Tag Archives: colour

Spring Wildflowers

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Spring has finally arrived and surprisingly enough it is blessing us with the most glorious weather for our long weekend here in Victoria.  It is 26 C today, 28 tomorrow and 31 on Sunday.  I have been out drawing in the bush this morning and mean to continue to soak up this sun all weekend.  The first time I have had the french doors open all day this year.

Gold dust Wattle water colour and ink

Gold dust Wattle water-colour and ink

Pink Bells watercolour and ink

Pink Bells water-colour and ink

This is my second season of painting the wild flowers and I am enjoying it  as much as last year.  I now know more of the names and I have looked back in my sketch book and can see when the different flowers bloomed.  I am not much into latin plant names but I do like to know the names of the plants I am drawing, though sometimes it takes me longer to research the plant then to draw it.  Still haven’t found the name of the one below.

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink


I have done a bit of research in taking photos with my iPhone and have found an app, Camera+, that takes the best macro photos, I was amazed at how close I can get and how well they turned out.  This will make taking photos for reference so much easier.  I keep thinking that I will buy a good camera, but for my needs the iPhone is doing all I want at the moment and it is so convenient.


Button everlasting daisy




Paper Everlasting Daisy


Waxlip Orchid


Hannah helping me draw

I hope you get to go out and enjoy some sun this weekend too.

The start of Spring

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Winter is finally losing its grip and the first hint of spring is in the air.  I have been walking on the Goldfield track where I found the best wildflowers last year and was rewarded with the first flowers of this year.

The wattle has been out for the last couple of weeks, it is the first to bloom and it heralds the end of winter in blazing golden glory.  That bright yellow just makes you glad.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

I also found a new wattle that I hadn’t seen before.  I had seen the bush, as it has very long, sharp, spiny leaves that scratch if you brush past it, but I hadn’t noticed its flowers before.  They were little cream balls of fluff with just a hint of yellow.

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water colour

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water-colour

I also found a sundew, a little carnivorous plant that sends up the most beautiful and large white flower.  It was supposed to be scented but I couldn’t detect any, it was probably over powered by the wattle above it.  I have never known that we had these locally or that it had such a lovely flower, it has been a very wet winter so maybe the conditions have not been damp enough before.  You can just see the sticky little hairs on the margins of the leaves that catch insects.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Ink and watercolour

Scented Sundew Ink and water-colour

There were also these lovely, little, bright, native buttercups, these are the most vibrant yellow flowers with a waxy coating so that they just shine in the sun.

Native buttercups

Native buttercups

Native buttercups Ink and watercolour

Native buttercups Ink and water-colour

I have tried a new technique with my water-colour pencils.  I have rubbed the water brush over the pencil and painted this onto the paper, instead of using the pencils to colour on the drawing and mix them with water.  This gives a much more of a water-colour look and a delicacy to the painting which suits these gorgeous little flowers.

Hannah and the Echidna

Hannah and the Echidna

Just to add a little interest to our walk we spied a rather big, fat Echidna just off the trail.  He heard us coming and hunkered down in the earth, not to pleased about being disturbed.  Hannah was not sure what this strange being was, but manage to give it a right good barking at before hiding behind me.  The Echinda wasn’t much bothered and ambled off once we backed off to an appropriate distance.

I must apologies for my lack of posts for the last couple of months, but my niece has been very ill over that time and other dramas have sapped my energy, there has been very little drawing and no blogging.  But my niece is much better and I now have the energy to draw and post again.  Yippee.  The sunshine helps as well.

To further my recovery and my sister’s, we are going to treat ourselves to a quick trip to Bali for more sun and warmth, in 10 more sleeps (I am so counting the days).   So I am busy making a new journal to take with me and of course I will share my travels with you.


Quick visit to Fremantle

Hampton's B&B Water colour pencil and ink Journal

Hampton’s B&B Water colour pencil and ink Journal

Last weekend I made a quick visit to Fremantle just out of Perth, Western Australia.  I had to go to WA for work, so I sneaked in a weekend in Fremantle.  It was a coincidence, as I had mentioned to a blogging friend Julie Podstolski that I wanted to visit and see her art in person, (she does the most beautiful coloured pencil drawings of Geisha).  I did not realise that in a couple of weeks time I would have to travel there for work.

Fremantle is a lovely historic port town with the most marvelous buildings, it is about 20 minutes west of Perth.  I was glad to leave the cold, grey skies of Melbourne to the warmer weather and sunshine.  Julie and her lovely friend Robyn met me for lunch and we had a great time chatting and I showed them a couple of the collaboration books I was working on as Julie had been following them.

