Tag Archives: tombow pens

Sketching around Newtown

warren_ballSketching yesterday around Newtown. A little park with some lovely old houses around it. One row of very elaborate large houses had so much architectural detail that you could sketch there for a month and still do something different every time. The first sketch I was  trying out the three-media technique (with a variation). I used a red Copic Multiliner to sketch it initially, then put my mid-tones on with  pink and peach Tombow pens – a bit too similar to each other. I needed to do that before the light moved around. Then a purple Tombow to reinforce the main lines and the darks. A waterbrush to just wash some of the purple over the  windows. Very quick, and even better…nothing to finish afterwards.

no_44The second one was from a row of small simple, but still old houses on another side of the park. This is the two-media technique. Green Copic Multiliner and watercolour mix of Antwerp Blue and Paynes Grey.

I did enjoy doing the pink and purple one. I have been wanting to do something in completely unrealistic colours and now I have.  It is the monster technique of course. Such fun to do, but perhaps I should get back to some serious stuff. I do enjoy trying new techniques though. Any suggestions?


Filed under Copic Multiliner, drawing, Newtown, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens, watercolour

Trying new techniques

san_marcoFor a while I have wanted to try another of Lynne Chapman’s techniques.   In fact I did try this one at Cooks River and was a bit dissatisfied with my results.   After attempting it a second time, I decided it might be better for me to knock out a few problems while working without external distractions like boats swinging wildly in the breeze. We have had many rainy days recently so  I looked through for a photo from my travels to try this technique with and found this very complicated roofline of San Marco in Venice.

This is the technique. It comes from Lynne Chapman’s Barcelona workshop Sketches that Sing. You choose three colours, each of a different medium.  In this case I chose a Wine Copic Multiliner, a red-violet Big Brush Pitt Pen and Ulltramarine watercolour.  I would have preferred it with the orange-red Copic Multiliner because it is very different to the red-violet colour of the  Pitt Pen. The technique is about patterns and textures, so I have emphasised some of those, more than I perhaps would have otherwise. The sketch was straight in with the pen, quite quick, but it would have taken me a week if I had tried to do it ‘properly’. So its another ‘monster’.

tree_in_3A couple of weeks ago I sketched this tree using the same technique. It had a lot of patterns in the bark. First wrong step (remedied later). You need a strong dark. I chose a yellow Big Brush Pitt Pen, a brown Copic Multiliner, and olive green watercolour. The problem is the brown Copic Multiliner. I am still on the hunt for a pen with a rich dark brown. Both Copic and the Pigma Micron have a medium brown that is more like a sanguine and doesn’t give strong darks (so I don’t use it much). When I got home I used a Tombow Pen in a Burnt Sienna colour to strengthen the darks. It was a great improvement, but the colours would have been better if they were totally unnatural, (purple, pink, orange?) rather than earth tones.

What I learnt from the boats swinging in the breeze was this. It’s not a good idea to use your biggest strongest pen to sketch them initially unless you are drawing large. I had some small boats on a page. As they moved on the water, I needed to restate my lines, and there just wasn’t room.  So start with a finer pen with moving objects, or work larger.


Filed under Copic Multiliner, Pitt Pens, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens, watercolour

And the winner is…..

Cathy has won the book with the toned pages. Congratulations Cathy.

There is also a runner-up. I have another book with plain pages in a different style and I don’t seem to have a photo of it. Julia has won that. As soon as I get the opportunity, I will photograph it and you can see it.

Sorry to those who missed out. A good result though – one winner in the USA and one in Australia.

This sketch is another of my Australian native plants. I do not know what this one is called. The colours in the one in this picture are more true (lots more yellow). I used the Copic Multiliner in olive, and added some Tombow is the yellow and lime.



Filed under 75 day challenge, Copic Multiliner, drawing, flowers, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens

Banksia in Tombows

This is different type of banksia. I did it with the fine end of Tombow pens. Of course, the fine end of a Tombow is not as fine as the Copic Multiliner (or Pigma Micron, Artline etc). It achieves what I’m trying to avoid for the purposes of this 75 day challenge – using the colour to add tone. I prefer to use fine lines rather than blocks of colour for the present. That said, it turned out OK. I love the way the leaves spiral around the flower, and I think I’ll sketch another one with the Copic Multiliners one day soon.

If you haven’t yet entered the book giveaway, please do. You have to comment on the 500th post, not this one. Large numbers of people were looking at my blog last weekend, so maybe we have a lot of weekend bloggers, because strangely numbers are down this week. Chances are all the better for those who have commented.  I’m not going to extend the time because I have a house guest arriving on Friday and I want to have this all sorted before he comes.


Filed under 75 day challenge, flowers, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens


Last week I went to draw at the National Maritime Museum with Alissa. It was a beautiful day after a long winter, so we chose to sit outside & draw something from the heritage fleet.

This is HMAS Vampire. I liked the way the shadows were falling on the bow. In my youth I knew some sailors from the Vampire – my flat mate had a boyfriend from her home town who was on board. Now the ship is in a museum. Weird.

I was using a Tombow pen then a waterbrush to stretch out the shadows. At home I put a wash of battleship grey on the hull.  The actual grey on the ship had a lot of yellow in it, but I had to be a bit careful translating that to paint or I’d have had a yellow ship.


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Filed under boats, drawing, Maritime Museum, National Maritime Museum, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens, watercolour


I went to Batubulan to buy this little statue. I don’t know which of the gods of the Hindu pantheon it is supposed to be (if any) because the people didn’t speak English well enough to understand my question. Anyway he has a benevolent face and very strange hands and feet. I carried him back on the plane from Bali in my hand luggage wrapped in my beach towel. He’s not much more than a foot high but my golly he is heavy. He lives in my courtyard now & is getting up a nice coating of moss in some places.

I drew him with a Tombow pen then put in the shadows by wetting with a waterbrush. The pale green is a little watercolour to show where the mossy areas are.


Filed under Bali, drawing, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens, watercolour

Making offerings

This EDiM was to draw somebody doing something. It was either work from a photo, or a cat sleeping (and we’ve done that.)

I went through my photos and came up with this one I took at a cremation in Bali. It was a very large cremation, in the sense that many people were being cremated on the same day. It was very simple – no  bulls, or towers. Everything was quite plain and made from bamboo and grasses. The offerings were simple, as well, with no fruit, flowers, chickens, or gold leaf.

It was at Penestanan, above Ubud, and was very picturesque winding its way through the trees. Sad though, knowing that even for this simple cremation, and sharing costs, the families would have had to save up for a long time to fulfil their obligations.

I used my Lamy Safari pen, then added colour with Tombows.

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Filed under Bali, drawing, EDiM, Lamy Safari, sketchbook, sketching, tombow pens