Category Archives: graphite pencils

First portrait since art school

sean_cAll those self portraits at art school, me with the serial killer mouth,  has put me off portraiture for a very long time. But in the SW Portraits Group on Facebook, they are all sketching Sean Connery. Somehow the mood took me to have a go at it. I roughed it in with a 2B pencil very lightly and then continued with a 6B.


Filed under graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching

Kalibukbuk gate in Derwent Wash Pencils

kalibukbuk_gate_4Finally back to my sketchbook to do another sketch from my Bali photos. Ever since I did the earlier drawing of the gate at Kalibukbuk I have wanted to do another in pencil. I decided to use the Derwent Light Wash and Derwent Dark Wash. I do love these pencils. Once I had completed the drawing I scanned it before I put the wash on. I wasn’t sure how successful it would be. I have used these pencils before but mostly to sketch the cats. I hadn’t used them for something where tone would be so important. The top one is the one with the wash.

It is amazing to think that someone designed this carving, and executed it from a two dimensional drawing. At least, I assume that’s how it would have been done. kalibukbuk_gate_2There are carvings everywhere in Bali, and I have seen them doing the bas-relief ones into concrete. I will pay more attention next time. At one hotel years ago, we had a huge verandah with the Ramayana carved around two sides. So many things to love about Bali.


Filed under Bali, Derwent sketching, drawing, graphite pencils, sketching, Stillman & Birn

EDiM21 – What makes me happy

Blue skies make me happy. We had NO summer, but a lovely autumn with blue skies & warm enough to get out and sketch. It’s over now. Dark skies today and tomorrow we’re expecting a ‘rain event’.  (Meteorologyspeak?)

My cats make me happy and this is the one who sits with me all the time. They’re both very old now, and costing me a fortune at the vet. Casper was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy over 6 years ago and they said he had 6 months to live.  A lot of my sketches of Casper are at night when he sits on the end of my bed. I get the sketchbook out and we have portraiture sessions.

The other thing that makes me happy is bright colours. This  is my newest doona cover. It is white with a large band of these bright colours across the bottom and on the pillows.

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Filed under cats, drawing, EDiM, graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour

EDiM19 – Writers’ Festival

I went to the Writers’ Festival on a day that the EDiM subject was ‘draw your art space’. I don’t really have an art space. I sometimes draw at the kitchen table, sometimes lying propped up on my bed, and sometimes in the lounge. But the place I draw most is out in the field. As I was at the Writers’ Festival that day, I drew there.

Most events are held at Walsh Bay, although there are events all over Sydney. It is a complex of old wharves and warehouses, some of them incorporating theatres. Our first event was a free one and it was in a curtained off section of a huge shed. I drew the inventive and highly appropriate light fittings. The discussion was between Marieke Hardy and Benjamin Law  interviewed by Catherine Deveney. It was hilarious. If you’d like a taste and haven’t already looked at Benjamin Law’s link, do so now.

Our next event was  Joe McGinniss talking about his experiences in researching his book about Sarah Palin. I wish I lived next door to this man. I’d be running next door all the time to discuss news events and curent affairs about all manner of things.

Next was a panel with Dame Stella Rimington, discussing a question that recently got her into a bit of trouble. Dame Stella, as chair of the Booker Prize judges said that a winning book should be ‘readable’, and that upset a lot of people. If you watch this clip you can get a look at the venue of the writers festival also.

The last event was another freebie and was a debate on the subject ‘does the Australian arts community take themselves too bloody seriously?’ Two for and two against, and all highly entertaining, especially the food critic who spoke for and talked about chefs as artists (they think so!)

Must stop. It was a wonderful day. I was totally exhausted and I could blog on about this for a very long time.

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Filed under Copic Multiliner, drawing, EDiM, graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour

EDiM2 – a New Year’s Resolution

This year I didn’t do any New Year’s resolutions. I wasn’t stuck for something to draw though. I have an ongoing resolution to swim 1km three times a week. It’s been going two and a half years now and I don’t miss very often.

In the winter there is pretty often a damp bathing suit hanging around somewhere. I haven’t sketched this one before, though I did an older one back in 2009. The poor old blue tiger has gone now, but it was at least seven years old.. This style is called Zena and it is a silver grey. I have a black one the same and I love them. I want a red one, but they haven’t made red in my size yet. My bathing suits come from Sue Rice, and as you see she makes for all shapes and sizes.  I have a long body and can’t buy off the rack. Now I am past the age of wearing bikinis, if it wasn’t for Sue Rice it would be skinnydipping. Chlorine resistant too. I’m a big fan of Sue Rice.

Graphite pencil.


Filed under EDiM, graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching


I thought Casper had cats’ alzheimers but I was wrong. He has always been a mother’s boy and stuck to me like glue. For a couple of months he stopped sitting on the end of my bed, or on my knee. He was behaving as if he didn’t know who I was any more. He is 16 years old, and has cardiomyopathy. That was diagnosed over 6 years ago and he has been on medication ever since, quite a lot of medication. I was told he only had 6 months to live but he is still here & in reasonable health considering his age.

I used to grab him at night when he was sitting on the end of my bed and give it to him. I decided to try giving it to him in any other room than my bedroom. Now he sleeps on the end of my bed again. He knows who I am all right – he was just avoiding me.

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Filed under cats, graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching

Zoo – Day 3 (morning)

The zoo has made me think of childhood rhymes and old song lyrics. You probably saw one on one of my earlier zoo drawings and now here’s another one on the drawing of the bongo. The words, by the way, are from a song called “Civilisation”.Our third day at the zoo started out with a plan that worked pretty well. We came along past the bongos, and they were relatively cooperative. It is such a beautiful animal with distinct facial markings, but what I really love about it is the markings on its coat that look as if paint has been dribbled down it.

The zebras are even more beautiful if that is possible. I’m becoming more and more fixated on the beauty of the animals with every visit to the zoo. Just after we began to draw the zebras, the keeper came in, bringing brunch. That’s how I had a two-version drawing happening until the zebra decided that it was doing and I was able  to finish the drawing.

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Filed under animals, drawing, graphite pencils, sketchbook, sketching, Taronga Park Zoo, watercolour