Last week: Walking to and from work and some new tools

November 16, 2015 | Leave your thoughts

As usual the first week back from a trip is pretty crazy, catching up on things in my inbox, and trying to get my trip sketches scanned and posted as soon as possible so I can get cracking on new projects. Last week I also had a case of ‘back to work sickness’ – sitting under some cold air conditioning during a meeting meant that I had to take it easy for a few days to fight off a nasty cold. It is good that I have cleared the Norfolk decks and am now ready to start on a few projects that I have been planning for a long time.

One of my big goals at the moment is to get some order and structure into my daily life, to stop working the crazy hours I have been and to get back into the habit of sketching just for me, creating a narrative of my life.

One of the big ideas I had while I was away was to walk to work and walk home. I hope you all realise that I work from home so this sounds like a silly statement! However, the plan is to get out of the house at the start of my day and the end of it. I still aim to get to the gym three times a week. I am also trying to record something from my day, everyday, no matter how boring it seems or how busy I am. I am also hoping that the walks will provide me with some inspiration since I am much more motivated to sketch when I am out and about.

Anyway… I feel a rambling session coming on so I will stop writing now and just share with you every page that I did in my daily sketchbook in the past week. Some are rushed, some are unfinished, and some are working (testing) pages but together they record a week in my life. Not all of them are beautiful or ‘good’ pages, but I am happy to share the entirety with you – just to show that you should have the confidence to make your own pages in your sketchbook. And if you are recording daily life, the narrative aspect of your sketch is more important than its ‘quality’.

This collection is all about my new resolution of getting out walking each day and a few new tools – more about these coming soon! So here goes….


I decided to stick with the A5 portrait format of the  5.5 x 8.5” Stillman & Birn Alpha in order to keep the relaxed, casual feel I have when I use this size and style of book. Also my palette is a little random at the moment representing the modifications I made on the run at Norfolk.


To reward myself for my new ‘walk to work, walk home’  routine I decided that for the first week I would walk up to the station and get a takeaway coffee. It was amazing how good it felt to be walking the streets with other workers on their way to work. It made me feel like I have a ‘real job’ too! Ha!

In the evening I sketched a house that is about to be demolished. For some reason, I feel rather self conscious sketching in my own neighbourhood/own street – I am much more comfortable when in a strange place or suburb. So it was good have the courage to be standing up in the middle of someone’s driveway to do this. (Note: I am not always fearless!)


A collection of brushes to play with… more later!


A day out – four different locations – but someone left their paint tin at home. Oh! I really missed my paints!


A VERY exciting parcel from Goulet. More about this later but I can tell you that I finally gave in to my wish list… and have a Falcon! Oh ah!


On Wednesday I tried out a different takeaway coffee and did a sketch on my way to work. I am not putting pressure on myself during my morning/evening walks, if I feel like sketching then that is great, but the important thing is the exercise and the mental separation at the start and end of my day.


Thursday: Had a second ’emergency’ orthodontic appointment for the week and then another appointment in the city. Getting the feel for one of my new pens – ink first and then paint first.


Had a lovely afternoon with Teoh (Parka from the amazing Parkablogs) and Judy from Singapore. We walked through the Botanic Gardens to Mrs Macquarie Chair for the classic view of the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge in the background. I was chatting a bit (ha!) and didn’t start my sketch till the rain started. So this sketch was done in about 2 minutes!

Arrived early at the wharf for my ferry home, so I did a sketch with my Lamy Joy to fill in time.


Friday: quiet day at home taking it easy and doing some pen tests….


And some more…


And another one! I want to include more collage or at least use my sketchbook to document some of the hard mail I get. This isn’t very inventive at all so I hope to do better next time.


And finally, using a rigger to draw rather than a pen.


Saturday: I organised an adhoc event to sketch with Teoh and Judy but wasn’t feeling well enough to turn up myself. So I had a quiet day at home. Folded clothes isn’t the most interesting subject matter to sketch but is a record of how reading Marie Kondo’s book has changed a few ways I store my clothes. Did some tidying up in my desk and discovered two missing tools!


Also I did this colour chart of a new product from Winsor and Newton – Pigment Markers. I was sent a set to review. More about this later.


And finally…. I don’t post my Sunday pages normally, but here is my page from yesterday – writing with my new TWSBI Eco pen. Simple floral decoration added this morning.

Well there you have it: a week in my sketchbook!

The important thing for me is the narrative of my week I have created and not the individual pages. And there are lots of teasers for things I will be working on in the next month or so….


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