Friday, October 28, 2011

Sydney skyline

Sydney skyline

I drew this because I could !

It was 5.30 on a Friday afterwork and at last, the sky was blue, the air was warm and there was time to sit back and relax. I was at King Street Wharf, sitting on a bench away from the cafes, looking back at the city, but I could hear the buzz of Friday night. It was a lovely start to the weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ferry at the terminal Sydney: Alissa Duke

Waiting at the King Street Wharf Ferry Terminal, Sydney

I drew this while the ferry was being boarded. I don't know why I decided to draw a ferry that was scheduled to leave in 10 minutes ! Especially when there were plenty of moored boats and buildings around the area.

I then added the colour later at home. It was another grey, chilly afternoon in Sydney, so I made the sky a bit bluer than it really was.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi Everyone, I've just joined the blog. My name is Andrea, I live in regional WA, so the urban part of my sketching isn't as regular as I would like. I've been sketching people in public places on and off for years. Sometimes the 'off' period is quite a number of years. I hope contributing to this great blog will spur me on through those dull periods. You can see my drawings on

Here are a couple of oldies. Cafe's have been great places to draw people. People sit still long enough, and there's often the intimacy of the sketcher and sketchee(s) both being private in a public space. The first drawing was in a cafe in a small nearby city called Bunbury, and the second was drawn at the Hare Krishna restaurant in Northbridge (Perth). What I like about the Hare Krishna drawing is observing how uncomfortable it can be to share space with strangers sometimes. From memory it was their awkward body language that caught my attention.

I think it's the intimacy of life I like to draw. The close up rather than the wide view. Drawing the police state that Perth is at the moment during CHOGM could make for some interesting drawings for an artist interested in that sort of thing. I'm just glad I'm a couple of hundred km's away.

Two Red Chairs

In Newtown there is the best button shop in all of Sydney - no contest. It is called All Buttons Great and Small and it opens at 10 am. On a Tuesday I have an 8.30 exercise class for an hour, so if I need a button, I have to have a coffee while I wait for the shop to open. That's what took me to Chill Cafe, when I did this drawing. The previous week I'd also been to Cafe C. where the cups were also white and boring, so I'd enjoyed drawing their red chair.

I had not had time to sketch the red chair at Chill Cafe, so, being in need of a button, I was back there and this time drew not only the different style of red chair there, but another the same as the one at Cafe C.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sydney ferry terminal

Sydney. King Street Wharf Ferry Terminal. With time to spare til the next ferry I took the time to draw STEPS for this weeks Urban Sketchers theme. Straight lines are not my strongpoint, so this was sending me cross-eyed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fighting and Festivals

Had some fun sketching my friend's Medieval appreciation group, the SCA, who meet every week, donn custom-made armour and fight to the death, well not to death, but they full on whack each other to bits with swords (made of blunt wood). It was so challenging trying to capture not just their moves, but the techniques they employ.

Then later in the week I attended Marrickville Festival. It was damn hot and so many people shuffling around, that I tried to find something to draw under plenty of shade. One was of a local dance skool putting on a performance, and the other a mobile circus that entetrtained the kids while parents put their feet up for a bit.

Quick trip to Melbourne

111020 Melbourne Work Trip 01 _Flight Down

111020 Melbourne Work Trip 020Dinner at Grossi Florentino

111021 Melbourne Work Trip 03_ Cumulus Oolong

111021 Melbourne Work Trip 04-Flight home

Here are the sketches I managed to fit in during a work trip to Melbourne on Thursday and Friday... constant meetings but one nearly always gets a chance on the plane...and meal times...ah! the food is so good in Melbourne. And yes, I found a WONDERFUL tea and I did also get a good Melbourne coffee.

Urban Sketchers makes the world even smaller!

111022_02  Morning at T2 View

I knew it would happen one day that I would be caught sketching by someone that knew me through Urban Sketchers and I also guessed that it might be at T2 teahouse since I know of at least one person that follows this blog that drinks there regularly... on Saturday, it happened .... and turned out to be more amazing than one would expect!

I was sitting in T2 sketching the view and the contents of my table when someone came up and asked "Are you Liz?"

Familiar Shoes!!!!

She then explained that she knew my work from online ...and not only that but she was friends with Wil Freeborn! I immediately looking down at her legs and said ...I have seen your legs(your stockings) before!?!.... Wil(who is the correspondent from Glasgow) had sketched them earlier this month here and so I knew that he had an art friend moving to Australia. In fact she is wearing the same I had to take a photo and the little fellow had to get in on the act!!!

How amazing is that!!!! Not only did someone know who I was, but I knew who they were! And just for the record, I am not in T2 THAT often....certainly not regularly so the chances of running into me there are not THAT high.
111022_01  Morning at T2
And of course, we are looking forward to having a new sketcher join our ranks!

The moral of the just never know who how many people out there have heard of Urban Sketchers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

33rd Sketchcrawl in Sydney

A small group of 8 Sydneysiders got together for a CBD 'sculpture crawl' to celebrate the 33rd International Sketchcrawl. Following a few days of poor weather we were very lucky to have the rain clear to quite a warm sunny day. It was suggested that we take the challenge of limiting time at each of 3 sketch stops to 30-35 minutes and everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to focus on the same subject/s, yet participants showed a diverse range of interpretation in both B&W pen work and watercolour renditions - firstly of a boar statue at the Sydney Eye Hospital, then moving to an outside area of the Botanic Gardens and finally to the forecourt of an office building named after the 16th Prime Minister of Australia.

