Sunday, 21 August 2011

The return of Moley

I've decided to take a bit of a break from big paintings and get back to what I truly enjoy the most - sketching in pen, pencil and watercolour. We made a trip to Ely yesterday and although it was a little overcast here in the East of England, the sun did appear long enough to allow us to see the magnificent cathedral in all its glory. Art materials were purchased as usual lol: a tube of white gouache, a stencil brush that looked useful (?), two pipettes for re-wetting paints, yet another Lamy fountain pen, and a pocket watercolour Moleskine.

I really blow hot and cold over Moleskines but I know a lot of sketching artists out there in blogland absolutely adore them. I dislike their waxy paper sketchbooks as much as they dislike my watercolour media, although they are good for pen, graphite and coloured pencil but I prefer all-media cartridge paper like in the Daler Rowney Ebony. The Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks, on the other hand, are very nice, but only available in landscape orientation - come on Moleskine, listen to your customers! Nethertheless, I decided to make a start in mine with a few sketches done in watercolour and watercolour pencils, using mobile phone photos for reference. I call it pseudo plein aire! Hope you are all having a great weekend.


  1. Morning, I know what you mean about Moleskine... I tried a sketchbook but didn't get on with it at all. The tiny watercolour one on the other hand I love. It's such a good size.
    The crooked house looks a cute little place. I really like that sketch, you've captured it's persnality.
    (I hope you post your adventures with the stencil brush. I'll look forward to seeing them.)

  2. Morning Lisa and thank you. I think I'm going to like the pocket Moly now I'm sketching a lot more. My real preference for the media I use is the Fabriano Venezias but they are so tightly bound, it's difficult to get them flat and so are difficult to scan too - but the paper is gorgeous.
    Hmmmh, yes, the stencil brush, well I was a little disappointed that the TonerLisa Scrubby Brush hadn't made it to the shops yet so I had to buy a slightly inferior one ;)

  3. Just gone good morning Michael, so it`s, good afternoon. I absolutely love these sketches my friend. I keep threatening to do these type of sketches as with other media. But I will get to them soon, I hope. I`m glad that you are going to do lots more sketches like these, I love them. All the best Michael.

  4. I love these sketches, Michael! They are all great! Have a good Sunday!

  5. Good morning Michael. I love your sketches. It's true what you say about moleskine . I have several and try to ignore the fact that they are not to responsive to watercolor. They are great for the other media as you know. You have just inspired me to take out my moleskine and just relax and do those quick studies without the pressure of doing a larger painting. Thank you for sharing and have a great day.


  6. Hi Vic and good afternoon. Thank you my friend for your comments. I'd love to see some of your sketches. You could sketch when you next go out with Harry and then you're all loosened up and still have plenty of time for a nice big oil painting! These all took less than 25 mins each.

    Good morning Judy and thank you for your comments. I'm delighted that you love them all. Have a good Sunday yourselves too!

    Hi Joan and good morning (this is getting confusing lol). Thank you so much for your comments. I'm just about to take Louie for a long walk and hopefully get some more sketching done if he lets me! Hope I inspired you enough for you to do some sketches too!

  7. Now you've made me green with envy. I was in Ely a few weeks ago and had neither the time for sketching nor any materials with me. I caught a glimpse of the cathedral and a pretty riverside park from the car and decided that it's a place I must definitely visit, and soon. Love the sketches, especially the crooked house.

  8. These are three beautiful sketches Michael. Maybe they are small, but big in it's originality. I have no experience with moleskine. That's because I actually work at home.

  9. Thank you very much for your lovely comments, John. I took some sketching gear with me but you know what it's like when you get somewhere nice! I just took a few select photos with my phone and worked from those late last night and early this morning but I will go back and do some real plein air sketching there soon :O)

    Hi Renske and thank you very much for your lovely comments. It's a beautiful place so I hope I captured a bit of that beauty. Yes, they are truly small sketches (about 6 x 4 in or 14 x 9 cm per page) but that helps me to filter out the detail :O)

  10. I like this sketches are so ...fresh!!! Very beautiful!

  11. Hi Mari and thank you very much for visiting and leaving such lovely comments. I love it when I do achieve that freshness - it makes all the difference I think :O)


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