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Autumn Leaves

Sketching Roundup – October and November 2021

I feel like I am getting back into the sketching groove a bit this week, making a commitment to myself to sketch every day, and try to continue. I am feeling the overwhelm of Christmas starting, and hope that the sketching may help me escape it in some way, but also capture it!

Boston Light

October and November have seen a few new destinations with my Virtual Travel group in Sketchbook Skool. I really enjoy this weekly challenge of discovering a new place and trying to sketch it like I am there. Sometimes I use Google Street view, as this can give a more unique perspective than the standard google image search, but I will often use Unsplash, as there are usually some great perspectives of places there too! Boston Light was taken from Google street view – a 360 degree user uploaded image. I really like how the distortion of the image bent the lighthouse, so I exaggerated it a bit in the sketch!

Thumbnail Sketch

For this sketch, I had recently thinking about Felix Scheinberger’s idea of ‘shot selection’, so I drew a thumbnal for this composition, and also thought about what colours I would use. I should do this more often, it is so helpful!


Bertie turned 5 months old in October, he was really relaxed after his afternoon walk on this day, so I took the opportunity to quickly sketch him. My son’s wax crayons were to hand, so I used them!

Bull Pen
Bull Pen

I moved our pet goats and pigs into a new place for the Winter, as the ground will become too wet and muddy for them in their paddock. This year, we thought the old bull pen would make a nice sheltered spot, and I wanted to capture it in my journal. I took pictures on my phone, then sketched them at my desk later that day. I actually really enjoyed capturing this, and it reminds me to journal more of my daily activities!

Derwent Tester

The Mexico city skyscrapers were sketched with a dip pen and painted using some paints in the cult pens Derwent tester kit. I used the metallic silver for the buildings and the graphitint meadow for the foreground trees. Also added is some cerulean blue watercolour for the sky and buildings. I enjoy using the virtual travel challenge to experiment and try new things. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this and liked the lines of the dip pen and the limited colours.


Sketchbook Skool run a weekly ‘Draw with Me’ session on Your Tube, and this episode, Danny was using a tiny accordion sketcbook to do some quick selfies. I enjoyed limiting these selfies to a quick sketch, and used the Derwent Graphitint ‘port’ to shade in some shadow areas. I love the Graphitint so much, i have asked for the full set for my birthday! Looking forward to experimenting more with them.


For the virtual travel destination of Taipei, I found this street food image on Unsplash and attempted to make a quick sketch as if I were there waiting for the yummy food. Again, I have tried to keep the colour palette limited, but feel this is a bit overdone and could have used some more white space. I also didn’t really capture the brightness of the florescent lights, and should have added more darkness in the background to make those lights pop a bit… definitely an area of my painting I need to be braver with. Overall though, I was please with the lines and the atmosphere I caught.

Dumbo – Jedidiah Dore Class

Jedidiah Dore teaches an urban sketching class twice a month in Sketchbook Skool’s spark membership programme. This class I really enjoyed sketching along with the recording, and was really pleased with how it came out. It was a great lesson in finding the focus in a busy scene, using colour and line. He is such a patient and kind guy, really giving you confidence to give it a go, and not worry if you mess a few things up!


Another sketch from Taipei, attempting to capture the narrow streets of a suburban district. I used a fineliner pen, and then added watercolour (along with some colours from the Derwent tester kit!). Again, looking at this, I feel it could use some more white space, and there is some very funky perspective going on. Nevertheless, a fun sketch to make 🙂


Final destination for November for the Virtual Travel Group – Copenhagen! I couldn’t resist this waterside scene I found on unsplash, and enjoyed trying to capture this with a loose line and colour. The sky did not go as planned, but happy with the rest of it!

Autumn Leaves

I finally got around to capturing some of the beautiful autumn colours of the trees around the lanes. This was fun using a colour pencil to sketch the outlines, then attempting to match the colour with mixing my watercolours! I want to capture more of the changing seasons in my sketchbook.


Another sketch for Copenhagen – I am often drawn to water scenes, and this was a google streetview image with 360 degree view, so I could scroll around and create this wide landscape. It is nice to use this across the landscape format of this watercolour sketchbook sometimes 🙂 I tried to keep the scene simple by leaving lots of white space for the decking and sand, highlighting the sky and sea, and some points of interest on the beach. I used a bamboo/reed pen and indian ink, hence the unruly lines!

That’s it for now – I am hoping to make this a monthly roundup of sketches in my sketchbook. I’d like to get outside and sketch more in an urban sketching style, which will likely be more of a rural / nature journal approach. I also have a couple of concertina sketchbooks I plan to make into a themed project – just have to decide what!!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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