Monthly Archives: August 2015

looking back at my sketches

 Spring is almost here

September is Spring. a time of growth, renewal, looking for with new momentum to what can be achieved. In this post I am looking back at sketches done in the first few days of September over the past few years. It was interesting to see where I was at the time and what I  was doing and  also how I was sketching. I began sketching in my Moleskine Watercolour sketchbooks in December 2008 and sketching in Sketchbook Number 52 at the moment. Before December 2008 I was drawing on loose sheets of card and different sketchbooks of various brands and qualities.

These are all sketches from life. They are part of my adventure and growth  in sketchbook journaling.  I have drawn from photographs since high school (remember those days Janet Mayes (colour pencil artist)) . However drawing from real objects and scenes is very different although many of the skills were transferable (especially measuring relative distances).

The following sketches are from September 2014 going back to 2007.



A year ago I moved to Melbourne – Looking back it has been an eventful and productive year.










I looked through lots of old sketchbooks in cupboards to find earlier sketches. I found many drawings. Many were not dated and had no notes on the page. I write a lot more now and the pages are more of a journal.



I can see a BIG difference between the 2009 and 2007 sketches and how I would sketch this now. In Jan 2011 I started using the Lamy Sarafi Joy ink pen. It is a calligraphy pen with a fine nib and refills with ink. (I use Noodlers Bulletproof ink). I feel as though my pen travels across the page smoothly. It replaced my Micron, Pitt and Staedler pens. My skill with using my watercolour pencils and my especially my pen has increased over the last 6 years. I draw daily and that helps a lot ! I have become a lot more confident in drawing people and crowds and scenes and buildings…. and everything.

old law books

I have been drawing in my lunchbreaks on some days over the past two weeks. Drawing old law books in the library I work in.

22Aug15 old law booksThis was completed over three sessions.  I finished the final marks on the page during a lunch hour when there was a classical music recital in the library. I sat up in the shelves drawing old books and listening to Debussy played on the piano. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time,

22Aug15 old law books close

Here is a close up

and as a work in progress. ( with some strange colours because I took the photos on my phone.



Of course, I have started drawing another set of books ……
and my drawings of the library and its books are available Greeting Cards on my Etsy site

The Blues

not THE blues , but colourful blues with strange names.

In my watercolour pencil wrap that I carry with me everyday I have 26 colours, three are blue .

(Read more about my watercolour pencil wrap here)

blues everyday

Over the last few weeks in the evenings I have been creating an entry for a local art show and have been using every blue pencil I own. These are pencils that I have been given, or acquired.


Almost all are watercolor pencils (except Bluish  Turquoise, which is a coloured pencil).

I have added water to a paintbrush and dragged it across the page to show the changes in colour that occur when water is added to the pigment. For this particular project it did not matter, but usually for my drawings I am trying to get the colour right . Over the last eight years that I have been using watercolour pencils I have become familiar with the colours and how they can be mixed and the effects. This is how I have chosen the three (above) for my everyday use .

Just to throw in something extra to the mix., the project is on brown card not white watercolour paper. The brown card changes the way the blue appears and it also soaks up the colour, leaving a dull surface, and making it difficult to draw fine, hard lines.

Airmail Parcel hint 2

Here is a hint. More will be revealed on Opening night in September



travel sketching on the go

I have just spent three days in Sydney after my first year of living in Melbourne. I was going to write a blog including my sketches from the weekend. However, after beginning scanning my 18 pages I realised there were enough interesting transport and travel sketches to put together a post on them alone.

Travelling provides so many opportunities for very quick sketches as well as longer ones.  A lot of time is spent waiting, sitting, standing and  queuing. Some of it is unexpected and some you will know about in advance.  Each opportunity can also provide its own challenges and issues.

6Aug15 bus

My bus ride to the airport (above) was very bumpy. I think I was sitting over a wheel! I sketched with my Lamy Safari Joy ink pen and my hand seemed to bump along with the bus. It seemed to happen when I got to drawing faces – some big noses here. I have drawn on this airport bus previously and am used to where people are positioned and the perspective.

8Aug15 taxi
The taxi ride back to the airport was a lot smoother. I don’t catch many taxis and don’t often draw in them. The subject doesn’t move much!
8Aug15 plane
I always arrive early at the airport and enjoy the time that I can spend sketching planes. I don’t always get to draw the plane I am travelling in. Sometimes I start to draw a plane and all of the landing crew, mechanics and vehicles suddenly move away and the plane leaves. Sketched with my watercolour pencils in Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook (13 x 19 cm ) .

6Aug15 plane

6Aug15 passengersFellow passengers across the aisle can be ideal subjects to draw . (Sometimes the seats are just to close together and I don’t feel comfortable sketching with my passenger right next to me looking over my shoulder ).They sleep, have interesting hairstyles, lots of creases in their clothing to sketch. The sketch above was in ideal circumstances. This was before take-off and all the people stayed in place for me. I sketched this with my Watercolour pencils, but with no water added.  (and I received lovely compliments from the flight crew).

But passengers also move a lot in their seat and unexpectedly  change positions. The lady below moved a few times, but stayed in each one for a while. She also sat with her legs crossed on the seat (how did she do that?) but I missed that opportunity to sketch her.

8Aug15 passenger
and then there are the REALLY quick sketches as people hurry to leave 6Aug15 passengers2

The SEATBELT sign has been turned off at the end of the flight and everyone scrambles to standup, retrieve their belongings and then ….wait and wait. (and sketch)
8Aug15 on the plane