Cottesloe Beach – the old timber jetty appears ?

Autumn tides have shifted the sand around the local beaches exposing limestone reefs and ripping up old seaweed in great heaps on the beach. But today I saw something that I’ve never spotted before….old wooden post and rail with large iron bolts sticking out of the sand just in front of the Indiana Tea House on Cottesloe beach. It seems this wood could be part of the original Cottesloe Jetty built in 1906 to make it easier for fishos to get out past the reef and allow people to “promenade” as was the thing to do in those days. Unfortunately it was fairly short lived as the pylons were damaged by boring mollusc and later winter storms. The jetty was eventually condemned and blown up in 1952 with gelignite.

Read the full story at….

Finally a quick scribble with pen and coloured pencils, looking North….

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).

Freo Cranes on a sunny afternoon

20161113-freo-cranes-1 20161113-freo-cranes

A sunny spring time stroll down the beach from North to South Cottesloe, stopping on the rocky groyne to watch the beach……people swimming, kids digging, beach soccer and sun baking….

Looking South the Freo cranes were ready for work, I counted 8 ships out at sea waiting for the high tide, the kite surfers only needed to wait for the sea breeze to arrive…. skittering across the tops of the waves in a warm southerly breeze….

Sculptures by the Sea Cottesloe 2016

20160315 Sculptures by the Sea Bag

Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe beach yesterday. An unusually humid and steamy day in Perth but great to go and check out this years sculptures on iconic Cottesloe Beach (one of the best beaches in the world)…it’s been a while since I’ve been out sketching. There was the usual eclectic mix of weird, funny and beautiful creations from around the world. Couldn’t sketch them all in a morning so together with sketching friend Aggie we found a sheltered spot next to a wall out the the full sun to settle down and scribble. This piece is titled “Travelling Bag” by Yumin Jing of China and is a lovely recreation of a handbag made entirely out of steel with rare plants growing inside, the reflections off its polished surface are amazing (and hard to paint!). Fun to watch all the people and overhear their comments (especially the school kids and their teachers).

20160315 Sculptures by the Sea Photo

This other sketch below is just quick gestural scribbles of people wandering around looking and relaxing on the beach.

20160315 Sculptures by the Sea People

Finally after all the sketching I had a quick swim in the Indian Ocean to cool off….a perfect morning!

Pilot Parallel pen 1.5mm with DeAtramentis Document Ink black, various watercolours, Pentel waterbrush, Holcroft sketch and draw A4 diary 225gsm.

Blue Wheelbarrows – Neil McDougall Community Garden

20150903 Neil McDougall Community Farm Blue WheelbarrowsGorgeous winters day down at Neil McDougall park in Como with the Perth Plein Air Painters, blue sky and warm in the sunshine. This park has lots of grassed areas, bbq, toilets playground and lovely trees around a small lake. At one side a small community garden has been created by locals on the site of an old dairy farm (until 1946). Seedlings and plants in raised beds are nurtured by local families, sponsored by local businesses and managed by a dedicated committee of local people, it is available to everyone to grow.

These rusting cerulean blue wheelbarrows are parked in the middle of the raised beds with plants growing inside (tomatoes I recognised), a pair of floral gardening gloves were waiting on the handles of the nearest barrow. I used a new waterbrush for much of this painting, a Kuretake Zig “broad” brush which is actually more like a flat brush….very useful for large sweeping areas.

Next door to the veggie garden is Hazel McDougall House, a bungalow built in the 1930’s and restored in 1979…it’s the HQ of South Perth Society of Art and Craft.

Homemade diary of Westart heavy weight cartridge paper (225gsm), pencil layout (erased), Lamy Safari EF nib with De Atramentis Archive ink black, various watercolours with Pentel waterbrush broad and fine,  Zig Kuretake waterbrush broad (flat), White gouache.

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

Sketching Kit

This is is my everyday carry sketchbook stuff….

20150519 My Watercolour Sketch Kit 20150519 Inside my Bag

My homemade Fauxdori of course….

A small metal folding watercolour box (Lukas brand although I didn’t like the paints that came with the set so have swapped out to a mixture of Winsor and Newton, Daniel Smith and Art Spectrum). I bought empty full and half pans and fill them with tube colour as necessary and the pans are held in place with blu-tack (this works surprisingly well, make sure the box and pans are clean then stick down strips of blu-tack to fit the base of the box and just push the pans down – they won’t fall out and if you want to swap colours they can be levered out and replaced)

Update…Colours in the box…..

Yellows: Winsor Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold

Reds: Permanent Rose, Winsor Red, Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone  Burnt Scarlet

Blues: Cerulean, Cobalt, Ultramarine

Other: Cadmium Orange, Neutral Grey

A wrist sweatband for cleaning my waterbrush (white band was not a great colour choice as it looks pretty messy quickly but they wash easily – I hand wash as I don’t want all my clothes multi-coloured).

Then in the pocket of my bag I have all my pens, pencils, waterbrushes, eraser and ruler……

Fountain Pens -Three Lamy pens, one with Extra Fine nib, two with Fine nibs. All with ink convertors and different inks…. Montblank Permanent Black (which is the most waterproof and least smudgy depending on the paper)….DeAtramentis Black/Brown ink which is water soluble to a lovely warm brownish red colour…. and my own mix of a Black/Blue with two parts Skrip Black to one part Quink Blue/Black which dilutes to a lovely bluish grey when wet.

Ball point pen – Uniball Jetstream 3 – Black, Blue and Red colours for highlighting in my diary

RollerBall type – Pilot Hi-Tech V5 black ink (watersoluble) and Uniball Eye Micro Black (waterproof pigment ink)

Gel Pen – Uniball Signo white gel pen (for those all too frequently lost highlights)

Pencils – Always mechanical or clutch – I don’t have the patience for sharpening and dislike shavings and graphite in my bag….. Pentel A120 mechanical pencil 0.7mm 2B leads and Steadtler Mars 780 2mm clutch pencil with 2B lead.

Eraser – Pentel Clic eraser 2….it’s shaped like a pen with a plastic sleeve cover, I don’t use it all that often

Waterbrushes – I wouldn’t be without my waterbrushes – a wonderful invention for quick outdoors sketching… I’ve tried several brands but my favourite is the Pentel waterbrush. I have three in my bag, two are filled with ordinary water in the broad and fine brush points. The third waterbrush is a fine point filled with Liquitex or Art Spectrum acrylic ink – this acts like a caligraphy brush and I use it for Notan style drawing/painting. I always make sure that my pens are upright in my bag so that there are no accidents.

Ruler – Small (15cm – 6″) metal ruler for when I just have to have a straight edge