Sunday, January 23, 2011

18. Bath Sketch, England

Roman Baths, Bath, England

This my eighteenth and final sketch for The Sketchbook Project and the final destination for me and my husband's big Europe trip! Our last stop, as you have probably already guessed, was back in England: Bath! Once again, very beautiful. We spent about four days here -resting and sightseeing. We did the hop-on hop-off bus tour once again. I was interested in all the Jane Austin destinations and information. I could see one of her stories easily coming to life there! Beautiful and quite romantic. I've sketched the fascinating Roman Baths. We were able to taste the water too. Urgh! The markets in the main shopping area were incredible. The amount of customers crowding to buy from the stalls was amazing to see. I would love to set up a stall there one day!!

Well, this project has been a lot of fun. I had wanted to sketch while I was on the trip, but I was too busy sight-seeing and too exhausted by the evenings. So I'm really glad that I got to take a trip down memory lane and sketch them all now for this project. I hope you have enjoyed reading all the stories and seeing my sketches!

Now, back to pottery...

17. Scotland Sketch


We both loved Scotland. This was in Edinburgh. I think it was Edinburgh Castle. Everything there was beautiful, fascinating and so rich with history. I think it was probably my favourite city of the trip! It was very cold while we were there though. We also visited Glasgow and Inverness. From one of our hotel rooms we had a view of Loch Ness.
This is a funny sketch. I think I'll stick to architecture!!! :)

16. Ireland Sketch

Blarney Castle, near Cork

Our next country was Ireland. We started in a southern town, Cork. In the morning we tried a Full Irish Breakfast. Interestingly it looked and tasted exactly like the Full English Breakfast! ;)
This sketch is of me standing next to some of the biggest leaves I have ever seen in my life. They were in the garden surrounding Blarney Castle. They looked like giant marshmellow weeds (a weed in Australia anyway) and they were bigger than me! The scenery in that area of Ireland was very beautiful!

We also visited Dublin for a few days. We then travelled by bus up to Northern Ireland and stayed in Belfast. I didn't have room to put every destination in, but they were both very interesting places. We had one scary encounter in Belfast, which spoiled the experience. So we might not visit there again. But I'm glad we went there for at least few days!

15. Stonehenge Sketch

We visited Stonehenge too! We were told by a few people (even our Lonely Planet guide) that it is quite disappointing. So we weren't expecting too much. However, perhaps that was a good thing. I think our expectations were so low, that we loved it! We both found it very interesting. Even the bus driver taking us there from Bournemouth said he didn't know why people wanted to see it so much. He drives passed it on his way home everyday and he had never wanted to stop and take a closer look. Oh well - each to their own!

14. Bournemouth, England Sketch

Here's a quick sketch of Bournemouth! It's actually in a suburb next to Bournemouth. We stayed with some extended family there. We went for a nice (but very windy) walk along the beach. Very relaxing!

13. London Sketch

Big Ben

We absolutely loved London! We were only there for 4 day, but wish we could have spent 2 weeks there (at least). We did the tourist hop-on hop-off bus tour, which I would recommend. Especially the one with a live guide, not just the recording. The whole of London was stunning. The buildings were beautiful. We saw big Ben from the tour bus and then again at sunset on the London Eye. On our first night in London we saw the Queen!

Switzerland Sketch

This is my next sketch for the Sketchbook Project (which you can read about here). I did send it away on time, but I haven't finished posting all the images!

This is of our next destination on the big Europe trip: Switzerland! We spent 3 days travelling around Switzerland by train, bus and ferry with a friend (Lukas) who I met in China. This is one of the beautiful lakes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

11. My First Snow Ball... Ever!

Our First snow ball... ever!

Our German relatives were determined to show us snow. So they drove us close to the Austrian border. We took a sky lift up to a very high mountain and touched snow for the first time in our lives!! Very exciting. My husband decided to take our GPS, so we could see how high we were above sea level. Then he gave it to me to put in my pocket. As I was throwing my first snow ball over the edge of a very high cliff, I felt something fall out of my pocket. We, along with all the other tourists, watched the GPS slowly bounce down the snow and over the edge of the cliff. I think our cousin thought I was going to go after it, because she grabbed my arm and said "It's gone!"
Yep, my husband wasn't very happy with me that day! This is the happy sketch before I threw the snow ball! :)

10. Neuschwanstein


Neuschwanstein is a castle in southern Germany. Close to the Austrian border. When we visited it, we actually slept in Austria! This castle looks a bit like something out of Disneyland. It's very touristy and there are horse and cart rides constantly going up to it. They have different tours throughout the day in different languages. I found it hard to pronounce. Our German cousins found that funny, because I could pronounce Sch├╝tzenfest perfectly.

9: German Canoe Ride

German Canoes on River

We took a canoe ride in Germany, once again near Stuttgart. The river was really pretty. I took so many photos. I loved the canoes all lined up on the bank. This is probably my favourite of my sketches for this project!

8: Sketch of German houses

We caught a train from France to Germany and stayed with family near Stuttgart. This is a sketch of a pretty town near where we stayed. I absolutely loved the architecture in Germany. For me, living my whole life in Australia, I found it really interesting how the buildings in Europe change so much within a short distance: from country to country, and even inside the countries.

Seventh Sketch: Paris

The Eiffel Tower

Here is my quick sketch of the Eiffel Tower. I remember we visited the Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning to try and beat the crowds. We got there just as it was supposed to open and the crowds weren't bad at all. Then we found out it was the end of Daylight Saving and we were actually over an hour early! But that was a good thing, because by the time it actually did open the lines were unbelievably long! There is an amazing view of Paris from the top!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amsterdam Sketch

Our next stop was Amsterdam. Once again, I loved the architecture (I seem to have a theme going here). All the tall building lined up against the canals was stunning.

We visited the house of Ann Frank. I have never read her diary, but I knew the story from the film. It was so moving to be there and read her thoughts and feelings about what was happening during the war. Very sad. It was also interesting to see how people lived during the war.

My Sketch


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Barcelona sketch

My fifth sketch is of Antoni Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia' in Barcelona, Spain. It is such an impressive piece of architecture and fascinating that when he designed it, he knew it would never be completed in his lifetime. I can't really imagine what it would be like to design something so incredibly detailed and sophisticated, and know that it couldn't be completed in your life time. Like many designers he was a perfectionist. He left thousands of instructions and drawings on how to complete the whole cathedral. However most of the plans were destroyed in a fire.

They are aiming to complete the building in 2026 (100 years after Gaudi died). It is incredible to stand inside. Gaudi designed the ceiling to look like a a forest canopy - as though you are looking at the sky beneath trees in a forest. Beautiful!

My sketch of Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia'

Below is the photo I took:

My sketch doesn't do it justice. But it is just a sketch! :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sketch of Venice

My fourth sketch is of Venice. I really loved Venice and once again couldn't put my camera down. The place we stayed had a lot of character. The first room we slept in was quite funny. When we were shown the room we couldn't stop laughing, because we couldn't actually stand up in the room and the bed could barely fit! It was up in the attic. But we didn't spend much time at the hotel anyway - we had too much exploring to do!

Second and Third Sketch

My second and third sketches are of a couple of landmarks in Italy. I loved the architecture and history of Italy. In each city I couldn't put my camera down. We visited Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice and Verona.

While in Rome, we stayed within walking distance of the Colosseum. We did a guided tour, which was very interesting and we also did a guided tour of Vatican City. Our guides were great - trained in history and art, they were full of knowledge and interesting facts.

We visited The Leaning Tower of Pisa on a cold and very wet day. So it was just a quick visit!

These sketches are taking longer than expected!

I thought I'd share my technique, in case you're interested. I first sketch in pencil from a photo I took on the trip. I then colour using Derwent watercolour pencils. I was going to use watercolour paint, but the pencils are so much easier and less messy while you're travelling. There's a few different ways of using them to get different results. So it's good to experiment before applying it to your final picture. After the water has dried, I use a Papermate fineliner (fine 0.4) to outline and put in all the detail.

I'm happy with the results. I'm not looking for a photo perfect finish - I like the graphic quality and my own hand drawn touch!

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Sketch

First Sketch

I finally started my sketchbook (that I mentioned in this post)! This sketch is of our first destination Greece! We are sitting on our favourite beach Trugonu on the island Rhodes. It is a stunning pebble beach (very different to the beaches in Australia). Many cruise boats visit there throughout summer, for tourists to swim in the beautiful water. It is so crystal clear that you have no idea how deep it is.

This was so much fun to sketch. I can't wait to keep going tomorrow.

A Nice Way to Start the Year

Our accommodation

This year on new years day we took a train ride up to Killcare to camp with family and friends. It's a beautiful spot on the Central Coast in New South Wales.

Beautiful beach at Terrigal

I also had a chance to visit a few nearby towns and check out some of the local galleries. I may have found a few more outlets for my work! I'll keep you posted!

I hope you have all had a fantastic and relaxing start to 2011!


HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!!

I hope you all had a fantastic year and enjoyed your new years eve celebrations! I spent it with some lovely people in Sydney. We had a view of the Harbour Bridge and watched the fireworks!

I loved 2010 and am really looking forward to 2011 - I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!!!