100 days under canvas, part 6 – sketches

Suddenly, our journey is coming to an end. In two days we will be crossing the Nullarbor Plain on the long trip back to the east coast. Although Nullarbor means ‘no trees’ in Latin that’s not really a true description of the 1200km stretch from Norseman in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia. There are parts with low scrub and some with good sized trees, but whatever the scenery it will be a long drive with only a few distractions to recommend it. 

But for now we are in Esperance on the south coast after a couple of days in Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park. The sand in Lucky Bay has the reputation of being the whitest in Australia, which, coupled with intense turquoise water makes for extraordinary beauty. 

The last set of sketches I posted was a month ago, so a lot of ground has been covered since. We have seen an enormous array of wild flowers, from tiny orchids to massive banksias, flowers of every colour, shape and size. There are not a lot of drawings of flowers though, because in general it is not good to pick them, and even if I did, by the time I had the opportunity to sit down and draw them, they would be too wilted. So I took a lot of photos and will do drawings later on. I much prefer to draw from actual objects as photos can distort and misrepresent shape and form. 

Do read the notes on the drawings if you are interested in the locations and proper names of flowers and shells etc. There maybe some I have got wrong and others I couldn’t identify so any information will be gladly received! Once again, this is all done on my phone, so let me know if any oddities have crept in. Some of these drawings have already been shown on Instagram, so do follow me there if you would like to see more, Anna.warren1 is where you will find me. 


Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

34 thoughts

  1. You know I’ve always admired your drawings, since I first knew you, but these are even lovelier. I think you have just taken another step up. I hope that doesn’t sound patronizing – I certainly don’t mean it to. It is just a straight compliment and is meant in pure admiration. Each individual study and then each page as a whole is jewel-like. I’m incredulous as to how you don’t get the dust/dirt/smudges of the wild onto the pages — you wouldn’t think these were drawn out in the field (though we know they are) as every bit of white looks so pristine. Your drawings are so fresh and free – flourishes of love out in the wilderness. Congratulations!!!


    1. Thank you so much Julie, what a lovely compliment! You know, at the beginning of every trip like this I feel my drawings are a bit stiff and clumsy, but as time goes on I gradually loosen up. Just the simple act of practice I guess! As to them being clean, well not all are, there is the occasional squashed insect and blob of paint, but I am very glad they are not obvious! Thank you, I really appreciate your support and interest.


    1. Thank you! My workspaces vary a lot – right now I am out of the wind in a camp kitchen, but I use whatever I can find. My present sketchbook is a Hahnemuhle one, with quite heavy paper, so minimal showthrough. I have just finished a Stillman & Birn, both hardback A4. I think the S&B took pen better, but the Hahnemuhle is better for watercolour and is creamier in colour. My favourite always was Daler Rowney but I haven’t been able to find them in Sydney for the last few years, but no doubt I could get them online. Strathmore do good sketchbooks but they are spiral bound which I don’t like as the pages eventually fall out. I must admit to being a sketchbook junkie, I have lots in varying sizes!


  2. Your sketches are so inspirational and make me want to go there to find all those hidden treasures. So much better than photographed landscapes. When we went to Kenya we did a walking safari as we wanted to spot the Small Five, not the Big Five so you can understand why I find your sketchbooks so appealing.


  3. Anna, I have enjoyed your journey and if this is the grand finale post, it is quite grand and luscious! What an incredible trip. At times I have felt I’m sitting right next to you experiencing what you are seeing, thank for the excellent documentation. And of course I greatly appreciate you looking down and finding such extraordinary objects to record in your sketchbooks. I have enjoyed studying your drawings and paintings, they are so full of life. I do agree, sketching and painting from the actual object is so rewarding. I love seeing your hand writing with documented names and insights. This has been such a rich trip, even from the sidelines I have seen so much. Your phone served you well, excellent photos with rich colors. Safe travels home!


    1. Thank you so much Cathe – it has been quite a journey, lots of surprises, a few scares, some ups and downs but overall a life enriching experience. There is lots for me to ponder on and heaps of inspiration for further artworks. It’s been wonderful having you with me in virtual form!


  4. Thanks Anna, what a wonderful bounty of drawings for us to view. I really liked how you photographed them on the slight angle. I agree with Julie, these sketches just keep getting better and this journal is just beautiful. I can’t wait to see how you use all the images in your work going forward. Karen


  5. oh this is a lovely cumulative journey and so lucky you have shared so much with us….I look forward to what is next!! Your work and attention to live detail is lovely on the eyes!!


  6. Fantastic. Love your art and journal keeping, makes me feel like a child peeking into the diary of a grand adventurer…delightful and full of inspiration. Thank you for sharing your travels and your discoveries…safe journey home.


    1. That’s a delightful analogy! I would love to be that grand adventurer but just feel a bit scruffy and grubby right now. But each day is still an adventure. We will hit the Nullarbor Plain today, so more places to explore! Thank you for being with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Spectacular sketchbook beauties as always, Anna! So marvelous. While I long to visit Australia one day myself, at least I feel I’ve seen a lot of its extraordinary treasures through your eyes and your superb artistry. Thank you!


  8. These are just wonderful, Anna. You are quite inspiring. Got me thinking that maybe along with working months on one drawing I might start working in sketchbook too.


    1. Thank you Nancy – right now I am looking forward to doing things as well as just the sketchbook, but I still will when I get home, it’s a handy way of consolidating ideas with no pressure too. I like to have the variety!


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