Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rain - Rain - Rain

So much rain, my studio is under water...  It is too wet to sketch.  I have no car..

Today I sat under my carport, and sketched my drought tolerant garden.  All this rain and humidity has made it grow like crazy!!

2012 Sketchbook

As mentioned in a previous entry I completed my first Urban Sketches book end of 2011. Well, I am happy to say I have made a good start on my new sketchbook. My theme is Scenes From A Bus Stop. Most will still be of Marrickville and the surrounding inner-city suburbs, but as I catch public transport quite regularly, there will be the odd other location in Sydney as well. I'm still sticking with the artline pen and waterbrush pen combination, as I quite like it. I've also decided to "square off" the scenes too. It keeps each page scene and looks neater.

I had to draw this Newtown scene over two days. The first day my bus came quite promptly, which is unusual for this route (370 - I'm always waiting forever). So I came back the second time as part of my exercise/walk. However, the second time was so much busier with so many cars and people it made me a little frenetic in my actions trying to finish the drawing at the same pace.
This was the return trip on the 370, and is what I'm use to, I had plenty of time to finish this sketch. I think these are fire hydrants.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Old Houses & Cemetery in Parramatta

Hi, Friends, how have you been?
Well, as I promised you, I'm challenging architecture in 2012.
Let's explore
old houses in Parramatta. Parramatta has an old history in both Indigenous Australians and colonialism. Parramatta originally comes from the Aboriginal word Baramada or Burramatta, "the place where the eels lie down" or "head of waters." The Burramatta people (Burra meaning place, matta meaning eels) belonged to the Dharug people. So, Parra has so many historical and old architectures.

Let's sketch "ordinary" people's houses.
Below, the decorated roof is very interesting. Who started decoration? Rich guys? It stimulates imagination.
The green roof and red bricks make a
very charming colour harmony is

Below. A lusted roof are so eye catchy. Too beautiful to miss it. The contrast between green and white is lovely. Technically, making rust on paper was really fun. 

Now, very different, but essential part for a house...
Ohhh, loo, my sweet loo... Today, this bathroom is used for a storage. Hey, it has a great, great character.

 Below, another essential place for a society, a cemetery.
St Patrick's Cemetery. Tomb stones tell the history from about 1820s. Oh...under a shower of cicadas signings, tombs talk to a passenger silently. Quiet.
Actually, light rain drops gave the sketch a lovely spitting technique.

Did you enjoy my archtecture sketches?
I seem to get tips to handle buildings.
I do not play with colours like my portraits (below sketch at a cafe). But celebrate small achievements.
Step by step, one goes far!
Friends, Happy Painting!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


On a day that looked like rain we went sketching in the inner west suburb of Glebe. We decided we'd find cafes and just sketch what we could see. The first cafe was near the intersection on Glebe Point Road and Bridge Road so we drew the old building diagonally opposite. I was using a very fine brown Pigma Micron pen, which I have now retired as the line it makes is not distinct enough for my liking.
We walked all along Glebe Point Road until the shops and cafe ran out. This road leads from the western end of the city proper, down to Blackwattle Bay where I've been to draw many times. We found a cafe where we had an extremely delicious lunch ( have to go back) and also had these three chimneys opposite. I seem to be drawn to rooftops.
The sun had come out and after lunch we were able to cross the road and draw in the little park there, where there were wonderful old trees.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zoo - Day Four

We had to wait a while for our fourth day at the zoo due to all the rain we've been having.
Every time we see something different. I'd never seen a turkey dance before. He put on quite a display while we had our lunch. Eventually some turkey-girls turned up, but it took a while.
Last time the spider monkeys weren't so cooperative, but this one stayed near us for some time. A grandma and toddler came along and she said to him, 'What do you think the monkey's name is?' the boy didn't answer, but I decided he was called Ginge.
As it was quite near Christmas, it was much hotter than previous days. We were looking for a place we'd seen before with beautiful water birds. It took us some time and we were very hot by the time we found them. Worth it though! That's why the map is there - for the next time I go.
Something weird is happening with the spacing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family time

Had dinner with my family at the beginning of the week to celebrate Chinese New Year. Instinctively I left the drawing till after dinner - nothing would have been left for me to eat if I sketched first. It's every man, woman and child for themselves!! So warm and loving...

Then the next night I had dinner with an old friend at Azuma's in town. We order a yummy array of skewers and a plate of very tender duck confit. At least my friend was gracious enough to let me draw them in before he ate them.

Later that night we headed off to the Metro and saw UK outfit Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. The music is influenced by pretty much all the sounds of the 50's - rockabilly, hawaii'in, country etc. I knew that the three were all brother and sisters, but not until the end of the show I found out that dad was on rhythm guitar and mum was playing string bass. How cool is that? And guest starring Eddie Tan Tan Thornton on trumpet - maybe he's their godfather?? uncle?? As always I forget how hard it is to draw in the dark. This time I could barely see my linework, and then when I attempted to paint - all my halfpans looked the same colour - black! Luckily I had a fair idea the positoning of the colours in the palette box.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Australian Urban Sketcher in Japan

Deers at Miyajima Island, Ehime Prefecture, Japan

Restaurant sign at Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

The Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

The Floating Shrine, Miyajima Island, Ehime Prefecture, Japan
Temple, Pagoda and deers at Nara, Japan 

A couple months ago I went for a holiday across Japan (Houshu Island's south). It was a good chance to fill half a sketchbook with sketches of Japan. Those are the few that I scanned so far. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

International Sketchcrawl

It started out more of a sketch- swim with mother nature being the ultimate decider of where our drawing venue would be. Thankfully the Australian Museum is always a great venue, rain, hail or shine, and most of us splish splashed our way over there. And it was the first time I managed to check out the dinousaur exhibition, and I dont think it will be my last.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newtown Post Office

