These relaxing moments 

These relaxing moments.

#worldwatercolormonth day 3

It does not happen so much time but when it happens it’s a miracle. We are at the beach at the babies are sleeping. So we took the chance to sketch draw listen music and even write. And she’s my wife.

So now the little friends of our babies are coming for play. Yes we’re on the beach and the peace is over…


Join the World Watercolor Month for July 2016!

Join the World Watercolor Month for July 2016!

Watercolor what a fantastic tool!

Hello All,

I decided to join this fantastic challenge raised by Doodle Wash.

I love watercolors and as at least 97% of my sketches and doodles have some washes with watercolors I feel honored and having fun in following this great challenge.


What’s that probably you’re asking. It’s something good for the art, for the heart, for the soul and for the children.

Here from the site

It’s a month to inspire people to paint with watercolor while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world. And anyone can join the celebration from master watercolorists to artists just starting out with watercolor! Simply tag your watercolor art with #WorldWatercolorMonth during the month of July! Try the ultimate challenge of 31 watercolors in 31 days, or simply post when you can!


More info on the official page here


About this challenge I will catch this chance as an excuse to use a new Stillman&Birn Sketchbook and this is another good point. Undecided if using a heavier S&B and which format but at least I will use it for sure!

So let’s do it!

I will be there on Instagram as @Mostho and on Twitter @SketchingMostho

Interactions near the sea

Interactions near the sea.

Well as often I do I went near mum office to take a breath of air (hot air technically…) and I went near the sea.

I was gladl surprised that finally I fond two people chatting without having any mobile in hand. Also they was really engaged in a discussion and so made them an attractive subject to me.
So I started sketching and I was pretty inspired, first going to underline only with the Zebra ball pen I had handy. (Zebra are really nice for sketching and writing…so gliding and naturally waterproof ).

It took overall not more than 15 minutes. And I was feeling joy, a good sketch that is telling something different going, even under the rush of a short lunch break, in the right way. Not perfect, but pretty close my way.

An this is my setup as usually is always with me.

My ever ready Stillman and Birn sketchbook, Nomadic case, Kuretake brushes (wishing to use my Escodas more), Zebra ball point pen and Staedtler fine point. Plus my staple, my Jewel  case from Winsor and Newton.

Pretty much what I need in this days.

Military Green Lighthouse

Military Green Lighthouse

My office is luckily near the sea, and just few meters from the sea there is this military green lighthouse. It’s small, it’s like a two people room with a powerful lantern over it.
I have sketched many times this subject  like here recently, but not alone, and from distance.
You know, when you are going closer to some subjects, you always find a surprise in a way or another.

I made this sketch in two sessions.

On the first session I took a chair with me and I enjoyed a lot the sketching of the outlines and the washing of the sky. I was so amazed of the sky and the subject that in my forty minutes of my sketching session I spent at least 30 minutes in enjoying and appreciating the scene. Trying in the same time to memorize as many interesting details as possible. I ended the sketching of this military green lighthouse with the outlines and some washes for the sky and the sea, that I left almost untouched on the second session.
I felt pretty uncomfortable, since I was spreading  all my materials on the grass but I really enjoyed a lot. I finished taking a couple of pictures with my phone.

On the second session this military green lighthouse became alive with several light washes on it, on the ladders and on the ground. Plus minor details and quick blackening on the deeper sides with my black brush pen.
I was also finishing this sketch on the table as you can see in the pictures, trying to figure out the rest relying on memory> I just took a look very shortly on my p[pictures saved on my phone, but having done almost everything I relied most of all on my memory and my earlier feeling.
And it was also raining outside so this is another reason I finished sketching indoor.
military green lighthouse 02

As you can see in these ) I’m trying to use a slight different weapons from the usual
It took two sessions to complete these sketch.

In few words I’m trying to use less the waterbrushes and more the classic brushes bringing to me the water. It’s more difficult for many reasons, but gives me plenty more satisfaction and gives also stronger and vivid colors. and I can also make better washes and layers, that’s for sure. At least to my sketches I feel like that.
In this case I used the three of the Escoda Travel set (size #3, #6 and #12) inside a case that I hand-made in oiled leather.With this I’m not saying that I’m dropping the water brushes, often they are so comfortable and they works so good that for sketch quickies they are unsurpassed.

military green lighthouse 01

But I’m willing to use them less.

The equipment used for this sketch is my workhorse the Lamy Safari with EF nib filled with Platinum Carbon Ink. watercolors are the faithful Winsor and Newton and the paper is a Stillman&Birn Beta notebook.


Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me

cat sleeping 01

Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me

Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me.

I’ve sketched several times our cat, but this time I felt different, because our cat is not a cuddly cat.
Our cat has a sweet name, Amelie (like Amelie in the wonderful movie), a gorgeous white hair, soft paws. But it’s nasty as Bengal tiger. Amelie it is not definitively a cat that you can cuddle like in the movies or cartoons.
We live with Amelie, but we suppose to be the guests not this white ball.

