Monthly Archives: July 2013

return from holidays

I have returned home after three weeks holiday in London and Barcelona.
For those who have been following my blog, you will be aware the BIG lead up and trip prep that occurred – including the weekly “drawing on an envelope” to my mum, who was my travelling companion and lives interstate, here is the notice board at her house with all my envelopes pinned on it.
all of my weekly envelopes to Mum from the 10 week countdown
The holiday exceeded all of my expectations and was filled with amazing experiences, sights, people, events and sketching.

Here we are in London outside the National Gallery – permanent grins on our faces
me sketching the Royal Albert hall from the steps in front of the Albert Memorial
I had always planned it to be a sketching holiday and much of the lead up was about my sketchkit,  as well as being a tourist and going to the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Barcelona
I filled two Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks with sketches on my three week holiday.
34 pages in Barcelona and 86 in London.
I have scanned and uploaded the Barcelona sketches and photos to flickr and USK BCN facebook photo album .
I will put a few up here on the blog

from the wonderful Luis Ruiz Workshop “Actors and Stage

and lunch after the workshop – Tapas

Santa Anna 13th Century church – sketching early one morning before a Workshop

About 250 of us gather at the Barcelona Arc de Triomphe for a group photo & sketch

Sketching doorways on my own
I have lots of other blog posts to come.
  • My sketchkit and travelling – lessons learnt
  • London sketches
I am not sure about how to go about releasing my London Sketches . I may do a few at a time chronologically through the trip. It is a lot to scan and add commentary and a lot for people to read.

UPDATE all London sketches are being put in the SET one or two a day

I hope you enjoy sharing my adventure  .It was truly amazing

Customised pencil wrap

I have a brand new customised pencil wrap that I am taking with me to London and Barcelona tomorrow!

This is what it looks like fully stocked with my pencils and pens – all packed and ready to go!

PROTOTYPE #3(the current version)

This is the original Derwent pencil wrap as sold in shops. I used it from 2009 til 2012

Overtime I realised that the style of the wrap did not actually suit the way I draw and the way I use my pencils.

 The issues were:

·        Drawing at a table – eg at a café.

 On a table it would take up a large amount of space– It was awkward to have the wrap out and food on the table, as well as my sketchbook

          On my lap – it was too long and would fall over the sides of lap– more difficult to pick up the pencils quickly.

·        Drawing standing up – once again it was awkward to hold the length of the wrap.

  • I am continuously taking it out of my bag AND the pencils in and out. I needed quick access and instant display

At the end of the day I always had loose pencils falling out of the wrap in my bag and there would be half a dozen pencils at the bottom of my bag.

I could have changed the way I work but I seems easier to change the sketchkit

I had many suggestions from friends and fellow sketchers. My original concept started as it being a part of my shoulder bag – and would fold down from the side. 

I had many ideas but I did not have the technical ability to take them any further 


PROTOTYPE #1 (by me)
 I cut in the pencil wrap in half and crudely tacked them together, one half on top of the other

Eight months later I was using my temporary prototype and it was looking a little worse for wear.
PROTOTYPE #2 (by Kaz)
A sketching friend, Kaz, took pity on me and offered to create a new pencil wrap based on this. She also loves a project and challenge. I bought another new one from the shop, Kaz took measurements and asked me about what I needed. Not long later she gave me a new version. It was foldable and had pockets .
New feature Two little pockets at top each side to put eraser and pencil sharpener
After one week of trialling it, I discovered some things worked brilliantly (the pockets- and extra flap at the top)
Others I did not use (the extra fold up option, as I always used it in “full display” mode)
I also found out that the bottom needs to be closed so pencils don’t fall out.
These were quickly incorporate into PROTOTYPE #3 which you see at the top of the page.
          NEXT VERSION
         We are both already thinking of PROTOTYPE #4 .  My upcoming three week holiday to London and  Barcelona should test it as I will be sketching everywhere everyday ,
         Pockets need clips to close so that sharpener and eraser do not fall out in bag pocket (put in upside down
         Maybe a triple decker version ??
         Make from scratch with a light canvas ………