Re-visiting Morocco 2001 (again)

Many moons ago, in the final few months of my Geography degree, I went on a field-trip to southern Morocco. 

morocco field notebook

We were only there for about a week but the memories have really stuck with me, because we were asked to keep a field notebook to record observations and sketches. I’m not sure if my drawings of the lovely views and colours were exactly what my tutors were looking for, but I had an amazing time :) 

morocco field sketches(click to view a larger image of the original field sketches)

I’m experimenting with materials at the moment, in an attempt to whittle down my travel kit and loosen up my sketching for drawing on location, so I thought I’d revisit and draw from a couple of my Morocco sketches using some of the techniques I’ve learned or re-learned in the last couple of months. 

Agadir Oujgal sketch  souss-massa national park sketch

The first is a rocky slope in the tiny Berber village of Agadir-Oujgal in the High Atlas mountains, where a rare sub-species of dragon tree grows. The second is an unfinished but picturesque visitor centre in the Souss-Massa National Park, between Agadir and Tiznit. I used a combination of Schminke watercolour, Inktense pencils and Neocolor II. 

Here’s a close up of the visitor centre. I wonder if they’ve finished it yet? 

souss-massa national park sketch

By the way, if you’re on Instagram, find me @siansburys – I share lots more sketches (and photos of my cat) there!

The Boatman

Ladybower reservoir

*sings* “If I could choose the life I pleased, then I would be a Boatman….”

Andy has taken up fly-fishing in the last few months. I wasn’t really into the idea until he told me that fisherers (technical term) can hire a boat at Ladybower Fisheries and see all the quiet bits that normal, non-fishing folk can’t usually get to. Part of my Sketchbook Skool homework is to document my week in sketches so, when he said he was spending a day out on the reservoir, I figured it was as good an opportunity as any to get out of the house, even if it was forecast to chuck it down with rain all afternoon. So I tagged along and, guess what? It was a flippin’ glorious day.

Once I was confident that I wasn’t about to fall in and drown, I was hypnotised by the shimmery shoopy shapes and swirls as they sploshed and sloshed against the boat:

Water patterns

Lovely water patterns

Then I drew, and Andy fished, until sundown.

Sketching at Ladybower

Sketching at Ladybower

Landscape sketching at ladybower

Landscape sketching at ladybower

Sadly the fish were asleep and the Trout Count remained at zero, so we didn’t have fish for our tea (perhaps not so sadly for the trout), but it didn’t matter.

Fly fishing at Ladybower


I’ve been in a bit of a funk with drawing from life recently. I’ve done loads of doodling and made a few paintings as usual, but my sketchbook hasn’t really been touched since we went to Devon last September and it’s been bothering me.

What I really need is a kick up the backside, so I’ve enrolled in Sketchbook Skool (Beginnings). If you’re doing it too, I’d love to hear from you!

Sketchbook Skool - Beginnings

My first homework assignment from Danny Gregory’s Klass (Draw & Feel)

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

hueThe upland landscape of the Peak District National Park, with its dramatic grey tors, purple heathers and windswept greens, provides endless inspiration for me. When I’m not physically out there, breathing in its therapeutic air, I’m constantly revisiting it, often though the colours I surround myself with.

This post is a response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

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Stock Shots and Re-stocking Shop Shock

This week, I have spent some time faffing with my shop. I think my greatest achievement was putting a little hat over the â in my banner. Some people (CarolineRose) have said that is looks like a tiny mountain, and I’m going to take that as a compliment :)

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 17.43.56

This faff was all spurred on initially by the new Folksy shop layouts that have just been released, but also by the discovery of a box which contained an envelope full of little paintings labelled “Folksy – EXPIRED” Continue reading