Category Archives: sketching

Old tree

camperdown_treeThis old tree is in the park I walk through all the time. It is so complex. It goes along the ground in various directions,  and then eventually there are some branches that go UP. But everywhere you would sit to sketch it, you’d get a different picture. I will sketch it again.

I have filled my HERO pen with Salamader ink that I bought in Florence. It is not water-soluble, so I used a waterbrush to pull in some mid-tones.

4 Comments

Filed under Hero pen, inks, Newtown, sketchbook, sketching

Stacks of Wax

stacks_of_waxThis shop is close to where I live. It sells lovely candles and also everything you need to make candles. I don’t use candles, as I have a badly-behaved long-haired cat, and I would soon have a fireball racing around the house.

But I might be buying from them nevertheless.  I went to a talk by an American book artist called Marshall Weber. Very interesting for a number of reasons, but particularly because he uses wax rubbings inside his artist’s books. It occurred to me that rubbings would be a way to get more stuff in a travel sketchbook, as well as sketching, writing and glueing.

The problem is that you can’t really take a can of fixative on a plane, so that precludes the use of charcoal or pencil. Oil pastels much the same. I did some research and there is a wax available called Gravestone Wax, but not in this country. But I found how to make it, and this shop, pictured, sells the colouring to mix with the wax, in many many colours.

I have yet to get to the hardware shop to buy the wax. Can’t use candle wax; must use metal wax. I’m not sure how it will work, but I hope to try. I have some Japanese paper that will be suitable. Apparently people use interfacing fabric, and this is similar. Then they iron it to set it. That would have to wait until I came home, of course.

bas_reliefBut I am off to Bali again shortly and there are so many bas-relief carvings everywhere. Every verandah of every bungalow. Every door. The carvings are deeper than would be ideal for rubbings, but with a very light touch and a lot of care, it might be possible to produce some artwork. Even if it couldn’t go in the book till we got home.

In the course of my research I came across this interesting artist Ingrid Calame, who uses rubbings and tracings in her work, and another caleld Sari Dienes.  There would be so many ways to intruduce rubbings into art work.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Copic Multiliner, Newtown, sketchbook, sketching, Sydney, watercolour

Five Ways, Paddington

five_waysThe previous Saturday I was out sketching with Urban Sketchers, Bali. A week later I am with Urban Sketchers  Australia in Sydney.

Paddington is a suburb in the inner eastern side of the city. I used to live in this area, back when I rented, but I couldn’t afford to buy here.

Mglenmore_terracey house is on the inner western side of the city, and now my area is almost as expensive as Paddington.

The sketch of the two windows is a restaurant where we eventually ate lunch. It is a Thai restaurant, but had lots of other options. Very good Thai beef salad. I do enjoy that.

Terrace houses in Paddington are known for ‘Paddington lace‘  –  elaborate wrought iron, though it is also found in other older areas of Sydney. The second sketch is a typical example of a Paddington house.

3 Comments

Filed under Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Sydney, urban landscape, watercolour

The journey home

garuda_cabin After being trapped by the rain at Murni’s Restaurant it was time to get back to the hotel and get ready to leave. I needed to change more money, buy one or two last-minute gifts near the hotel, shower, change and eat something.

I managed it all except for eating. They decided to fog the hotel garden for mosquitos, so I wasn’t able to leave my room for quite some time and when it was over it was time to go.

I set off to the airport with Made driving, just about dusk. It takes about an hour from Ubud depending on traffic, but I made sure I had plenty of time. It began to rain again and shortly my friend back at the hotel texted me to say Ubud was in darkness again. This is the first time I have had a Bali SIM card and I made good use of it. The phone was running hot with friends texting to say goodbye.

The rain worsened and the scooters were all stopping for their riders to don rain ponchos. Then it became a violent electrical storm and many places of shelter had forlorn little groups of scooter riders wearing helmets and rain ponchos, waiting for the storm to abate.  The traffic was very slow and as we neared the airport came to a virtual stop. Made was concerngaruda_loungeed, but I always have plenty of time up my sleeve.

I made it to the airport with a little time to spare, so after check-in I went to see the Garuda Business Class lounge. As I’d been told, it was underwhelming. It is partitioned off from the main concourse, with no decor, no toilets, no alcohol and very little food. I had a cup of tea and two dry little cup-cakes. We were flying at 10.30 pm and I had had no food since lunch.  I think Garuda can do better than this. Everything else about flying with them is excellent. Why this? Nothing to sketch, so I sketched the receptionist, her desk and the orchid that was the only bit of decor in the place.

On boarding, people were starting to get ready to go to sleep right away, but I asked for food. Satay, similar to the snack I had on the way up. Delicious, but not before time. Too late to sketch really, as lights were going out all around me.

I was asked if I wanted to be woken for breakfast two hours before landing and I said YES. But after breakfast, there was still an hour and a half to fill. It was 6 a.m. So I gave in and drew the aircraft cabin. Everyone draws the aircraft cabin, so I have resisted this far. This time I needed something to do. Breakfast was over, it was far too early for a drink, so here it is.

4 Comments

Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

USK Bali at Antonio Blanco Museum

blanco_lion

This was the day that Peny Senyowati had arranged for 25 Bali Urban Sketchers to come to Ubud to sketch with us. I had sketched with  some of them on my previous trip to Bali and they are beginning to seem like old friends now.

This time we went to the Antonio Blanco Museum. I had never been there before, as I had somehow had the idea that his work was ‘weird’. jamu I had found out more recently that it was not-weird, and was very happy to go there. This link shows you the beautiful interior of the museum and some of the paintings. One of the things I liked about them at the not-weird point, was that they are ‘not finished’. They don’t spell everything out. It is since then I have read Gabi Campanario’s advice on that matter.

