A blustery winters day in The Blue Mountains, but as I approached Cabramatta I could feel it getting warmer. I even took my coat off once I arrived. Its always fun to Sketch in Cabramatta. It would have to be the best suburb in Sydney! In terms of sketching and chefs delights, does it get any better? I met our lovely group at The Water Buffalo on Freedom Plaza, then we headed for a Vietnamese Coffee. Some of the group ordered all sorts of different drinks on the menu that I didn't even know where Vietnamese. Actually, I think some of them were not! I always encourage students to try the Ca Phe Sua Da. Vietnamese iced coffee made with sweetened condensed miljk. Did you know that Vietnam is the second biggest coffee grower in world  We sketched, then we shopped the local markets. I helped students choose the best fish sauce, the most cinvinient Pho spices and how to interpret the rice noodle selection. Then we headed through the suburb for a delicious lunch and some more sketching. Next Experience is August 27th in China Town. We will be eating Malaysian. Bookings here.



Join me for an informative, moving and delicious day Sketching Cambodian food in Sydneys Cabramatta. Lets immerse ourselves amongst divine people and food, lets sketch the dishes we eat, the markets and the fresh produce on offer. Monday June 25th. Bookings Here


Sydney Fish Markets-Japanese

We met at The Sydney Fish markets Di Costi for the freshest Sashimi in town. Then we headed to the outside tables by the harbour to fight with the seagulls over whose sashimi it really was. We had to queue for some Japanese grilled scallops, and fight for a table, but luckily it was a sunny pleasant day, and sketching whilst in the queue calmed our frustrations! I hope The Sydney Fish Market can pick up its game. Many vendors have succumbed to popular demand, and the sushi was far from the divine sushi it used to be a few years ago. Too many imports and not a delicate cut in sight. I am happy to report though that De Costi still has the same fresh high quality seafood as always. Take a look at some of our sketches. Pretty good for complete beginners I must say! Well done. 


Harris Park-Indian

We ate dosa and idly whilst learning about the essential travel sketching skills. Indian beats play in the background, spices waft, and brand new aquarelles were our tools. Take a look at what absolute beginners can do! We also had Pete sketching on his ipad pro with an apple pencil.


We met on a gorgeous sunny day in Eastwood. First I took our group to a friendly local pop up market where the vendors sell a variety of fresh seasonal fruits and veg. The energy of this market means we had plenty to capture. We tackled 1 point perspective, scribbling simple human forms and getting a sense of the depth of the space amongst the hustle and bustle.  It was a 15 minute sketch, then off to some street food. Topokki in Korea is one of the most popular streetfoods. Its made with the dense chewy cylindrical rice cakes, plently of gochujang (a fermented rice chilli paste) and this version had cabbage and fish cakes in it as well. Some of us loved it, and some were happy to sketch and leave their portion behind! Korean food is one of those cuisines that does not always win everybody over immediately!

Next we headed to the Korean side dish store where we choose from a great big variety of classic Korean side dishes that are typically eaten with every family meal. This shop also sells a big variety of kim chi. After I filled my Erin Hill Sketching bag with a fermented things such as chillies and lotus roots and dried radish, we headed to a sweet little dumpling house for handmade dumplings. Here we had a relaxing sit and sketch and talked about all things Korean food, whilst looking at tone, colour, shape and perspective in our sketches. 

Finally it was time for cake and coffee. Those who were still game tried the sweet potato latte, the yam latte, the citron tea and the red bean cinnamon pumpkin buns. Those who had experienced enough of a new cuisine for a little while were happy with a cafe latte. All delicious, and a fun group and happy day! Take a look at out sketches below. We also had a sketcher who was using his ipad and an apple pencil. Wonderful results for a brand new sketcher! Well done everybody. 

Chinatown Sydney-Malaysian

February was a Malaysian experience. We had a ball in Chinatown, Sydney. The Nasi Lemak at Ho Jiak (a relatively new Malaysian streetfood restaurant on Hay St) was absolutely delicious! The wagu beef rendang was to die for so was the the Char Kway Teow (a rice noodle dish with king prawns and the "breath of the wok") We ate with relish whilst learning to sketch ellipses and capturing the cups of tea and coffee Malaysian style. 

Next we headed out to capture the energy of the street. The main street of Chinatown is a walking street, so its a perfect place for people sketching and a great place to stop and learn all about 1 point perspective. 

Next it was time to eat again! We were not hungry, but we had Roti to try. I was particularly looking forward to the Roti with Kaya (a coconut pandan flavoured jam). I finished with a delicious "pulled tea" Teh Tarik, and the others has a lemon barley drink and a hot milo (classic malaysian beverages), and we settled down to some more sketching. Fun! Take a look. Next Experience is Korean in Eastwood. Limited small groups only.



The first Experience of the year was held in Sydney's Cabramatta. I absolutely love Cabramatta  and Vietnamese food, so this day is one of my favourites. First we started with a Vietnamese coffee at the best Vietnamese cafe in town. Cafe Xua. The coffees taste pretty much just like a ca phe sua da you would buy in Vietnam. Ivy, the owner is a delight too. We learnt about Vietnamese herbs and sketched them in our food journals labelling with the Vietnamese names. Next we headed to the supermarket for a look at clay pots for cooking our recipe, and the best fish sauces to purchase. A sketch of the fish market was all about capturing the energy and the impression of the environment. We looked at perspective and repetition of shapes too. Much relief was felt as we walked into our air conditioned restaurant of choice to try our recipe of the day. Ca Kho To. Its a clay pot fish dish. The restaurant we visit does one of the best Ive tried, so here we enjoyed the food whilst sketching it! A fun day as always.


This month our Experience was held in Cabramatta featuring Vietnamese food. It was a rare scorcher of a day, and things certainly heated up in the markets! I took our students to one of the older more authentic cafes for a Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee). Here we sketched Vietnamese herbs.

We tasted , touched and smelt them first, then leant what the Vietnamese names were for them. Next we headed to Eastland Supermarket where my friend Thai (the owner) talked openly about meeting Luke Nguyen for dinner in Saigon this December and do I want to come?! YES!!!!!

We talked about rice noodles, and I helped students buy some key ingredients for a delicious Vietnamese Roast Chicken recipe I have given them. After a quick walk through the busy fruit, vegetable and seafood markets we headed to a relaxing spacious air-conditioned restaurant. Over a crispy Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake), some Vietnamese rice paper rolls and some prawns on sugarcane we sketched away, learning about how to capture the essence of the place, the food and how to roll rice papers!

Take a look at our fun filled day. HappyCreating and tasting in new Places, Anna xxx