 Mural Fremantle

Mural Fremantle

We then went to see the fantastic mural that Julie has featured on her blog and then to her house to see some of her drawings.  It is so nice to meet someone you only know through social media and to see in real life the drawings that you have watched being created through photos.  I can only say both are better in real life and that is not an easy feat.  I also was able to see Robyn’s beautiful ceramic sculptures

Duyfken 1600 sailing ship Fremantle Water colour pencils and ink

Duyfken 1600 sailing ship Fremantle Water colour pencils and ink

On the Sunday I went for a walk along the docks and tried my hand at drawing an old sailing ship, fun to draw in the sun, but they are very tricky, I edited a lot of ropes out, (sorry to any nautical readers).  I felt I couldn’t come to Fremantle without some sort of boat drawing as it did host the America’s Cup while it was in Australia’s hands.

Fremantle Page Journal Water colour and ink

Fremantle Page Journal Water colour and ink

I think that weekend of warmth and sunshine will have to tied me over through the next few weeks as this winter looks to be a very cold and wet one and the flu season has us in its grips.  Always nice to look back on these memories and sketches in my book.  Thank you Julie for your hospitality.


Sketchy Breakfast

Banksia Flower Journal Page Water colour pencil and ink

Banksia Flower Journal Page Water colour pencil and ink

I am minding a friend’s house while she and her partner go touring around the Kimberly (Outback Northern Australia) in their 4WD.  An amazing trip through the wilds down the Gibb River Track from Kununurra to Derby.  So while being envious of their trip, I am enjoying some inner city living.  The house is in Northcote with plenty of great food and coffee, if you can get past the hipsters.  Lots to smile about here.

So to get into the lifestyle I have been going out for breakfast on the weekend and taking my sketch book with me.  Today as I was walking to the café, I passed this lovely Banksia tree and the lemon yellow flowers had caught the autumn sun.  So I stopped to snap a couple of pictures to draw.

Banksia in the autumn sun

Banksia in the autumn sun

I wanted to try a looser and quicker style, as I had slowed down again with all the cross hatching I had been doing.   I decided to start with the colour and map out the main areas then go over them with ink for some loose details, but first where is the coffee?

The banksia flower

The banksia flower

Adding in the leaves

Adding in the leaves, water colour pencils before the addition of the water.

It is fun to just lay the colour down and not get to fussed over the precise layout of the leaves and great to work quickly.

First ink outline

First ink outline

Once the paper had dried I added the first inky outline.  I was a bit nervous opening up my pencil case, as I had just flown to Sydney and back for a quick work trip and realised that my fountain pens were in the case.  I had only cabin luggage so they were pressurised, but I was bit nervous on how they had made the trip.  The Lamy safari with the EF nib had no leakage at all and worked just fine.  The Noodles Ahab did leak into the cap, but cleaned up ok and no spillage.  Felt lucky at that moment.


Slight break for breakfast. Yum, avocado, feta, bacon and poached eggs on sourdough

After contemplating the drawing through breakfast and discussing it with the wait staff, (also artists as well, most of Northcote is creative), I went back in with some more coloured pencil and then thickened up the outline in places to give more variety to the line.

Finishing off the drawing with my last coffee.

Finishing off the drawing with my last coffee.

Not my greatest drawing ever, but a fun and quick exercise that played with a few techniques.  Took me about an hour, food included and such a fun thing to do, hope you enjoyed coming to breakfast with me.



No Fear of Flying – Collaboration Piece


No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

I am currently involved in two different collaborations, which can get confusing for all of us.  This post is about the first,  is using lovely little A5 booklets that Anna Warren found.  There are three of us involved Anna Warren, Kylie Fogarty and myself.  I have already worked in one book with a seaside theme (see here) and this is my second which has the theme ‘No fear of flying’.  Anna’s post on her drawings in this book are here.

Anna's double page spread

Anna’s double page spread

I loved the theme, but was really stumped with what to do with it.  I went through all the thoughts about flying and then I thought who are the best flyers in the natural world.  (Not being much of a people drawer I usually go to the natural world for my artistic inspiration).  For me, dragonflies are the best flyers, having the two sets of wings that can move independently they can hover, twist and do the most amazing aerial feats.  They certainly have no fear of flying and I reckon the look in their eyes shows little fear of anything.

No fear of Flying Front Page

For the front and back covers I choose images of unconventional flying.  The front cover is of a ladybird hitching a ride on some dandelion fluff and I just loved this little image, it has a real sense of adventure to it.

No fear of Flying Last Page

Flying frogs. Water colour and ink

On the last page I drew a flying frog, it is a representative for all those creatures who really have no business in flying (not having wings as such), but have managed to do it anyway.  These flying frogs are the weirdest in that strange and intrepid group.

These collaborations are really a great deal of fun and tremendously rewarding, but oh my are they intimidating. All of us have experience at doing art and at being artist, but having to draw in someone else’s book brings all my early fears back again.  What if I do this wrong, is my work good enough, their work is so much better than mine and what the hell am I going to draw!  But again the rewards of doing these collaborations and the joy of watching the amazing work the others do and to see how they respond to our themes outweighs the trepidation of setting pen to the their books.  Also the response from our readers has been fabulous and everyone is so supportive and interested in what we are doing.

