Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just before Christmas....

We had planned to go out sketching in the Botanic Gardens. But in the days leading up to Christmas, the traffic in inner Sydney is horrific and we needed to cross the city to go to the Gardens. We decided to move on to Plan B.

We went to Iron Cove, just down behind the Leichhardt Pool where I used to swim. They used to tie the boats up on a wooden jetty, but they have them tied to a railing now. Not so picturesque, but still interesting with all the colours.

The sky was a bit cloudy and it was very hot. There was a strong wind, and we had to hold our sketchbooks firmly, and even so they occasionally did an inadvertent jiggle. That is why we drew in pencil and finished them at home. In fact the wind grew stronger and chased us away, so we went to Leichhardt (Italian area) for a coffee at the Locantro.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Xmas from Parramatta

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying a festive season? 
With all my heart, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a very Happy New Year and a safe festive season. 
Whilst sketching, I always laugh, smile, dance, sing and whistle. I always sketch anyone. Oh, in my eyes, everyone is so precious and beautiful. I heartily hope 2013 will be a wonderful year for you, readers.

A big Christmas tree has been set up before Town Hall. (*Australia is in a HOT summer!)  
Banners have decorated streests, which makes a festive mood in a town. Nice!
Santa is, oh, so popular among kids and even us, adults. A good queue to sit with him. Kids and parents were looking at my drawing with curiosity. Hahaha! Or I should say, "Hohoho!"
In front of Town Hall, there are many carol concerts. This boy was so cute and he struggled hard to stay tuned in a Council band. 

It's lovely to see people's good will for "giving" in this festive season. Indeed, I always find people in need. 
Christmas is a good time to think of love and giving each other.  

Friends, thank you for your great friendship and so caring support all through the year. It has encouraged me very much.

Take care and enjoy this season.
Happy Painting, Friends.  
See you next year, soon!!

Best wishes, Sadami 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's a long time since I've been able to go out sketching, but Saturday was the day to ease back into it.  We went to Darling Harbour near the Maritime Museum - one of my favourite spots. First we wandered round aimlessly deciding what to sketch. We tried going down near some of the smaller boats, but it proved to be a floating pontoon I stepped onto and the chop on the harbour nearly threw me off my feet.
Finally we just plonked down right where we were. There's something to see everywhere you look in that area. Strangely, right in front of us was this fire hydrant. With my fascination for sketching machinery, off I went.
It was a cloudy day - great sketching weather in fact. It was hot, so had the sun been out we would have been scrambling for shade.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

January urban sketching in Sydney

If you are in Sydney we would love to see you... will post more details in the new year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sydney Opera House Concert - Alissa Duke

On Saturday I went to the Sydney Opera House to see the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs perform  "An English Christmas" concert . It was a lovely concert, thoroughly enjoyable with some  angelic voices .  I sketched on the way, at interval, and once during the concert . I sat next to another lady who bought out a sketchbook too ! and then I met choir friends for drinks afterwards. All in all it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

I was unsure of what time and opportunity I would have to sketch, but I carry my sketchbook, watercolour pencils and Lamy Safari Ink Pen with me everywhere I go, just in case. As it happened, I only had time for ink in each case.

The exterior of the Sydney Opera House is immensely sketchable from any angle! My first sketch was as I walked up there from Circular Quay. The day was so grey and the wind was very blustery, that I did not spend much time at all, wanting to get inside as soon as possible.

The second sketch was once I seated inside (way at the back). I was on an aisle seat, and no one sat on the otherside of me until the last moment, so I felt free to sketch. I started with the organ, thinking that even it got no further, I would have something down on paper. I was fortunate to get about 15 minutes of sketching in,before the lights dimmed.

The next sketches were at interval, sitting in the drinks/ foyer area inside the Concert Hall shell, looking out through the large glass sections out onto Sydney Harbour. I thought it was important to sketch some people too.

And finally during the concert  group of about 12 singers moved onto the stairs infront of me. Their silhouettes were too tempting to draw and I got my pens out straight away. Then I quickly sketched some audience members and then the orchestra and choir. Then my sketchbook was put away and I sat back to continue enjoying the glorious singing and music.

Monday, December 3, 2012

USK Paddington Reservoir Gardens

It was a much needed day out of sketching for me, and although Sydney was thrown into 40˚ heat leading up to our first Urban Sketchers Australia meet up, the gods were fairly decent towards us on the day. The gardens are a lovely refuge in the inner city and even though there was a constant stream of visitors we could still spread out and enjoy ourselves. It's also one of the few public places that provides free reading material and cabana beach chairs!

