Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fiddling with Charcoal

Yes! .. here I am at last. I think I just about fell off the edge of the planet there for a while. Just hanging on by my finger nails .. Lost focus! .. too much going on .. but I am in excellent health so that is a bonus.

Just fiddling about with some of those woodless charcoal pencils on a grubby piece of Canson pastel paper tonight.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shoulder ..

Just something small and unfinished .. thought I should put something up here after being absent for a while.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Follow the Yellow Boat Road journey ends in Sydney

After a journey of over three months the two small yellow boats arrived at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour, Sydney yesterday.  We were there to welcome them after their epic adventure to help raise funds to eradicate Polio from the earth.  They were weatherbeaten and covered in salt but in good spirits.

Robert Pennicott, Mick Souter and Zorro Gamarnik plus enthusiastic supporter with flag.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hometown welcome for Polio1 and Polio2

Polio I and II arrived in their hometown of Hobart with over 50 boats out to greet them and a crowd of people welcoming them on the waterfront. A fantastic celebration of their epic adventure.
Crocodiles, whales, dugong and flying fish were just some of the creatures they encountered on their voyage to circumnavigate Australia on an amazing voyage to raise funds to help eradicate Polio from the earth.

Zorro .. the intrepid cameraman who has battled the wild weather to bring us footage of the adventure.  Fantastic .. will be glad to have him back home in Sydney. Well done Robert Pennicott, Mick Souter and Zorro Gamarnik.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Another smallish sketch .. pastel pencil on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.  Cool colours used for this one and some experimenting with different flesh colours.  Not happy with a lot of the basic flesh colours available in pastel pencils.  Although I add other colours into the flesh the first one that I lay down is important and the ones I have been using lately are much too sallow for my liking.   This time used a Derwent Terracotta 64f it's a bit warmer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Little sketch

Just a little sketch done recently .. it's mostly from my imagination.  Pastel pencil on Fabriano pastel paper.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


A small recent sketch from a very dark reference image.  She has a very fine porcelain complexion so I tried to keep that look whilst removing shadows etc.  Pastel pencil on fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An ..

Just a smallish sketch done this evening.  Had a bit of a ratty week with fasting and tests etc.  Think I'm a bit dehydrated or something .. anyway not thinking especially clearly.  But all is well .. so tests worthwhile .. mind at rest healthwise at least ..  I'm luckier than some others!  Small pastel pencil drawing on Fabriano pastel paper as usual.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pastel pencil sketch - Amanda

This one is a bit loosey goosey .. I often choose reference images to work from based on the feeling that they give me .. the emotions that they stir .. does that make sense?  Anyway, this one was not very clear to work from and I had to imagine more than I usually do and invent lots of it.  So here it is .. and 'no' it's not poor Amy Winehouse - as people have suggested .. although I did realise that it was beginning to look like her when I was drawing it.   I'm annoyed with myself for missing out on a competition to draw Lady Gaga in one of her recent outfits to appear in a fashion magazine that she writes for.

I had a bit of a further fiddle with this one.  Just adding the impression that she was sitting in a chair which she was not in the reference image.  And a couple of minor changes in the drawing - still wanting to keep it simple.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Experimenting ..

A week or so ago I found some large sheets of cardboard in an art shop.  They are quite sturdy and is 1.5mm thick.  I am always looking for pastel paper in this colour but have not found any to suit me previously.  So I bought one of these large sheets and cut it up into more manageable sizes.  Not sure what the life of this would be but I'm sure my framer would appreciate it.  It was lovely to work on and it took a lot of punishment .. I completely removed most of the background at one stage and could have taken it right back to scratch had I wanted to.  Pastel pencil.

Monday, July 18, 2011


This one has some attitude .. lol  I am always changing the reference pictures that I work from ..sometimes they just run away and take on a life of their own.  Pastel pencil on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Little sketch .. Maja

Ok .. after a few days of trials and tribulations .. I just had to get the pencils out tonight.  this is a quick little sketch of Maja.  11 colours used here .. Fabriano paper as usual .. and pastel pencils.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fooling around with prints

Experimenting again today with drypoint on perspex .. every time I make and print one of these I learn something new.  This does not look much like the typical soft fuzzy drypoints that one usually expects to see.  However, I think they could have a sort of charm of their own .. so will keep at them for a bit.  This one is not perfect .. there are a few problems to figure out yet.  Derivan waterbased ink used on this one - this ink produces a very crisp dark line I have found. 9.5cm x 12.5cm on Dutch Etching Paper.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Second try ..

Today I found time to experiment with Drypoint on perspex on my new Etching Press.  Using the same plate as last time with just a couple of little alterations to it.  This time I used Derivan waterbased ink and some good quality paper.  The result is much better.  The main problem I am having with this is the 'wiping off' stage .. the wiping needs to be very gentle so as not to dislodge the ink from the etched line - yet thorough enough so as not to leave excess on other parts of the plate.   I still managed to wipe the tip off Toms eyebrow wiskers :(

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hot off the new press ..

