A few quick sketchbook pages I’ve neglected to share!
The plum wine was a gift from Paul, a souvenir of his trip to Japan back in June. This was an idea for a larger painting which didn’t happen. The shape in the bottom right-hand corner is a packet of what I can only describe as squid jerky.

For M, he brought back a stuffed plush version of the ubiquitous “Hello Kitty”. She loves her, but for some reason was at first troubled, then intrigued and now amused by the fact that beneath her lovely satin dress, Kitty isn’t wearing any underpants.

EDM Challenge #75: Ingredients of a favourite recipe

Chicken paprikash deconstructed.

Pen & watercolour in Canson journal

Carpe minutum!


I listened this weekend to a couple more back episodes of the Creative Mom Podcast, one of which spoke of ways to carve out small chunks of time for artmaking when you’ve convinced yourself there is no creative time available.

Desperate to pick up my neglected oil pastels, I’d been struggling to find extended drawing time during daylight hours, but the podcast removed that apparent obstacle from my path as if by magic: I went on to do this one-hour sketch over 3 short sessions.

The box itself is a souvenir from Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, but I won’t reveal its contents just yet; it might be fun at some point to make them the subject of a companion sketch!

8×8″ oil pastel on Daler-Rowney Murano paper. #12 in the 100 Pastel Sketches challenge.

Something from the weekend


It was a weekend of unpredictable skies, toddlers’ birthday parties, fun summer purchases and not-so-fun goodbyes. This is how I’ll remember it, from the two pages I filled in my Canson watercolour journal.

EDM #155: Draw something with steps

I’ve been meaning to attempt a drawing our child-unfriendly, lumpy, bumpy, twisty staircase for ages – both to challenge my aversion to straight lines and to play with a triad of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow deep. It proved a tricky subject.

Pen & watercolour in Canson journal

EDM #4: Draw your mug or cup


My wizardy dragon-handle mug was bought in 1994, in a favourite shop (long since closed down) on the Isle of Wight. Cider and mulled wine taste especially good out of this mug.

Pen & watercolour in Canson w/c sketchbook.

Canson d’amour … and 2 EDMs


Thursdays are the day I try to put guilt and unfinished tasks aside for the purposes of making some sort of art, or at least feeding my creativity.

Today, eagerly clutching my new Canson watercolour sketchbook, I started out by sketching my panini (EDM Challenge #162: Draw your breakfast) – the first time I can recall being bold enough to use my watercolours in a coffee shop. I went on to draw one of the little yellow garden chairs I’d snapped up for my daughter for 50p apiece at a local playgroup, which I picked up on my way home (EDM #30: Draw a chair). A small drawing of two of the pencils I used for today’s instalment of Every Day in May completed the page.

The Canson is a sexy beast: beautiful red cover, black linen binder and corners, and two page markers. The watercolour surface is smooth, with a texture close to good-quality cartridge paper that also happily accepts fine pen, coloured pencil and gouache. I’m so happy to have it, I find myself hugging it at frequent intervals. Sketchbook nerdism. What can I say.

EDM #137 Something turn-off-and-onable


A couple of indoor sketches from January. The first is in Profipen & Aquatone, the second in Profipen & coloured pencil, both in my small hand*book journal. Not much to say about these, except that the mp3 player sitting in its customary spaghetti of wires is a Creative Zen Vision:M – because i(don’t)Pod. Oh, and that I’ll be a happy bunny the day our scanner is back in action, because some media just refuse to make friends with my digital camera.

EDM #137: Draw something you can turn on and off.

EDM #15: a tree (or two)


I wouldn’t call myself a tree hugger, but I am certainly a tree sketcher, photographer and fondler lately.

This is a London Plane tree, or platanus × hispanica (I assert with confidence, having practically devoured Collins Complete British Trees cover to cover on realising my shameful ignorance of things arboreal). It sits in Dean’s Meadow near the Cathedral, and I love walking past it every day on our strolls around Ely, because it is so twisty and full of character. Did this 30-min sketch in my small hand*book journal with a new Rapidograph pen while my daughter slept in her pushchair.

Next up is a weeping willow or salix × sepulcralis on the charmingly-named Quai d’Orsay down by the river. This was another pen sketch snatched during nap time, with black and white gouache added later. The grey Canford paper I’d pasted into my hand*book allowed me to have a bit of fun with a medium I wouldn’t usually include in there.

Older Entries