I brought along my Derwent inktense pencils, a couple of W&N colour inks and my W&N watercolours, and I was also drawing in a large format Hahnemühle sketchbook. I always apply my colour washes first and then my linework, and sometimes I look at my finished colour washes and think "does it need linework?" So I attempted one with and one without.

I guess they both work well, but it is nice to know I can create pictures without feeling the need to add linework. I created these pictures by using my Inktense pencils first not just to establish structure but for colour, and instead of using water to spread the colour, I used my watercolour set instead. So I think it retains enough linework but in a more subtle way.

So it was nice to start to my first USK Australia meetup by breaking some new ground. Looking forward to the next. For more of my work please visit

Wrap up of our USKSYD event!

Amazing time today at first USk SYD event

The first meeting of Urban Sketchers Sydney at Paddington Reservoir gardens... what a great location and a great day!!! This is one of coolest new urban garden in Sydney - the site of an old water reservoir and a wonderful oasis in a very busy part of the city.

It was a very warm day (forecast of 36C and just had a few showers) but it turned out to be ok as plenty of shade and shelter and the morning cloud cover kept the temperature down... I commented that it was more pleasant than Santo Domingo.

I had prepared a little handout with some 'stuff' about Urban Sketchers - the manifesto, where we share online etc AND also a colour page introducing 3 USKers from Barcelona- 3 great friends and inspiring artists - Lapin, Freekhand (Miguel Herranz) and Swasky. Each month I plan to introduce some different sketchers from the global community- we do have the tendency to feel so far apart from the rest of the world all the way down here, so I hope this will help to make us feel more connected - I know that Lapin, Miguel and Swasky felt like they were virtually there as well.

Stillman and Brin books to give away
I also had a pile of Stillman and Birn books to hand out - a special thanks to S&B and the new Australian distributors S&S for sponsoring our first event... you can't imagine how excited I was to be able to be 'santa claus' and to share these wonderful sketchbooks with my friends!!!
Huge thanks to Michael from Stillman and Birn and Simon from S&S the new distributors for this amazing sponsorship !!! thanks!!!

121201 USKSYD01 Warmup

So... after all that it is not surprising that I was quite in the mood for sketching... so I got my markers out. Did it on a separate piece of paper and then stuck it in my sketchbook - provided a pocket for my handout and also the description of the gift I received.
 121201 USKSYD02 Trying to focus for a 
I went out to the corner to sketch, but as these events are as much about the social aspect as the sketching, was a wee bit distracted by some lovely conversations. We were very honoured to have three great watercolour artists with us on Saturday - John Haycraft, Rob Candy and Malcolm Carver. Malcolm gave me a gift of his special palette... I will do a separate post about this because it is very very interesting and an exciting concept.
I worked big and loose and only managed to splash on a little bit of paint when I thought it was time to move ... I added a little paint to this back at home.

121201 USKSYD02 Talk and sketch
We were very privileged to have an international visitor at our gathering as well - Sarah from England has been travelling around Australia and noticed via the blog that there was an event on in Sydney and she was able to come. SO I then went up to sit next to her...and attempt a chat and sketch at the same time sketch... added a little more watercolour pencil for the texture of the brick walls back at home.

USKSYD01 Great show and tell session

We finished the event by a more interactive show and tell. I have never been a fan of  the annoymous sketchbooks on the ground routine... I think sketchbooks should  be in the hand and I want to hear people talking about their work. I had noticed that the NYC USK group stand around in a circle and share their sketches so thought if everyone agreed we would give it a go. I thought it was great and it was interesting that a common theme arose - that people felt they got distracted by the details  - in particular all those bricks in the arches. Although I am not immuned from this myself, as an architect, my training inherently helps me start with the overall and with the space ...and for me the bricks were just texture. Really interesting if we can discuss this more ....

A huge thanks for everyone that turned up and were so keen to sketch and share! Can't wait for next month - keep Sat 12 Jan free!

121201 Have I been to T2 lately?
I finished the day (after a physio appointment) with a wee stop at T2.... in case you have been wondering, I have omitted to post any T2 teahouse sketches lately... and haven't been there that often anyway lately. On Saturday I was trying to mix my colours on the page... so a little blobby than normal... also running out of time and exhausted after the big day

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First USKSYD event!

Just a quick post to say that I had an amazing time today...Thanks to everyone that turned up. Great group great sketching great sharing.... And weather was bearable and not as bad as expected(forecast 36c)
Will post my sketches soon!