Monthly Archives: November 2014

Books on shelves in the Library

Another drawing of the library I work in. I have not included any of the  library ladders  that I have drawn previously. This time, I wanted to focus on the ‘bookishness’ of the library. This particular area with the book shelves above the doorway, leading into another room of books seems to exemplify this. These are the Commonwealth Law Reports above the door and on the surrounding shelves.

 This drawing was done over a week of lunch breaks and probably took about 2 1/2 hours. It is drawn in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook 13 x 19 cm. I stood up, leaning on a bookshelf with my pencil wrap open next to me .(See more about my pencil wrap  at

Step 1

I knew from the first sketch that it was going to work and have the look and feel I wanted. I first marked out the lines in 2H Pencil . Then I started drawing with the watercolour pencils. Watercolour pencils allow me to draw and then add water with a brush to the page to blend the colour. I can then add more colour with the pencil. Detail works best if I have remembered to sharpen the pencil !

Step 2
Step 3

I used a lot of brown shades in this drawing, I might try a colourful object next !

The main Faber Castell watercolour pencils  used were:

Walnut Brown
Burnt Umber
Burnt Ochre
Light Yellow Ochre
Orange Glaze
Payne’s Grey
Burnt Carmine

Read a bit more about me, my watercolour pencils and drawing in one of my first blogposts


Pacific Black Duck – Australia

Fitzroy Gardens , Melbourne

I am fortunate that the first part of my walk to work in Melbourne city is through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, with its traditional English plantings and ponds. I have discovered here are a few families of birds that live there : two Australian wood duck families, one with ducklings that are just past their fluffy stage,  peewees (mudlark), a kookaburra and magpies, crows and my favourite duck…

the Pacific Black Duck.
I liked the descriptions online that call it a sociable and a dabbling duck.  
The Pacific Black Duck is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region. The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats. The Pacific Black Duck is closely related to the Mallard (Source




I know where to find them by the pond and how close I can get to them on land before they dive into the water. The more I draw them the more familiar I become with the shape of their body and head – the curves and subtleties that give them their form and character.

I also know immediately which colour of watercolour pencils (Walnut Brown. Burnt Umber and Ivory mixed with a little Yellow) to use to draw them. I can pick the colours out of my pencil wrap and start straight away !
It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. There is an iridescent green patch on the wing. This is when the Derwent Inktense Teal Green comes out of the box !

ANOTHER Library ladder

Another beautiful library ladder and bookshelves in my workplace (see my previous library ladder sketch HERE)
This time I wanted to include a bit more context, with some of the surroundings.
I drew this in my lunch breaks. Five days, of half an hour each for drawing time.  
As a work in progress….

You might be able to see a second ladder in the foreground in the drawings below. While I was drawing the first one I decided I could not draw another – too much perspective and counting. I was a little tired of library ladders by then.

I drew light lines and marks in pencil first to get the perspective right.
The following watercolour pencils colours were used to draw this . All are Faber Castell except where noted.
and a waterbrush
Madder Carmine(Derwent)
Burnt Carmine
Payne’s Grey
Schwarz Black
Light Yelow Ochre
Burnt Ochre
Walnut Brown
Burnt Umber
Raw Umber (Derwent)
I will give ladders a break for a while and go back to drawing books

Urban Sketching in Boroondara – Exhibition

There was a wonderful turn-out at the Melbourne Urban Sketchers group exhibition launch on Saturday at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. It was amazing to see all our works, framed and professionally arranged on the wall. I am very proud to have the opportunity to be part of the event.

I’ve only been in Melbourne for 2 months and in that time I’ve been sketching with Urban Sketchers Melbourne on Saturdays. We have been capturing the local scenes around the Boroondara area of Melbourne (i.e. Camberwell, Hawthorn, Kew etc). Now we get a chance to share our work with our family, friends and the community. I have had a great introduction to various Melbourne suburbs and sketch the people, architecture and scenes with my watercolour pencils. Because  I knew that some of the sketches were going to be for the Exhibition I have been challenged to draw on larger (A4) sheets of paper instead of my usual 13 x 19 cm Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook.

The exhibition runs 4 November to 6 December 2014.

A big thank you to Evelyn Yee whose initiative and organisational skills made this a


Here are my three entries up close.

Melbourne Urban Sketchers is a diverse group of people united by a passion for sketching.
Urban Sketchers is a global community of artists that draw on location in cities, towns and villages they live in or travel to and then share with the world ! Our motto is Seeing the world one drawing at a time