Monthly Archives: June 2016

stocking up for travel sketching

I have I started thinking about my art gear for my upcoming three week holiday in the UK, and have purchased and ordered some supplies. Some had to be ordered online and I bought extras to stock up for home as well.


I am going to attend the Urban Sketching Symposium in Manchester for three days, and will I be continuously sketching for the entire time.  I sketch daily now and will have even more to draw when I am away.

I’ll be taking my current pencil wrap (same old one as my new one did not get made), filled with  new Faber Castell LONG pencils. I’ve bought new watercolours pencil and will take doubles of a few that I am prone to use/loose.  Payne Grey, Ivory, Light Yellow Ochre.

I also bought some new watercolour pencil colours that I have been advised for UK trees, buildings  – Sap Green, Hookers Green, Alizarin Crimson.


I am taking three Moleskine 13 x 19 cm Watercolour Sketchbooks. I have already started the first one by holiday sketching- drawing my new suitcase, some British pounds. I’ll sketch my clothes before I go. Then at the airport, on the plane ….


My eraser is specific – it fits in my pencilwrap in a pencil space. TOMBOW Mono Zero 2.5 x 5 mm


I’ll take two waterbrushes – one in use and one spare. I use ZIG Brush H20 Medium Tip. It has a filter that slows the flow of water. This suits my drawing style, as I don’t flood the page with water and colour and I like to work in small areas on the page.


And a spare sharpener.  Blunt pencils make for a bad drawing – so much of my drawing of objects relies on the hint of detail,  which a sharp, fine line provides.

Of course, this is just my usual sketching gear. I am enrolled in four workshops and four activities at Manchester Urban Sketching Symposium. They will all challenge me and build my techniques and skills but are all suited to my drawing based approach. I will buy some extra art gear in Manchester when I get there. I am sure to get ideas from the other 500 sketchers there !

exhibition preview

Today I held a special champagne preview for some close friends of my upcoming exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books?” for Melbourne Rare Book Week.


from left to right. Leon, Alissa, Louise, ,Michaela, Adam

Today’s preview was at my apartment for some good friends who will not be in town while my exhibition is on. The books were displayed, grouped as they will be in the different areas in Melbourne City Library. The difference was that today, they were spread out over a table, mantle piece and my bed, instead of labelled in display cabinets.

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The exhibition is at Melbourne City Library, Flinders Lane from 14 – 24 July. I will be giving a talk with book collector, Chris Browne  on Monday 18 July at 6pm. We will explore aspects of drawing in books, from early manuscript illustrations and the presentation of pictures on the printed page, to my own informal drawing in books. Book here for the talk.








Above are a selection of the books. There are forty in total.

We are now at the stage of designing the flyer, and writing the content for the different areas of the display. In just over three weeks we will set up the exhibition. Today, it was great to receive some lovely comments from my friends and to get their feedback on some questions I had.  Thanks all for a lovely celebration and sharing my exciting art adventures.











travel countdown drawings

In six weeks my mother &  I will be on a plane to England.

Once a week I write a letter to her (a real letter, on paper,  in an envelope, in the post) and draw something related to our holiday. It is a way of building the excitement and also being aware of how the weeks are flying by,

Last holiday, three years ago, I drew on the envelopes that I mailed each week in a ten  week countdown . This year I have only managed one original drawing on an envelope. 20May2015 squirrel envelope

This year, life  is a lot busier, so I am using the drawings from one of my other projects, which neatly fits into the holiday. My exhibition for Melbourne Rare Book Week title “You Can’t Draw in Books?” involves me drawing in old (about to be discarded) books, illustrating the words on one of the open pages. One of the books is an old A-Z London Street directory . I am drawing images of iconic images of London or something that reflects the place on the page.

I then cut and paste my final saved and drawn image into an envelope to mail to my mother. That means that this year she is not getting ‘an original’ on the envelope – but still gets a surprise each week !

I have completed (or started) five drawings on pages so far and identified another few pages with potential, including Regents Park (draw a squirrel) , Kew Gardens (a flower) , Battersea (Power station), Greenwich ( something to do with time OR the Cutty Sark ), Hampton Court (the palace) ….

5jun16 paddington 3May16 telephone boxA-Z london bus London A-Z Womblesharrods

my travelling Visconti ink pot

I am excited to be writing this blog post about my new travelling ink pot – because it means that I am travelling !!!

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In seven weeks I will be flying overseas. We are going to England, flying directly to Manchester for the Urban Sketching Symposium … more about that later.


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The Visconti travelling ink pot, eyedropper and my Lamy pen

I have recently purchased a Visconti travelling ink pot to carry and refill the ink for my Lamy Safari Joy pen. I will be sketching furiously for three weeks in England and will need to refill the ink in my pen during that time. It is like an old-fashioned fountain pen where you dip the pen into the ink bottle and draw the ink up into the pen. At about $100 (more than twice the price of the pen) the travelling ink pot was a little investment, but it will bring me the peace of mind that I  will not open my suitcase to a leaked/broken ink bottle. It is vacuum sealed and received excellent reviews.

My last overseas holiday was three years ago to Barcelona for a previous Urban Sketching Symposium. To transport my ink, I  used a small interesting plastic bottle wrapped in bubble wrap, put in another plastic jar, sealed in a plastic bag. Secure, but it took up valuable luggage space. See my post from three years ago to read more about it

I will start using my new travelling ink pot now, so that I can  figure out how it works ! I will be refilling with Noodlers Bulletproof Black ink until I finish the bottle. Noodlers is not stocked in Australia anymore and I have purchased DeAtramentis Black Document Ink as a replacement product.

Over the next few weeks/months my weekly blog will be about my Melbourne Rare Book Week  activities, Urban Sketching Symposium and  as well as drawing in the countdown to holidays.