For a while I have wanted to try another of Lynne Chapman’s techniques. In fact I did try this one at Cooks River and was a bit dissatisfied with my results. After attempting it a second time, I decided it might be better for me to knock out a few problems while working without external distractions like boats swinging wildly in the breeze. We have had many rainy days recently so I looked through for a photo from my travels to try this technique with and found this very complicated roofline of San Marco in Venice.
This is the technique. It comes from Lynne Chapman’s Barcelona workshop Sketches that Sing. You choose three colours, each of a different medium. In this case I chose a Wine Copic Multiliner, a red-violet Big Brush Pitt Pen and Ulltramarine watercolour. I would have preferred it with the orange-red Copic Multiliner because it is very different to the red-violet colour of the Pitt Pen. The technique is about patterns and textures, so I have emphasised some of those, more than I perhaps would have otherwise. The sketch was straight in with the pen, quite quick, but it would have taken me a week if I had tried to do it ‘properly’. So its another ‘monster’.
A couple of weeks ago I sketched this tree using the same technique. It had a lot of patterns in the bark. First wrong step (remedied later). You need a strong dark. I chose a yellow Big Brush Pitt Pen, a brown Copic Multiliner, and olive green watercolour. The problem is the brown Copic Multiliner. I am still on the hunt for a pen with a rich dark brown. Both Copic and the Pigma Micron have a medium brown that is more like a sanguine and doesn’t give strong darks (so I don’t use it much). When I got home I used a Tombow Pen in a Burnt Sienna colour to strengthen the darks. It was a great improvement, but the colours would have been better if they were totally unnatural, (purple, pink, orange?) rather than earth tones.
What I learnt from the boats swinging in the breeze was this. It’s not a good idea to use your biggest strongest pen to sketch them initially unless you are drawing large. I had some small boats on a page. As they moved on the water, I needed to restate my lines, and there just wasn’t room. So start with a finer pen with moving objects, or work larger.
I’m enjoying drawing light fittings as part of the 75 day challenge. They force you to do lots of ellipses – straight in without pencil guidelines. This time I was using a sepia Pitt Pen. This was in a beautiful old Federation building (Federation of the states of Australia.)
The strange thing about drawing these three globes, was that the one at the back on the left looked the largest from where I was sitting. I commented to Annie, who was sitting off to my right and she said it looked larger from where she was sitting also. She went over and stood directly underneath and they were all the same size. Strange.
Oh boy it is difficult when Every Day in May is on to keep up with the sketching, the posting, the commenting and the blogging. Several sketches backed up ready to blog, but no time.
Saturday was a day planned over a month ahead. We had arranged for three of us to sketch on board the James Craig. That is the tall ship I went out on just before Christmas. It was a beautiful day, lucky for us, though a bit on the cool side after a while. For a sailing ship, it is amazingly large once you get on board. The thing that is really noticeable is the sheer quantity of rope, and the variety of ways it is used and the different bits of hardware associated with it.
Before we went on board we met at the cafe (Yots) to sketch ‘something sweet’ for EDiM5. I got this small but colourful cupcake, which turned out to be a mud cake consistency. Yum.
I sketched the lifebelt first. We needed somewhere to perch and also be out of the way of people who were touring the ship. We started out near the ship’s wheel and I now know (now you tell me!) that it is a difficult ship to steer because it is long and it takes 16 turns of the wheel. Not sure if that is from hard- a- port to hard-a-starboard, or whether it is from the straight ahead position.
My second sketch was a quick one started in pen & watercolour and finished with my blue-grey watercolour pencil. When I got home, I realised that the white thingy-o needed to stand out more against the city buildings so I darkened them. It was either that or darken the thingy-o.
It gave the sketch a totally different look. The buildings, which are across Darling Harbour, look much closer and it looks like a rainy day. It’s only a sketch. The first one is much more indicative of the day though.
Filed under boats, coffee shops, Copic Multiliner, drawing, EDiM, Heritage Fleet, Maritime Museum, National Maritime Museum, Pitt Pens, ships, watercolour, watercolour pencils
Last Saturday the sketching class went to the National Maritime Museum. They are very friendly and helpful there. We were organised to sketch inside if it rained but after a foul week it was a beautiful day. We had to find a patch of shade to sit in and sketch. Luckily there were seats along a wall in the shade with a great view.
We sat opposite the Duyfken, a beautiful little ship I’ve drawn before. It is a replica. It is beautiful because of all the wood, I think, offset by some fairly intricate painted areas. I drew the bow last time. This is the stern. Watch this space, I go back and bravely draw the whole thing.
The flags in the middle of the page spell out DUYFKEN. The Maritime Museum has quite a few things spelt out in flags. Once when we drew inside the museum I put the whole alphabet on my page, but now I’m more likely to spell out my heading that way. The lower drawing is a part of the HMAS Vampire. For some reason it has the flying kangaroo on the funnel. I’ll have to ask them about that next time I do down there. Some deal with Qantas? Perhaps they are a sponsor of the museum.
I love to go back to the Maritime Museum. It’s so beautiful down there & so much to see and draw. I was delighted for the class that we had such a good day to sketch there. Tomorrow it is Hyde Park Barracks and Macquarie Street. If it is wet we’ll be in the museum.
On Monday I had to go to the doctor to get the results of a blood test. They love blood tests there. Over Christmas they had the builders in and I could see a whole lot of junk being taken out. Now the waiting room looks like a bus station. Rows of joined-up chairs and bare floors. Bland walls and NO art.
I decided to take my sketchbook and sit outside in the little courtyard where smokers used to go at one time. I thought I might have to wait. Last year there was an upheaval at the practice. A lot of doctors moved on, and several moved from another practice, bringing their own patients to add to the load of patients who already went to this practice. It was frustrating to say the least. If you had the temerity to want to see the same doctor again you might have to wait up to three weeks. Even if you’d see anyone, it was a week.
Maybe it is settling down now. I’m not sure. Anyway I had 25 minutes sitting outside to draw this chair. Good results when I saw the doctor, and nice doctor I hadn’t seen before.
Sunday morning sunny again (torrents in the evening) so I grabbed my sketching things early and went up the road before too many people were about. I wanted to draw this little terrace house that is just off the main street. If you catch the train from anywhere west of Newtown you can see it from the train line just before you get into Newtown Station. Colourful, isn’t it? The leafy pattern that comes from the left is all along the wall on the left hand side (the train-line side). I have no idea who lives there.
And by the way, my sketching classes at Sydney Community College begin on Saturday. You can join us out and about sketching in Sydney for the next six weeks. Learn to defeat your inner critic, make the practice of keeping a sketchbook and learn the tips and tricks of experienced sketchers to make your sketchbook look really good. Rainy days have been taken into consideration & indoor venues arranged. Book here.
Tuesday evening we had an appointment to sketch at the Opera House with Freddie, an Urban Sketcher visiting from the USA. At lunchtime it poured with rain, the street was like a river and I got very wet. By 6pm the photo shows what the weather was like. By 10pm it was raining again and I got wet going home. Weren’t we lucky?
It was a lovely evening to be out. We had a quite leisurely sketch until it was getting dark, then we walked around to Circular Quay to City Extra where we had dinner with a wonderful view of the harbour bridge. (you can see the view from that link if you’re patient).
My Opera House sketch is back in my normal sketchbook, so about A4 size. What a relief. I find it very restrictive to draw small. Sepia Pitt Pen again. Looks black.
The other interesting thing that happened to me is that the North Shore Times featured my sketches on their website.