The reason for the yellow page is   JAMU again.usk_bali_3 At the Cendana Hotel my friend has jamu every morning – a drink especially made for her by the staff. The yellow colouring is turmeric. Being a great experimenter with surface texture/colouring, she asked them to save the pulp and we coloured a page or two of our sketchbooks overnight. The sketch of the palm leaves was done with blue on the yellow turmeric ground while we waited for the Urban Sketchers to arrive.

W2015-02-28 10.54.29e then entered the museum to see the paintings and the artist’s studio,  and after that we drew in the beautiful gardens. I sat on some steps and drew the lion-like creature, while the others ranged around the gardens sketching. On Facebook, you can see ALL the photos here. There was a beautiful Balinese bridal couple having photographs taken in the gardens and I took many photos with my phone, but I feel that perhaps it is not-ok to publish them here.  The bride wore cerise, and the groom a primrose jacket with cerise sarong and headcloth.

Sometime about 1pm, the sky darkened and a few drops of rain started to fall. My friend and I scampered down the drive and across the bridge to Murni’s Restaurant before the rain turned into a torrent. usk_bali_2We relaxed there until about 3pm when the rain eased off.  A good place to be trapped in a storm. Oh yes, cap cay (a vegetable dish) for mains and as a special treat, Balinese caramel cake with ginger sauce.

4 Comments

Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

Five Elements

five_elementsMy friend had been telling me about Five Elements for some time, so off we went for lunch.  Please DO click the link on the name and have a look at a picture of this amazing resort. The construction from bamboo is what appeals to me. My friend is interested in the ‘wellness’ aspect of it, but the mere word ‘wellness’ makes me ….well, I won’t say it.

The resort is very beautiful and v2015-02-27 11.31.34ery quiet. It is located off to the west of Ubud, slightly to the south. You would have to know where you are going because it is in an area of small villages and even smaller roads.

Jamu is the word for Indonesian herbal medicine, and in Bali one sees jamu sellers making their way around carrying big baskets of jamu concotions. What we drank was a type of jamu, I guess. You can see the ingredients listed on the sketchbook page, and here is a picture. You can also see a big inadvertent splosh of it on the sketchbook page. I couldn’t work out why I was being so messy.  After a while I realised th2015-02-27 12.20.41at my ‘straw’ was actually a hollow length of lemon grass, and somehow I didn’t have proper control of it.

The food at Five Elements is all raw foods. You can read more about it here.

Thi2015-02-27 12.20.31s is what our main course consisted of….it was called Zucchini Pappardelle Alfredo. Shaved zucchini noodles tossed lightly with creamy cashew Alfredo sauce, kalamata olives, capers and cherry tomatoes, sprinkled with parmesan and finished with truffle oil and chiffonade of Italian basil.

Below is my first sketch of the morning from right after breakfast. I realised I hadn’t yet sketched an offering. I wanted my sketchbook fofferingrom this trip to be representative of Bali, and if that was the case, an offering had to be in the book. This little one was near the restaurant in the hotel so I quickly sketched it before we went out. Offerings are everywhere. They are an important part of Balinese life. This blog post from ‘A Little Adrift’ explains it very well, with photos.

2 Comments

Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour

‘Last minute’ panic shopping

laka_lekeIt wasn’t actually the last minute. It was only Thursday, and I wasn’t leaving until Saturday night. But I had lots of things planned, and if I was going to get any more gifts, today was the day. So, off I went to Ubud Market, for yet another silk top, this time for Broni (see image). Slowly down the Monkey Forest Road, a detour via Dewi Sita Street, a cool drink at Ibu Rai, and back to the hotel.

Immediately out abronis_silkgain with the hotel driver to look at silver beads in a shop in Hanoman Street (very little variety and expensive…difficult to find silver beads in Bali now). Then on to Goddess on the Go. This is a shop recommended by my friend with Australian styled clothing – things you can wear at home, rather than in the tropics. Towards Australian prices, but high quality for low prices. I should have taken my credit card but it was back in the hotel safe. Luckily I had just changed some money so I was able to buy a red top. Next visit, I will go to this shop early, in case I want something made in my size in another colour.

From there, it was my turn to make a suggestion and we went for lunch at Laka Leke restaurant, in Nyukuning, just through the MonKey Forest from Ubud. I have been going there since it first opened and was a really small restaurant, but it grew to a large restaurant with pavilions in a garden. We were hot tired and thirsty by this time. I was looking for something simple to draw. Just a few days to fill up my sketchbook. So I drew the funny little creature a on the left, then some penjors (flags) in the garden and finally part of a carved panel ( using Gabi Campanario’s rule that you don’t have to finish every drawing.) mojitos

That evening, I said to my friend, ‘May I buy you a mojito?’  Cinta Grill has happy hour mojitos from 4-7 pm every day, two-for-the-price-of-one. I have wanted to do this before for about ten years, but somehow I have been alone when I was able to do so, and it seemed maybe a bit crass to go in and have two mojitos lined up. So my friend accepted and off we went to Cinta Grill. We didn’t have a strategy about where to sit to sketch. Our minds were on the mojitos.  It was getting dark, so I drew the tree and the lantern.

My friend had not had a mojito before and she really enjoyed it, saying  ‘there can’t be much alcohol in this!’ So we had another one each.  Cost of four mojitos = $16.20 in all.

4 Comments

Filed under Bali, Copic Multiliner, sketchbook, sketching, Travel, watercolour