Tag Archives: goldfields_sketchbook

Passionfruit

After few days of 36-39C heat, today was slightly cooler with the forecast promising the top temperature of only 31C (87.8F).  So I used this opportunity to sketch the passionfruit vine, which is growing against otherwise ugly metal shed.  Sadly the flowers are already gone, but there are plenty of leaves and fruit.
Watercolour sketch of passionfruit vine

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

And here is the photo of the two page spread, because I love how the sunflower and passionfruit vine sketches look together.
Watercolour painting of Sunflower & passionfruit

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Happy 2016!

Well, hello in 2016! I’m wishing you a peaceful, joyful, healthy and creative year.

I took advantage of the overcast morning and started my first day of the year by sketching the sunflower in the garden. Sunflowers are such cheerful, solid, vibrant flowers. I planted two varieties this year (this one is Giant Single or Helianthus annuus), but I think next year I’ll plant few more.

Ink and watercolour sunflower sketch

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

Afterwards I retreated into the coolness of the house to finish something that I wanted to get done last year, but frustratingly got sick & had to put on hold for few days. My daughter asked me to create a colouring page for her. She is very specific in what she wants, so I thought I’ll have a practice run first with the existing sketch to figure out the best way to go about creating colouring pages. Ta Da!
Goldfields New Year Colouring Page
As you can see I used the sketch for my Christmas cards. I retraced it with a Staedtler pigment liner pen. (My first attempt at using the pencil sketch didn’t work too great, because the scanning process turned the colour of the thin paper & pencil lines in too many shades of grey and was too hard to clean up.) After scanning the pen drawing I played around in Photoshop with various adjustments to try to get background as close to white as possible and the lines as close to black. My knowledge of Photoshop is very basic, so this step took the longest. I suspect that it would be faster to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator & my Wacom tablet (a birthday present from my sis) and trace the pencil drawing digitally in the Illustrator instead of by pen.

Anyway, if you feel like doing some colouring, you can download the PDF by clicking on the link Goldfields New Year Colouring page. My kids already had a go at colouring it in.
My kids go at colouring

In the Garden

Hello! The re-instalment of the OS went well and I seem to have a working laptop again, though I’m still installing all the applications I use and changing settings to get everything the way I like it.

In between my battles with the laptop, I was doing some gardening, though the weather is so unusually warm that I suspect I should’ve planted many more veggies few weeks ago. I worry that if the weather keeps on breaking all the top temperature records most of my plants will die from the heat.

At the moment everything changes so quickly: a week ago I sketched the apple blossoms and now they are completely gone. (Please excuse the blurred edges – I couldn’t get my sketchbook to lie flat in the scanner)
Sketch of Apple Tree Blossom

Winsor & Newton watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook

Photo of Spent Apple Blossoms
I spotted this gorgeous lizard (could be Shingleback) at the back of the garden a week ago and yesterday saw another smaller one, but was too slow to take the photo.
Shingleback Lizard
Head of Shingleback Lizard
I enjoy gardening, but the main reason for attempting to grow food is to show my kids how much works goes into it, to get them excited about the fresh produce and to encourage them to try new food. This spring my kids, who act like I’m poisoning them whenever they spot any green herbs or leaves in their food, tried some of the spinach from the garden and the oldest asked me to add spinach to her school-lunch sandwiches. Therefore I declare this growing season a success no matter what happens next.
photo of growing  spinach
photo of lettuce
Today I planted tomatoes and couldn’t resist making a quick ink sketch.
Sketch  of tomato plant

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook

There is so much more going on in the garden (flowers, bees, birds) – maybe I’ll post a garden update once a week. What do you think?

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)