Today I just had to have a fiddle with my new press .. although I don't have all the necessary trappings that go along with printmaking I decided to make do with what I had.  One of the things that I did have was a couple of perspex plates.  So I cut one in half and used it to make this small, simple drypoint print.  There is much room for improvement here and I have never done a drypoint before but learned a few things along the way.  The wiping back could have been a bit neater ... but I was fearful of wiping the ink out of the etched lines .. it seemed to wipe out too easily :O .. maybe I am using the wrong ink.  So many things to learn.  The easy part was using the press .. I managed to get the right pressure without too much trouble.  But I'm forgetting to mention the subject of this print .. it's Tom my faithful cat .. sleeping again!
Also, used Como paper for this .. I think I have some good quality printmaking paper here somewhere - so will try that next time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


My new Etching Press has arrived .. I was amazed at how quickly it got here from the USA.  Confirmation of the order was given on 22nd June and the press was ready to be delivered to my door on 27th June. Unfortunately I was out when they tried to deliver it and was unaware that it was to be delivered that day .. so it arrived yesterday.  It was very sturdily packed and arrived in good condition.
There was only one place to put it in this cramped living situation and that was on top of my clothes dryer which sits on the floor in the kitchen/laundry area.  I will have to remove the bed when the press is not in use but that is just a small inconvenience I guess.  Now I must think about getting all the other bits and pieces together before trying it out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Black and white ..

Back to reality (for this one) lol  .. A few days ago I gessoed some watercolour paper with the intention of doing something in charcoal on it.  When I reached for my charcoal tin .. it was missing :O .. I searched high and low .. eventually as inspiration was leaving me I decided to just use a black pastel pencil for this.  So here it is .. It's a little bit unfinished and will probably remain so ..  It's not a very good photo!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pastel sketch ..

Another one of my doodlings from last night .. this one turned into a naughty schoolgirl .. lol  That's her school behind her - rather reminiscent of Hogwarts hehe!  Pastel pencil and Conte Crayon on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.  6.5cm x 5.5cm

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pastel again ...

Just another pastel .. a bit scribbly this one.  It's on gessoed board .. approx 12" x 11" I think.  I wanted to see how the pastel would go on the board.  It makes it a bit easier for the framer if they are on board.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


It's been a busy week and a rather horrible wet one as well with rain and wind for several days.  All this served to delay the departure of the two little yellow boats    which eventually left on Thursday.  When I saw the first footage on the blog of the boats being tossed about in the heavy seas I was a bit scared.   Following them on the satellite tracker helps to settle our nerves a bit.
Anyway, after not drawing all week .. I managed to rush this one together last night.  I must say that drawing at night has become a bit difficult for me these days and in the morning I am usually surprised when I see the drawing looking a bit rough and ready.  I usually do a couple of touch ups on it before posting it anywhere.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Follow the Yellow Boat Road

The weather has been bad for the past couple of days and the last place I would want to be is out on the ocean.
Robert Pennicott's circumnavigation of Australia for Polio
Tomorrow is the day when Robert Pennicott of 'Pennicott's Wilderness Journeys', fellow skipper Mick Souter and cameraman Zorro Gamarnik will leave Sydney, Australia to circumnavigate Australia in two yellow 18 foot dinghies.
They will be departing Sydney at 7am on 31st May and embarking on a 12,000 nautical mile journey anticlockwise, arriving back in Sydney three months later. Their trip is divided into 77 segments, ranging from 60 to 420 miles.
On 48 of the segments, one or two seats per boat will be auctioned to the highest bidder. All of this of course is to raise funds for polio eradication and conservation.

Zorro is the partner of my daughter Sarah and will be documenting the journey in film.  He is an experienced documentary maker having previously worked for the ABC.  The highlights of the footage will appear on Robert Pennicott's blog every few days.
Visit the website for all the information and donate if you can please.
Don't forget to enter the competition .. details below ..
*  Contributions above $10 are eligible to be entered in the draw for 2 people to travel on the final leg from Uladulla to Sydney. This will include flights from anywhere in the world, along with 2 nights’ accommodation and a 5 day holiday in Tasmania. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Daniele at Midnight

Drawing at midnight is one of my favourite things ... with a glass of red wine!!  Lately I have been having a bit of a struggle with everything artistic due to a delayed reaction to treatment last year.  So not posting as much as I normally would.  Lots of stuff hitting the bin lately. :(  .. However, I will continue on in the hope that things will improve. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Well ... that fruity stage did not last too long did it?  Tonight I felt the urge to mess about with some faces/figures .. so here I am once again distorting/simplifying the image of a beautiful model .. this was a very loose and quick drawing .. but felt good to be back on familiar territory.  Pastel pencil on Fabriano paper.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pastel Pears

