Category Archives: sketchcrawls

In the shade of a tree

waterliliesSaturday – 32 degrees. We had thought of going sketching ships outside the Maritime Museum, but there is a lot of concrete there and it was too hot. Instead we went to the Botanic Gardens, under the shade of the trees, on the lawn.  We arrived really early and parked right next to the gate. No cars around.

Wfig_treee sketched in three different places. The pink plant first, then the waterlily garden, and after that the Port Jackson fig tree and the plants surrounding it.

I have sketched this tree before. Here it is from a different angle. I didn’t realise previously that this tree is surrounded by very sketchable plants…evepineapplen a pineapple. Many of these plants deserve their own sketch, but this time I just did ink outlines. Less is more.


Filed under Botanic Gardens, Copic Multiliner, sketchcrawls, sketching, watercolour

A spot in the sun

imageToo cold after a time sketching in the shade, we moved to a spot in the sun. Taormina is well equipped with well-placed bars for sketching. We found a wonderfully sunny spot in the Piazza of the Duomo of Taormina, and gave some people the death stare till they vacated their table (quite quickly). The bar was called Billy and Billy, but the man there semed to be called Salvo which was much more appropriate for Sicilia, as it is Commissario Montalbano’s name.

imageWe sketched the Duomo and I was wishing I had brought Matthew Brehm’s book, because the whole face of the duomo was textured, I know he deals with that in his book.

Dinner at the same restaurant (again?), yes it was that good
And a free liqueur even though they had no idea it was our last night.

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Filed under collage, Copic Multiliner, Italy, Sicily, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, Travel, watercolour

Why do I do it?

building_siteHmmmm, why do I decide to sketch the things I do? I have worked out that I prefer to sketch hard-edged things rather than landscape, foliage etc. Why? I think it’s the challenge. During the period I was sketching in the Botanic Gardens, I found all the things to sketch there quite easy. Sit down, sketch, move on.

The other thing that might be a reason, is that the tonal values are so important to me. Hard-edged things cast great shadows and the way the light falls on them interests me more.  I am only happy when the tonal values are correct, then I can move on. Many sketchers concentrate on line only. Tone doesn’t really enter into the equation. I can’t be like that, nor do I want to.  Slows me down of course, but I don’t see that as a problem.

So Saturday was 42nd Worldwide Sketchcrawl. We were meeting  at 10am under the Harbour Bridge at ‘the little patch of green’ at the end of The Rock Market. The first sketch is ‘the little patch of green’. mooring_ropes As you see it is currently a building site. But I wanted to sketch it, because these steel blue pipes rising up reminded me of the stands of bamboo in the Botanic Gardens. You can see here that I drew bamboo on the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.

So because of the building works, which have pipes running up to the bridge, and along the bridge but not over the bridge, I didn’t  find the rest of the sketchers, but I did find Rod. So I lucked out. He is one of the most interesting men I know, and you should follow his blog, and if you like textiles, or Japan, follow this one too.

So from there we walked down to Circular Quay and while Rod headed for the palm trees, I sketched the mooring ropes and bollards of the Sun Princess. Rod and I will be planning an art pursuit together before too long.  Keep an eye on both our blogs!


Filed under boats, Copic Multiliner, ships, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, sketching, watercolour

39th Worldwide Sketchcrawl

20130414-081405.jpgSaturday was the 39th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.

I went to my first sketchcrawl, the 20th, in 2008. That was when I met Liz and Alissa, and we have been sketching together ever since. I have only missed two or three sketchcrawls because of sickness and a business commitment. I hate to miss the sketchcrawl.

We had decided to have an inside venue after being rained on at two recent Urban Sketchers events. As it was, the weather was perfect and we were stuck inside. In the Powerhouse Museum there is so much to sketch, and as usual I gravitate towards the machines.

One sketch down and we needed a coffee. We went to the new coffee shop by the entrance and had a look at our sketches in a good light. It’s dark in the museum.

Back inside, and being printmakers we wanted to sketch the printing press. Very complicated, looking up from below made it worse. Took a break in the middle of that sketch to catch up with all the sketchcrawl people and look at sketches. Probably the biggest sketchcrawl in Sydney yet….over 50 people. And we started with three of us in 2008.

Lunch in the courtyard cafe downstairs, talking about sketching and about Barcelona, then back to finish the press.


Filed under Copic Multiliner, Powerhouse Museum, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, sketching

38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl

38_sketchcrawlSaturday was the sketchcrawl, luckily on a cool day, after the previous day was 46.4C at the airport. That’s 115 and at the closest weather station to my house. Due to the hot day, the colour of the Gardens was looking a little more ochre than usual. That made my decision for me, as to whether to work consecutively in my new book of toned papers, or whether to choose the background for the sketch. Well, it seemed a little silly to go consecutive, just because I always do, when I’ve specially put some watercolour paper in there for when I need it.

In choosing the papers for my book, I used the lightest colours at the front and worked though to darker colours at the back. This was so, when I opened a page where two colours of paper created the spread, they wouldn’t be tonally very different. This is one of those spreads.

My first stop was the succulent garden, because usually you get baked in there on the concrete, and it was cool enough to tolerate it even though after 10a.m. Next stop was the statue so that I could draw something hard edged. Finally we found a stand of bamboo with shade as it was hotter by then. I like to draw bamboo from time to time, and I knew it would fit in to finish my spread quite well. I want to draw the black bamboo next. At this time of year its a matter of finding a place in the shade.

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Filed under Botanic Gardens, Copic Multiliner, drawing, Prismacolour pencils, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, sketching, Uncategorized

Sketchcrawl in the QVB

The Queen Victoria Building is a huge renovated Victorian  building right in the middle of Sydney with three levels of shopping. That was the venue for the 36th Worldwide Sketchcrawl on Saturday. It was a beautiful day again. I love the sun. I wasn’t able to take part in the whole sketchcrawl but I also couldn’t bear the idea of bypassing it completely.

I sat in a cafe in the QVB to draw something I could see from there. I chose this old-fashioned lamp. I was killing two birds with one stone and doing Day 6 of the 75 day sketch challenge, so it was pen only.  I DO think this 75 day challenge is so worthwhile, because I’m just as happy with this lamp and its ellipses as if I’d done it in pencil first.

For my giveaway, we’re getting down into the smaller numbers now. Today – I think I’d better pay my bills, so I might not get time to sketch. We’ll see.


Filed under 75 day challenge, Copic Multiliner, drawing, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, sketching

EDiM29 – Somewhere I hadn’t been

King Street Newtown is an extremely long shopping street and full of cafes and restaurants. The day I drew this, I’d hurt my back and had to have some treatment at the physio. I’ve been in most of the cafes, but as I walked back down the road I felt sure that eventually I’d find a cafe I had not been in before. Eventually I found Fringe Cafe. I think it hasn’t been there long – these places keep changing. I sketched out a bit of an interior view, but then decided it was too time consuming and I didn’t feel up to it. All along the window ledges were these very small buckets with herbs. I liked the way the light fell on them, and how the plant was lit from behind, so I rubbed out my previous pencil lines and did this instead.

This is my 2nd last EDiM. (I didn’t do 31st as the subject didn’t inspire me and I was already running a day late).

Yesterday for the 2nd day in a row, it bucketed with rain. I haven’t poked my nose outside the door for two days now. The time was well spent, because I cut the cover boards for two books, and the cover paper. The covers for my giveaway book are completely finished, so there’s only the punching of the holes and the stitching to do. It has paste paper covers (pulled style) of golden yellow with a little olive green.


Filed under Derwent sketching, drawing, EDiM, sketchbook, sketchcrawls, watercolour