Thursday, November 20, 2014

Melbourne USK exhibition at Town Hall Gallery

First a video

And a nice write-up byTown Hall Gallery


82 pieces of work all lined up on the floor – during installation


Work in progress


Looking great.


The launch – packed!

The show goes on till Dec 6 at Town Hall Gallery.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Industrial, Traditional and Compromising Brisbane

I have been using my small palette and not feeling like I am missing key colours. I have done a few sketches around Brisbane. 

G20 is next week so we are all preparing to be able to work from home to avoid the delays getting in and out with all of the added security. 

The Queensland government has sponsored projectors and lights to "decorate" the walls of key government buildings. You can "paint" these landmark buildings and the Story Bridge (here). 

But back to some sketches. 

Parmalat, South Brisbane 
This industrial site in South Brisbane used to be called Paul's, a dairy manufacture, but it got taken over by Parmalat in 1998. It's still pretty common to see Paul's on the milk cartons. 

They currently have 23 types of milk …  

NAB (National Australia Bank), Queen Street CBD
NAB is one of the four big Australian banks. People used to call it NAB well and truly before the bank rebranded from National Australia Bank to NAB. The conservative bank didn't want their brand to be associated with a word that hinted at "… to take or get (something) quickly and often in a way that is clear or rude…" (here). They got over it in 2006, and rebranded it to a lower-cased, nab.  

Brisbane - nab building on queen st

Mooney Memorial Fountain at Le Bon Choix, Queen Street CBD

The Fountain was erected primarily to "lift" the area around the Queen St/Eagle St intersection but as it coincided with raising funds for a fireman, James Mooney, who had been killed fighting a fire in Queen St, the two objectives were collated into the one Fountain. See the link for more information (here).

The Le Bon Choix's eating area sits underneath a beautiful tree (that gets lit with fairy lights at night) with a good view of this Fountain. Le Bon Choix is a chain of patisserie stores in Brisbane. Rather than eating a heavy Christmas cake in the heat of summer, I used to buy a berry opera cake which they don't seem to make anymore. 

Camera Roll-386

Friday, November 7, 2014


It is getting hotter now, so towards the end of the month we  looked for cooler places to sketch.  Inside the Gallery of Modern Art was one, and The Sculpture Garden at the Queensland Art Gallery with the fountains, and waterfalls was another.  We did brave the heat for the OPEN HOUSE Brisbane Sketchwalk. That was a load of fun, going inside beautiful old buildings normally closed to the public.  Fortitude Valley was our another destination, and we also did the 45th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.  Awesome month with great turnouts to each event....

Great month sketching...............  If you want to join us, please click on this link..URBAN SKETCHERS BRISBANE   We have a FLICKR Group too for members who don't "do" Facebook.  We are not letting the G20 stop us from getting out and about in November.  Check the links to check our events.  This Sunday, is University of Queensland at St Lucia.  Hop to see you there.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Morning at Millers Point (Sydney USK)

A perfect morning yesterday, after the heat of the day before: sunny but breezy, and lots of interesting vistas to paint and draw! 

The Palisade Hotel has been described as a ‘venerable old neck oilery’. Great expression!  It was fitting that we sketched around there yesterday on the day that celebrations were taking place in Albany, WA, to commemorate 100 years since the boarding of the first convoy of Australian troops bound for war, as apparently The Palisade was where many of Sydney's Anzacs downed their last beers before boarding ships bound for Gallipoli!  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A day out sketching in Hawthorn (Melbourne USK)

With over 20 Melbourne sketchers soaking up the sun in Hawthorn, we were set for a good day. There is so much to sketch on Glenferrie Road as its a hub for shopping, cafes and Swinburne university. We are having a group exhibition of Boroondara in Nov at the Hawthorn Art Centre. So everyone was keen to get some solid sketching in. We managed to replenish at Once a Tailor which had a big (kind of a secret) room out the back.

Jay painting the Catholic Church scene (Lynch St, Hawthorn)

Once a Tailor, Glenferrie Road

With an early start Angela and I found a VW parked on Burwood Road. We met the owner of the van and he said he would walk to the cafe so we could finish sketching it. We sent him a scan of our sketches as a thank you. It had cool crochet rugs on the seats.

I decided to sketch the Hawthorn Town Hall with its giant clock faces. It has the different times that I was sketching the hands. I have heard people do one for when they start the sketch and another when they finish.

After lunch I sat out the front of the laundro-mat and sketched the top of the buildings along Glenferrie Road. I got a few people come to chat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two visits to Perth

Perth is about 5.5 hrs flying west and 4.5hrs flying east from Brisbane. 

Trip 1 - 40th Birthday Party

The first trip to Perth was for a 40th Party from a friend that we worked with in Mount Isa. I found it difficult to fit time into sketch when we were catching up and talking with everybody. 

We stayed at his unit on Beaufort Street and was within walking distance to a lot of great cafes. Whilst the others were lounging back at the unit, I headed off to the Beaufort Street Merchant. 

It was a great party with lots of friendly people. 

I had just under an hour to do the two sketches at the Perth airport. Perth is a hub for a lot of mine sites so the airport lounge was what looked to be full of mineworkers - flying alone or with colleagues, casual attire (t-shirt, shorts and thongs), looked routine. 

Perth - Beaufort st

Perth - airport

Trip 2 - Work

My second trip to Perth was for a work trip. 

I have always loved James Gurney's work. He is famous for his imaginative realistic style in Dinotopia but I only recently found that he has a very generous and informative blog (here). From watching his videos, I have started to incorporate some water soluble pencils to add texture and depth after I have finished with the watercolour paint (as you can see in the plane sketch on the man's shirt and hair). 

The other person's work (amongst many others) I am admiring is Stefano Faravelli's work (here and look under "Appunti da Sfogliare"). 

I am still preferring my looser watercolour style as it is quicker and I like how you can fully see the uniqueness of watercolour. But I am looking forward to experimenting with the addition of the watercolour pencils, incorporating more text and little details.    

I have been quite happy with my smaller palette which I used for all of these sketches, although I need to find a more transparent yellow which I can add by replacing the full pan. With the incorporation of the water soluble pencils, I am not needing the Lavendar, Cobalt Teal Light and Buff Titanium as I typically use them for spot use at the end for reflected light. 

Flight Brisbane to Perth

Camera Roll-385

I'd love to hear what other sketchers are experimenting with at the moment and how they fit in sketching when they are with people.  


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sketching at the University of Melbourne


Melbourne USK Sketchcrawl at the University of Melbourne – first sketch over breakfast. The university was quite quiet since it was a Saturday.


Lots of heritage buildings here.


A red Vespa and her little cousin, a red push bike :) – surely I had to sketch them.