When in doubt .. draw fruit!! .. That's what I say!   I've been in a bit of an art slump lately .. so after weeks of not producing anything worthwhile .. I decided to change the subject matter ..  These pears were lurking in the fruit basket so I decided to pick on them.  They were a bit boring colourwise so I livened them up a bit - I found this little drawing to be very 'freeing' and fun to do.  Conte hard pastel sticks on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.  I think I'll do some more still life subjects.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I've not been very productive lately .. just a couple of simple collagraphs.  Experimenting with colour rolls.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fiddling about

An unfinished pastel sketch .. lately I've just been fiddling about with this and that .. most of my sketches have gone in the bin.  This one has survived .. although it has some problems so here it is .. a small pastel sketch on Fabriano pastel paper.

Ok!  I just had to try to fix the wonky eye on this one .. If it's going to be hanging about incomplete looking at me it has to have straight eyes. lol   That eye now looks overworked :(

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Another night sketching at the art society.  I was a bit tired but did this little sketch.  Thought it was rubbish but fiddled with it once back at home.  Eventually some harsh cropping made it reasonable.  Pastel pencil on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I've recently been doing a printmaking course .. one evening a week and covering several types of printmaking.  We have been learning about collagraphs lately and I have made a few plates but am not too pleased with some of the results.  This one was a very old design that had been sitting in a sketchbook for a couple of years so I stretched it to fit this plate.  Once again there are a few problems with it but it's not too bad.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A couple of scribbles

Just a couple of small scribbly things from this afternoon .. it's raining outside .. so I passed some time doing these. 
These are quite small on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Overlap ..

Well .. not much creativity going on here lately with me .. just going round in circles.  But Tom, my constant companion is always finding new and creative ways to get his rest.  Why do cats always try to squeeze into small spaces to sleep? 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A little bit Barbie ...

I started this small sketch the other night when I went to the art society.  It looked quite nice as a quick study but I thought I would push it further today.  It then became too overworked and I had to attack it to pull it back a bit.  Phew!  Sometimes you have to fight with them to make them presentable.  She's a bit Barbie-like in my opinion .. but, well ... I have no excuse for that :)  It's about 6" x 5" approx. on Fabriano, Tiziano pastel paper

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Red Coat .. improved

I have a box of small pastel sketches that I have done in the past.  This is one of them .. I pulled some of them out and am reworking them to make them more interesting .. may get some of them framed for an upcoming exhibition.  With this one I added the hat and the earrings.  It's quite small approx. 5" x 5 1/2"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lady in Black ..

I've recently been going to an evening class at the art society .. so tonight I took my pastels along and did this one.  It's actually mostly done with pastel pencils.  Hmmm .. I might have to tweak her left eye tomorrow.

Ok .. fixed the eye and gave her a little smile .. the mistakes always show up in the morning!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fiddling about with patterns ..

Fiddling about with some more pattern making this afternoon.  The first drawing is the original and the second one is a scanned image of the first with a bit more pattern added.  Not sure if it's a good idea to add that pattern at the top .. but I do like those little dots :)  Graphite on cartridge paper approx 6" x 8"

Monday, February 21, 2011

A hard day at the office ..

Could I get to use my computer this morning! .. not a chance .. until nap time was over.  lol  Here is Tom with his head comfortably resting on the mouse.  Which makes a change from his usual encounters with mice (the furry kind).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Warrior Princess ..

It seemed like a perfect evening to be experimenting with frottage again.  Just felt like messing about and experimenting ... so this is what emerged .. ha!  Is there such a thing as collage frottage?  Well there is now! .. Some of these bits .. (the circles) are frottage that has been cut out and stuck on.  I just could not help myself .. I liked those circle shapes and fiddled about deciding where to put them .. so here they are .. Approx. 10 inches x 7 inches .. on Como paper which is a heavy duty drawing paper.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Graphite scribble ..

Today I found some long lost graphite sticks hiding away in a chocolate box .. so I decided to mess about with them.  This is a quick sketch where I tried out some frottage on the dress.  Didn't work too well but later I found another stick that worked really well ... so might do some more fiddling with these.  Please excuse the crooked eyes :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick pastel sketch

This is a quick pastel sketch created this evening from a reference photo and altered a bit.  I've been a bit slow with my blog lately .. it's been sooo hot but today we had a cool change .. ahhh! lovely!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I must be getting better ... tonight I had the urge to put pastel to paper .. and this is what emerged.  From the changed reference image on the computer screen.  I hope to be able to continue to produce some interesting portraits in the future as my eyesight improves. Pastel and pastel pencil on Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper.  I used a bit of a limited palette here .. about 12 colours in all.
Also uploading the preliminary sketch for this pastel.