Recent mixed-media sketches from outings

April 24, 2023 | 2 Comments

Here are a few other sketches I’ve done recently on my Wednesday evening sketching sessions or other outings.

All of these contain some combination of:

  • coloured pencils (both wax/oil based coloured pencils and a few watercolour pencils)
  • Neocolor crayons I and II (mainly the watersoluble ones)
  • markers (mainly GoldFaber Aqua Dual Markers with a few Tombows)
  • fude pen (55 degree Sailor Fude de Mannen with black De Atramentis Document Ink)
  • watercolour

This first one was done in a very dramatic office tower lobby in the City. I’ve been thinking about doing a series of this type of interior sketches for a long time and now might be the time to start.

I had so much fun doing this spontaneous sketch mixing media and not worrying about perspective.

A very loose warmup sketch of the cabbage palms at Circular Quay (notice the outline of the Sydney Opera House between the trunks).

As the notes indicate it was the first sketch of the day – and that is very out of character not to have done anything (other than my usual highlights from my morning reading of the Bible) until late afternoon. A sign of a hectic day?

Quick marker (and a little colour pencil) sketch of a new structure that appeared on George St. What is it? I don’t know so I’ll have to check it out another time. I was in a rush as I wanted to visit a store before closing and using markers was perfect for this type of ‘on-the-go’ sketch.

A sketch during a short Saturday afternoon impromptu sketching meet. I’ve drawn from the same spot (slightly different angle) a number of years ago, so when I started this one I was thinking of the thoughts I had about the limitations of one-point perspective back in 2016.

I had a great time doing this sketch while chatting to a fellow sketcher  I had just met so I wasn’t fully concentrating. Note: If I meet someone new I find it a bit odd to sit in silence for an hour while we both sketch!

This type of reflex sketching is a great way to test my current mixed media approach (starting with Neocolor II). I particularly like the textures and marks in the top lefthand part of the sketch.

 Museum of Sydney late in the day before a quick dinner and then another concert at The Con – I’m still working out how to handle the opacity of the Neocolors.

And I sketched during my dumpling dinner.

Hmm, it might sound like an easy option just to use dry media and not get my paints out, but having pens and pencils all over the place might be more inconvenient than having a small watercolour palette and water container on the table.

The finished sketch with lots of notes added.

Wonderful piano recital to celebrate Rachmaninoff’s 150th Birthday. Like last time I was so focused on the music that I didn’t really want to sketch during the performance.

And finally… a Neocolor-based sketch of St James church!



  • Patricia Wafer says:

    Love seeing your mixed media sketches adding the Neocolor crayons. I used them several times last week doing the 1st plein air sketches of spring which has just begun here in Wisconsin. I mostly use the II’s & find I am sometimes torn between whether to use some water on them or just leave them alone as the texture of the crayons is great. I love the yellow-greens of the trees just leafing out & after I drew one with the crayons & used water on it, when dry I gave it some texture with dry crayon. Sort of having the best of both worlds. I love the way you added texture & color with the crayons in these sketches & will give that a try with my watercolor sketches, too. Looking forward to the Teacup Class!!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks for your comment Patirica ad I know what you mean about the lovely texture of the crayons when dry! So much fun, aren’t they?

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