little or a lot of water is added. These two drawings are a combination of :
pencil directly on the page, with water added after
colour off the tip of the pencil added with the water
pecil only on the page – great for fine lines and details
They were all sketched in ink first .

The colours I used for rust and stains are :

Faber Castell
Light Yellow Ochre
Burnet Ochre (turns very orange when water added)
Burnt Umbre
Cool Grey IV

Drawing on Envelopes- 9 weeks to go (and other travel drawings)

 Only nine weeks to go until we leave for London (and Barcelona) . I am drawing on envelopes and posting my travelling companion a letter each week. They live interstate.  This will keep the enthusiasm building (as if we needed that !!)

On this weeks envelope I drew some iconic images of London. We are definitely doing a London bus tour. I have been to London a few times and lived there for a while, and never done one. I still have not been on one at home in Sydney!

And this weeks major purchase was my shoulder bag for travel. This is a very important item for me, as it also carries my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook and watercolour pencils. So I had to find one that would suit the way I use my pencils and sketchbook.
Thank goodness for Hedgren brand. The style is  InnerCity – Fanzine. It has two pockets on the front that fit my sketch tools perfectly. I can access them easily and work with the pencil pocket open and access my pencils. A sketching friend who also sews (and who loves a good project to work on) is reworking my pencil wrap prototype, with a few added extras.
Everyone seems to have their own methods and equipment , or looking for the perfect bag!
This bag also has a large inner pocket that hopefully will fit everything else I will use on a daily basis. ! bottle of water, purse, sunglasses, other glasses …….