Tag Archives: graphite pencil

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

EDiM29 – Somewhere I hadn’t been

King Street Newtown is an extremely long shopping street and full of cafes and restaurants. The day I drew this, I’d hurt my back and had to have some treatment at the physio. I’ve been in most of the cafes, but as I walked back down the road I felt sure that eventually I’d find a cafe I had not been in before. Eventually I found Fringe Cafe. I think it hasn’t been there long – these places keep changing. I sketched out a bit of an interior view, but then decided it was too time consuming and I didn’t feel up to it. All along the window ledges were these very small buckets with herbs. I liked the way the light fell on them, and how the plant was lit from behind, so I rubbed out my previous pencil lines and did this instead.

This is my 2nd last EDiM. (I didn’t do 31st as the subject didn’t inspire me and I was already running a day late).

Yesterday for the 2nd day in a row, it bucketed with rain. I haven’t poked my nose outside the door for two days now. The time was well spent, because I cut the cover boards for two books, and the cover paper. The covers for my giveaway book are completely finished, so there’s only the punching of the holes and the stitching to do. It has paste paper covers (pulled style) of golden yellow with a little olive green.


Filed under Derwent sketching, drawing, EDiM, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, watercolour

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

Casper with Derwent dark wash

Sometimes at night when I am in bed and my cat gets onto the end of the bed, I get a second wind and sketch him.

Most times I use one of my Derwent Sketching Pencils, and this time I used the Dark Wash. I have the Light Wash also, and have used that one many times too.

So, what are these pencils? They look just like a graphite pencil (an ordinary old pencil pencil) but they work like a watercolour pencil, except that the colour wash is graphite. So with the one pencil and a waterbrush you can get all your tones and textures. Great for sketching in bed, or anywhere else you don’t want a whole lot of messy stuff.

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Filed under Derwent sketching, drawing, sketchbook, sketching