Tag Archives: Prismacolours

Sydney University

twirly_chimneyI live not far from Sydney University. It is a collection of beautiful old sandstone buildings. I didn’t go there for my degree though. The art school is on different (equally nice) premises, a bit further away, but the ‘word on the street’ seemed to be that the University of New South Wales was the better art school.

On Sunday, there was a ‘rock and roll market’ at Sydney Uni, with some vintage cars outside and many young girls done up in extreme 50s clothing. Hideous, in my eyes. I remember those things from the 50s. I remember all the rules for women of all ages that have thankfully gone. So don’t expect me to get excited about the 50s.

faculty_medicineI went with the Sydney Sketch Club. Fun to go with a group and see what everyone else sketches. Many did the vintage cars. They were a temptation, but once I saw the twisty-twirly chimneys it was all over. I wanted to use my  book of toned papers now that it has a new lease of life.  The way the light fell on the sandstone was just the sort of thing I love to sketch.

It was a hot day. Gorgeous. We were sitting in the sun and after a while got very thirsty indeed. The only place we could get a coffee was inside the market, so we paid and went in. We found coffee and food as well.  It was interesting sitting in there having our lunch and watching the over-the-top fifties gear. Many of them had little chiffon scarves tied around their heads with a knot in front. Maybe that was an American thing. I remember seeing pictures like that, but in my part of the world it would have definitely meant ‘working class’.

After lunch, out in the car park, there was a bunch of girls with little straw hats.  I guess they looked as if they were going to the races. But my parents went to the races all the time, and I don’t remember those hats. The dresses, yes.  We went back to sit in the sun and I sketched the entrance to the faculty of medicine. I was intending to continue up the page, but suddenly it was ‘show and tell’ time.


Filed under Copic Multiliner, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching, toned paper

Volterra – series 2, sketch 4

volterra_s2_sketch_4This Volterra sketch is done on pale grey paper. The choice of colour was inspired by the colour of the building. It was partly grey, partly ochre. So I got out my Prismacolours to add some yellow ochre, partly to make this sketch fit in with the rest of the group, partly because the grey is a little pale for a mid-tone.

Something completely different coming up in my next blog post.


Filed under Copic Multiliner, Italy, Posca pen, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching

The Pipes Book – a work in progress

pipes_p1Some time ago I began a book especially for sketches of pipes.  The book is here along with the sketches I did a year or so ago. I have moved away from my plan to do all the pipes grey except for where there was paintwork.  At Cockatoo Island on Easter Saturday I noticed that mostly the pipes were rusty, and though I don’t intend to always follow that, I have introduced that colour.

I layered some of the rusty pipes along behind the original ones to pull the whole thing together and carry the sketches from page to page in my concertina book. One pipe  below the yellowish one that hasn’t had colour yet. The concertina has ten pages, and this is five of them, so I am half-way there. The trick will be to leave the right amount of white space.


We just had time before catching the ferry back to Circular Quay to go into the Industrial Precinct and sketch another machine. This one reminded me of a sewing machine but I’m sure its not.

Cockatoo Island was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it before with people everywhere, and many many campers and more tents than I have ever seen before. Sadly, one of the campers never made it back to the mainland, after falling from a cliff overnight.


Filed under Cockatoo Island, Copic Multiliner, drawing, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour, working harbour

Cosmo, my new kitten – first sketch.

cosmo_sketchThis is the new family member, Cosmo, asleep on the back of the lounge. He is not asleep now. He’s helping. ……hgffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff09vvy G -/uuuucxvcdddddddddddddddddddCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCW////cosmo_first/////// >

if you see what I mean. Helping with the typing also.

He’s a seal point ragdoll kitten aged thirteen weeks. I have had him for three weeks. He is very confident and independent. A toe-biter in the night for a while, but improving now. The first photo is the day he came – aged ten weeks. vvvvIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


When he is asleep is the only time he stays still. The second photo is last week, making kitten stir-fry in my new little wok.

I sketched him with a dark brown and a white Prismacolour pencil on toned paper.


Filed under animals, cats, drawing, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching

Out and about in Newtown

air_con_ventOn Thursday I went out and about in Newtown with fellow Urban Sketcher Liz Steel. I was showing Liz some places around my local area where we might be able to have an Urban Sketchers event. King Street, the main shopping street in Newtown is too popular on the weekend with people lunching and brunching. Not much room for sketchers on the pavements and certainly not in the cafes.

I took Liz to my favourite building which has a little park opposite.  I’ve sketched this building before here and hepink_buildingre. I could spend a lifetime drawing this building in sections and with different media. The blue of the paper was similar to the blue of the steel, so that is why I chose to sketch this section. The scan is not really true to the colour.

I particularly like this sort of  ‘industrial’ image on toned paper. Not working consecutively through the book is serving me well, but I will be glad when the book is fuller.

Here is the crazy building in all its glory. Liz sketched the whole building here.


Filed under drawing, Lamy Safari, Newtown, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching, urban landscape

Cockatoo Island in the rain.

machine_brownSaturday was the ‘Crane Crawl’ at Cockatoo Island. The weather wasn’t promising but I wanted to go anyway. At Cockatoo Island the sky was dark, so rather than start to sketch and get rained on before I was finished, I went straight to the Industrial Precinct. I’ve only sketched inside there once before and was longing to do it again.

machine_redEven while I was doing my first sketch, the rain came down and was hammering on the tin roof. I love sketching these old machines. I wish I knew what they were for. The top one is a bit like the Beam Benders but not as big, and it has a wonky ‘bender,’ if that’s what it is.

For the next machine I chose a red background. I am jumping around in my book of toned paper.cupboard I chose a nice industrial brown for the first one, but then I wanted to keep the day’s sketches together as a group. What do you think this machine does? Maybe the wheel at the top lowers the head and it cuts metal between those two wheels. There is a bit of commonality between this and a sewing machine.

My last sketch of the day was this little grouping of a cupboard, some boxes and a thingy. I was running out of time, and chose something without a lot of ellipses.

We got soaked waiting to get on the ferry to go home (all those people disembarking at Cockatoo Island in the pouring rain!) But we had a great day sketching and I wouldn’t have missed it. Can’t wait to go back. All sketches with Lamy Safari pen, and Prismacolour pencil(s) on Canson paper.


Filed under Cockatoo Island, drawing, Lamy Safari, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketching, Urban Sketchers Event, working harbour

Bicentennial Park

bicentennial_pkBack in Sydney and continuing with the water theme we went sketching at Bicentennial Park this week. I am so missing the blue skies and beautiful colours of the water on the south coast. This is on Sydney Harbour and this area is Rozelle Bay, just along from my previous sketch of Rozelle Bay. The sky was the most interesting thing because it was black in bands. Rain was forecast but it didn’t rain. It actually turned out sunny.

Whereas my previous sketch looked across at the Heritage Shipyard, this one looks at a marina on the left and a place where they seem to repair tugs and other working boats. I would love to get in there. So many things to draw. However it is a very busy place and I am certain they wouldn’t allow it.  One wonderful area like this off to the left has already fallen to developers, but I got there first with my camera.

Oh, this page was also prepped with blues and greens for the south coast, but it worked just as well on the harbour.


Filed under boats, sketchbook, sketching, Stillman & Birn, watercolour, working harbour