Goldfields sketchbook – fireplace

Back in London, while planning the move to Australia, I wanted to record some of the places that I loved or visited often, but there was always something else to get done and I only managed to do a handful of sketches. Now I regret not giving this project a higher priority. It would be wonderful to flip through a sketchbook remembering the good times and all the small details that one notices while sketching. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice I recently bought a Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm) to try to capture some of my life in Bendigo and surroundings. We recently extended our lease for another six months, but after that the future is uncertain and we may move again somewhere else. So there isn’t much time to dilly-dally.

I wanted to begin this sketchbook with the sketch of the house that we are renting, but since the weather has been on the chilly side I opted to sketch the fireplace instead. First sketch – the declaration of the intention and others will follow in time.
Watercolour sketch of fireplace

Winsor & Newton watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

Feather Collection

My small collection of feathers
I’ve been collecting feathers lately. I find it hard to walk past a feather without picking it up – they are all unique and beautiful. Some are easy to connect to the names of the birds: white & yellow of a Cockatoo, black & white of an Australian Magpie, grey & pink of a Gallah. Others remain nameless.

If I like something I end up sketching it (or at least day-dreaming about how I would try to capture it on paper) and lately I’ve been sketching feathers.
Watercolour of two feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (100 x 148 mm)

Watercolour of a feather

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (100 x 148 mm)

Watercolour painting of two yellow and white Cockatoo feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches Medium Watercolour paper (185gsm, 148 x 210 mm)

Watercolour painting of two feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches Medium Watercolour paper (185gsm, 148 x 210 mm)

I seem to gift away these little paintings faster than I can paint them and so I made another one in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook to make sure I’ll have some record left to remind myself of these time of painting feathers.
Watercolour sketch of feathers and autumn leaf

Winsor & Newton watercolours in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 130 x 210 mm)

Improving with the seasons

Watercolour of Autumn Bouquet

19 March 2015 – Autumn bouquet painted on Arches hot-pressed paper with Winsor & Newton watercolours

The seasons pass so fast. The nature constantly changing: the flowers bloom and wilt; the fruits ripen to be eaten up by the birds or to fall to the ground to rot and to realease the seeds; the leaves change their colour and fall down creating a noisy carpet underfoot.
Watercolour of an autumn leaf

17 April 2015 – Autumn leaf painted on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard with Winsor & Newton watercolours

There are so many beautiful sights I would like to capture in paint and not enough time. Maybe there is never enough time and the number of the ideas for the paintings always expands to overflow the available time.
Watercolour of an autumn leaf

20 April 2015 – Autumn leaf painted on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard with Winsor & Newton watercolours

The Earth spins around the sun and the seasons repeat themselves giving me new chances to notice the fundamental beauty of nature. My skills slowly improve with every line observed and drawn and I paint the same subjects getting slightly closer to the images I have in my mind.
Watercolour of autumn leaf

October 2012 – Autumn leaf painted two and a half years ago in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook

Autumn leaves watercolour

October 2013 – Autumn leaves painted one and a half years ago in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook

Autumn Leaves watercolor

April 2014 – Autumn leaves painted one year ago in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour paints

And if you feel inadequate and discouraged while comparing your own paintings to the artists that you admire, don’t! Keep on drawing and painting and after awhile compare your own paintings to the ones you’ve done in the past and notice your own progress.
Watercolour of autumn yellow leaf

24 April 2015 – Yellow leaf painted on Arches medium watercolor paper with Winsor & Newton watercolour paints

Enjoying Autumn

Photo of blue sky and autumn tree branches
Autumn Leaf watercolour postcard

Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Conker watercolor postcard

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Feathers watercolour postcard

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Autumn Leaves watercolour painted in the garden

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour sketch of autumn branch painted in the garden in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 21×13 cm)

Photo of bright autumn leaves

Goldmines Hotel

Goldmines Hotel Bendigo
One sunny Saturday I went to the Goldmines Hotel with my family for lunch. The kids were very excited to show me around its beautiful garden, which was full of little nooks that could be inspirations for future paintings.
Pond at Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo
Buddha sculpture at Goldmines Hotel
I attempted to sketch one corner while waiting for the food, chatting to my family and avoiding offers of help from my youngest.
Sketch of one corner in Goldmines Hotel gardens
Amusingly once my meal arrived it turned out to colour coordinate with my sketch.
Eating & sketching at Goldmines hotel
The food was average and a bit of disappointment compared to the beautiful surroundings, friendly service and interesting selection of beers, though my husband, who’ve been there for lunch previously, informed me that on previous occasion it was substantially better.

New creations from old paintings

Custom iPhone case and cards from my paintings
I really liked the painting of an iris that I created for my friend and decided to extend its use by making some cards. I hardly ever used Photoshop before, so struggled through the process of cleaning up the photo and adjusting the size to fit a card template from VistaPrint. While going through the process I noticed a special offer on VistaPrint for the phone cases and decided to combine my old painting of pansies with the iris one to create myself a new case. More struggling with the Photoshop followed and eventually I placed my order with VistaPrint almost at midnight on the 5th of February and it arrived yesterday 10th of February (unexpectedly quick). The colours are a bit darker than the ones on my monitor, but purple colours are notoriously hard to reproduce. I’m so pleased with seeing one of my paintings constantly on the back of my phone and hope my friends will enjoy getting the cards for their birthdays. Next time I may try different higher-quality paper option, which costs extra, but still ends up being cheaper than buying birthday cards from the shops. I also have plans to watch some Photoshop tutorials as working using ‘trial and error’ method takes too much time.