A morning on Cockatoo Island

September 21, 2020 | 2 Comments

This morning I headed out to Cockatoo Island for a few hours of sketching. It was a gorgeous warm morning (forecast of 30C) and it felt so good to be out on the harbour again!

The purpose of the visit was to go on a sketching outing – part of Lesson 5 of Watercolour On Location – but it also served as a transition back to thinking about Foundations concepts. And this image shows three versions of an old crane – Feeling Edges, Abstracting Shapes and Constructing Volumes – the core concepts of the Foundations course and the core of all my sketching!

If you haven’t heard yet, I’m going to be hosting another Group Run-through of Foundations – starting 07 October and going for 12 weeks. I normally only do one Group Run-through of Foundations a year, so it’s extra special to have a second one in 2020!

The main reason for this Group Run-through is that it will be animportant preparation for my new course – Sketchbook Design – coming out in Jan 2021. To get the most out of this course you will need a healthy regular sketching practice… and a Group Run-through of Foundations will be perfect for that! Find out more about the Foundations Group Run-through here.

But getting back to my outing to Cockatoo Island this morning… 

I had a lot of fun just sketching whatever I felt like but trying to stay out of the sun was a priority! It was a very warm morning.

I took a few progress photos of some of these sketches and will be talking about them in this week’s livestream (part of Watercolour on Location) and really looking forward to that.

Here are my pages.

What a great 3 hour sketching session on the island! And I’m enjoying my new Goldline sketchbook.



  • Jan Koehler says:

    I love these sketches! The industrial nature of the island and its buildings/structures are palpable in what you’ve captured so well. A visit to Cockatoo Island (from Canberra) is on my ‘must do’ list one of these days.

  • Martine says:

    Great to see your approach to sketching the crane. I just returned home from a short trip to germany where we visited a landscape park in Duisburg filled with old industrial iron melting factories. All pipes and cranes and way too much detail! I know realize i should have tried the three different approaches and see what worked best.

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