Lane Cove National Park sketches in a landscape spiral book

March 14, 2022 | 6 Comments

Last week was the first week since August last year that I was unable to visit Lane Cove National Park on any day. We had some crazy rain on Monday and Tuesday and then later in the week the whole park closed due to floods and fallen trees etc. So I’m hoping that I’ll be able to return soon and get back to some regular bush sketching.

Most of you are aware that I’ve been using spiral-bound sketchbooks lately. My last sketchbook was a 7×10 spiral Alpha and I struggled a little with the format (refer to my recent YouTube video).

So I decided to use a 10×7 Spiral Alpha next to see if the landscape format was easier to use. And indeed it was! However, as the scenes from Lane Cove Park include tall gum trees, I found the landscape format a little bit of a challenge. Ah! no such thing as a perfect sketchbook, hey?

First Lane Cove sketch in the new book and excited to explore some horizontal compositions.

A wet day and all the colours were intense.

Playing with texture on another wet day.

Feeling a little cramped in this sketchbook and wanted more height for those Sydney Blue Gum trees – there is not enough vertical breathing space!

Late in the day (on a rare sunny day) so I tried to record the dark afternoon shadows!

Sketching after a funeral – not really thinking about what I was doing, but doing something with my hand helped me process a lot of thoughts!

Another late in the day visit but everything was in the shade so I did a simple line drawing.

Sketching from my car due to light rain… looking between the trees to the south side of the river.

Two quick sketches on another two wet days – rain was falling on my page while painting the trees on the left.

My most recent visit to Lane Cove – over a week ago! I miss it a lot and hope to get back to sketching there again this week!


  • Jane Varley says:

    Hi Liz, ah, your colour combinations are a give away that it’s been raining hard. And for me, that the tree tops are out of picture rather adds to the fact that these are indeed tall tall trees – their grandeour particularly emphasised in the sketches with picnic tables etc. Hope the park is open soon. And do please send some of your rain here. We’ve had less than 50ml so far this year!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Jane – even in a portrait book I don’t include the tops of the trees… so thinking about it now, it was the mid-storey section that felt cramped for me in this book. Still enjoyed using a landscape format for a change though. ANd if I could send rain your way I would!!!!!

  • Jane COBURN says:

    Hi Liz
    Just wondering what the title of the book is, that you recommend for sketching people. Not the one by Gary Faigin; the one I’m after is written by a woman.
    Jane ?

  • Tanja Blume says:

    Hi Liz,
    I really like how the watercolour pencil marks are quite visible in some of these pages.
    I especially love the the 2 pages that show the colour mixing strips on the left.
    (A wet day and all the colour where intense)
    Thank you for sharing.

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