Top tip Tuesday – lips!

by Patsyfox on August 25, 2020


My earliest memory of my lips cracking so badly that they bled was when I was 12, in my first year of high school. It was a tough year – we moved 6 times (and I’m not kidding). Hence the birth of the lifelong habit of nervously rubbing my lips together – can you blame me?!

I’ve had a drawer full of pretty much every lip balm on the market until recently, when I learned on the Mamamia You Beauty podcast that every beauty product has a use-by date either literally or as a symbol with a number in it. HUH? Oh dear… On the upside, I now have a drawer free to fill with other stuff! But I digress

A while ago I spent two days sketching quick beauty portraits at a Mecca Cosmetica conference, and in my delightful goody bag was a lip balm that has gone on to be a lip/life SAVER. It’s pretty, it works, and it’s not full of parabens or petroleum. Enough said – Mecca’s Lip De Luscious Treatment, you can check it out here. You’re welcome! (And no this is not a paid post! I wish.)


by Patsyfox on July 19, 2020


2020 is sucking in a hundred different ways and for those of us in Melbourne, we are back in lockdown. But there’s always some good to find:

  1. It’s cold outside, so really staying indoors is not so bad.
  2. We can’t be part of face-to-face classes so we need to switch to online – oh hello not needing to drive in hideous Melbourne traffic! Not to mention for all the people who’ve previously written to me from interstate, this is your chance to come to class without booking a flight!

Lemons/lemonade ETC.

Fashion Illustration is the perfect form of escapism we all need right now, so ten years since launching during the 2010 L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, The Drawing Salon classes are moving online!

First up is a series of weekly live online Fashion Illustration Sunday classes. These three-hour sessions are “live” on Zoom, and operate as a virtual classroom, with informative instruction, demonstrations, and real-time feedback and corrections on work throughout the class. Students have access to re-watch all demonstrations for the length of the course, and will receive a pack in the mail prior to beginning, containing an extensive set of original class notes, and pics for drawing references including some extras for (optional) homework. AND I have partnered with Eckersley’s in Melbourne to give students the opportunity to purchase a full materials kit for 30% less than retail!

I’m making these classes as easy and fun as I possibly can. With the guiding moto of “learn, be inspired, have fun”, The Drawing Salon’s key strengths have always been quality of teaching and learning, and the relaxed, positive and fun atmosphere. I will be carrying this into the online realm!

So say HELLO to fashion illustration, or maybe you want to say Oh hey I’d like to get to know you again! with Series 1: Fashion Illustration 1 – The Fundamentals. This is a series of 4 x 3hr classes covering all the key principles and fundamentals of fashion illustration: What is it? Are there rules? How on earth to I get that fabulous figure down on paper without having a nervous breakdown?! Then learn how to bring the sketches to life with vibrant colour, including how to use marker pens to create artful fashion images.

If this is entirely new to you that’s great – the classes presume no knowledge or experience. However if you actually do have existing skills that’s great too – I will push you from that level and give you more advanced feedback. As with my face-to-face classes, my online classes are kept small so you get all the personal attention you need: class size is capped at 12 people. Classes run for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon from 2pm – 5pm, with an optional pour-and-chat at the end. Of course, a pour and draw is always an option too!

Sound like fun? More info and book a spot here. And FYI, Fashion Illustration 2 – Exploring Media will be announced soon, and fully online classes are in work – stay tuned…

For Another Night Only

by Patsyfox on April 30, 2020


How many reasons do we have for being angry with this stupid virus? How many stars in the sky? MANY. Amongst those reasons, so much time and money has gone into things that never got to happen (hello Autumn/Winter clothing deliveries!). I put much love and time into a set of illustrations for the One-Night-Only Ultimate Bridal Collection that was due to be held at the Park Hyatt this April. Sigh. We were all pleased with the results but alas like so many things, we will wait for another time…



Draw baby, draw!

by Patsyfox on April 2, 2020


This morning on 3RRR radio I’m going to be chatting with Richard Watts on his Smart Arts program  about how you can get started drawing with no experience at all. Honestly I couldn’t think of anything better for isolation times like we’re in. OK maybe wine, but this is better for your liver, amongst other things..

Why draw? DRAWING IS A WONDERFUL THING TO DO! It is relaxing and has a meditative effect on the body, mainly because it engages the right side of the brain, which is the creative side that is wordless, timeless, intuitive and non-judgemental. Ever been doing a task and lost all track of time, only to realise an hour had gone by? Yep, you’ve experienced the right side of the brain. Times like we’re in with nothing but scary bad news, a break from thinking and listening to it all will have incredible benefits for you – the mind chatter will slow and fade. There is a very famous and fabulous book called Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. Full of exercises and information. You can check it out on Booko here.

