Tag Archives: sketching

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.

Karen

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.

Karen

Collaboration 2 – Water

Lotus Pond - Bali.  Water colour, pencil and ink

Lotus Pond – Bali. Water colour, pencil and ink

I have spent the weekend working on Gale’s water themed book.  A great way to spend a very cold, wet and windy weekend here in Melbourne.  As I worked on this book I realised that I haven’t done many drawings of water and am not very used to drawing this element in any of its many guises.  Always so good to challenge yourself and these collaborations take me to such different places.

Cathe's Versailles Marie Antoinette's Swan

Cathe’s Versailles Marie Antoinette’s Swan

As Gale and Cathe both choose to take inspiration from recent travels for their double page spreads; Gale her trip to Hawaii and Cathe her Paris adventure.  I took inspiration from my trip to Bali last year and the Lotus temple in Ubud.   The beautiful blue water and tranquil lotus blossoms seemed suitable for the watery theme.

Gale's waves

Gale’s waves

For the first page I added a water splash behind Gale’s leaf with water droplets and on the shared double spread I  added rain drops catching the sun as they fall into a pond, a layered water on water image.   Trying to blend in with the beautifully subtle clouds, but not overpower them.

Splash, my contribution to the the front page  Water colour and ink

Splash, my contribution to the the front page Water colour and ink

Rain Drops, below Gale's clouds  water colour, coloured pencil and white ink

Rain Drops, below Gale’s clouds water colour, coloured pencil and white ink

I also had a play with the white band that holds the book shut and used some watery patterns to decorate it with.  Not sure if it blends well, but a great deal of fun to do.

Front cover of Gale's book

Front cover of Gale’s book

To see the other books in the collaboration please click the links below

Anna Warren’s Book – Circle of Life

Gale Everett Stahlke’s Book –  Water

Cathe Jacobi’s Book –  Collections

Karen Bailey’s Book – Patterns in Nature – Forest

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.

IMG_1716

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.

Karen

 

Collaboration 2 – The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life - Karen's Spread

The Circle of Life – Karen’s Spread Ink and Coloured Pencil

I have finished my part of Anna Warren’s book in the second collaboration that I am part of.  The theme for Anna’s book was the circle of life and, as I am in a vegetable moment, I went for the life cycle of the pumpkin.

The Circle of Life - Cover

The Circle of Life – Cover

Anna’s book is beautifully crafted , you can see that she has printed the cover and her attention to detail is fabulous, it must be all that miniature work that she does.  I wanted to snatch my book back from her so I could finish it better, but for better or worse mine is on its journeys and I won’t see it back until it is full of fabulous drawings from the others.

The Circle of Life - First Page

The Circle of Life – First Page

This is the first shared page on which I have scattered pumpkin seeds and then followed it with the image of the pumpkin flower.  Aren’t pumpkin flowers just fabulous, the colour and the shape, plus the fact they are so fragile, when they grow into such big sturdy fruit.

The last page has the pumpkin of course and although I have been buying all these weird shaped pumpkins, I went for the traditional ones.  This is taken from some I bought on the weekend which have the most wonderful pumpkin shape, but are really only tiny about 8cm tall.  I scanned the image but Anna’s delicate pencil drawing has not come up well. See the link at the bottom of the page to her blog to get some lovely images of her work.

The Circle of Life - Shared spread

The Circle of Life – Shared spread

This book will now wing its way across to Cathe in the states, as I await Gales to arrive here.  For those of you who want to see what the others have been doing here is the links to their posts on their blogs.

Anna Warren’s Book – Circle of Life

Gale Everett Stahlke’s Book –  Water

Cathe Jacobi’s Book –  Collections

Karen Bailey’s Book – Patterns in Nature – Forest

I cannot tell you how much we are all enjoying this and being able to share the process with each other and our blogging friends.

Karen