Thursday, November 28, 2013

USK SYD event - Saturday 7 Dec

Finishing the year back at Cockatoo Island again….
Hope you can join us - everyone welcome!

Suggested options for ferries – check for more details (please note there have been changes to the timetable recently!)
Dep: 9:45am  Circular Quay, No. 5 Wharf, Sydney  Arr: 10:14am  Cockatoo Island Ferry Wharf, Sydney         
Dep: 9:37am  Circular Quay, No. 5 Wharf, Sydney  Arr: 9:58am  Cockatoo Island Ferry Wharf, Sydney
Dep: 9:07am  Circular Quay, No. 5 Wharf, Sydney  Arr: 9:28am  Cockatoo Island Ferry Wharf, Sydney

And to give you advance notice:
We are planning our first Regional Urban Sketchers Australia event in Newcastle on Saturday 11 Jan. More details in a week or so - but please put the date in your diary now!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sydney boats and ships

The day started with fine weather in Sydney. I did not plan to sketch boats (tea cosies were my focus today) but ended up sketching big and small ones.
It is cruise ship season and there always seems to be a large ship at Circular Quay.  It will most probably be a different ship everyday. They usually only stay 24 hours in Sydney, before sailing out. That is the time that the passengers get to leave the ship and explore our city. Circular Quay is a wonderful place to be as you can see so much of iconic Sydney by looking around you - Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Botanic Gardens.......
The amount of foreshortening and the perspective involved in drawing the ship is amazing and great fun. Today, however my view was continually blocked by tourists taking photos. So, I included them as well. I am not sure why they stopped in front of me

Later in the day I walked past the ship again and the sense of excitement was building as passengers dropped their baggage off and were saying final farewells to family and friends. I started the sketch with the photographer and the family group . They moved on quickly and I added the background. You can't actually  tell that there is a ship there as it is SO BIG. This sketch lost its focus as I added more and more, so I tried to bring in the focus by adding most of the colour in the group of people

I actually started the day "small" by sketching on the ferry on the way into the city. and ended the day BIG with the ships.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Melbourne - Post 90th Birthday Party


I was down in Western Victoria again for a Surprise 90th Birthday Party! It was such a fun lively gathering for wise L in Horsham.  

We drove back Sunday so I had the Monday for some last minute sketches ... 

Next time I'll have to be more organised and arrange a catch up with some Melbourne sketchers!  

On the corner of Swanston St and Flinders St, you have 4 distinctly Melbourne buildings. The two that I sketched are St Paul's Cathedral and the Flinders St Station. The third is Federation Square and the only thing I know about it is that I had a nice meal although dead tired at Taxi when I was in Melbourne for work. The last building is a pub, the Young and Jackson. The Young and Jackson houses the once scandalous nude Chloe. So next time, I think I'll have to sketch the other two buildings. 

I found a nice spot on the steps of the cathedral to paint the Station ... but I painted in full sun. It blinded me a bit and the colours turned out a little bit wild and bright. I don't think I have learnt to ease off on the Quin Gold or Azo Yellow ... as I am used to using Raw Sienna.  

The painting of the Cathedral was done on the steps of the Station - pretty much underneath the central hand rails. It was tough as I painted it at what seemed like peak hour for Australian standards and I had people walking passed really closely - palette to the right, bag under my knees, no room for a water bucket so I was spraying the water into the palette which means no clean brush. 

So I had two challenging sketch locations ... can other people share some tips on where they sit and how they get some space. Does having a  small seat help?

The last sketch was done in very pleasant surroundings at two cafes! Toby's Estate and Phillipa's. I am always a bit torn between relaxing and enjoying the cup of tea or coffee or getting out the sketchbook!

I found links to the Flinders Street Station design competition here and here. They announced the winner of the competition in August 2013 - the same people that designed? the Tate Modern and National Stadium, "the Bird's Nest", in Beijing. They are now going to see if it's viable ... 


Melbourne - Flinders Street Station


Paper: Moleskine Watercolour A4
Tools: Watercolour, pencil

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Drawing on Bridge Road, Richmond



Bridge Road in Richmond, Melbourne is such a nice place to sketch. It’s a busy street with power lines, trams, old buildings, and lots to cafes to sketch in. What more can one ask for!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Luna Park - The Carousel

We arrived at our USK Sydney meet last Saturday to a surprising sight.  Bushfire smoke had descended all around us, and at one stage the harbour looked to be covered by a white blanket. The contrast of environment, between sailing boats navigating their way through the haze outside, compared to the bright colours and loud sounds inside the fun park was like two different worlds.
Having missed sketching the carousel the first time I came to Luna Park, this time I made a beeline  to it. It's hard to ignore the response to all these colours when drawing Luna Park, so it seemed to be a good opportunity to once again go over the top with bright colours and wavy lines.
Commander Baldocks Galloping Horses and Racing Cockerels Carousel was originally built in the late 19th century in England and was installed at Luna Park in 2004.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Melbourne USK Sketchcrawl (30 Nov, Hawthorn)

Where: Outside Cafe Jacoblicious (open space between the cafe and the Town Hall Art Gallery) 378A Burwood Road, Hawthorn.
When: 10 am on Saturday, 30 Nov 2013.

There is a lot to draw at this location – churches, town hall, beautiful old shopfronts, streetscapes…. And the place we are meeting at is an open space for us all to sit if we want to – bring your sketching chairs, foam seats, mats etc.

If it’s your first time, look for me under a red hat.

Should be fun – see you there!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

USKSYD Smoked out at Milsons Point!

Today we met at Milsons Point on a day when the smoke from bushfires (and back burning) in the surrounding areas of Sydney) had a big impact on the air quality and also our ability to see the subject that we were sketching!

A group sketches meet - some sketched the harbour views and some sketched Luna Park- I did a bit of both.

I started with the entrance to Luna Park which has a special moustache as part of Movember.

I then tackled the Opera House... seems I can't come to Milsons Point without doing a sketch of the most iconic building in Sydney.

I am currently using the new zeta sketchbook from Stillman and Birn which is a beautiful smooth paper and is SO lovely to use with ink. So I thought it was a good excuse to get some of my non-lamy fountain pens out and test them. My hero and sailor pens aren't flowing so well for me so the smooth paper really helps. I love mixing it up and trying new stuff out!

Another enjoyable USKSYD event - next month Dec 7 at Cockatoo Island again! More details soon.