The Red Pavilions

imageAfter my lunch, I had yet another long long swim in what seemed to be our private pool. The resort has three pools, and our room was near the smallest, which nobody seemed to use but us. But I get ahead of myself, at this stage there was only me.

imageI took an evening walk along the beach to check out some restaurants I had read about on the Bali Travel Forum. I was hoping to find a place with two-for-the-price of-one happy hour. The Main Street in Sanur was full of them, but not along the beach. In fact, at dusk, the cafès were nearly empty. Because of that, I decided to walk back to Griya Santrian before it got dark, and sit out front of my own hotel and have a cocktail. Berry Mojito. Very delicious. Lots of mint, but only a whiff of the cork of the vodka bottle.

I sat in a white pavilion on the beach to drink it, and drew the little red pavilions that are on the breakwaters along the beach. It was dark by the time I had finished.


Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Urban Sketchers lunching and sketching

imageMy first full day in Bali and a day alone…except that it wasn’t. Bali Urban Sketcher Peny Senyowati, very kindly gave up her lunch break to come and sketch with me.

I am running very late with blogging as my travelling companion had not been to Bali before and we have been out and about at all times. So now I am trying to catch up.

imagePeny and I had lunch in the restaurant of the hotel. Right on the beach. I ate lumpia, which are like huge spring rolls, but much more delicious. Peny had soup, which looked amazing. Peny and I met in 2013 when I came to Bali the last time. I went sketching with the Bali Urban Sketchers at the Museum of Bali.

Quite soon them rain came, but we moved to another table that proved to have an even better view of the statue I wanted to sketch. I want to sketch things that are a reminder of Bali, not just trees and flowers. Though, sketching every day, I must sometimes compromise. But I have sketched every day, I have.

NOTE: I badly need lipstick in this photo.


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Kopi Bali

imageArriving at Griya Santrian hotel was strange for me…..going to Sanur instead of Ubud. I walked down to the beach. It was hot hot hot. I sat on a sofa facing the sea, and drew the beach in front of me. I had been up 13 hours by this stage and it was only the middle of the afternoon. Sketching the beach was an exercise in perspective (which I was failing) because the beach went up right in front of me, before falling away to the sea.
Later, after a swim in the pool, I walked down Jalan Danau Tamblingan to get an Indonesian SIM card for my phone. It seemed a long way. A light dinner at the hotel, and bed.

Next morning at breakfast, I drew this tree from the restaurant, using Bali Coffee (Kopi Bali) and a little green paint.


Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Garuda business class – halus

imageIt seems Garuda Indonesia has had a ‘makeover’ over the last few years. I flew Garuda on my last trip to Bali, but this time I was in Business Class.  The word ‘halus’ in Indonesian means of fine quality, and that’s what it was.

I was sitting in the same row as the man from the departure lounge, and he proved to be an ‘old Bali hand’ like me, and excellent company. Between us, we had a whole row of six enormous seats to ourselves.  The business class cabin was very sparsely populated and very spacious indeed, compared to Cathay Pacific, for example.

IMG_4368We sat on the tarmac for half an hour before taking off. So we got a second glass of champagne, then they took the drink orders for after takeoff. The armrest made strange patterns in my vodka and tonic, so I sketched that. The red curtain is what is used to divide the different sections of the aircraft.

Lunch was delicious- that’s what ‘enak’ means. You can read the menu in my sketchbook.  Then I had a snooze on my lie flat bed. The female purser came and introduced herself and chatted to me about indonesian food. She recommended the fish satay for the pre-landing snack, and it was sooooo good. IMG_4369

And soon we landed in Denpasar and I was off to the hotel.

Apologies for the quality of the photo of my sketch, but best I can do under the circumstances if I want to keep the blog going. Less time for blogging, more for sketching.


Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

At the airport

Up at 5am, into a taxi by 6.30 and off to the airport.IMG_4367-1i got all the checking in and security nonsense out of the way and headed for the Skyteam lounge. New to me. I wanted to get a start on my new Bali sketchbook. I won’t have half enough time to finish it, and I will be travelling with a non-sketcher, so I needed to start the way I meant to go on.

There were many wonderful machines and trucks I could have sketched, but I wanted to sketch this aircraft. I am pretty sure that Broni and I travelled between Sydney and Bangkok on it, and I also saw it last year far from home. So I moved to a window seat, near a friendly Australian man, and was busily occupied until boarding time.

New tip for sketching on the go! This comes from Gabi Campanario’s architecture book I mentioned recently. Don’t’ worry about finishing your drawings. It’s working for me.


Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Where am I going?

IMG_4354I am off travelling again this week. I made a smallish sketchbook from one sheet of Canaletto paper divided into twelve pieces. It is about 7 inches wide by six and a half high. It had to be this size to fit the Balinese fabric I made into book-cloth. I bought it in Ubud market some years ago. I made a purple one from similar fabric for my trip to Bali 18 months ago, but I didn’t complete filling it.

Again I will be travelling with a non-sketcher. This friend has not been to Bali before, and she has only ten days, so I think we will be busy seeing the sights. But the first day, and the last week I will be alone and will get some sketching done.

Not getting much sketching done on my  first trip with a non-sketcher eighteen months ago gave me a chance  to see what I could do better, and I filled sketchbooks on my two Europe trips (though they were much longer). This book has only six signatures, so fewer pages to fill. I must re- read my own advice from this post about travelling with a non-sketcher.  I will be starting the way I mean to go on, by sketching at the airport, and on the aircraft.  It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t even have to be finished, it just has to be on the page.

I had enough of the Balinese book-cloth left over to  make two little note-books – one each. I have already put some Balinese phone numbers in mine. I hope I can find some more of this fabric, though Ubud market is so different now. We will be at the beach at Sanur for five days before going to Ubud. I haven’t been to Sanur for many years. Our hotel is right on the sea, so it will be lovely to sit and gaze at the water (and sketch).


Filed under Bali, book art, sketchbook, sketching, Travel

Paddington Reservoir with the Hero pen

reservoir_heroLast Saturday was a Sydney Sketch Club event AND the Worldwide Sketchcrawl. We went to Paddington Reservoir Gardens. I love it there. I have sketched there twice before. You can see here and here.

Because of the hot sun, I always end up sketching in relatively the same position so as to be in the shade.  There are layers upon layers of arches. Quite a challenge. This time I am on a kick to simplify. I put my main wall of arches in with pencil, so that I could first add the trees in the background with watercolour. I wanted to use my Hero pen from Hong Kong. I had been given a cartridge with it, containing this pinky-brown ink. However I had replaced the cartridge with a converter, and filled the pen with my Salamander ink from Florence, which is a sort of perylene green colour. Imagine my confusion when the pen kept on and on with the pinky-brown. No, I didn’t rinse it out. I thought this colour would be soon gone and I would be sketching in dark green.

Neither of these inks is permanent, so my plan was to use water  to obtain the midtones. This worked fine, though in a different colour to what I had planned.   I guess a lot of the cartridge ink had dropped into the body of the pen.  I added the greens to the foliage at the front with watercolour, avoiding the lines as much as possible.

Then a lovely salad at a pub for lunch with the group, including one of the members of the group I was in Sicily with. A very friendly group.


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Filed under Brown ink, Hero pen, Paddington Reservoir Gardens, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour