Sketching His and Hers Travel Toiletries

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Oh look at those blue skies.  It’s chilly first and last thing, but you know you’ll be pealing off the layers in the middle of the day.

So – wear layers.

This week we are going into the bathroom and seeing what toiletries you travel with.

On one table HIS choice.  The other table HER choice.

We have an interesting sketch to do in 30 mins and get colour on. Lots of shapes and colour. But plan your sketch before you start. Watercolours for one. Watercolour pencils for the other. Both vital for travel sketching.

Actually it was a bit less time for the 2nd sketch because we were so involved.  No matter. You do something in the time you have. In other words if your plane is about to leave, you don’t keep sketching. Get the bones of the thing down and complete a little colour later.

A lot of laughs once people had seen some of the little things some take.  No telling secrets of course.

As the next class arrived we headed off to the Corso to Ebony Hair.

Continuing the beauty theme, we would sketch as much in the salon as we could without disturbing anyone.

As it turns out we were between clients so our sketchers were able to sit in the client chairs and at the washbasins. The staff were more than happy and found us quite entertaining.

An interesting subject for all, with perspective, a few figures and mirrors. The last bit was new for some. Apologies for the photo quality below. A camera issue!


Today we were working in either watercolour or watercolour pencil.  We use either depending on where you are. Not always easy to balance a water jar.

Time for 3 Beans Cafe. They have a lovely big table they’d reserved for us so we happily took our seats and carried on with completing our earlier work.

Just a few managed a cafe sketch of table decor.


By this part of the term there is real progress with how people go about their sketching.

For we tutors the improvements are very rewarding.  We are inspired by you lovely people. Looking forward to next week.



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Hello to our ‘New Starters’ group this fine sunny day. In the studio we see our sketching subject for today, is a ‘his and hers’ toiletries kit.

There are the obvious things like toothbrushes, deodorants’ and perfume/aftershave, which has been beautifully set up by Erin this week.

If you look closely you’ll see a rather humorous addition to the male toiletry kit. We had some chuckles in class about that.

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Our little group get seated quickly and decide early on, that we’re going to do one of the sketches in watercolours, the other in watercolour pencils.

This works well, and we have a little time discussing how best to use each of these mediums.

It takes a bit of time to get used to the watercolour pencils and the effects layering has on the different subjects we spring on them every week.However our smiling bunch have worked through those troublesome areas, and nod their heads in agreement and satisfaction at how they’d approach it next time.

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We’re off into the sunshine, heading to ‘Ebony Hair’, our next port of call on our sketching adventure.

It’s in keeping with the theme, and upon arrival we see an inviting wall of ‘hair products’ cleverly displayed on glass shelving and grouped by colour. A good place to sketch indeed!

The staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating, and we slip in while it’s relatively quiet and quickly sketch in our line work. Most have completed lovely compositions of various views around the salon, the towels rolled up in their shelf, the bottles and products etc.

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It’s time to head to the café and finish up our sketches with colour.

Let’s always make sure we’ve completed our line-work in the time you have! It’s important to emulate how you’d behave if you were out sketching on your travels, and you’d more than likely feel inclined to capture the inviting scene in front of you with all your ink lines and preferably some colour before needing to move along. You may never be back there again.

You’d have that snapshot of a time and place inked quickly into your sketchbook, and which you can marvel at later with great pride!


We’ve caught up with the earlier group, at the ‘3 Beans Café’. We cheerfully get seated around them, and chat about our sketches.

This café is gorgeous, and surprisingly spacious with a lovely atmosphere. I’d definitely like to come back to this café again soon. And the coffee is excellent.

We finish up our sketches with colour, along with teas and coffee and lunch. Everyone has produced delightful interpretations of the subjects this week, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again next week.





With the Winter Solstice nearly upon us we are all still questioning if Winter is really here!

Thongs and short sleeves are still the order of the day.

When will we get those darned thermals out I wonder?

We all managed to squeeze onto one table today so we were a very cozy group together.

Prior to sketching we had quite a bit of discussion about the keys to getting things right and I wanted my sketchers to understand that being perfect in sketching is not what we are looking for.

Who cares if your lines wobble like a jelly, who cares if your pictures are like the leaning tower of Pisa, who cares if all those redrawn lines make someone look like they have a thousand wrinkles!

To emphasize this point I got everyone to look at our examples on the wall and tell me which ones they liked and why. ( I hadn’t told them why we were doing this exercise!).

Interestingly everyone was drawn to the sketches (no pun intended) that were loose and free and ones with lots of redrawn lines.  The least popular were the “precise” sketches.

I think this was a big “Ah Ha” moment for my class.

Afterwards people threw themselves into their sketching with more abandon with the thought in the back of their minds that loose was good. I love a wild bunch.

I was so pleased with everyone!

We sketched our travel kits laid out on the table.  The results were fantastic!

IMG_0028Next stop Ebony Hair Salon.

It was a bit of a challenging sketch subject with so many bottles and wares on display.  Where to stand to get the best angle?

Some of the sketchers started sketching the other sketchers when they were finished relishing the fact that they were sketching fast and free.

We loved the results and there were some beaming faces.

IMG_0014So final stop was Three Beans Cafe.  I had a minor mental blockage and headed off in the wrong direction first before my more cluey classmates redirected me.

Not to worry we got there!

We all loved the decor inside – very beachy and relaxed and a touch of the Bahamas.

You can waft me there any day!

Our class are so friendly and lovely it’s a pleasure to be teaching.

Well done everyone!






Golly must be there by 9am. That’s the new start time for our Saturday morning class. Everyone agreed when asked about the idea, that yes, it gives you more of your weekend, to start earlier.

When everyone was settled we started on one table with HIS travel toiletries, and it could be in watercolour or w/c pencils. But you would use both mediums.


Over to the other table to do the HER travel toiletries in the other medium. One sketcher did just one as she comes from so far and lost the first part of the sketch time. We kindly let her complete the one she was on and she did beautifully with the wet watercolour.

Some of our sketchers had done 2 classes this week and they were saying how much easier it is when you’ve been through the observation already. Also means you can change  details you wanted to improve this time round.

Layering is everything with both mediums, so we had some demos on spare pages for those who feel unsure of what they need to do to get the look

Off we go out into another glorious day to the Hairdresser. Today we would go to Toni&Guy, as Ebony were filming. All fine by us as we know Saturday’s are hectic in all salons, and Toni&Guy have big windows we could look through from outside.

This meant there was the challenge of getting your perspective, some figures and the reflecting glass. Everyone did a great job and you could see enough through the glass to know you were not looking at a fruit shop!


I realised we needed to let Three Beans Cafe know we were coming in half an hour, so I quickly called them and said we’d be there at 12.15.

We were walking towards the cafe and I realised I was an hour out! Noooooo. I meant 11.15 silly. Remember we start an hour earlier now. Apparently not!

Luckily they are very good to us and the staff immediately asked all those sitting at ‘our’ big table to move, which they kindly did. Well they had a choice of being overpowered by us noisy mob – or not! We do get excited.

So it was coffee orders all-round and one sketcher had been talking about mushrooms on toast since arriving at the Studio! She’s doing a critique of that dish wherever she goes. Tiramisu is her other test dish!

Sketching and conversation carried on and all the sketches were great fun. Quite a few enjoying ‘people sketching’ which is great. Sometimes a few figures will be all you need to tell a story. A really fun day for us and such excellent sketching. Next week roll on.


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