Italian Sketchbook

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in Florence. The trip was a wonderful birthday present from my husband. What’s more, because he knows I love to draw and because I have CRPS which means I use crutches and can’t walk very far, he booked a hotel with roof terraces and the most amazing views over Florence. He also sweet talked the staff and got us a room with a view too! And he booked a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia for the morning of my birthday so that I could see Michelangelo’s David.



So, although I’m not really an urban sketcher, I was able to do some genuine urban sketching over the course of the week and I got some wonderful art viewing in too, seeing some awe-inspiring Michelangelo’s, Botticelli’s and Giotto’s, amongst others at the Accademia.

Florence 2

Florence 3

We also ended up with a couple of days in Pisa after our flight home was delayed by 24 hours due to a strike in Italy, so I got to draw the Leaning Tower too!


All of these were drawn in a hand•book sketchbook with a variety of media including Micron and Unipin pens, Zecchi and Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolours, Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth colouring pencils, a Signo uniball white gel pen, a dip pen and ink and various tickets and papers.


daisy big head

Today’s face: Daisy. This is a portrait of my daughter Daisy and is part of this week’s homework for the Sketchbook Skool Urban Sketching kourse. This week’s klass is taught by the illustrator Lapin and the homework is to draw a “big head” portrait (where the head is the largest part of the portrait and the body can be drawn smaller to fit in the page) of a live subject and paint it with watercolour, mixing all our colours from just 3 watercolours, blue, red and yellow. Lapin also includes a speech bubble in his portraits to record something of the conversation he has with his subject while drawing and he asks his subject to sign their portrait so I followed his protocol with my portrait. Drawn in a Hannehmühle Nostalgie sketchbook with a Unipin 03 pen, Jane Davenport watercolours and Prismacolor coloured pencils.