I hope I have done this little book justice and have not sent the theme in a wrong direction.




A Year of Sketching

Secret Belgium Binding Journal 27cm x 24.5cm 200gsm paper

My Seasons of Color Journal, all new and pristine

New Sketch Book 29.5 x 20cm 180gsm water colour paper

My sketch book

It has been a year since I made and started using my journal and sketch books.  I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed the experience and how it has enriched my life.  It is on par with starting this blog, which is also now three years old.  Funny I am not into new years resolutions, but I do reflect on each year as it starts and think what I would like to do in that year to enrich my life.  February does seem to be the month that I start on the new plans, something I just realised as I write this.


One of my favourite spreads in my journal combining pattern, sketches and thoughts on the time of year.

This blog has given me a vehicle to share my art with the world and the friends I have made in doing so has been marvelous. Their kind and supportive comments have given me the courage to exhibit my art and to think that it has merit in the artistic community.  I have also learnt a great deal from the artists that I follow and the generous sharing of their skills and practice.

Beach Walk  watercolour pencils and ink.  Journal page

Still one of my favourite pages in my journal.   Walking my dog on the beach

My journal and sketch books have also given me a great deal, I have tended to  draw and experiment more and to keep these sketches in one place to look back on.  Before most of the drawing I did was of finished pieces of art and I was not practicing my skills as much as I thought was needed.  This playing around in the sketch book has broadened what I do now and I have been able to expand my practice.  I was able to play with patterns and these turned into the art work that went into my exhibition.

Dusk in Fitzroy

Dusk in Fitzroy from my Sketch book.  Another drawing I did while waiting to meet a friend for dinner.

I started with the Seasons of Colour journal where I do random drawings with a rough nod to the season.  I started the sketch book in July and it is where I do drawings of my surroundings and I take with me when I am out and about.  My drawing skills have improved a great deal and my confidence in being able to draw what I see has improved greatly.  The online courses in Sketchbook Skool and joining Urban Sketchers group have influenced what I do in this sketch book and have been a great place to learn and be inspired to sketch.  I have found that I enjoy taking the time to do sketches on site and am partial to setting my self up to draw in a cafe with a glass of wine waiting to meet up with friends for dinner or just as a great way to spend quality time with myself and my art.

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

One of the other great joys is going back over the year in the sketch books and seeing such great reminders of what happened over the year and what resonated with me enough to be put into the sketch books.  The memories of holidays are so much richer from the sketches that I did while I was away.

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

I hope you have enjoyed the year of sketching that I have shared with you, for indeed the sharing and feedback of the sketches with my blogging friends and followers has been such an important part of the journey.  I have updated ‘From My Journal” page if you would like to see the drawings from the journal and sketch book.  (There are new drawings in there that I haven’t posted before.)

So here is cheers to the joys of sketching and blogging, they have become an important part of my life, thank you.

45 Spring Gully Oct 14

A page from my sketchy walks, a favourite pastime now. It has changed the way I walk in the bush.


Artistic Collaboration

Weedy Sea Dragon Ink and Watercolour pencils  Anna Warren Collaboration

Weedy Sea Dragon Ink and Watercolour pencils Anna Warren Collaboration

The art in this post is from an artistic collaboration I am lucky to be part of with the fabulous Anna Warren. In mid January, Anna posted a drawing that she had done in a little Moleskin Booklet she had collected some time ago.  She wondered if anyone would like to join her in filling up these little books and as they came with a folder they were just made for posting.  I jumped at the chance as I love Anna’s work and how much fun to work with her on a project.

Anna's Page Anna Warren Collaboration

Anna’s Page Anna Warren Collaboration

Anna accepted my offer and Kylie Fogarty (a great artist from Canberra) is joining us and we will each work on a double page spread in the booklet and each contribute to a picture on the front and back pages.

I was so excited when the first booklet arrived and I have kept to the sea theme of Anna’s drawing.  I decided to draw a Weedy Sea dragon, they have always fascinated me and they live in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay, not that I have seen them in real life, they are very illusive.  I used my new Derwent Graphitint pencils.  I have found them a lot of fun, they have such lovely muted tones and work well with my other water colour pencils.

Kelp  Ink and watercolour pencils  Anna Warren Collaboration

Kelp Ink and watercolour pencils Anna Warren Collaboration

On the first and last page I have drawn some kelp and barnacles in a slightly abstracted manner, leaving I hope enough room for the others to add their magic.  Can’t wait to see what they add.

Barnacles  Ink and watercolour pencils  Anna Warren Collaboration

Barnacles Ink and watercolour pencils Anna Warren Collaboration

I will keep you posted as we exchange and work on the three different books between us.  What a lot of fun!