A day in town - a new tool and a surprise meeting

May 19, 2015 | 7 Comments

Do you remember someone stating that even though my Foundations Course was finishing up (in Feb) that I would still continue my weekly SketchingNow Adventures. Ha! That hasn’t happened has it? I am trying to work out a way to schedule these sketching outings into my weeks and although today’s adventure was in response to an appointment I had, it has  reminded me how important it is to get out sketching more regularly. So here is the collection from today.

To start with I visited Parkers Art Store to pick up a Paynes Grey Winsor and Newton Watercolour Marker. I have had my eye on these for a while, and last month bought a single one (Yellow Ochre) and didn’t quite warm to it. A few weeks ago when they came up on Facebook, I started thinking about them… and well the short story is that yesterday I bought a few (at The Artscene) to test. But I forgot to get a Payne’s Grey – hence the ‘need’ to visit Parkers today. So of course I needed to test it out straight away! I was walking to Macquarie St and have been thinking that I am not sketching many modern buildings… so when Museum of Sydney presented itself… and I saw a nice step to sit on, it was time to test out that new marker! Full details about these markers on another occasion, but I added Fog Grey lines over the top and liking the result! (Please don’t rush out and buy the full set based on this blog post… give me a chance to test them properly – ok?)

After my appointment, I was standing at the traffic lights waiting to cross and noticed complete stranger  smiling at me on the other side of the road (‘must be someone standing behind me… I do not know her!’) When I crossed the road she came up to me “Are you Liz Steel? I am Tanya!. WOW!

Tanya is one of our most active Sydney Urban Sketchers but as she is busy on Saturdays and I don’t do Sunday sketching, we have never met. I have been hoping that one day I will walk past her sitting on the ground sketching, so you can imagine how excited I was… and even better than we both had the time to have lunch together, swap sketchbooks and talk about sketching and paint etc etc. Tanya carries a LOT of stuff with her – I don’t think I saw it all! What a treat! – she is such a lovely enthusiastic sketcher… you can just imagine how much fun we had! Thanks Tanya – you really made my day today.

I got back to Circular Quay 1 minute too late for my ferry… so time for a cafe visit/ sketch (1 hour wait in fact). The EDiM challenge for the day was ‘draw a cupcake’ and I was hoping that I would walk past somewhere to buy one on my travels (cupcakes are not at all on my radar… I prefer scones… but I think you know that). Instead of a cupcake I drew a coffee!

I also started sketching the view of the bar with Customs House in the background with my fog grey pen but it ran out of ink… so out came the watercolour marker again. Another fun sketch that is giving me more ideas as to how to use these markers…

…and then once on the ferry, I did two more quick sketches…. yes the usual suspects again.
The Sydney Opera House (BTW it was now getting dark!)

The Sydney Harbour Bridge. I found the watercolour marker very effective and super QUICK!

And as I had carried my camera around all day, I will finish this post with a photo of the ferry leaving Woolwich dock.  I was home 3 hours later than I had planned, but totally enjoyed my day… and am enjoying the fact that I am actually writing up a blog post on the day that I created the sketches. This spontaneous blogging is something that I don’t do as much these days.

Ok time to get some work done for the day!

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  • I finally began to look at my art supplies with the same eye as everything else in my life. One reason I LOVE fountain pens is that they are refillable and so less waste. I looked at the W&N watercolor pens but don't want to toss more plastic into the mix, and so far I can't see they are refillable. I have taken my small Niji waterbrushes and filled them with Luma or Dr Martin's watercolor inks. I can sketch away and refill.
    I miss seeing your images bigger. On the other hand, I can read in my email and not even open teh actual blog . . .

  • The photo of the ferry has captured my heart!! Love seeing all your sketches and meeting Tanya a bit too. I'd be so happy if I managed 1/8 of your sketching habits, Liz!

  • Vivienne says:

    Am thrilled I have found your blog. Thank you for sharing your lovely work – and tips! Hmmmm! Can't wait to get the white gel marker – never thought of that. When you say fog lines – do you mean a lighter wash of the Paynes Gray?

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks vivienne- great to have you here. Fog Grey is the De Atramentis document ink. See current sketching tools for more details!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Sherry. I never tire of the view of the harbour… and yes meeting tanya today was special!

  • Liz Steel says:


  • Vivienne says:

    Thank you Liz. Love your posts and admire your huge energy – not just to sketch rapidly and beautifully, but to post such helpful stuff. Amazing!

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