Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Black Angels at the Enmore

blackangels_1 LRLast Saturday night I went and saw an American band called The Black Angels. Their style of music is very psychedelic, grungy, bluesy rock and roll. I am reminded a little of Jefferson Airplane and the Doors. My friend and I sat upstairs at the Enmore Theatre and right at the front. I dont normally like sitting down for gigs, but for me this kind of music is a "chill out" sound.
blackangels_2 LR
I took my sketchbook with me and a cheap throw-away Japanese brush pen. I must wrack my knuckles (is that a proper saying?) each time I go out with a half-dried up pen!! Its the equivalent of not throwing out old milk, every time you go to use it only then you realise it needs to be replaced.
This brush pen was already on its last legs when I took it with me, so as I am drawing the Black Angels in the dark, wondering why I couldn't see anything definitive on my page, it was because my pen was drying out.
blackangels_4 LRHaving said that, I think the blurry, washed out effect suits their music. So there's always an upside to everything I suppose. To see a couple more visit my blog here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sketching Event in Melbourne this Saturday

Everyone welcome!

In the unlikely event of a downpour


Please head to the Williamstown Tourist Information Centre (corner of Nelson Place and Syme St - opposite the bottom corner of the grassy area on my map)

Optional: You might like to bring something to sit on (a foldable chair, cushions etc) as the ground might be cold. There are a few public seats but they may not be where you want to draw...

How to find Evelyn


My phone number is on the image. Look for the person under a red hat with red scarf.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Survive Sydney Uni Life

Hi, Friends, how have you been? I've been busy with picture book projects. What a surprise! An old uni friend visited me whilst her temporary staying in Sydney. We enjoyed a chat hours after hours. Today, the friend is a linguist working on research in a field work. Really nice to see her.

I feel like chatting over a "pragmatic" approach to survive Sydney uni student life. Once, I voluntarily assisted first year students at an "Easing The Transition" workshop (*Friends, uni gave certifications and we added it on CVs). Here's Sydney uni's important date in 2013.  1st semester will end on 29th June. Friends, you're in the middle of exam. Until 29th June, hang in there!!! 

A first year is the toughest time for new students. "Pass is pass!" is practical advice, actually, some professors gave me it and we told so to first year students in the workshop above. Many new students drop out from courses. Some students get shocked when poor marks come back to them. Don't worry! It's normal. Don't get panic. Just concentrate on "getting through" the first year. 
My most favorite graffito was, "Do you want to be silly for 5 minutes or forever? Raise a question!"

Choose a major well and wise. Find out what you want to do most at the present and in the future. Regarding social science, any subject overlaps in concepts at the depth. Double majors could be a demanding job (*I did linguistics and sociology at once), but in my experience, double majors are not hard, as long as you like subjects.
Use time wisely. Balance between study and play time. Uni's work load is very demanding. A huge amount of reading and a research essay is everyday task. Especially, self supporting students have difficulty in managing time (*I was one of them!). I always made breakfast and lunch (sometimes, even dinner!), had them and studied in train on the way to uni .... and often slept on a desk in Fisher library, zzzzz.... 

From a second year, students get used to a uni life and have a spare time. Make nice friends. Enjoy friendship, relationship and socialisation : parties, pub crawls, cruises, BBQ, clubs and join any fun events. Go freak! Be silly! You bump in "any species" on earth in a campus! *But mind you, please remember you have to finish up the course first! I knew a young psychology students couple who promised not see each other before each assignment due. They successfully got through the course! and got married!! 
Essay writing is a hard task. Lecturers suggested me to grab other students(=my friends) for proof reading. Good idea. Yes, my dear friend, who is, now, the linguist, helped me. I realised, particularly, law students were so smart kids and very good at essay. Some law students have become Australian top politicians! You can imagine how "clever" they are! 

A third year is as above and enjoy a graduation ceremony. You've survived and are a brave winner! Hero, hurrah!! Graduation ceremony is lovely. Friends, taste sweet fruits and celebrate your new starts! A new bright horizon awaits you. Don't forget to get professors' letters and organise a CV. Professors are happy to backup you. I've got a wonderful one from a linguist. 