Early in the week Alissa and I had a late lunch at Cafe C (with the red chairs) where we had a great view of the Newtown Post Office. This is my local post office - you can often find me standing in a queue there.
We ate hamburgers - mine was a lamburger - very delicious. Later I had a berry frappe that was too delicious to draw. I had to drink it right away. Cafe C is a great cafe. They didn't mind us sitting there taking up a table in their busy cafe for much of the afternoon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

34th International SketchCrawl Sydney - ANZAC War Memorial

Here are my sketches for the 34th International SketchCrawl in Sydney. The chosen location was the Sydney ANZAC War Memorial. Later on we went to the Australian Museum. It was pouring rain but was on the of the biggest sketchers groups that I remember. This is my seventh SketchCrawl!!! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Light poles of Sydney : Alissa Duke

This weeks theme for Urban Sketchers flickr group is lightpoles and lamp posts . On my 20 minute walk to work each day I walk by a huge variety of these. I did not realise it until I went to sketch one this morning. The first page is only a small sample of what I passed. So this mornings walk to a bit longer than 20 mins as I stopped so often along the way to draw.

I really wanted to draw the old lamp posts on Pyrmont Bridge with their massive sandstone bases and iron (?) lights

and then later in the day I went past these lovely lamp posts at RPA Hospital. They are a lot lower and you can see more detail

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Black Tea by Tim Mooney

I am trying to give up the use of milk. So black tea for a while.

Lotuses blooming in Sydney

For three or four years now I've drawn the lotuses in the main pond at the Royal Botanic Gardens. This year we haven't had much sun, so given a sunny day last week we were down there at the lotus pond. This year they have huge leaves and not so many flowers. Maybe they will come later because it has been so cool.

After lunch we looked for interesting trees to draw. We went on a wild goose chase looking for trees we'd found last summer and couldn't find again. In the end we found some marvellous new ones and I need to revisit them, particularly the one on the left, to draw them in a bigger space. Neither tree had a tag saying what it was.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Country Fruit Stall by Tim Mooney

Driving off to a photography job in the Yarramalong Valley I noticed this shack and stopped on the way back to sketch it. Lots of stories and you can just hear that side door telling you some!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hi Everyone. I've only posted here once before, but I'll make sure I'll bless you with my drawings more often. Here are a couple of drawings at a beach in Bunbury (WA) called Koombana Bay. I was taking my son there for swimming lessons, and was able to get some sketches in. It's great to see beach sketches from other members. I hope everyone is enjoying this time and getting a lot of sketching done.

Gear Up New Year!

Hi, Friends, did you enjoy a festive season?
The last year was very fruitful for me. I used A4 sketch books, 13 to 14, plus,
many watercolour pads. I've begun to enjoy "wash" more and more, which needs qualified watercolour pads.

Last year, the most lovely challenging was to capture waves. Do you know? A sea changes colours, reflecting a sky. A stormy sea shows a dark, melancholic blue. On the other hand, a fine day, a sea shows a very bright greenish blue like a laughing cheerful girl.

But "people" are my most wonderful and favorite subjects. Like Meegan, I'd capture "snap shots of our everyday life" from a changing angle. Australia has colourful cultures and brilliant linguistic diversity. The aim of my posts is to demonstrate "what we are Australians" at grass roots level in Sydney, humorously and with humane eyes.While exploring the cultural and linguistic diversity, I'd show beautiful nature in Australia from micro to macro level.

Regarding architecture, my posts will highlight Australian history in Sydney. Technically, I've begun to get how to handle it. Mmmm...could be enlightening?! Putting colour amuzes me so much now. Practice, practice, practice!
But my very poor appetite for buildings is only the issue!?

Well, hopefully, I can carry out these resolutions...gulp?!? Friends, your cheers give me energy to go on.

Finally, thank you for other sketch club members who have shared time and fostered wonderful friendships. I heartily hope we will enjoy sketching more in 2012.
And a big bow for you, Friends, who have read our blog and cheered us up!!

Friends, Happy Painting in 2012!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

more cranes in Sydney

Today when I walked past the building site afterwork, all the cranes were moving . The engines were going, the pulleys were moving and the place seemed alive !

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Finally some nice weather in Sydney and we went to the Paddington Reservoir Gardens to draw. Paddington is an inner suburb and they have made this wonderful garden below street level, right on the busy main street, but you'd never know it was there. It is almost deserted. The main architectural feature of the garden is rows of arches, and it is easy to get tangled while you're drawing them. I'd been once before and its amazing how just a small change in viewpoint completely changes the image as the arches pass by one another and change perspective. I made the big banksia bush the feature of my drawing this time.
Another great thing about sketching here is that there is a supply of comfortable mesh metal chairs that you can more around to get the viewpoint you want or a shady patch.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

walking home from work- Sydney

My walk to and from work each day in Sydney takes me past some busy areas. There is a very large busy building site. I can see it all from above from the tearoom at work, but walking past at street level there is boarding that blocks off a lot of the view.

Then I walk past lots of tourist areas, including Darling Harbour, with the day cruise boats and this jet boat. My friends from Brisbane had just been on one of these in Sydney Harbour so I decided to draw it. Then I wanted to include the monorail, then I had to draw all in between. There are so many layers. I somehow did not leave room for the expressway and buildings at the end of Cockle Bay.

It was not what I started out to draw , but this is how it ended. - a slice of Sydney

Sydney Commuting

I commute about 1.5 / 2 hours a day. I use that time mostly to draw, also to read. Today I was reading and finally drawing. I'm normally to self aware to draw commuters, but today I didn't care that much.