Thanks to Jennifer for organising this event!

Monday, October 17, 2011

33rd International SketchCrawl Sydney - 15th October 2011

I assisted to the 33rd International Sketchcrawl in Sydney. This time was all about CBD sculptures. I included a map to make it easier to know where the sculptures were located. It was finally a glorious spring day! I've been feeling sick for the last couple of days, so I couldn't join the group BUT I had the chance to go there during the afternoon and prepare my sketches. Such a Great day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Make Chalk Art: Parramatta Chalk Festival

Hi, Friends, how have you been?
In between a busy studio work, for these years, I've been sketching
Chalk Urban Art Festival (Oct 13-16) in Parramatta. It is the big competition that has a BIG cash prize! 32 artists from all over Australia created some amazing food-inspired artworks. All artists work so hard. I love them all. NOTE: "Chalk" is, in fact, "Pastel."

This year's theme was food.
This is the winner, Jennifer
McCracken who took home the $3,000 prize for her artwork Freedom of the Species Begins on your Plate. She worked till the late 10 o'clock. I sketched her in darkness. Do you know? Jenny worked till 2 in the morning last year. Amazing artist!This is the Best 2D prize winner, Adam Celeban. (His art works are absolutely lovely!! Go and have a look!) This is Arto who won "ISS Security Guards' Choice 2011."
Mostly, cloudy and very light rain, even though the sun came up.
Here, very interesting techniques for chalk or "PASTEL."

1) Stretching Canvas

Because of moisture in the air, canvases get buckled on pavements. Taping down, water spraying canvases, etc, etc. The best way is to stretch
the huge canvas first or before getting on work.
2) Strings For Straight Lines
Strings are more handy and practical than scales.

3) 3D Composition
Images on a ground are distorted for viewers. In order to achieve a normal image, paradoxically, length and height get looooooong.

4) Use Bamboos for Brushes Bamboos or long sticks are very good tools to prevent back or neck pains. Furthermore, an artist can easily step back and check an ongoing work. 5) Hands Spread Chalk
OK, Girls, we know how to
spread flour on a cutting board. That's the way! Hands and fingers spread chalk on a canvas. Artists painstakingly repeat the process over and over again.

6) Second Wind Available
Unlike watercolor, changing colors and drawings is very easy.
7) Home-Made Chalk
An artist said he
made it by himself. Yes, pastels cost too much for a massive work. According to the artist, only a few cents were cost for a piece of chalk. Easy "piecy"?! Each chalk artist's style is very varied. Very fascinating, even though I still do not get chalk painting in general.
In my eyes, all big names were so humble and respected others.

Another wonderful thing is that we all artists agree at this point ; joy in painting and drawing. Colorful joys poured over walkways.
Hey, beer, wine and nice food tasted soooo good at a pub after a hard work. Great socialization.

Friends, come join the event a next year!! Yeah!!
Happy painting!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Out and about on Saturday

111008 02 St Marys Combo
I will leave my Spring Sketchabout sketches for a separate post as I want to include some sketches that our fellow sketchings in SF Bay Area were doing on the same day... though of course they were autumn sketching!
I started the day with some warm up architectural sketches... trying a few alternative ways to sketch architecture these days rather than just trying for an elaborate facade sketch.

111008 06 Art gallery afternoon tea
After the sketchabout I popped into the art gallery for some solo sketching and a quiet cup of tea. Instead I ran into some of the sketchers from the garden so we had a lovely afternoon tea chatting about sketching! Having fun with a bit of collage....

111008 07 Art gallery bits
After they left I decided to do a few quick 'museum' sketches before i left (colour added later from iphone photos and memory)
111008 09 Final sketch
And then finally, I started to sketch this little fountain structure (I should look up what it is?) but the rain came down and I had to abandon it... maybe next visit to the garden I might get a chance to sketch it properly

Friday, October 7, 2011

Manly Jazz Festival 2011

Last Monday I went to the Manly Jazz Festival with some friends. It was great music a lots of talent. I did some sketches. I was really impress by the quality of the performance. The guy on the Sailor outfit have an amazing voice. The crowd sketch is from the people listening to him. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spring Sketchabout #2 on Saturday

sketchers in the Royal Botanic Garden

Please join us on Saturday for the garden sketchabout for October.

When: 10 am to 12.30 pm, Saturday 8 Oct
Where: the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
Meet at the Palm Grove Centre Information Booth (outside the Garden Shop as we did in Autumn)

BYO sketching equipment.
sydney sketchers in the Royal Botanic Garden

Join the Sydney Sketch Club in association with the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, amongst the spring flowers, wildlife and picturesque landscaping.

Meet other sketchers, relax, have fun and share your art and experiences. Garden staff and Volunteer Guides will provide advice on the seasonal highlights. All levels of ability and experience are welcome.

Picnic lunch to follow (BYO or pick up from café).

Enquiries 9231 8125 or
For updates and to share experiences and sketches

*In event of wet weather, entry fee of $5.50 for the Tropical Centre

Photos thanks to Alissa Duke

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Avoiding the Rain at Manly Jazz Festival

Luckily the rain held off and we managed to find seats at quite a few venues. M held the 2 dogs while I sketched flat out, well, as much as you can when nothing stays still.
We went for coffee in a quiet spot off the main drag, and I decided this dear little chap would be a nice change.
Today of course most events were cancelled and some were re-scheduled in a few church halls. 
I decided to have an inside and keep warm day.
What happened to that little bit of summer we almost had!!