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.
Some time ago I began a book especially for sketches of pipes. The book is here along with the sketches I did a year or so ago. I have moved away from my plan to do all the pipes grey except for where there was paintwork. At Cockatoo Island on Easter Saturday I noticed that mostly the pipes were rusty, and though I don’t intend to always follow that, I have introduced that colour.
I layered some of the rusty pipes along behind the original ones to pull the whole thing together and carry the sketches from page to page in my concertina book. One pipe below the yellowish one that hasn’t had colour yet. The concertina has ten pages, and this is five of them, so I am half-way there. The trick will be to leave the right amount of white space.
We just had time before catching the ferry back to Circular Quay to go into the Industrial Precinct and sketch another machine. This one reminded me of a sewing machine but I’m sure its not.
Cockatoo Island was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it before with people everywhere, and many many campers and more tents than I have ever seen before. Sadly, one of the campers never made it back to the mainland, after falling from a cliff overnight.
This is the new family member, Cosmo, asleep on the back of the lounge. He is not asleep now. He’s helping. ……hgffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff09vvy G -/uuuucxvcdddddddddddddddddddCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCW/////////// >
if you see what I mean. Helping with the typing also.
He’s a seal point ragdoll kitten aged thirteen weeks. I have had him for three weeks. He is very confident and independent. A toe-biter in the night for a while, but improving now. The first photo is the day he came – aged ten weeks. vvvvIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
When he is asleep is the only time he stays still. The second photo is last week, making kitten stir-fry in my new little wok.
I sketched him with a dark brown and a white Prismacolour pencil on toned paper.
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.
Thanks to Chantal Vincent who made a video of our wet day at Cockatoo Island.
USK Sydney at Cockatoo Island – Crane Crawl. Saturday 02 March 2013 from Chantal V on Vimeo.
Saturday was the ‘Crane Crawl’ at Cockatoo Island. The weather wasn’t promising but I wanted to go anyway. At Cockatoo Island the sky was dark, so rather than start to sketch and get rained on before I was finished, I went straight to the Industrial Precinct. I’ve only sketched inside there once before and was longing to do it again.
Even while I was doing my first sketch, the rain came down and was hammering on the tin roof. I love sketching these old machines. I wish I knew what they were for. The top one is a bit like the Beam Benders but not as big, and it has a wonky ‘bender,’ if that’s what it is.
For the next machine I chose a red background. I am jumping around in my book of toned paper. I chose a nice industrial brown for the first one, but then I wanted to keep the day’s sketches together as a group. What do you think this machine does? Maybe the wheel at the top lowers the head and it cuts metal between those two wheels. There is a bit of commonality between this and a sewing machine.
My last sketch of the day was this little grouping of a cupboard, some boxes and a thingy. I was running out of time, and chose something without a lot of ellipses.
We got soaked waiting to get on the ferry to go home (all those people disembarking at Cockatoo Island in the pouring rain!) But we had a great day sketching and I wouldn’t have missed it. Can’t wait to go back. All sketches with Lamy Safari pen, and Prismacolour pencil(s) on Canson paper.
I had in mind to do a painting from sketch of the paperbark trees in I did recently the Botanic Gardens. I found a half sheet of watercolour paper that I had stretched in the distant past and got started. I wanted to do a stylised landscape using the techniques from Linda Kemp’s book Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines. Some years ago I got this book from the library. At first I thought there wasn’t a lot of information in it but closer inspection found that I was wrong. Everything you need to know about negative painting is covered in this book. I had to buy it.
This method of painting involves working in layers of washes. First I did the underpainting by wetting the whole sheet and dropping colours in and allowing to dry. Then I drew on my two main trees and some grasses, and painted negatively around them. Each layer has to dry thoroughly before going on to the next layer.
The second image shows the work when partially done.
After a while I ran out of layers of trees coming directly from my sketch. I took my painting on its board, and my pencil and rubber up to the park at the end of my street. I sat in the shade amid the paperbark trees and drew another layer.
I worked with a limited palette. It just worked out that way. Viridian and Brilliant Alizarin, Ceruluean Blue and Burnt Sienna, and also Aureolin Yellow. I group the colours in this way because the first pair was used to make a range of greys for the washes, as was the second pair.
There are a number of book reviews on my blog, but if you go to my website you will see a number of different art books I have reviewed (and I don’t review anything I don’t recommend) , and where there is a review on my blog the website will link back to it. Just click on the Resources tab.