I was sitting on the couch while emptying my backpack. And I was enjoying recapping all the (too much…) stuff I carry everyday. And I felt very comfortable. Suddenly the cat arrived to me, purring as there was no tomorrow, and slowing caressing me in circular motions. At the end Amelie seated near to me and took all the strange feline positions possible. Then my cat started sleeping.

That’s the way because I felt weird. Because I received cuddle from our beloved white beast, and seeing my cat sleeping near to me made me so happy.

Luckily, very luckily I was emptying my back pack and I found immediately my Essential monochrome sketching kit. I thought also that I ever needed something else.

I started sketching with my fude pen, very loosely. The paws was taking some strange figures like a python in the rain forest. Very loose sketching, my cat sleeping was absolutely not caring about me.

my cat sleeping 03

Then later, once realized that the feline fury was really sleeping (or telling to me that…) I also went for a calm and relaxed sketching.
You know, having this chance, in a shadowed room, comfortably seated and with this white beloved cat sleeping it’s an unbelievable chance to get.

So I sketched these two loved pages of my cat sleeping.

cat sleeping 01 cat sleeping 02

I was also very happy to make such a minimal sketch with a minimal equipment. A Staedtler pigmented pen and a Moleskine Pocket sketchbook. And just a little touch of a Platinum Fude Pen.
I enjoyed a lot, really a lot, and I will remember that quiet and purr moments for all my life.



Ps: going to finish this Moleskine, I can’t see to start the Stillman&Birn Alpha or a Gamma in 4″x6″. So far the best pocket sketchbooks around!

At the port side before undergoing a surgery

At the port side before undergoing a surgery

Some days ago I was at the port side before undergoing a surgery. Nothing serious but important. I was slight in advance for this appointment, so I went around the city with my scooter like a mad beetle.
Probably I was searching for an inspiration or to breathe good air before having my cuts.
In the search of inspiration I was wasting some of the advance time gained.

And as happens often to me I end close to the sea and the water. My favorite element.
In this case the port side of my city.
So I left my scooter. And I walked only few meters from it when I saw these two young guys. I was making a lot of movies in my mind, why they are here instead going to school, a story about a young love. First words and hugs under a sunny day near the seaport.
Movies like that. They are happening to me anytime I see some interesting people to me. I try to figure out their lives from they gestures, eyes or from some details.

So I stared standing near a bollard and I quick sketched this scene only with pencil over my ever ready Stillman&Birn beta sketchbook. I draw the main lines. I was trying to record as much as possible with my eyes and my heart.
But I took the same a horrible snapshot of the moment also with my iPhone and I left the place.

at the port side 01

Once home, the day after I went to make some more lines with my Lamy Safari back again with full Platinum Carbon Ink. I was quite suffering and I probably left some details. The picture I took with the mobile was not much helpful.

I’m honest, looking after the drawing seems I overworked a bit. I used also some new brushes but still not happy completely. I’m just happy that I used my watercolors like a baby rookie.
So this experience at the port side ended. And so also the surgery.


My hand made leather case for watercolors

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit

Well the story is short but the making is so long. I made this hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit because my wife wanted something to hold with elegance.
You know, she’s not posh but she likes a lot to have good things. If we add that I promised her also a hand made leather bag since years, it’s easy to spot the target.

So I hand made this leather case for watercolors and sketching kit. I made it flatter. In my travels and in my daily commutes I feel better when I store my art things in a flatter way. Moreover, it’s made by durable leather, it’s also finished with my leather balm recipe and it’s made with whole lotta love (ciao Led Zeppelin!).

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit 01

This is the real set, with a Winsor & Newton Watercolor Sketcher Box, a Moleskine Watercolor, two of my favorite Kuretake Water brushes (a large and a detailer), and a Staedtler Pigmented Pen or a Faber Castell Pitt Pen. I think that inside this hand made leather case for watercolors and the sketching kit are well saved.
I like in this way. Definitively.

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit 08

I love modularity and as far as I can all my projects, I make them to be  used in many ways.
For instance I’m willing to make another one for me and to fill the case like that in the picture below. Full of fountain pens, pens, brushes, water brushes, held vertically. Whatever. Vertically is better no questions.

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit 02

I love my personal travel concept that means also basically “go for the easiest way, done sturdy, easy replaceable and no metals”. Further looking on my travel concept are here. For this reason I am keeping using elastic bands for closure: easy to find anywhere in the world, and if you don’t find them you can use even a dental floss. It works.

But jokes apart, this is also a very effective choice. So if you overfill, no buttons and easy to pen and close in a snap (or two) always.

Large pen pencil holder sketch kit 05

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit 05

Some details of the hand stitching, the saddle stitching.

Well, I think this My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit is also beautiful on itself. What do you think about?

My hand made leather case for watercolors and sketching kit 06