Last week I went to sketch The Pink Building again on a dry day. However, even at 10am there was no light on it. I have been watching it for years and I know that for quite a lot of the year it is in shadow. Perhaps that time of year has come.Back along the lane I found this group of buildings with the sun coming from one side.
Tone is so important to me, and that is probably one of the reasons I don’t work particularly fast, because I am refining the differences in the tones. So I had to find something to sketch with strong tonal differences.
When I got this one home I wasn’t particularly happy with the colour, so I actually got up in the night to alter it, because I couldn’t get back to sleep for thinking about it. What did I do? I lightened the two sunny yellow areas using sfumato. I lifted off the colour of the front wall to a pale raw umber, as I thought it was muddy. In the morning I glazed very watery ultramarine over the front wall and the other shadow areas. Finished.
Now I am happy with it. If time permitted (which it won’t) I would quite like to do a 12″ square acrylic from it for the Pyrmont Art Prize.
Strangely enough I painted one from here for the Glebe Art Prize, though it sold before that and never made it to the exhibition. It is from a totally different angle, but do you recognise with area it comes from? It’s called Up Up and Away, partly because of the repeating upward thrust of the roofline, but mainly because it was the rear of the Flight Centre building at the time.
Something exciting happened overnight in Sydney. Last month was the gay and a lesbian Mardi Gras, a major event. A rainbow pedestrian crossing was created at Taylor Square, the main road junction the parade passes through.This week in an act of stupidity, the state government went in at dead of night and at a cost of $30,000.00 removed it.
No, I’m not gay, but I’m for more happiness in the world, so I am for gay marriage and rainbow crossings.
Last night a guerrilla movement has sprung up all over the inner west of Sydney, and other places too, and people are chalking rainbow crossings everywhere. Their motto is ‘Dont get angry, get chalking’. They even have their own Facebook page. DIY Rainbow Crossings.
Port Macquarie (a few hours north of Sydney) is sold out of coloured chalks. There is a rainbow crossing in Ballarat in Victoria and even an international one in Phoenix Arizona.
Well, at risk of sounding like the lightbulb joke, I think it’s faaaaaabulous!
Another wet day for an Urban Sketchers Event. The venue this time was the ‘back lanes of Newtown’which is my local area. You might remember that Liz Steel and I went for a reconoitre to plan the venue and I sketched this portion of the building.
It started to rain almost as soon as we started sketching, but I persevered till I had all the ink on, even though I was drawing on a wet page. The paper was the robustissimo Stillman and Birn Delta series, and I was using a Copic Multiliner pen which continued to draw on the wet paper. Not only was the rain splashing on the paper, but the building turned out to be the rear of Splash restaurant.
I sometimes walk along this back lane when I go to the library, so I am very familiar with the colours of the building and I also have a few photos of it. At this time of the year, on a sunny day, the airconditioning vents cast wonderful shadows. When i put the colour on later, at home, I painted a hint of the shadows from a photo, and although I deliberately painted a rainy sky, it looks as if the sun was out as well. It wasn’t.
Well, we had to sketch fast because of the weather, and then a number of us adjourned to The Pie Tin, on the next corner. It is a relatively new cafe specialising in pies, both savoury and sweet. I had some sort of a North African lamb pie, and it was delicious, chock full with meat.
In fact the conversation was almost worth the curtailed sketching. One of the things it let me to was Rod Byatt’s interesting discussion about Danny Gregory’s new book An Illustrated Journey, which we all own, of course. The conversation also, as always, turned to materials. My view is that there is an over emphasis on materials. Yes, they must be good quality, but more is not better. Colour mixing, rather than buying every colour. Not a popular or common view. And I have heaps of stuff.
On Thursday I went out and about in Newtown with fellow Urban Sketcher Liz Steel. I was showing Liz some places around my local area where we might be able to have an Urban Sketchers event. King Street, the main shopping street in Newtown is too popular on the weekend with people lunching and brunching. Not much room for sketchers on the pavements and certainly not in the cafes.
I took Liz to my favourite building which has a little park opposite. I’ve sketched this building before here and here. I could spend a lifetime drawing this building in sections and with different media. The blue of the paper was similar to the blue of the steel, so that is why I chose to sketch this section. The scan is not really true to the colour.
I particularly like this sort of ‘industrial’ image on toned paper. Not working consecutively through the book is serving me well, but I will be glad when the book is fuller.
Here is the crazy building in all its glory. Liz sketched the whole building here.
I sketched this one from a photo – well, more correctly a series of photos. You can’t really get back far enough to take it all in one shot. Another complication is that it is only at certain times of day at certain times of the year that it gets the sun, and its nothing without the shadows.
I have sketched a section of it before. One day I will go and sit out there and sketch it in situ. It is highly complicated. I’ve lessened the number of pipes by rather a lot. There is something about it that fascinates me. It is the rear of buildings in King Street, Newtown.
For some reason this sketch looks rural to me, though it is in the middle of Newtown – that’s 4km from the centre of Sydney. I’ve drawn it twice before sitting on the steps at the side of the Post Office. This time I’d taught a class in the morning and still had to do my EDiM. I was hoping to sit in the window of the little coffee shop opposite (I’ve never been lucky to get a seat there) but a man was already sitting there reading. It was too cold to stay outside, so I took a photo and came home and did it.
The sun was very bright and catching the side of the mailbox and in the photo it was a deep yellow/orange colour. I wonder if I would have painted it that colour if I’d done it on site.
Today is the Sunday of a public holiday weekend (Queen’s Birthday) and I’m going to stay home all day and do exactly as I please. I think it might involve some sketching. I watched a little bit of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations on tv. The bit that brought a lump to my throat were the singers – singing their hearts out in the rain. Cornish fishermen singing a sea shanty, then classical girl singers with the London Symphony Orchestra in their black dresses with their long hair wet with rain, singing Land of Hope and Glory.