Regarding mature-age students, I'd send special cheers! Yes, I was one of them. Not easy to challenge uni, but you're brave enough to take this challenge. Never give up and get through the course. As far as I know, mature-age students have clear goals and will not drop out. Yet, assignments are very demanding and hard to pass units. I know, a friend cried in joy, when she finished up the course. Professors and lecturers are very happy to help any hard workers to complete the course. So, if you feel it tough, consult staff at the course or the Department and Uni Learning Centre! 

In addition, today, I'm a picture book illustrator and a fine artist (specific interest in figures). In fact, some lecturers encouraged me to be an artist. Friends, the "graffiti" of lecturers' faces discovered my future direction. Also, uni's continuing education course opened me a door for a life long career (Professors and librarians are very happy to know it! Special thanks and cheers for them). "Finish up a course" is not easy, but I'd say, "Don't throw a towel!" to any student all over the world. Uni is a lovely community, full of dreams, friends and love, which gives students hope and future. Enjoy uni life! So, I still love sketching uni.
Friends, Happy Painting!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Moreton Bay from Wynnum/Manly Foreshore

Saint Helena Island, Green Island, and North Stradbroke Island in the distance....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hand painted Postcards of South East Queensland and NSW Australia

Borders Ranges NSW Australia

Mangroves along Manly Foreshore Brisbane Australia

Old jetty pilings at ferry terminus North Stradbroke Island, Qld Australia

Frenchman's Bay North Stradbroke Island Qld Australia

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sydney Uni

I haven't been able to attend many USK meetups since its beginnings, but as this one was in my area I knew it was possible to make it, even for a an hour or two.

I decided to get there earlier as well to make up for my early departure and Sydney Uni is one of my favourite sketching grounds. I'm not a architectural aficionado, but they are wonderful buildings that are also uncluttered by looming skyscrapers, billboards, buses, signs etc. and its quite peaceful on weekends.
To stop myself from being overwhelmed by the ornateness of these buildings, I spent more time looking at my chosen scene before I started – working out the best approach to take for what I wanted to achieve. Lately, foremost in my mind has been to create more space and depth of perspective in my drawings.

The drawing above I diluted my ink with water for the background building and tried very hard not to put in too much detail, then I used the ink straight out of the bottle in the foreground. When I finished it, they weren't working well together, so I added some of the concentrated ink to the background in the windows which seemed to anchor the two spaces better.
I moved on, and found the sun streaming into this archway really pleasing. Initially it was to be a watercolour wash gone over with a dip pen and ink for linework. But my choice of a smaller brush gave me the ability to add line with watercolours. However, it was hard not to overwork it.
Looking out onto the rooftop - it was sooo long and detailed, I decided to find a section that had some "quiet" areas only to help balance out the more detailed areas.

In my last half hour I zoomed in on some grotesques. I've always noticed the more drawings I do in one sitting, the looser my style gets. So by this stage I was quite warmed up, and just sketched with my instincts and had a bit of fun with it.

Anyway, hope to attend more meetings in the future!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

USK at Sydney Uni

Urban Sketchers Australia, Sydney event.

Eleven sketchers met on a cool grey day at the University of Sydney- Australia's oldest university (1862) to paint, sketch and draw . Most of us stayed in the oldest area - the Quadrangle. But there is so much detail - where to begin ?
I have been reading about the Victorian Gothic revival buildings of London , including Westminster , which this building was modelled on. So I was in the right mindset to draw this wonderful building.

When I approach such an impressive large building I draw it quickly (ish) in ink. I think I spent about 20 minutes on the ink sketch. It is too easy for me to get overwhelmed by the architecture. I usually have disappearing edges (I am not sure what they are called) , where I don't draw the entire building or to the very edges/.


a short simple sketch in ink of the building
I then like to focus on a few details. I bring out my lovely watercolour pencils.
I think that the combination of the two styles provides a snapshot of the building and its character and what appeals to me about it.

close up of details

more details
It didn't matter that I didn't finish this doorway, There is enough there to let you know what it is like.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

USK SYD at Sydney Uni

Great USK SYD event today at Sydney uni! thanks to all those that came - great sketches and great company- as always!