Everyday practice

Here are some sketches from my current ‘handbag’ sketchbook. I am trying to use up one of the myriad sketchbooks that seem to spontaneously generate in my spare room. This book isn’t too good with wet media so I mainly try and sketch in pencil. The pencils I am using are a Palomino Blackwing 530 and my el cheapo multicolour pencil I got in Japan at Sekkaido.

In rough date order …

Trying to get some more interesting perspectives into these ‘regular’ events.

From the car in a roof top carpark.

Sketching graffiti from a roof top carpark.

This is a work in progress. I do a bit more every time I stop here to collect the mail.

Again, trying to enliven a cafe sketch. It gets very busy at our local cafe on Saturday morning. There are lots of parents and kids relaxing after the kids football matches.

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Penciled in

Some recent sketches using coloured pencil and my new toned tan Strathmore sketchbook.

In the coffee shop Saturday morning, coloured pencil on toned tan paper

In the coffee shop Saturday morning, coloured pencil on toned tan paper

Today’s effort from the window of the National Gallery of Australia’ cafe window. This section of the garden has recently been cleaned out and re-planted with grass trees.

Garden at the National Gallery of Australia, coloured pencil on toned tan paper, 9 May 2016

Garden at the National Gallery of Australia, coloured pencil on toned tan paper, 9 May 2016

I’m trying not to resort to ‘colouring in’, hence the vigorous strokes, which I’m enjoying making.

One more from the archive, a sketch in my toned-grey book, a spool of twine at a building site.

A spool of builders twine, coloured pencil on toned grey paper, 11 April 2016.

A spool of builders twine, coloured pencil on toned grey paper, 11 April 2016.

Taking the line to the landscape

Following on from my ‘two pencil’ practice in my last post, I decided to try the technique out on some nearby landscapes.  We are down at the coast for a week. At one end of the beach are some small but interesting cliffs, full of bulges and striations, layers and different colours.

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The cliff at the northern end of Long Beach, near Bateman's Bay, NSW. Graphite, coloured pencil, gel pen and watercolour

I had so much fun working on this piece. As I was by myself I had plenty of time to fill the whole page with colour.  In trying to keep the loose approach I applied my paint with some small sticks I picked up on the sand.
I’ve done two more drawings since, but I haven’t had as much time to work on them.

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Snapper Island from Surfside. Graphite, colour pencils, gel pen and watercolour.

The bay and nearby coast provide plenty of subjects to sketch. My most recent one is a bit further down the coast at Guerrilla Bay, one of the most popular dive and snorkeling sites around. Jimmy’s Islet protects the bay from the worst of the weather.

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Jimmy's Islet in Guerilla Bay NSW. Watercolour, ink, graphite and coloured pencils


We’ve snorkeled here for the past two days. The variety and number of fish and the size of the various seashells makes you realise just how degraded many coastal areas are. This bay is part of a marine park so we have had some great experiences particularly spotting Banjo Sharks on both days.