Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More sketches from USK SYD Feb

Sorry I have been slow in posting other peoples work from the USK SYD Feb event but here are some of them...

Ways Terrace - Pyrmont
Ways Terrace by Peter Rush.
Some of us desperately want to go back and sketch this building again.
Peters description:
"I used a 6B pencil first as an outline, then added the colour to minimise smudging. To finish I heavily used the 6B to shade and tone. (squeezing in some more colour when needed) Size A2.

Ways Terrace is a public housing building completed in 1925. The architect Professor Leslie Wilkinson had a very strong conviction that Sydney architecture should be Mediterranean. So no, this is not Italy. It really is a very clever building, a big variety of flats, a lot of them two story with loggias and balconies. Pretty much unchanged since construction."

9feb13 Pyrmont intersection

Pyrmont Intersection by Rod Byatt
"USk Sydney organised a sketch crawl through Pyrmont, a visually stimulating harbourside suburb. Most of the suburb has been re-developed which makes anything 'old' stand out even more than it otherwise would. The many public houses were homes-away-from-(miserable tenement) home for most of the resident industrial workers of last century and the century before that.

I gridded up this RH page for a routine 'slow' sketch, working each of the nine panels for about 10 minutes each. I was pleased with the visual variety/interest created in the bottom RH corner (invariably the weakest in most people's work) but attention quickly turned to the centre panel with the 1897 Terminus Hotel, now closed and overgrown with ivy, and building construction behind it. I was pleasantly surprised to find the ANZAC Bridge in the upper RH corner. After about an hour, I started drifting across the gutter because the former bakery and its roofline were as intriguing as this intersection. I found the interplay of greys very attractive (shadows, bitumen) but they're impossible to translate into watercolour effectively. Being a "sketch", a lot of aesthetic problems go unsolved for later resolution over time, e.g. moving from spot watercolour; trees invariably occupying the top third of Sydney streetscape sketches these days - trees being noticeably absent in street sketches and paintings of the city done fifty years ago, by comparison.

I notice Jane Bennett, long-time visual recorder of this suburb, has tackled this pub and bakery."

Sketches by Ethna...who wrote 
"It was those chimney stacks atop the sandstone cottages which caught my eye at Union Square…perhaps a touch of nostalgia (from someone who grew up in a cold  northern city in the UK)….. and well, I also like sash windows. Someone popped his head out of the open window but he was too late to feature in my sketch!

This pub, The Royal Pacific, beautifully positioned on the corner of Harris and Jones Street was too good to pass up with the old and modern lettering and was perfect to fit the format of my open sketchbook. As I was sketching here, I was a little bemused when a passer-by stopped asked me if I was recording the traffic flow!…….hmmm."

Union Square

"So much history, so many lovely old homes, shops and pubs."

Reminder next event in Sydney is this Saturday 2 March. We are doing a crane crawl at Cockatoo Island. We would love you to join us if you are in Sydney. However, if you are not, we would still love you to join in the fun and go out and sketch a crane close to you, wherever you are in Australia or the world!

Learn Swimming in Australian Summer

Hi, Friends, how have you been?  I enjoyed swimming at Narrabeen in a storm! I sketched a wild sea from a car. This post is a "private swimming lesson" for you. Friends, show off your beautiful swimming to your friends and family next/this summer?!
First, be a jelly fish. Don't get panic. Lungs are natural air bags and tubes. We'll float. Tips are "keep your back straight like lying on a ground" and "relax yourself. Let hands and legs down in water." In salt water, it's much easier to float than an inside pool. While floating, look up birds and clouds in a beautiful blue sky.

OK, a next step is to move hands or legs while floating. That's all what needed for swimming. See? You can swim! Then, choose a favorite style from below.

1) Back strokes = Sunny Side Up Free Style
Easy! After floating, move hands like a wind mill and kick water. No need to worry about breath taking.
In my understanding, "reversed back strokes = free style."

2) Dog Paddle
Stay still in water. Stand there and trust in your lungs. Slowly, float with a head up. Don't get panic. Remember, you'll never sink. In my experience, water might come up to the nose, but it never went up to the head or top. If you're not confident, look at a dog and any animal. It does swim naturally and very well. 

After floating, move hands and legs vertical! That's all! 
A bit like a "dog's life," as that style lacks elegance, in my opinion(excuse me, doggies. I love you all!). Well, after mastering dog paddle swimming, do you feel like challenging sophisticated skills? Try breast strokes.

3) Frog Style = Breast Strokes
Move hands & legs horizontal" is the key like a frog, not vertical like a dog. Closely look at frogs. They are the masters!

4) Free Style = Reversed Back Strokes
Free style took me more time to master than any other styles. Breathing is tricky.
I often failed it at the beginning of learning. Then, I tried to look up or look back a blue sky and took a breath quickly. Wow, I made it! Got the feeling?
I ob
served each person's swimming. Individual has a different pattern to take a breath. Find a favorite side to turn up a face and make your own rhythm and tempo. Count number is a good idea. And repeat it.
Now, a free style is yours.

Another problem of a free style was "Swim straight" in a rock bath. Many people have the same issue. We need traffic lights. Swimmers tend to choose the first or the last lanes and avoid middle lanes despite a plenty of space. Unfortunately, a rock bath does not have lines at the bottom.
Tadadada~~~!! I found the solution. My solution is "check a pool's  side wall and remember a distance while swimming." Now, you can swim elegantly and confidently in the middle lane, a lot of space. Please show off your sophisticated free style?!
For a long distance swimming,  swim gently and enjoy it! If you have any good suggestions to learn swimming, please let me know. 

