Advanced Sketching. Twigs & Coloured Inks.



We arrive as Judy’s class is leaving. Everybody greets each other like long lost friends.  Well we are.

Oh and Happy Birthday Judy. What better way to spend it!

Today in Advanced sketching, we will work with twigs and coloured inks.  A pile of varying sized twigs to choose as people put out what they’ve found on the way.

The inks are the 4 primary colours but not black.

Once again we decide to use the still life setups already in place for this week’s classes. We get the funny little pot plant out too, as this kind of loose technique lends itself to flowers and foliage.

It’s always intriguing to see how each sketcher approaches their first sketch of the day with a new medium.  Perhaps a little hesitantly? One is taking big chances here.  What will happen if I don’t already know what I’m doing?

Guess what. That’s the point.  You have no control.   And its so freeing up.


We sketch away without knowing how our twig will behave, and there before your eyes are the most delicious lines.

Wow, that looks great.  Thick and thin lines appear and so do the blobs. Yum.

For colour we wait till they dry, and use watercolours over the top, and discover how well the inks stand up to being painted over.  The yellow ink is amazing. It simply burns through and holds its own. As they all do.

For the second Studio sketch we choose another colour of ink and when dry, use watercolour pencils.  This is very successful too.  By using unexpected colours and a dash of water brush, you get a lovely effect.  By the time we walk over to Ivanhoe Park, medals for bravery could be handed out.

Something different to start our sketch here.

I’m getting you to divide your page in 4.  Write 10sec, 30sec, 60sec and 120sec in the corners.   Thats how long you get to do your chosen subject.  When completed, you have 15mins to do a full page one in ink and colour.


Everyone started when I gave the word, and stopped when the stop watch counted down.  Interesting. You will have quite a bit of knowledge onboard about your subject already.

And it proved to be so. You can now do your next sketch and make any corrections you’d like as you go.  These sketches looked so bright and loose, A Fauve influence there I felt.

We were longing for our late lunch and so took ourselves to Foundry 53 Cafe with it’s big tables, just right for a bunch of wild painters.

With our menu choices ordered we could start on our last sketch of the day.

Something in the cafe. Outside the cafe. Your food, or the table decor – you choose.  These sketches seemed the loosest of all. Just fab. For people who’d started this course being slightly apprehensive, this week was a breakthrough.

No more tightness, and lots of ‘it doesn’t matter’ in the approach. We also discover that a wet brush over the dry ink will create a gentle tone.


Very inspiring everybody.  For me it’s so rewarding to see people really trying things out. And feeling so good about it.

We missed you Atsuko in Japan, and Cathy in Kuala Lumpur.  That’s travel sketching for you! They travel.  Who knows what we’ll come up with next week.




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