bits and pieces in pen and paint


Drawing people

i signed up for a Marc Taro Holmes online course on “Sketching a people in Motion”. It was (is!) fantastic. I haven’t consistently applied all of the learnings ( must practice more!) but have been focusing a lot more on getting people into my pix. Here are some recent efforts.

The gentleman at reception in my Lyon hotel, and a couple on the Metro in Paris…   


A lady looking out the window while having petit dejeuner at Gare de Lyon


A collage of images captured in Germany


My local bakery


A fantastic old Sydney pub


And a friend’s band at a bar


Back in the saddle

A conversation with a friend during the week reminded me that I haven’t blogged for a while – in fact since January now that I look. As it happens, I have travelled and sketched quite a bit since then, so this will be a quick update on my travel sketching.

February and March were big travel months for me – I was away for five weeks out of six at one stage. That included stays in San Diego, Tokyo, Abingdon, Lyon, Paris, Dublin, Bremen, Freudenstadt and Munich (with a couple of side trips). Here are some of the sketches:

1) I arrived at LAX and drove straight to Old Poway Park to catch up with the San Diego Urban Sketchers


2) a week later we met at the Rancho Bernardo Winery 


3) and in the meantime I had visited the wonderful Balboa Park ( on Valentines Day)


4) my first weekend in Europe was in Paris, with the Paris Urban Sketchers practicing people sketching in the Passages des Panoramas


5) and my second was in Germany:

a) driving from Freudenstadt to Munich via Baden Baden


b) and taking a side trip on the Sunday to Salzburg


And in between quite a bit of work…


Narooma sketching

I’ve had a lovely week relaxing on the NSW South Coast, at the pretty little town of Narooma. And lots of time to sketch. My sketching followed the themes of our chilled out week…

Morning (or lunchtime…or evening…) coffee

Sketching the table markers while we waited for our coffee to arrive was an entertaining pastime (thanks to my sister-in-law for the challenge)
Cute “symbol” table markers at Casey’s Cafe


Cool nautical marker, with a view of the inlet at the Wharf Cafe

Beach-side table marker, at Ciccio’s by Narooma Surf Beach


And sometimes just sketching the cafe (Quarterdeck Cafe)



I got in some excellent body surfing here in the afternoons. Just a short walk from our apartment. :-)


And just enjoying walking the town


South Coast Getaway

Judy and I are taking a week away in Narooma on the New a South Wales South Coast. And I am trying to document our time in sketches.

We have rented a holiday apartment that looks out to the sea, from a wide bacony


And a cafe just a short walk down the street serves a very respectable breakfast, with cute table markers to keep track of your order.


The boardwalk along the northern edge of the inlet leads out to the breakwater.

and this coffee shop, visited after a fantastic thunderstorm this afternoon, has a terrific view of the inlet. We had a great view of dolphins making their way down the inlet – not shown. :-)


Round the world again – and sketching along the way. Part 2: Southern California

Business has called me to travel the planet again. Starting with a seminar in London and ending with a global Quality meeting in California, I have spent three weeks bouncing from Australia to Europe to the U.S. And along the way I have tried to meet up with as many Urban Sketchers as I could. The first two weeks were spent in Europe (see Part 1) before travelling from Paris to San Diego.

An early Saturday morning departure from Paris meant a late Saturday afternoon arrival in San Diego, but not before a change of planes in Heathrow.
And a late Saturday arrival in San Diego meant being in time for a Sunday morning meet up with twenty-some SD USkers at the San Luis Rey Mission. We sketched in the peaceful cemetery, met to compare notes and drawings then had lunch together with a few of the crew.
Thank you Lydia for organising again, and Dominique for the ride. Here is a link to Lydia’s video of the meeting. :-)

Then one more week of work, in San Diego and LA before heading home.

Happily, while transiting from SD to LA on the Amtrak I had time for a little sketching. So here is my sketch of one of my colleagues on the Amtrak train en route to LA Union Station,
Sion Amtrak
…and here is a quick sketch of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where we stopped to take in the Hollywood atmosphere in the late afternoon.
Chinese theatre
Then home.

Another great trip to meet up with so many generous USkers. Thanks so much for your time and friendship.

Round the world again – and sketching along the way. Part 1: Paris

Business has called me to travel the planet again. Starting with a seminar in London and ending with a global Quality meeting in California, I have spent three weeks bouncing from Australia to Europe to the U.S. And along the way I have tried to meet up with as many Urban Sketchers as I could.

But before I started:

I knew that I would be sketching the new Frank Gehry Louis Vuitton Foundation building in Paris, so on the morning of my departure I took the bus down to Sydney’s new Gehry building, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at UTS. This fantastic brick and glass building has custom made bricks to create the wonderful curves and slumps making it resemble a sandcastle or a wet paper bag.
Gehry UTS
But I was so captivated by the building that I nearly left it too late to make it to the airport! Then, after the long flight, I had a Monday arrival in London for a full-on week of what I get paid to do, in the UK and Ireland, with no real chance to sketch.

But first thing Saturday I was flying from Dublin to Paris, with a weekend to spend with Paris Sketchers. By early afternoon, I had met up with Aviva, Carole and Martine at La Bellevilloise and we were busy sketching from the cafe terrace.
La Bellevilloise #1
When Lionel arrived we then toured Belleville, with a sketchers eye, until we stopped late afternoon for a quick sketch of the wonderful Parc de Belleville.
And later we were able to meet up with Kim, Savath, and Dotun at La Closerie de Lilac for drinks and dinner.

Sunday brought a quick early morning tour of the newly opened Musee Picasso with Aviva, Dotun and Claire before Dotun and I left to meet up with Marion, Beatrice and Martine at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Part fantastical, futuristic sailing ship, part unfurling insect this is another super challenging Gehry building to draw. And with so many different spaces and angles!
Gehry FVL#1
gEHRY flv#2
Then another working week. But with a moment to sketch on my own over dinner …
… and then, later in the week, with Dotun, Aviva and Lionel over dinner at La Bellevilloise (again!)
But my sketching week in Paris wasn’t yet done. Kim helped navigate me to La Nuit du Modele Vivant on the Friday night before my departure to San Diego. My first life drawing, first time with charcoals and chalk. First time in large format. Great fun – if a little stressful – and a great way to finish a week in Paris.

A couple of samples:

The next morning I flew to California

Another US trip

A two week trip to the U.S. Meetings in Washington DC then back to San Diego, then a final, not-quite-planned, day in LA.

Of course this means more time in aeroplanes, and the truth is that on these business trips it is the aeroplanes and airports that provide me with the most spare time to sketch.

So here I am sketching on my flight across the Pacific.


Between meetings in DC and San Diego I had a Saturday morning in DC and a Sunday in San Diego.

I stretched my legs on the Saturday morning, walking 20 mins from my hotel down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But the place where I felt inspired (and comfortable) to stop and sketch was across the road from the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. I was very taken with the glass pavilion entrance so sketched as quickly as I could so I could make my early afternoon flight.

Sunday morning in SD was occupied with work, catching up on emails and planning, but I had time in the afternoon to venture out to Del Mar.

Then back into meetings for a week till I had a few moments in the lounge at Tom Bradley terminal at LAX.

And as soon as I got home, Judy and I headed across the road to Scupi’s for breakfast and a coffee.



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