Monthly Archives: March 2015

My Etsy shop is Open !

I have opened my Etsy Fine Art Shop.

The product?
Blank Fine Art Note or Greeting Cards featuring eight of my drawings of books and libraries.
Today I’m here to share a little more about this.

Where did the idea come from?
I have been longing to get my drawings printed as cards and prints for quite a while (as my friends know). I have spent time looking for a printing company that would produce a product with a quality of colour and finish that I was happy to put my name to. When I arrived in Melbourne I found (through recommendations) the company Print Together who were just right !

Why did I create cards?
I love paper products and the enjoyment of the written word. I love stationery, books, hand written notes and receiving something in the mail, and I know that many other people do too, even in this digital age. I write a letter once a week and love to post cards and think about the enjoyment and surprise on the recipients face when they open it .
I have been drawing the books and shelves in my new workplace and realised they would make a perfect set of cards.

What to expect?
Each card features a single image on the front and a blank interior, and a description on the back. They are printed on 300gsm card with a smooth finish that has an easy to write on surface. Each individual card comes packaged in a protective plastic sleeve with an envelope.

spine with pen

So where can you find them?
You can find my Etsy shop at where you have a look at and order these cards.
*Keep an eye for new images on cards coming soon. Have a look at my website at the DRAWINGS tab to see just a few of my other type of drawings. Or ALL of my art everyday on flickr.


drawing feathers

Today I had a day free with no plans. I have not sat down to spend a large amount of time drawing for ages, so decided to indulge. I cleared the table, sharpened my watercolour pencils and cut some paper to A4 size.

21mar15 rainbow lorikeet feathers1

Everyday I draw in a Moleskine watercolour Sketchbook 13 x 19 cm. But today was different.

I have been drawing feathers (and also recently books) on larger sheets of equivalent textured paper which I discovered through trial and error. See my blog from last year.  I found the perfect paper. It is called University paper. I believe it is produced by St Cuthberts Mill in the UK . It is available  in sheets of  210 gsm for me at Deans Art in Melbourne.


photo of a Rainbow Lorikeet

I have decided to draw my feathers, nests and books on larger sheets because I eventually may have an exhibition. I would also like to use them for print on cards. The larger size paper allows me to draw a few feathers on the page and think about composition. feathers and pencils Today I wanted to break away from the black, greys, browns, creams of the magpie, ibis and duck feathers that I have been drawing. The feathers of the rainbow lorikeet seemed a good choice. All feathers were picked up in a local park in Melbourne or a Waterbird habitat in Queensland. I found these simple colourful feathers difficult to draw. They are not soft and fluffy (which I enjoy). I draw a lot of feathers – see more on my flickr site or my blogpost on drawing a feather step by step.

I am pleased with the result and have put the drawing aside for a while. I need to add a bit more colour intensity in some areas. I am also thinking of adding a fifth feather on the far end (the same size as the first one). What do you think ? It has also been suggested to arrange them horizontally on the page not vertically. Your thoughts?

I finished the day by started another feather….DSCF0762 DSCF0763
(one is real and the other start of a drawing !)

Lost Trades Fair sketching part 2

This is part 2 of my sketches from the  Lost Trades Fair, last Saturday 7 March 2015. If you missed it Read Part 1 here. There was so much to see and sketch on the day so  I decided to do two blog posts

Just in case you missed out, the Lost Trades Fair is held at Kyneton, one hour train ride from Melbourne. (Their facebook page has lots of interviews and features). The Lost Trades Fair supports “rare, forgotten and traditional trades and crafts and those that practise them”. The fair had over 60 stall of traditional trades, rare crafts and forgotten arts. We got to meet these talented makers that practise these trades.

On this page are some of my quick sketches from the day. Even though they are quick sketches, I spent time looking at the object or person as they moved around an object they were crafting or worked with their hands. Often their movements were repetitive, so I could watch the angles of the body, arms and wrists. Other times they moved a lot and I could only get an impression of how they work. As I stood sketching,  I also had the opportunity to listen to the conversations between the artisan/tradesperson and people passing by. These people have so much knowledge and passion for their area of interest.

wooden sword maker

wooden sword maker






7mar15 pennyfarthing

1mar15 cobber

1mar15 Lost Trades Fair 1


1mar15 fletcher
1mar15 corrn dollies

I am really looking forward to next year and perhaps visiting some of these Lost Trades during the year at other events or their shops.