Drawing will also develop your observation skills which is useful for many things (drawing is taught in medicine to help observation skills in diagnosis).

Now listen to this because I mean it – YES, YOU CAN DRAW. I hear the most horrific stories from people who come to my  classes, about things they’ve been told at some point in their life (usually school) about how they can’t draw and have no artistic talent – seriously. What a load of bullshit. Usually these comments have been made by miserable uptight people who have let their own artistic freedom stay locked in a box and have no idea how to teach. True, like athletic skills, some people are born with natural leanings towards certain skills but be sure, you can reach the same points through practice and preferably some guidance. End. Of. Story. For some reason people think if they pick up a pencil for the first time in their life they should either be able to draw already or they simply aren’t artistic. We would never expect that of a sporting skill!

So what are you going to do first?

Find a space that you can ideally make your drawing space. Not too many distractions if possible. Put some music on – preferably instrumental because language and words are “left brain” so can draw you out of the flow, although if you’re really familiar with the song it has less of that effect. Not TV! As delightful as it might seem, television will keep engaging your left brain so leave it off.

You don’t need any fancy equipment:

  • A 2B pencil, or simply any pencil you have in the house. No pencils? A ballpoint pen then – not a problem.
  • Cheap paper, any kind will do if you don’t have a sketchbook. Draw on the back of envelopes, shopping bags, brown paper bags are great.
  • Colour pencils can be great to add colour – Woolworths sells a 24 set of faber castell for $4.50!
  • Charcoal would be great if you have it.
  • A cheap set of watercolours and the cheapest brush would be great but just use what you have.


Find something to draw: Keep it simple, something you love: Wine bottle and glass, shoes, a plant, fruit (I love drawing pears), or be outside in nature if you have a garden, or maybe a corner of the room.

Warming up – get into the zone by doing some sketching to loosen up.

1.Blind contour drawing: Looking at your subject, choose a point to start drawing and put pencil to paper. Without looking at the paper, move the pencil as your eye follows the lines of your subject, slowly but in a flowing line, notice the shapes and angles. One continuous line ideally. No judgement, this will look weird, that is great. This exercise immediately engages the right side of the brain. Draw for 5 minutes or the length of one song.

2.Drawing upside down: Take a photo or picture ( a classic exercise is to use another artist’s drawing) and turn it upside down. Now draw it like this. Drawing upside down immediately engages the right side of the brain and forces you to notice shapes etc as the familiarity of the subject is removed – remember, learning to draw is learning to see, and this exercise will prevent you drawing what you think something looks like (symbols), and force you to draw what you actually see. Gold! Pretty much every time when you draw the same thing both upside down and right way up, the upside down version is better.

3.Try drawing with your non-dominant hand! You’ll have to try much harder to observe your subject. Immediately you realise how developed your hand-to-eye coordination skills are on your regular hand..

Then just draw. Think of the elements of drawing – line, tone, shape. Notice the overall shape/s of what you’re drawing and just go for it without judgement. Know that you’re building neural pathways as you draw so your skills will get stronger and stronger the more you do it.

Draw the subject with line only – try to make it descriptive. Then draw it with only tone – instead of edges you’re noticing volume. What do you like about each? Now maybe combine them.

And think about these things:

  • Don’t be judgemental or attached to the outcome – just the act of drawing is good enough! You are already winning.
  • Try to do a bit of drawing every day – you’ll be amazed at the improvement, not that it’s about that as such!
  • If you’re drawing on separate bits of paper, stick the drawings up on a wall so you can see them accumulate and admire your work. Be your own fan! Date the drawings so you can keep track of the progress. Never forget you’re a bloody champion.
  • Try doing artist studies of other artists’ work – draw their drawing, then do a drawing of your own in their style.
  • Got any blackboard paint? Paint a door or piece of wall with it and draw on it every day then wash it off (take a photo first of course.)
  • Look at the many free tutorials on YouTube. Here are some to start with:
  • Many art galleries are adding tours and classes to their websites – MOMA in New York is a great one.
  • Check out the Instagram page @isolationartschool

And remember, JUST DRAW.

And wash your hands.


