Roadtrip2023: The drive home and most used colours

September 14, 2023 | 7 Comments

I made three stops on the 3.5-hour drive home – two of these were cafes. I had breakfast at Ironbark in Blayney and lunch at Hounslow in Blackheath.

And in between these two cafe visits I popped into Govettt’s Leap.


This lookout was closed last December when I was in the Blue Mountains for a mini sketching trip. So I was happy to sketch the view again.


Super quick and loose Neocolour II marks…


which I softened with markers and a little watercolour pencil. This was so much fun, loose and quick. Hmm… I should have used my Neocolors more this trip!

And then it was just a 1.5 hour drive back home! What a great 6-day road trip!

In the next article, I will share some takeaways but before I do…


Most used colours

Once I was home I decided to document the popular colours  – in particular the Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils that I used the most. Obviously, this is not a complete palette of watercolour pencils, but it indicates the colours that were most common in the historic towns I was visiting.

Note: I just realised that I missed listing the brown in the second row – it is 179 Bistre.

As for how I carried my tools…


The front pocket of my Baggallini bag was pretty full! Though as I was not carrying any watercolour gear (paints, brushes, water) my bag was overall lighter in weight than usual!

Let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions about my travel sketching from this road trip.

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  • Jamie C says:

    Even your trip home had great stops! I’m really looking forward to reading your takeaways, especially with the dry only sketching. I am curious how you kept your pencils sharpened? I have yet to find a good pencil sharpener for travel! And, as ever, I’m always curious how long each day/evening was occupied in homework and page finishing. Especially on the big sketching days!

  • Doug Allen says:

    Nice work Liz, but, the crayon/dry-materials doesn’t look as finished or, as professional, as your watercolour work
    Do you do these as sketches to paint later? Or do you just journal your trips as a diary of your trips? It’s good that you are the one exploring these materials for us. It makes me realise that I’ll be sticking to brushes. The dry materials don’t interact or appear as lively as watercolour – no fortunate accidents, not so dynamic. Thanks for showing your various works and methods. Best Wishes, Doug,

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Doug. As much as I love playing with dry media it’s never going to be the same as watercolour. My hope is that this dry period will help my painting!

      I sketch to record the moment, take visual notes and keep my creative juices flowing – not to create a masterpiece. I don’t paint from them afterwards. These quick sketches are an end in themselves 🙂

      • Patricia Wafer says:

        Very interesting comment and reply from Liz. I think I often worry too much about making some finished masterpiece! And I really think Liz has an excellent point and letting these live on site sketches be an end in themselves for the reasons that she lists. I find that a very good example of how to keep learning. My guess is that when Liz goes back to working with watercolor as is more the norm all these dry work sketches that she’s done will inform her watercolor. I work mostly in watercolor or soft pastels. I’ll go back and forth between the two and I always notice that after a while of working in pastel my watercolor seems better when I go back to it. I really think it helps to work in more than one media. Also I am an art toy Junkie!

  • Doug Allen says:

    Keep up the good work Liz. You’re an amazing artist with talents we all wish we had.

  • Doug Allen says:

    Pat, Liz, you’ve hit my problem dead centre. I don’t paint enough. I don’t experiment enough. Hence, when I do paint I expect perfection (not that my work is nowhere near Liz’s quality and liveliness). I have some pastels but they’re grey/white/black and are a bit stark. I had watercolour pencils, but my grandchildren have them now as they were getting more fun out of them than I ever would. I need to do some more learning things I think … All the best, Doug.

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