Cygnet Cinema Como

20150827 Cygnet Cinema (1)20150827 Cygnet Cinema on Location1

Down in Como this morning with the plein air painting group, outside the Cygnet Cinema on Preston Street, built in 1938 and originally named the “Como Theatre” it’s a great example of Art Deco styling with a nautical theme. An ocean liner ready to raise steam….port hole windows, tubular handrails and a curving bow at one end, all in a delicate shade of pink! I drew out the perspective lines in pencil first as it was a complex structure (the curve and the fact that the building is set on a hillside sloping down to the river). Inked over with De Atramentis waterproof black then having erased the pencil, I went for it with watercolour in my trusty Pentel waterbrushs (broad and fine). The pink colour was a particular challenge, especially as I’d parked myself on a street bench in full sunshine which dried paint on the palette very quickly.

20150827 Cygnet Cinema (2)20150827 Cygnet Cinema on Location2

This second drawing is a quick ink sketch from the other side of the building looking up the street. I really love the mural of Alfred Hitchcock painted on the side of the wall, I haven’t really captured his haughty look, and some perspective is rather “off”, but it was fun scribbling.

Another cafe head

20150825 BrewHa HeadAnother “cafe head” this time drawn with watersoluble ink, watercolour washed over the top to allow the ink to bleed a blue-black colour. Overdid the drawing a little but overall an interesting effect.

Watersoluble ink (skrip black mixed with quink blue-black) in Lamy Safari Fine fountain pen, various watercolours with Pentel waterbrush on quill 125gsm paper, A6 size

Not a self portrait!

20150825 Not a Self Portrait This is an acrylic painting from last term….a studio painting class at Fremantle School of Art. The teacher wanted everyone to paint a self-portrait but I’ve done a few of those before and wanted to do something different. I’d had my eye on this sheeps skull on the shelf for a few weeks so opted to paint it instead. It was quite a challenge as it was really mostly cream in colour, only reflected light from the maroon walls and blue light from the window gave any sense of shape…plus the second week was very overcast making the skull very flat so I had to guess colour and form.

Cottesloe Beach

20150823 OBHA stroll along Cottesloe Beach yesterday in the winter sun, this is the “OBH” (Ocean Beach Hotel) on the sea front at Cottesloe as seen from the groyne with the pylon in the foreground. The pylon was originally built in 1935 with the intention of installing a shark net to protect the beach, but the net was short lived although the concrete spike remains (has been restored a few times after battering winter storms).

20150823 Cottesloe Cafes



These are the two seafront cafes at North Cottesloe – “Barchetta” and  “The Blue Duck” which have fabulous views of the Indian Ocean although the food is rather expensive.



This was painted with my new “micro” painting kit – an Altoids tin with 14 half pans in one side and a small mixing area in the lid (spray painted white), one waterbrush and a lamy safari pen (not pictured) with De Atramentis Archive Ink black. The paper is a Holcroft brand A6 “sketch and draw diary” with 225gsm paper

Finding Vivian Maier

20150819 Random  TV Heads Finding Vivian MaierJust watched “Finding Vivian Maier” last night…. a fascinating film about an amateur photographer who never showed her work to anyone when she was alive. Stunning photos of “real” people capturing all their emotions and everyday lives with great skill. Around 100,000 photos were discovered after she died…unbelievable…

This sketch is of one of the mothers who employed her as a nanny.

Bocelli’s Espresso Monday morning


20150817 Bocelli Espesso2An unscheduled trip into the city today…time for a quick coffee before catching the train home. Stopped at Bocelli’s Espresso Cafe in Forrest Place, not been here before, seemed fairly quiet… but then it was a damp Monday morning. Sketched some of the patrons who all seemed to have time to spare, tourists and retirees….

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Getting more confident drawing people facing me….I have a lot of “back of head” drawings! The best ones are those who are so deep in conversation they never look at the world around them… leaving me to scribble un-noticed.


Lamy Safari Fine Fountain pen, De Atramentis black archive ink, various watercolours with Pentel waterbrush

Basketball Practice

20150814 Basketball Practice Uncoloured

Kids basketball practice, I drew some of the kids with a fountain pen and intended to add watercolour to the sketch but I got chatting and then didn’t have time.

20150814 Basketball Practice So for a change I had a go at adding colour digitally in Photoshop (pen pressure brush, variety of opacity) to see how it would go. I think I have made the colours overly bright and maybe too opaque (hard to gauge on my screen).

20150814 Basketball Practice Watercolour

Finally I added real watercolour to the original sketch for comparison (it’s much more satisfying sweeping a real brush loaded with colour across an actual sheet of paper than using a scratchy graphics pen on a tablet)….but there is no drying time with the digital image….and the “delete / undo” button is very handy.

Lamy Safari Fine point fountain pen, De Atramentis black Archive ink, Quill 125gsm cover paper, Photoshop Elements, Intuos pen and touch tablet small, Pentel waterbrush broad size, watercolours: Cadmium yellow medium, Windsor Lemon, Burnt Sienna.