To you and yours – Happy Days!

by Patsyfox on December 25, 2019


Happy Xmas to all! And if Xmas isn’t your thing then just Happy Wednesday – every day’s a gift after all, right? This has been an incredible year, known to me as The Year of The House – pushing through on plans to sell my house of 27 years and move to the beach. I’m most of the way there! Worst possible timing but my ideas do not wait for logic or economics. Hence, this year’s Xmas card shows me leaping over the city to be beach side. And you know what? I think this plan is going to work out fine. Happy Xmas!


by Patsyfox on December 6, 2019


It’s Fan Friday, and why not start with one of my all-time favourite Fashion Illustrators, yet one often left out of  the “best-of” lists: Joe Eula was born in the US in 1925, and served in the army before being discharged in 1945 and enrolling in art school in New York. His first illustrations as a student were published in Town & Country magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue – not bad for a student.

In the mid 50s he illustrated Eugenia Sheppard’s column Inside Fashion in the New York Herald Tribune, later working for the London Sunday Times covering European fashion, where the tiny salons allowed only for writer-artist combinations.

He worked for American Vogue and The New York Times, as well as Harper’s Bazaar. Doing this, he covered both Yves Saint Laurent’s first (1958) and last (2002) collections, as well as being an in-house artist for designers including Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. He became friends with some of these designers, most notably with Coco Chanel, and often drew her collections. Though Chanel could be famously prickly, and the designers generally were not in favour of artists sketching their collections due to being copied, Eula managed to win Chanel over on the spot at their first meeting: In her salon and on a deadline, he was trying to quickly sketch the looks after the show, before being seen by her. Alas, he looked up and saw her coming straight for him. Without skipping a beat he grabbed a fresh piece of paper and by the time she reached him, he had drawn her portrait. From then until her death they remained good friends.

Favourite story #1 – he once attended an Yves Saint Laurent couture show, only to shout out that it was terrible after a brief time and walk out. His friendship with both Yves and his partner, the formidable Pierre Bergé was unaffected!

His friendships extended to talented artists in other fields – he designed a suit for Miles Davis, along with illustrating the cover of his album Sketches of Spain (1960); also concert posters for The Supremes and Liza Minnelli.

He designed sets and costumes for Broadway productions, even winning a Tony Award. What a showoff.

He was the creative director of Halston throughout the 70s (one of my favourite brands from the past), helping them establish the chic look they are known for today. Fave story #2 – In 1973 he designed the backdrop of a presentation by Halston and four other American designers to French couturiers at Versailles. There was a teeny weeny miscalculation converting imperial to metric units, so the backdrop drapes came up short. Not a problem! He added a strip of white paper along the bottom and sketched the Eiffel Tower onto it using a broom and stove paint. Fixed!

His loose rapid style that captured not just an outfit but a moment and an emotion, is so engaging and alive – when I look at his drawings my heart literally speeds up. All hail Eula!



Joe_Eula_fashion-drawing-Patsyfox Joe_Eula_Liza-Minnelli Joe_Eula_fashion-drawing

Paint baby

by Patsyfox on October 14, 2019


This year has been a whirlwind and then some, so workshop time has been thin on the ground. But this Sunday 20th October the fab Watercolour & Ink workshop will run for the only time this year at The Drawing Salon. It is a jam-packed day with so much covered between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Starting with watercolours in the morning, we will discuss all about types of watercolour paints, papers, and brushes, and how your choice of these will affect your paintings. We will then cover key techniques for using watercolour paints, then apply them to fashion illustrations. In the afternoon it’s time to learn about the wonderful world of ink. Ink, paints, and paper is supplied, and all for just $175. And did I mention there is cheese and chocolate? Bookings and info here. Classes held in the beautiful studios of boutique textile printers Frankie and Swiss.

Happy Xmas!

by Patsyfox on December 24, 2018


Can you believe it’s this time again? I hope you’ve been naughty and nice, because tonight’s the night your chimney gets some action if you’re lucky – have a great one! X


Bring a parent!

by Patsyfox on September 18, 2018


That’s right kids – you can bring a parent to the fabulous Watercolour & Ink Technique workshop at The Salon FOR FREE! There’s never been a better reason to get them to give you a lift. Book it here.

Home is where the obsession is

by Patsyfox on September 18, 2018


It started with fences – as in, replacing the fences at my house. Well really the front fence. I spent much time driving around the local and not-so-local neighbourhoods like a creep, taking photos of other people’s desirable fences. Some months and a dob-in to the local council later, I had the loveliest and privatest new front fence, and an obsession with ma casa beautiful.

So, when a freelance project came up for the fabulous Hoyne, illustrating the new St James Park building project in Hawthorn by Bensons Property, needless to say I jumped at it.


Bath goals..


Exactly where and how I relax at the end of a hard day.


View from the street.



One of the locals..


Two of the locals!


A stroll in the park.