Rottnest Winter Break

A long weekend on Rottnest Island last week….winter break….some photos and some sketches….lots of cycling around the island….a truly beautiful place only half an hour’s ferry ride from Fremantle. Lots of Quokkas everywhere, very cute….

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Sketch Kit July 2017

I’ve made some recent changes to my sketch kit and bought a new pen case – “Lihit Lab smart fit small double pen case” that holds all my sketch gear (except the little water bottle) in one compact unit….

 

It has 2 sections, one opens like a book with pockets and elastic to hold all my pens and brushes, the other side is a half zip pocket where I store my Altoids paint box and other bits and bobs…..

Below picture…. top row from top left are…

TWSBI Eco fountain pen with Extra Fine nib; Pentel pocket brush pen (cartridge refilled with DeAtramentis Document Black ink); Uniball gel pen with White pigment ink; Pentel broad waterbrush filled with tap water plus a few drops of Lamy black ink (makes a convenient grey ink wash); Zig BrushH20 “broad”waterbrush (this is actually a flat brush); Pentel round waterbrushes sizes fine and broad; Travel brushes (separated in the photo) – 6mm (1/4”) dagger brush synthetic hairs (no name on brush, bought from Malcolm Carver website) and Escoda Number 8 Sable brush; Bic Classic fine ball point; Pentel 0.7mm mechanical pencil with 2B leads; Cheap 6mm flat brush (for gouache); cheap synthetic rigger brush.

Other items above are: Altoids paint box (see next picture below for details); wrist sweat band for wiping brushes; Nalgene bottle of water 60mls / 2oz (this bottle doesn’t fit in the pen case): Nalgene bottle of white gouache 8mls / 1/4oz; Bulldog clip; Metal ruler

 

I’ve also changed a few colours recently… from top left…Winsor Lemon, Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Buff Titanium, Quinacridone Violet, Permanent Rose, Winsor Red, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Sepia, Perylene Green, Turquoise Green, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Indigo

Perylene Green is my newest interesting colour and the only ready-made green I carry, mixing other greens as needed from above……

I have to say that 95% of my watercolour sketching is done with waterbrushes….even though I have great “proper” watercolour brushes I still love the convenience of waterbrushes. They do take some getting used to ….hold them lightly and gently – don’t squeeze the barrel unless you want water.

It is possible (though a little tricky – needs practice) to get dry brush effects…. thoroughly wipe off excess water from the bristles and paint holding your paper and brush vertical (with the bristles pointing skyward) it feels a little strange – but gravity can’t pull the water down down out of the barrel!

Subiaco sketch-walk

The Urban Sketchers Perth met for their monthly sketch-meet and decided to do  “sketch-walk” – we walked around Subiaco stopping for only about 5 minutes to sketch whatever appeared and appealed. This is a great way to force yourself to really look at the environment around you….buildings that you may have walked past many times suddenly appear much more interesting when you really look and see the shapes and details…..Of course only 5 minutes sketching time means only the very basic lines and shapes can be drawn – no time for details! Below are my sketches as we wandered around, colour was added later from memory.

Fishing Cottesloe Groyne

Watching the fishers at Cottesloe Groyne today, the guy in the foreground didn’t have much luck, the fish weren’t biting for him. But one of the fishos further along the groyne started reeling herring in one after the other – the school of fish was clearly visible, shining just under the surface, it was just about impossible not to catch fish today. Apparently the secret to catching herring is….. low tide, a generous amount of burley made with leftover roast chicken fat and a fair amount of luck!

Here’s what you can catch…..fresh herring….

Black Swans Matilda Bay

Black swans resting and grooming themselves down at the waters edge of the Swan River (yes the river is named after the swans) at Matilda Bay, Perth. The swans often stand balanced on one leg with their head curled onto their back, red beak nestled into wing feathers.