Tag Archives: Melbourne

New sketches from my Sketchbook


In the last post I did a look back at what I had been doing in my sketch books, so I thought it would be a good idea to show you a couple of my drawings that I have just finished.

The first one is of a florist shop called Pollen which has the most stunning displays, always a joy to go past and its setting is lovely.  It is in Flinder’s Lane which is one of the trendiest lanes in Melbourne.  A lot of the best restaurants are tucked away in this lane and walking down it is always a treat.

Melbourne Laneways

Melbourne Laneways

Melbourne has become world renowned for its colourful laneways full of one off, cutting edge bars and restaurants, bespoke little shops and the really high quality graffiti.  Melbourne council made a decision years ago to grant licenses to little hole in the wall venues in the CBD and all of a sudden the laneways which where dirty, smelly and a place you wouldn’t go down, turned into vibrant bar and restaurant precincts full of small and quirky venues.  Instead of harassing the graffiti artists they were embraced and encouraged to work in certain locations.  Melbourne is now consulting with other international cities on how to conduct urban renewal.

Example of some of the graffiti in Melbourne

Example of some of the graffiti in Melbourne

Ok, so back to the picture, Pollen the florist is tucked into the old chapter house of the large sandstone Anglican Cathedral, hence the beautiful of arches above it.  It looks like in could be in the back streets of Paris.  I am getting fond of the dusk lighting when there is still enough daylight to see, but the lamps begin to glow.  it has brought out the pop of the white and other coloured flowers and given depth and a bit of mystery to the picture.


My other picture is of a lovely cottage garden in the country at Castlemaine.  It is also in an historic setting as the cottage in the back is one of the best preserved miner’s cottages in the district.  It is called Tute’s cottage and is was built in the gold rush in 1860s and since 1922 was lived in by the same family until 1997.  The last woman to live there must have been very tough to live in such primitive conditions as very little had changed and very short.  The doorways are tiny, they must only be 5’7′” high.

The garden has been replanted to replicate a gold mining garden and is being maintained as a community garden by a group of residents who live across the road from it.  It is a fantastic and productive garden full of heritage varieties.  This is my idea of a perfect vege garden, structured but still loose, no formal rows and lots of inter-planting.  Good height variety with the home-made trellises made from the fruit tree prunings.  I think Peter Rabbit would have been very happy here.

Royal  Arcade July 14 urban sketching

Royal Arcade July 2014

I thought I would show one of the first sketches I did in my book, it is nice to look back and think that I have improved.  They were both down in the same time frames, about 90 minutes on site and the same amount at home to finish the drawing and add the water colour.  I can sure fit in a lot more detail now and am so much more confident.  Sketchbook Skool courses have really helped me to develop my skills.


Sketching with the Urban Sketchers

Royal  Arcade July 14 urban sketching Watercolour and Ink

Royal Arcade July 14 urban sketching Watercolour and Ink

I have started another online course called Sketch Book Skool which has been a lot of fun.  So I have made a new sketch book for it.  As part of the course you are encouraged to go out and sketch, so I met up with the Melbourne ‘Urban Sketches’ and we drew in one of the lovely Victorian Arcades in the centre of Melbourne.  A really pleasant way to spend time.  We met up, then everyone dispersed throughout the arcade and did a couple of hours of drawing then met up again to see what each other had done.  Then off to lunch and a little more sketching.

Royal Arcade Melbourne

Royal Arcade Melbourne

This was my first time sketching in the middle of town, but I found it to be really rewarding.  I bought a little stool and set myself up in a corner of the arcade and went to work.  Most people walk by with the quick glance, some stopped to chat and some children were fascinated.  I enjoy talking to people about what I am doing and they were all very kind.

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

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

Circumstances have been against me and I haven’t had a chance to go drawing with the group again, but I plan to do so in the future.  I have been doing more sketches and I will share these with you in coming posts.

Sketching in Royal Arcade, it was very cold that day.

Sketching in Royal Arcade, it was very cold that day.

Royal  Arcade 2 July 14 urban sketching Water colour and Ink

Royal Arcade 2 July 14 urban sketching Water colour and Ink

This was a quick little sketch of a Babushka Shop in the arcade.  Yes the whole shop is full of these little babushkas so I could not resist doing a quick 10 minute sketch of the window.

Urban Sketchers Melbourne

I would recommend Sketch Book Skool to others who would like some encouragement to start sketching, it is a nice mix of instruction, getting to see different sketchers and their styles and motivation to get out and sketch.


2013 to begin, 2012 to remember

Happy New Year to all the lovely readers of this blog.

Melbourne FireworksHerald Sun Website

Melbourne Fireworks
Herald Sun Website

This is the fireworks in Melbourne last night, I had the privileged position of being on the top of one of the south bank apartments in town, 28 floors up.  We were right in the midst of all these fireworks, an absolutely spell binding view.  We were literally on the roof which was a little scary, but worth it for the show.


My favourite paintings 2012

2012 was such a great year for me, I have restarted my art, which is so exciting in itself and this blog and the generous support of my readers, the comments, likes and views have been wonderful.  When I started I did not know if any one would see it and now I have over 70 followers.  It has kept me going, even when my energy levels have been low and I do not post as often as I would like, this blog and its supporters have made me get back on track so thank you. I still battle with Chronic Fatigue and sometimes I  do not have the energy to draw, paint or write.

I also had my wonderful trip to France which I shared with you, and again because of the blog I was committed to keeping a journal of the trip and it has been so fantastic on many levels.  I did some lovely, quick, loose drawings of the scenes that caught my eye, I have the best keep sake of the trip, I was able to share it with not only my friends and family, but with so many of you out there.  It enriched the whole trip so much more than I had thought.


I am excited for what 2013 could bring, I have a few things on my agenda for next year.  They include

  • Starting to exhibit my work, this is my major artistic goal, though I am not sure how to go about it,
  •  I will start an Etsy Store and see what that brings.
  • I am going to do some relief printing classes, so look out for some prints.
  • Just be grateful to be able to continue to create and share the results and the journey with you.
  • I might even finally figure out Facebook and get my work out on it.

As always I have a great many plans, we will see how the year and the energy goes, but I am hopeful and content with how things are improving.  So thank you for your support and my family who give unstintingly in their support and understanding of me.

Karen x