RoadTrip2021: Back Home Reviews

June 4, 2021 | 6 Comments

The last-minute prep for my road trip was so busy (it was much more work to plan than I had expected) that I didn’t do my usual ‘all packed’ pages. But I did do this one to highlight a few things.

And on my first full day back home, I did a little review of paint, pens and clothes. I’m mainly sharing these for my own record, but some of you might find them interesting! 🙂


Paint and brushes

I didn’t use as much paint as I expected so I had way too many spare pans. Of course, that is totally fine as I will use them up! If you want more information about my current palette please check it out here.

A few comments

  • Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and French Ultramarine are always the most used and this trip was no exception!
  • Steel’s Grey is also a pan that runs out fast, but as my mix was a little too brown, I bought a small Cobalt Blue Deep to mix into the pan and make it bluer. So I used at least one more pan’s worth of Steel’s Grey than this image shows.
  • I used a lot of Cobalt as that was what I’m using for skies these days. Mainly because it is so transparent and adds a ‘zing’ to my sketches. (Very technical term I know). It’s a little too red for Australian skies.
  • My Indanthrone Blue was like a magic pudding (a reference to a classic Australian children’s book). I used it heaps but it never seemed to run out!
  • New colour 1: I used most of a tube of WN Yellow Ochre for greens (with Indanthrone Blue and French Ultramarine) and yellows (for the grass). Every few days I squeezed a little into the corner of a mixing area. This was after seeing @chris_haldane use it a lot in the first week. I used WN as that is the only brand of paint available in the regional art stores. (In my travels I visited art stores in Bathurst, Mudgee, Wagga Wagga and Mildura.)
  • New Colour 2: Angela gave me a little DS Manganese Blue Hue to try. She was using it for skies and looked very similar in characteristics to Cobalt but is a more greenish-blue.  I think mixing Cobalt with Manganese Blue Hue would be the perfect match for our skies. I had it in my palette years ago (for a short while) so it’s fun revisiting it.  Still testing it though! I intend to reduce my Cerulean Chromium (which I hardly used!) to a half pan so I can add MBH to my palette.

Just before I left I made some handmade paints with Jane Blundell (not sure I mentioned it here – but you can see more about it on this IG post). I put them in a little box and during the second week put them into my secondary bag. I then completely forgot about them and it wasn’t until I unpacked that I found them again. Oops!

I also took a collection of different brushes but I didn’t use them once (more about why in my Reflections post coming next week!) For the first two weeks I did use a travel rigger (for trees?), but apart from that, all my sketches were done with one brush. You all should know what that would be… yes, the Rosemary 772 1/2 inch sable blend dagger.


My 55 degree Fude with black ink was the go-to pen with a good number of sketches done with my Lamy Joy (Med nib).

I used a 55 Fude with brown ink a few times, and a 45 Fude with grey ink once or twice.

But just as with the brushes, I stuck to my favourite pens and didn’t experiment with the different coloured inks I had packed (and sketched in the above page!)



I shared this picture before… the books I packed with the intention of looking at them in the evening. I did pick up Freeland to read a little once (during Week 2?), but I didn’t touch the others at all. Or the one art book I took for inspiration (I’m such a tease as I’m not going to tell you what it is! But it’s a painting book, not an urban sketching book.)

I was too busy finishing my pages, writing blog posts and planning the next day’s activities and cafe stops!


And my final review… my clothes. This is what I ended up taking. The weather was warmer than I expected so I didn’t need my warmer clothes as much as I thought.

And yes, as usual, I only wore skirts on this trip. If you haven’t noticed I love wearing skirts (and dresses even more so) and the two I wore all the time (except to church and to dinner) I sewed myself! So in a way, I managed to do my own MeMadeMay! Also, the new shoes that arrived 15 minutes before I left – were Frankie4 Nat shoes and have been the most comfortable sneakers ever!

Ah! always fun to do these types of pages! I hope you enjoy them.

If you have any questions please ask them in the comment section here on the blog (rather than via email).



  • Peggy Bowman says:

    Liz, this is a wonderful record of your trip planning with a review of what worked and what didn’t. I imagine that will be helpful for future road trips, and a jumping off point for travel abroad, whenever that is possible. We’ve a four-month road trip beginning in September to our Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Texas and Florida, so I plan to adopt your method of recording clothes and sketchbook supplies (different pigments for a different climate, etc) so I don’t have to start from scratch each trip. You are such a generous teacher – thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Laurence says:

    hello Liz,
    it’s the end of the journey…. I am so sad that this one ends because your testimonies concerning the Australian states, and your sketches have taught me so much during these 6 weeks. but I imagine that the return has good !!! I like to come back, “recharge the batteries” to leave again. Is it the same for you?
    I always make the same observation when I return when I examine the art supplies taken away. In fact, I bring a lot of material because I’m afraid of missing or I think I’m going to apply this or that technique. But in fact, I use my brush, watercolors and ink pen. And I’m like, “But why are you carrying so many things ?”… Despite this observation, I leave each time with so many things in my backpack!
    On the other hand I am very creative at home because I have everything at hand and I am in another dynamic, not the same state of mind as outdoors. So what to do??? I have not yet found the answer. Maybe enlighten me on this subject
    Thank you for your writings and drawings that give me so much energy 🙂
    See you soon

  • Liz – It looks like you have had a fabulous trip. I have been laid up after ankle surgery the last six weeks or so. I have so enjoyed receiving you blogs and following in your travels. It is always wonderful to explore your own country and I found learning more about a corner of Australia wonderful. It is nice to know that some people are able to travel. Thanks for taking us along on your wonderful journey and glad you made it home safe. Colette in Canada

  • Linda Barnhill says:

    Thanks for taking us along on such a wonder Australian journey. Love the art & commentary. Thanks for explaining some of the terms that are different in the USA. I enjoy the language lessons. Did find the parking directions and degree interesting and unusual.
    If you were to use only one Fude pen what degree would you recommend? Haven’t tried one yet.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Linda! Some Australian terms can be confusing! And I need to do a wrap up on the parking!

      I prefer the 55 degree one… but I know a lot of people find the 45degree easier initially

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Liz, I saw in some of the photos you used the Stablo board on your road trip. Has your opinion changed on it since you last wrote about it?

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