Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reflecting on USK Barcelona

Hi. My name is Chris.  I’ve loved drawing and painting all my life and began urban sketching two years ago. It’s given me so much fun and satisfaction. It’s always better sketching with likeminded people, isn’t it. One of the highlights would have to be attending the last USK symposium in Barcelona, where I not only saw some amazing sights but got to meet so many of the faces that go with those names that keep popping up online!
I’ve always loved drawing buildings, and of course there’s no shortage of choice in Barcelona!
Santa Anna church in the middle of the busy city is a haven of peace and quiet, and the cloisters were such a lovely place to spend an afternoon drawing.
Anything by Gaudi is a challenge, but I found even the small details like balconies and crumbling walls made my fingers itch to draw them.
The symposium workshops were a great way to explore the city and see it through new eyes. It was great to participate in Norberto’s ‘Dynamic Ink’ workshop, and interesting to be limited to only two colours  after the ink work. Lots of new things to try and practise back home!! So, more to come!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Capture Waves Rough & Calm @ Narrabeen

Hi, Friends, which season are you enjoying? We enjoyed a long distant swimming at Narrabeen. I sketched a sea. So, these are the souvenirs for you.

Have you ever tried capturing waves with watercolour? In my eyes, a sea is not simple blue at all. Waves have several colours and dramatic movements that create value. So, an ocean's mood always fascinates me. A careful observation of waves helps to capture a pattern of movements and decides positions of varied colours.
The first sketch was done around four to five before a sunset(NOTE we're having a day time saving!). Nearly black-like, very dark blue interested me. In parallel, a sky gets dark.
The second sketch was created in a very day time. Greenish cerulean blue was most eye catchy. It reminded me of fresh mint. I had a deep breath and enjoyed the mood. The mood is very different between them. The day time ocean looks very cheerful, as if it were laughing below. In contrast, the evening sea looks serious.
Which one do you like more? My friends seem to prefer the first one. 

People often came to me and asked questions. Most questions were...
Q1) "How do you draw?"
No. I just draw some "lines." The lesser, the better or more comfortable for me. Once, get on colour, colours tell me which next and where to put strokes to build up a value.
Q2) "How long?"
30 minutes to 1 hour. Try not to do overwork. Within 30 minutes is preferable.

The third sketch was done around 2 o'clock. It was so windy. Hard winds blew away waves' heads with no mercy. Swish! Fume and foam! It was amazing and beautiful. Oh, yes, sea sounds were so amusing and stirring. Hopefully, I can send you "some."
Waves are never the same. Changing sun light alters a sea's colour from time to time. Winds and clouds work together on its changing.
Many adults silently look at the dancing waves for a long hours...

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”. Isak Dinesen quotes (pseudonym of Baroness Karen Blixen.) 
Looking at dancing waves washes away negative feelings, etc, whatever from a heart. Yes, refreshing our hearts, really. Probably that's why a sea has an indescribably deep colour that accepts anyone's emotions and silent talks...
Friends, come to a sea, chest off and set yourself free. In addition, well, all the people at a beach are friendly. As you can see high and big waves are popular among surfers.  

Technically, I also feel watercolour has no limitations to depict any subject and expresses our inner world. 
Let's explore watercolour more and more. 
Friends, Happy Painting!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

41st Sketchcrawl at Hyde Park Sydney

 What a great day we had on Saturday in Hyde Park. Was great to have members from Urban Sketchers, Sydney Sketch Club and Sydeny Sketch Meet all together for one morning.

Really great to meet lots of new people who love sketching and the collection of sketches put together was very impressive. Always so inspiring to see the range of work (and it is nice to have to take a few photos to fit them all in)

As usual is was more a chat-crawl for me but I did manage a number of sketches and stayed till after 4pm (though I don't think we did much sketching in the last hour!) Here are my sketches in one image- pop over to my blog if you want to see them in full.

BTW next USK SYD event will be Saturday 02 Nov - details will be posted soon.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hyde Park, Sydney

Finally managed to get to another USK event, and it was a lovely day in Sydney's Hyde Park. Could only stay half day so only managed two, would have loved more time tho.

Lately, when I do find time to sketch outdoors I am trying to inject more contrast in my pictures, and create more depth of perspective, but its still a work in progress. An enjoyable work in progress tho.


Oh, and both pictures were done in watercolours/brush and colour inks/dip pen.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

41st Worldwide Sketchcrawl Brisbane Australia


We had a super day, the rain help off, and our planned CityCat Ferry ride and crawl was a success.

Monday, October 14, 2013

41st World Wide Sketchcrawl In Sydney - Saturday 19 Oct

if you are in Sydney on Saturday - join us for the 41st World Wide Sketchcrawl!

If you are elsewhere in Australia - what are your sketching plans for the day?
Check out the forum to see if there are any other sketchers wanting to meetupand Melbourne's details are just below here

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lunchtime Sketch – South Melbourne Town Hall


I drove around to find the cafe that would give me a view of the South Melbourne Town Hall. I was lucky – the sun was out and I found a seat outside the cafe. With lunch ordered, I settled down to draw. When the food arrived, I had to stop to eat because I was starving. Time was passing quickly so I drew while I ate. I drew a little, coloured…. looked at the watch, and decided that I had time to extend the drawing. Drew some more, coloured some more. People stopped to comment… smiled, said thank you but I was conscious of the time passing, so I tried to limit conversations. Coffee ordered, plate empty (now what did I eat?), so now I can focus a little bit more. Stopped to enjoy my coffee, and finally a few more brush strokes, paid the bill. Looked at my watch, rushed back to the car as fast as I could, hoped I could beat the meter man… I did.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Parramasala Indian Festival & Multiculturalism

Hi, Friends, did you have any event? We enjoyed a Labour Day long weekend and summer time started! I joined Parramasala 2013, the annual Australian Festival of South Asian Arts that celebrates cultural diversity. Many events were free. Family and kids enjoyed Indian food, music, dance and film. 

