Monthly Archives: February 2014

sketching while walking

I have a few different sketching styles using both watercolour pencils and ink, sometime combining the two. I draw objects with detail over a few hours and I also sketch quickly.

My sketches in ink are usually sketched out of my apartment. If I have time I add colour on the spot or write a quick note and add later.

Sometimes my sketches of people are done as I walk behind the. I am moving and they are moving. I sketched one today for this weeks Urban Sketchers flickr Group Weekly Challenge of MOTION . (look in the Discussions. It is posted at the top of the page and you share it with the group)

I looked back through my sketches and have gathered a few here together. I am very fortunate to walk into Sydney city across a wide pedestrian bridge and then along a wide wharf. There are lots of tourists a well as office workers, so plenty to choose from. But I choose  times of the day, when it is quieter. There is also lots of space around so I don’t run into anyone coming the other way.

I choose subjects that are walking slowly, and at a nice steady pace. That way I can look at repeat movements of arms and legs swinging to try to capture it on paper.


Small nest drawing

 This Christmas I was given FOUR birds nests, as well as some feathers, bugs and butterflies. My mother knows just what to give me as a present each year! 
I managed to get them all home to Sydney, although the nest on the far left of the photo was a bit of a challenge as the twigs are precariously intertwined and balanced. It travelled as hand luggage in a plastic bag and I made sure it was not knocked or squashed on the flight and train home.

Four birds nests on my desk with my Moleskine Watercolour sketchbooks on the shelf behind.

The drawing featured in this blog is of the smallest nest on the far right. I finally remembered to take photographs of the work in progress. Most of my drawings are completed in the one sitting or the next day. I tend to spend a longer amount of time drawing my feathers and nests, usually over a few days or weeks. I have only drawn a few nests and it is a challenge each time…..  I have learnt a lot from number of books and inspired by MaryJo Koch, especially her books Bird Feather Nest Egg, and even better The Nest. In fact, I have just taken them off my bookshelf to re-inspire me for my next nest drawing. Her paintings are in gouche and I use watercolour pencils, so I am trying to figure out to how to work with my pencils to draw nests. The lines are so fine and light and the whole concept of light and dark lines is a challenge. and I enjoy it so much, especially when it all works out.

I am not sure which birds any of these nests belong to. I’ve done a bit of searching online using Google Images and have not been able to identify them . I have found out what they are NOT.

NOT a willie wagtail, fantail, pee wee, pardalote, pipit, gerygone.

MAY be a crested pigeon or a drongo

They were found empty on local footpaths in Toowoomba in South East Queensland Australia . If anyone has any suggestions of what they are I would love to know so that I can “put a face to a name” so to speak.

I am drawing this nest in my  Watercolour Moleskine Sketchbook. I have been drawing all of other feathers and nests on A4 Arches Watercolour 300 gsm Smooth paper, but started this in my everyday sketchbook. I am not sure why. I left the back of the page blank and have cut it out of the book and added it to my growing collection of feathers and nests on loose paper.  


PHOTO 1 HB Pencil. Ivory and Flesh pencils
PHOTO 2 adding a few individual twigs

PHOTO 3 adding shadow

PHOTO 4 – just a bit more colour
in situ…..
The final version … at the moment

I drew this over a few nights from the 13th to 20th February 2014. I will probably add abit more over the weekend.  I added a little bit at a time. It is easier to look at the drawing fresh the next day to see where to add colour and line. I usually am working on a few other quicker sketches at the same time, so I have a huge sense of satisfaction at the end of each day. It also gives me a chance to use some colours other than the creams, browns, ochres etc of the nests.