Lost Trades Fair sketching part 1

On Saturday I spent a day at the Lost Trades Fair, with a friend. The Lost Trades Fair is held at Kyneton, one hour train ride from Melbourne. (Their facebook page has lots of interviews and features). The Lost Trades Fair supports “rare, forgotten and traditional trades and crafts and those that practise them”. We watched a  Blacksmith, Chairmaker ,Cobber ,Cooper, Fletcher, Foundryman,  Penny Farthing Maker, Plane Maker, PInstriper, Plasterer,  Rocking Horse Maker,   Wood Worker to name few . 

I have split this into two blogposts as there is so much to tell!

7mar15 Lost Trades Fair
I did 12 sketches – most quick, a few with colour added, either on the spot or on the train on the way home. The big event of the day turned out to be Cooper, where we (and a large crowd) watched as George the Cooper handcrafted a wooden bucket for my friend. It took over an a hour as he explained the process.

The Cooper working an a large barrel (left) and making the bucket (right)

The Cooper working an a large barrel (left) and making the bucket (right)

the Cooper was great to sketch – often returning to the same position to work on the wooden bucket. The bucket is made from kauri and looks like it will last forever!
He was also a very entertaining character!


Coopers tools


the crowd watching the Cooper


The fair had over  60 stall of traditional trades, rare crafts and forgotten arts. We got to meet these talented makers that practise these trades. Read my next blog to see more ….





sketching a Melbourne laneway

Melbourne’s laneways with their street art and coffee shops are on the tourist ‘list of things to do’. They are great ! But I like these other older working laneways.

Cnr Little Collins Street and Baptist Place, Melbourne

Cnr Litte Colins Street and Baptist Place, Melbourne

I did some sketching when I had time to fill in before an appointment. I stayed around the area where I had to be and looked up, down, left and right for inspiration. And then I had to find a scene AND  with somewhere to sit and draw ! I sat on the  stairs of a doorway of a company that was closed on weekends. It was directly opposite the laneway I had been inspired by.

I knew that  I had 25 minutes to sketch and that I had to get the proportions and perspective correct quickly. Usually I start a drawing and measure  (holding pencil out in front of me) as I draw on the page directly with my watercolour pencils. However when sketching buildings I know I need to do a bit of mark making in HB pencil on the paper to note where important points are. Sometimes I end up with A LOT  of little marks on the paper. I often forget why I  have put them there.

Here is a rough overview of my thought process of sketching this laneway. (I wish I had taken an earlier photo, after about 10 minutes, instead, this is after 25 minutes.) It makes sense to me.

measuring relative proportions

I started with the parked van as the focus of my measuring . This was because I noticed that there were many similar measurements which I could use to mark out the paper. I have noted with arrows the measurements I used . After I made the marks I drew some horizontal and vertical lines, where tops/bottoms of some doors and windows were on the same line on the page.

Then the van drove away, so it was just as well I had got those lines down! These are the joys of urban sketching.

I started drawing the the vanishing point lines  for the angle of the windows and driveways.

I then finished with the HB pencil and used my watercolour pencils to build up the lines and colour. The main colour used is Faber Castell Light Yellow Ochre. The other colours used were Paynes Grey, Earth Green, Cool Grey IV and Schwarz Black.

I added water to the page with my Kuratake waterbrush, spreading out the colour.

My 25 minutes had flown by and I had to leave. I could have taken a photo and added more details and competed the sketch at home. However I really enjoy drawing on location and wanted to go back to my place on the stairs. Also, as an Urban Sketcher I follow these guidelines (when I want to post the sketch on the Urban Sketches online pages)

We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.• Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.• Our drawings are a record of time and place.• We are truthful to the scenes we witness.• We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.• We support each other and draw together.• We share our drawings online.• We show the world, one drawing at a time.

After my appointment I returned to the same place on the starirs and in the final 20 minutes  I  built up the page with more colour and added fine lines, without adding water. I reached a stage, where I was pleased with the result, colour, amount of detail and final scene.