297 Sketching Tools

One of my favourite sketching tools is a Tombow dual brush pen – fine tip one end for consistent lines, and a brush tip on the other which works like a paintbrush to create fine, medium or bold strokes. They come in a wide range of colours but I find just a few shades of grey useful for quick sketches. I like to use a light grey fine tip for initially outlining the basic shapes, then switch to the brush end for blocking in and for shadows.

The following sketch was done while filling in 15 minutes waiting for my taxi. The brush end allows me to fill in larger areas quickly. I added the colour on the sculpture later as my ride appeared too soon.

Another journal sketch of a little cottage opposite a local park on Strathmore toned grey paper, was done the same way, adding ink linework over the initial Tombow sketch, then colour with watercolour pencils used dry. The grey paper works well, providing a mid tone background, with the Tombow for shading, black ink linework and a white Posca pen for highlights.

The next sketch was done the same way, sketch with the light grey Tombow, adding the shadow areas before adding Ink and colour with Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, a set I picked up some time ago but rarely used. I believe these are childrens crayons, but similar to Neopastels. Probably not archival but fun to use for sketchbooks.

Like many artists I find it hard to resist new art products, which seem to keep on appearing on each visit to the art supplies shop. But I am sticking fairly well to my resolution early this year not to buy any new products (apart from replacements), and to use up what I already have.

266 Inktober Sketches

I am managing to do an inky sketch a day so far this month. It was an effort to actually get started, as I’ve been out of the sketching groove for a long time and this is always a great challenge to get motivated again. And it’s a great challenge to draw just in ink, although I have to resort to colour now and again 😄 

I really enjoyed doing a daily sketch when I started my little daily diary back in 2015 and was a bit sad when I finished it. I thought I’d take a similar approach for this month. You can see all the 150 entries from that diary here on Flickr.

I found it hard each day to decide what to sketch, and often I was disappointed with the result, so to make myself feel better about the sketch I added an appropriate text on the adjacent page, sometimes motivational, sometimes humourous and it gave a more light hearted approach.

So I decided to approach Inktober in the same way. I am doing the prompts from Sktchyapp, and using its vast library of reference photos for the challenge.

#4 – Underwater. Ink, brushpen and watercolour on cartridge paper.

#5 Long. Sepia ink in Preppy fountain pen, bamboo dip pen and brush on cartridge paper.
#6 Sword. Super quick one today. Ink, Watercolour on cartridge paper. Lettering is with a Pitt calligraphy pen.
#7 Shy. Ink, Lamy Joy fountain pen on cartridge paper.

#8 Crooked. Pigma micron pen, brushpen and watercolour pencils on Kraft paper.

#9 Screech. Brush pen and water soluble oil pastels on Strathmore tan paper.

#10 Gigantic. Pilot V pen with water soluble ink on cartridge paper.

#11 Run. Lamy Joy fountain pen, brush pen and watercolour on cartridge paper.

I hope I can keep up this month as I find I often run out of steam, and ideas about halfway. Wish me luck.

232 Pet Portraits and Sketching

Something a bit different this week – a Sktchy portrait first up. I really want to be able to capture faces quicker than I am doing at present, so by tapping into Sktchyapp I can find thousands of photos to use for practise. I had great intentions of doing several quick practise sketches each week but I only managed one this week. Just a 2b pencil on cartridge paper.

In my town Thursday morning has now become a regular Meetup with a few other artists for some local sketching. As we are in the middle of winter only a few diehard sketchers braved the chilly winds in the centre of town this week. I’m getting a little more comfortable sketching in public, and don’t really care if I’m making a spectacle of myself anymore. I find it interesting that previously people would just pass by, but when they see you sitting there sketching, the same people will stop and chat about drawing and art in general. 

I sat opposite the town hall and sketched it with a Uniball Eye pen on Canson Montval paper, then added the watercolour at home where it was a bit warmer. We actually had a couple of hours sunshine so I was able to capture the shadows from a photo I took.

I also managed to finish a painting I sketched last weekend. This cute little fellow was from a photo by Shadoe posted in the weekend challenge on Wetcanvas. I tried to capture his personality as well as his likeness. Painted on Arches cold press watercolour paper.

As an animal lover I do enjoy painting dogs and cats. This got me thinking during a visit to our local veterinary clinic early last week. While I was in the waiting room I thought it could do with a bit of animal art displayed on the walls. That got the brain ticking over. Maybe I could get a few pet portrait commissions if I displayed one of my paintings there. It would help a little towards the vet fees too 😄.  They were happy to do it, so as a result I am now in the Pet Portrait commission business. I’ve updated my Pet Portrait  page. Have a look and tell me what you think.

128 Sketches from Spain

I’m still around and painting, just not posting.

This is a work in progress that I started a couple of weeks ago and it is still a work in progress sadly. Sitting there looking at me each time I go into my painting room…. grrr. The trouble is that it is acrylic – and huge for me 120 x 40cm.  I haven’t painted in acrylic for a long time and it is taking me a while. I scribbled over some places with pastel to work out some direction.

But it will be a peace offering to my hub who wants a large landscape and complains that I always give away my decent stuff. Its from a photo of one of the places we visited on one of our trips around Oz.river2

I think it will have to sit for a while because I am doing an online spontaneous sketching course with Liz Steel. I won’t bore you with the homework sketches but you can see them on my Flickr page if you are interested.

 I think I really prefer watercolour or gouache, doing this sort of sketchbook stuff, or maybe it is just that I am sick of the big one.

16 nov sketch

This little one is from WetCanvas – photos courtesy of sundiver.

Watercolour Journal 21 x 14cm

124 Albany Plein Air

How to make the best use of time.

I have been gallery sitting this week for the exhibition that I am part of. Very slow going, not a lot of traffic today, but I was prepared with my little journal, waterbrush and mini palette. It was a beautiful spring day so I sat on the verandah and sketched the view with no interruptions.

The exhibition is being held in a hall opposite the city on the other side of the harbour. A bit off the beaten track but it has a lovely outlook.

little grove

The view.


This little journal is becoming my favourite – at the present time at least. If it had watercolour pages instead of  cartridge it would be perfect. It is nice and small 11 x 15 cm or 4 x 6 inches, easy to hold along with my palette and doesn’t feel as daunting as a larger format. When I feel more confident with this outdoor sketching lark I might graduate to a larger size.

Last weekend the weather wasn’t suitable for working outdoors so I tried something different – water colour pencils and a waterbrush so I wouldn’t make too much mess while working in my lap. 

 fields of gold

Photo ref courtesy oldrockchick

 for WetCanvas 2 hour weekend drawing challenge.

No. 11 Sugartown

No. 11 No 11.

Sugartown watercolour 22 x 15

This was a homework lesson for a tutorial I’m participating in on WetCanvas.com

Painting Buildings Loosely & Colorfully in the Landscape with Virgil Carter

Watercolour is a struggle for me but I keep on struggling in the hope that one day it all might click. This is the reason for 120 paintings – after that I might be able to do one that I am happy with.

No. 10 Puss

No 10
No 10

Puss acrylic 150 x 150

Painted from a reference photo on the WetCanvas WDE.

Not too sure about this one, my husband reckons he looks a bit wonky. I’m still wrestling with getting away from being a slave to a photo, and that’s how his ears were! I haven’t posted anything for days – and I’m trying to post all attempts so here is puss, wonky ears and all.