Monthly Archives: October 2014

Linden Postcard show

 Last Friday 24th October was the opening night of The Linden Postcard Show at St Kilda, Melbourne.  This is an open entry exhibition that welcomes entries from all artists but all entries must measure 8” (20cm) x 10” (25.5cm) .
I entered three drawings and so did some of my Melbourne sketching friends Evelyn and Jodi. This is a very exiting event for me as I have not entered many art exhibitions before. Opening night was great fun, meeting with other friends to see all the artwork.

Evelyn Yee and me in front of my Orange Cream biscuits drawing.

There are over 900  small format artworks adorning the gallery walls at Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts . Why is it called Postcard show ? One of the prizes is that artwork reproduced on a Postcard for Linden to sell during the year.
If you are in Melbourne, please visit. It is open until Saturday 6 December 2014. Here are my three entries. All are for sale !

and then we all went to dinner and I sketched my food
me in action drawing ! casual photo taken by the amazing art photographer who also had entries in Linden (and sales on the night !!)

a library ladder – a work in progress


I work in a law library. As well as up-to-date legal databases in our beautiful old 1884 building there are shelves of old books and tall library ladders to reach them. Yes, I have had to climb the ladders to get books down!  

I have been drawing this scene at work in my lunch hour, over four days (a half an hour each time). Here is the final (most probably) version.

These are sketched in my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook with my lovely watercolour pencil.

Stage one

Stage two

Stage Three

Some lovely old books

New city – New pencil colours

After a few sketches in Melbourne, I realised that the Faber Castell watercolour pencils colours that I had used to draw Sydney buildings in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook were not going to capture the buildings of my new city. 

It was only a subtle difference, but I could tell and was very aware of it. Often I feel that getting the colour just right can make or break a sketch for me. And sometimes colour makes an object or building recognisable, even if the actually drawing is way out of kilter!


St Stephens Uniting Church

Sydney hospital and eye hospital

The sandstone of many of the historic buildings in Sydney gives the city some of its personality. It is called Yellow block  and is known for its warm, golden straw colour. The main public buildings in Sydney, completed from the 1850s until the 20th century were built in sandstone from Pyrmont where some 50 quarries operated.  Pyrmont yellowblock was hard, and had good texture, and colour, and it was also suitable for carving. By coincidence Pyrmont is the suburb I used to live in in Sydney . No quarries now, just streetnames, pub names the landscape continue the history

In Sydney I used to following watercolour colours to sketch buildings:
  • Ivory
       combined with either

  •  Burnt Yellow Ochre or
  • Light Yellow Ochre or
  • little Raw Umber (which is a Derwent colour)

 The other colour I used in Sydney was Magenta on the ironlace and rails of buildings.
  • Magenta


    In Melbourne, the city buildings have more grey than yellow to the stone. There are also other building materials such as  the completely different bluestone.
    I made a quick trip to explore a new art store where I tested a few new Faber Castell watercolour pencils for their colour, with and without water, and I came away with a few potentials.

    My new watercolour pencils are:

    • Warm Grey !
    • Warm Grey II
     and for the red ironwork
    • Burnt Carmine



     I have only had the chance to try out my new colours a few times, but I already feel a lot more comfortable with the colours and I think they are going to work just fine.  I will still continue to use Ivory and just a touch of the other colours, but now have a new set of colours for my new city!


    Supreme Court
    Melbourne Town Hall

    and here are the tested watercolour pencils drawn on a page together