TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen

A new pen….early Christmas present…. TWSBI Eco fountain pen with Extra Fine nib….with a black cap as they always get inky over time (see the Lamy cap below).

The previous UWA sketch is made with my new TWSBI Eco. I prefer to sketch with my pens un-posted (with out the cap on the end) but I’ve put pictures below of the pens I use most often above so you can see how they compare for size and line weight…(all pens below are filled with my favourite De Atramentis document black ink except the ball point).


This pen is really lovely to write with…very smooth when used the “normal” way and very fine and smooth when used upside down. It also feels very comfortable in my hand….some people really dislike the triangular grip of the Lamy pens – that has never bothered me -but the Eco somehow just feels “right”.

The Eco is a piston only fountain pen – it does not take ink cartridges – simply dip the nib into a bottle of ink and twist the end of the pen to operate the plunger and suck in the ink from a bottle.

I personally prefer bottled ink….in the long run it’s cheaper than buying cartridges, they don’t create landfill (most ink bottles are glass and can be recycled) and there’s a massive choice of ink colours to choose from or you can mix your own ink colours if using the same brand of ink (check with the manufacturer).

Lamy bottle ink = AUD 0.57 per ml

Lamy cartridge ink = AUD 1.16 per ml.

BUT….what really makes the Eco different is that it can hold a “bucket load” of ink in its belly….the Eco holds 1.7 ml of ink compared to 0.6 ml for the Lamy and Pilot = Fewer pit-stops for re-fueling!!!!

I think the TWSBI Eco may replace my much loved Lamy Safari….have to do lots more sketch to find out……..


Sunset Hospital Dalkeith


Cycled around the old Sunset Hospital site on the foreshore at Dalkeith this morning, it’s just been opened to the public having been closed and fenced off for over 20 years. Built in 1904 as the “Claremont Old Men’s Home” it was renamed as “Sunset Hospital” in 1941 when it became a hospital for returned servicemen and later a public hospital for men and women. Most of the 13 buildings are still fenced…. off presumably awaiting renovation. There are new BBQ facilities, children’s adventure playground and good seating underneath massive Moreton Bay Fig trees which overlook the Swan river. Current renovations have been financed by selling off part of the land to the Sultan of Johor, the long term plan is to preserve the heritage listed buildings for future arts, culture and community use.



Finally….. a quick sketch of the Perth skyline from Matilda Bay Tearooms (which have also been renovated).

Forrest Place, Perth

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The Urban Sketchers Perth met this morning in Forrest Place, Perth to draw the heart of the city. I chose to sketch a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Bank building. This is a very solid, imposing 6 storey building made from stone quarried from nearby Greenmount. Erected during the great depression as a means of creating jobs for desperate people it took 3 years to complete, opening in 1933. Built in the “Beaux -Arts” style that was popular at the time (same style as the Commonwealth bank in Martin Place in Sydney) the next door General Post Office is similarly imposing. The new bank was fitted with all the latest features…. a night safe, ‘a new feature of banking practice in Perth’ safety designs included an automatic fire alarm, multiple locks on doors and the door to the safe deposit was, ‘constructed to resist all known methods of attack. (Heritage Perth website)

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The other pictures above are a quick sketch of some children playing in the water fountains in Forrest Place….the water pops up in random lines forming a wall of water. The pattern of water continually moves and the kids have a great time running through and getting soaked (adults too) even in winter.

Also the collection of sketches from everyone this morning (9 of us)

Morley Rollerdrome – Long live Glitter Balls!

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This morning at Morley Rollerdrome, a very friendly family run business specialising in rollerskating and rollerblading (or in-line skating if you prefer). One of my kids is having skating lessons here at the moment so rather than just sit and watch for 3 hours I took the opportunity to do a few sketches. The true atmosphere of the wannabe roller-derby girls, the bambi like newbies and the speed-skaters is hard to portray in a quick sketch but there was lots of roller action with the occasional horizontal landing. Sketching such a fleeting moment as someone whizzing past is nigh on impossible for me to capture so most of the figures are a mish-mash of different bodies just trying to capture the general balance (or not) of sliding along with 4 wheels strapped to their feet.

Perth City Farm

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Perth City Farm this morning. This is a community garden next to the main Midland to Perth train line (formerly scrap metal yard and battery recycling plant). The farm was started in 1994 so it’s quite well established now. A smallish garden area was packed with very green and well watered plants (there were bananas and passion fruit growing next to my sketching spot). Organic and Biodynamic fruit, veg, dairy, eggs (free range chickens on site) and honey is sold here every Saturday morning together with other health foods, clothing and body care products. There is a lovely cafe here too.

Two versions of the same sketch drawn on location but photo edited after. The weird and wonderful object in the sketch is a bell made from all sorts of pieces of metal welded together, somewhat rusty in places. The right hand picture is the original as I coloured it with watercolour paints, but the moment that I put the green paint on for the trees…. I wished I had stopped and kept it much simpler. So I’ve made some changes in Photoshop (Elements 8) to remove the green and push it to a more neutral grey background.