Monthly Archives: November 2016

One month ’til Christmas

It is only 4 weeks ’til Christmas and this weeks blog is a shameless self-promotion of my range of Christmas Greeting Cards ! Please spread the word .They are available for purchase online on my Etsy store. for $5.50 each Australian dollars


OR you could give the gift of a set of Greeting cards from my drawings of feathers, nests or library books and  ladders to write in or give in a frame.

Not long now….

How to make a Christmas pudding (card)

How to make a Christmas pudding (card)

This is my ‘recipe’ of how  I made my new Christmas Pudding greeting cards  The cards are available for purchase on my Etsy online store  at .


Here is the finished pudding ready to consume (or write on as a Christmas card)

 The first step was to decide on the recipe. Once I decided to draw a whole pudding, with cream and holly, I gathered my ingredients together.


There was no real recipe – I added a bit of this colour and a bit of that , constantly adjusting intensity and colour. The left hand colours are in the pudding. Some are obvious, “main ingredients”, such as the browns and oranges. The blue ? – there  is just a hint in the darkest shadows.  
Christmas puddings are traditionally made months in advance. This sketch was begun in September, to have my cards scanned and printed in October and have for sale in November.


Start with the basics

Add more

 Almost finished, but the few final touches make the difference.

Good enough to eat !!  or purchase and give at Christmas !   I hope that this whets your appetite !

Urban sketchers in Ivanhoe

About 30 people from  Urban Sketchers Melbourne  met at Hatch Contemporary Art Space in Ivanhoe, Melbourne at 11am, then once again at 1pm after the sketch to share. This event is part of 2016 Pinpoint Contemporary Art Fair held by Banyule City Council. We sketched for the morning on postcard size paper (and some larger) on location in Ivanhoe. group

The sketchers included Lionel King visiting from Sydney and a few newcomers, including Colin, a local, who could give us local knowledge of where to sketch – a big thank you !
It was very surreal to be with Angela Williams, Alf Green and Lionel King, as the last time we were in one place together was in Manchester, UK in July this year for the Urban Sketching Symposium.


looking down a driveway/laneway near Upper Heidelberg Road


War Memorial on Upper Heidelberg Road

Above are my two postcards from the morning.

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The sketches were laid out on the tables at Hatch, as we chatted and enjoyed their hospitality of tea, coffee and biscuits !
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The finished “Postcards from Banyule” were then put in a display cabinet at the Ivanhoe Train Station (work will be displayed for 2 weeks).It is in the area where people buy their ticket or shelter from the weather, so should get a lot of people looking at them. (Ivanhoe is a suburb in the City Council district of Banyule).

sketching cars

I draw cars – not very often, but I do draw cars. In the last few weeks I have attended a few events which provided the opportunity to practice and enjoy this.

2016 Historic Sandown

On Saturday Bernard Hornblower (sketcher) and Adam (photographer) went to Sandown Motor Racing for the Victorian Historic Racing Register (VHRR) raceday. It was a  full day of sketching from 9am til 4pm in chilly (but not rainy) conditions. VHRR  cater for people interested in cars from the early 1920s through to the racing and sports cars of the 1990s. We could walk in amongst the pits and sit close to the cars to sketch and to talk to the owners, support crew (ie their friends and family)  and the officials at the track. There were lots of interesting people with great tales to tell. And they are all passionate about their car ! It was exhilarating to hear the noise and see these old cars racing around the track, especially if I had been sketching it previously in the day.


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Drawing cars is a challenge.

In general, cars in the street in everyday life are hard enough.  You think you know what a car looks like ! but when you sketch you really need to LOOK at it .  Look at  where the wheels are  – how far from the door, how close to the edge of the bonnet…

For me, everyday sketching of a car, building, people, objects or my surroundings comes from practicing and thinking about the following concepts:

  • measuring the relative distance between parts of the object
  • measuring comparative sizes within an object
  • drawing a line down (or across a page) to see what it intersects

 Australian International Concour’s d’Elegance & Classic Motor Show

A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to sketch at Motorclassica Australian International Concour’s d’Elegance & Classic Motor Show in Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Building with a few Melbourne Urban Sketchers.

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These are the from that day.

Sports cars are even more of a challenge than everyday cars,  as they present unusual shapes: from the large, sweeping and aerodynamic to the small and angular.

My method on the day is to make marks in pencil on the pages to show where the car is going to go on the page.  I put in some basic shapes and lines (using the concepts I mentioned above)  then I take out the ink pen and just start to draw !

Regular readers may recall the recent workshop I attended at Urban Symposium  in Manchester on Drawing Cars in the City. What did I learn and put into practice at these recent events? The concept of the angle of the axels and wheels ! It is small but important. A drawing of the body of a car can be wonderful, but if the wheel and tyres are at the wrong angle it stands out straight away. I try to avoid drawing an entire circle or ellipsis of the wheel and give the impression of it (and then let the viewer’s eye and mind fill on the rest of the detail).

I have my other car drawings together in an album on flickr Here are a few of themscan0018 10jun15-carsscan0005