I’m sketching backwards these days

[By Murray Dewhurst in Auckland] It’s all thanks to the The Grey Book which makes me lay down lights on the page first. When it works well it helps to short-cut the dreaded ‘pencil first’ tendency that tries to sneak in from time to time. I find the looser the initial white is – the […]

Villa Torlonia

Going to the park, start to drawing with my cousin and see the Reality through new eyes, what a beautiful time to spend with her! I suggest you encourage everyone to draw with you: this is a practice that will change your perspective in many ways!


I’ve been enjoying drawing these old places we call ‘villas’ in my part of town. No idea how they came to be called Villas, as I’m pretty sure a Villa is really one of those ancient Roman houses made of stone or masonry. Our villas are made almost entirely of wood, built by decoration mad Victorians […]


I always enjoy walking past this funky old place in Ponsonby, all 3 (or is it 4, it’s really hard to tell) storeys grow organically up the bank to meet the road – even then it’s inhabitants need to walk up some stairs to meet the footpath. I Love the double doors to nowhere on the […]

Save Auckland’s Heritage

I live in a relatively new country which has very little in the way of built heritage. Christchurch, probably our prettiest city, lost almost all of their heritage buildings in earthquakes last year. Meanwhile for decades Auckland has been steadily destroying it’s character buildings in favour of often pretty hideous new structures. Lately old houses […]

Villa Lante

Every July I teach a college drawing course in Viterbo, Italy as part of Montserrat College of Art’s Summer Italy Program (http://drawingviterbo.blogspot.com/). This year I took a short drive with my sketchbook from Viterbo to Villa Lante, a beautiful renaissance garden. Maxfield Parrish painted an illustration of the garden as part of his early book […]

SketchCrawl in VIlla Spada 18.04.2009

Villa Spada is a great place for drawing. It’s a big house of the XIXth century with a big garden full of amazing places and views. It was the first time I was there and from then on I’ve come back several times. Here’s a video that gives some idea. In the garden there’s a […]