Swimming is a wonderful stress buster between work, although we're getting into autumn. 
Have a wonderful day and 
Happy Painting!! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trip to the South Coast

This is the view from the RSL Club (Returned Services) in the main street of Huskisson on the South Coast of New South Wales. The club is total waterfront with the most amazing view. Our first evening there, we went in to see if they would allow us admittance which they kindly did. There is a small narrow lounge along the water side of the club. For the next two evenings we went back with our sketchbooks in our hands (and a glass of wine also).

I was using my Stillman and Birn Delta Series sketchbook for the first time on that trip and I was delighted with it. The paper is robust and the book is robust. The wind comes up in the afternoons in Huskisson and because the book is spiral bound I could fold it back on itself and hold it firmly. The first sketch has watercolour underpainting and was done with Lamy Safari pen.

This sketch was underpainted with watercolour, then I used a Derwent Sketching pencil and a waterbrush. I think pen works better, because of the added contrast. An unexpected side effect was that my Noodlers Ink dried instantaneously on the Delta Series paper. Now that's a bonus.

My third sketch of Hyams Beach only sneaks in as 'urban' by the skin of it's teeth, because that is the Australian Naval College there in the distance.

Crane crawl on Saturday 2 March

We love going to Cockatoo Island and thought it would be fun to have a crane-crawl. There are many many cranes on the island - let see how many (different) ones we can discover and sketch. Of course you are free to do your own thing and sketch whatever takes your fancy.

Suggested options for ferries – check 131500.com.au for more details
Parramatta River ferry: Dep: 8:52am Circular Quay, No. 5 Wharf, Arr: 9:13am Cockatoo Island
Balmain ferry: Dep: 9:10am Circular Quay, No. 4 Wharf, Arr: 9:39am Cockatoo Island
Parramatta River ferry: Dep: 9:52am Circular Quay, No. 5 Wharf, Arr: 10:13am Cockatoo Island

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Photos from USK SYD in Pyrmont

 Group Photo thanks to John and Meegan ( there were a number people missing from this photo)

Show and Tell  - it is really great the way everyone is so happy to share their sketches- what caught their idea and/or their process or techniques. It is very inspiring to us all!


 Action shots of a few of the USKers

Looking for a sketch in the afternoon

See you all again on Saturday 2 March - details of location will be advised soon!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pyrmont Urban Sketchers event : Alissa Duke

A beautiful summer Sydney day to be sketching outside with friends as part of this Urban Sketchers Sydney event . We started in historic Union Square, and I was determined to only spend a short time here (I could easily stay here for hours) as I really wanted to sketch the Terminus Hotel a few blocks down Harris Street. There is so much history in my own suburb of Pyrmont that I was proud to be sketching  it and see so many others enjoying it as well

 I decided to use my Lamy pen only for this one.
Then after 20 minutes Kaz & I walked down to the Terminus Hotel, a derelict hotel, covered in ivy, and with all glass and tiles still intact. I drew the building in ink from diagonally across the street and then crossed the street to sit opposite and draw some features in detail in watercolour pencil. I could have stayed there for hours......

And then it was suddenly time for our lunch catch up and chat. There were lots of families in the park enjoying the sunshine, so I drew some.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

USK SYD event in Pyrmont Today

Another wonderful Urban Sketchers meeting in Sydney! About 16 sketcher met in Union Square and we ended up at the water end of Harris Street for another great show and tell and then lunch.
It was really lovely to walk down Harris St and see sketchers scattered all around. Here are my sketches...
First one was a total warm up...I am still getting used to my 'new experimental style' and working really wet on a Stillman and Birn Alpha book - I know the paper has not been designed for this type of treatment... but I am loving the results. I tried splashing for the trees like I did yesterday, but did it too early in the process so didn't achieve the effect I wanted. To compensate (or make a total mess?) I then sharpened my yellow WC pencil over the wet paint!?!

The terminus hotel in a derelict condtion... I was having a great time talking to Lisa and wasn't fully concentrating. Also I am not really in the mood for sketching architecture at the moment (would prefer to be back at the beach) but it was great to get a better feel for this more textured watercolour paper (yes, I am working on loose sheets)

Running out of time so I did a simple sketch of the building on the other corner. It is a lot better at the moment for me to choose simple subjects so that I can continue exploring and developing my paint and WC pencil techniques.

And then one more sketch before everyone turned up for the show and tell... how fast can I do this?

Sketch I started while waiting for my lunch... finished at home from memory.

Spent lunch and most of afternoon chatting so missed out sketching with the others... but did go up to Ways Terrace and do this one just before leaving. I MUST come back and sketch this iconic building more!!!

A great day - thanks for everyone who turned up. ..will post photos later.
Next month we will meet at 2 March - details to follow soon.

Pyrmont Sydney

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reminder: USK SYD this Saturday 9th Feb

We plan to go back to Pyrmont in February and do our proposed sketchwalk down Harris St which we postponed from January.

We hope to move down Harris St during the 2 hours and meet up at 12.15 near the kiosk at pirrama park (cnr of Harris St and Pirrama Road) There is a large high roof which is hard to miss. (here is an out of date google street view of the spot)

There are lots of things to sketch and local USKer Alissa will let suggest a few things to check out along Harris St. The idea this month is to do a few sketches along the route.

If it is raining there are a number of shop awnings along Harris St... but please make your own decision. Some USKers will sketch in any condition!?! Last month it was forecast a hot day and it was fine at Paddington. There is a good breeze up Harris St and shade on one side of the road.

Also, I have found flat rate parking for $7 down at Jones Bay. (most street parking is 2 hours at $3.30 per hour)

Contact me on the above email address for more details or if you want my mobile number.
Hope to see you there!