Bollywood super star and world most popular actor, "Shahrukh Khan" did a close concert tonight in Sydney Olympic Park. Actually, this year, camels joined the event! They became super stars among kids...and me!! 

Wonderful to feel embraced multiculturalism. Multicultural Australia Council claims that since WWII, over seven million migrants have settled in Australia. Today, Australians speak more than 260 languages and identify over 270 ancestries. We, Australians are flourish in a wide range of linguistic and cultural diversity.

I walked around the Masala markets, a stage and "Chai temple" set up for a rest, free music and family programs such as "storytelling time" like a library.  

It was lovely to see children and adults in ethnic costume proudly and naturally. Very colourful. But any child behaves same! Whilst this girl's family were enjoying music on a stage, she really got bored. Oh, so cute and beautiful like a bloom outed flower!

Although the girl above did not like noises, we, adults danced and sang along to the music played on a stage. Hey, we got excited with  music and lights in the evening. Also, I became a friend with a guy who was in charge of stage lights. A very kind man! I always thank for backstage players and love them all. 
Different cultures and languages enrich our lives and society, while our universal language such as music and art always unites us. Oh, yes, kids were enjoying putting "paints" on boards to create a big drawing in a park. Nice, joyful and so peaceful! 
What about your countries, Friends? 

May Australia will maintain this rich cultural and linguistic diversity forever! 

Friends, Happy Painting!

A Multicultural Council (2012), "A Multicultural Australia," online.

Dept Immigration and Border Protection (2012), "What is multiculturalism?" in National Agenda for a Multiculral Australia, online, media release. 


Melbourne USK Sketchcrawl is on Sat, Oct 19

October 19 is WW Sketchcrawl day so we will be sketching on the same day as others around the world. Exciting, isn't it!!!

Meet at: Black Cat Cafe, 252 Brunswick St  Fitzroy VIC
When: 10 am. on October 19, 2013

If you are coming by public transport, Trams 11 and 112 will get you there.

There is so much to draw on Brunswick Street - buildings with loads of character, streetscape, people, etc. Oh, there is also St Patrick's Cathedral at end of the street.

If you are new, lookout for a group of people with sketchbooks or find me - I'll wear a red cap. Questions - email me (address on the image). See you then!


Friday, October 4, 2013

International Fleet Review in Sydney

The International Fleet Review began today in Sydney. Approximately 40 warships from the Royal Australian Navy and navies from around the world as well as up to 16 tall ships are expected to attend. They will be joined by over 60 military, civilian and heritage aircraft as well as more than 10 military bands. 8,000 Australian and foreign naval personnel will be in Sydney for the event.

Sydney has turned on the sunshine and there are people out and about everywhere. It is also school holidays, a long weekend, football grand finals and lots of other events to get people out and about.

I am fortunate to live near the National Maritime Museum, where the tall ships gathered before the events and two Navy ships are berthed.  So I have been presented with many opportunities to sketch, just on my way to and from work. All sketched with Lamy Safari Joy pen.

Thursday 3rd Oct . 5.30pm
I sketched the masts of some of the tall ships as I walked across Pyrmont Bridge. I am fascinated by the spiderweb-like images that the rigging reminds me of. I was not interested in drawing the rest of the ship. And this was only supposed to be a quick sketch.

Friday 4th October 8.155 am.
 I walked down through the docks where the tall ships are. There were quite a few people about and television crews too. I was drawing the black sails of Spirit Of New Zealand when a person appeared and sat on the end of the bow (?) and started presenting the weather for a tv station, so I added him in too.
Friday Lunch time - after lunch my work colleague & I stopped by to look at the Navy ship. While she took a few photos, I did a quick sketch, We both captured the moment in the way we wanted too.
8pm - the Navy is in town. Young girls (and their mothers) pose for photos  with the sailors, wearing the sailors' caps.

If I do not see anything else of the Fleet Review, I am happy with this

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kuala Lumpur sketches

In between catching up with family and friends while in Kuala Lumpur recently, I was able to sketch a little. I left Kuala Lumpur to move to Australia over a decade ago, and while I was living over there I was not drawing much. So being able to draw these two Kuala Lumpur icons was quite special (even somewhat emotional) to me.


The Petronas Twin Towers has 88 floors and was once the tallest in the world. It was built when I was living in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, my office was across the road and I saw the building whenever I was in the city. But I never realised the structure of the building until I began to draw it.


I also never realised how beautiful the towers are – even more beautiful in the rain. I was caught in a heavy downpour one night and cannot resist taking this photo of the towers glowing in the dark.


The Kuala Lumpur Tower is another structure built when I was in KL. It’s a communications tower, and a popular tourist destination. I must admit that I have not really been there except for a drive around the surrounding area. Isn’t strange that we don’t explore the places that are close to us? Well, maybe one day when I am in KL again, I will go up to the observation deck and take in the view of KL.