Hmmmm, 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’. 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!
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.
Oh yes, Cockatoo Island for the fourth time in 3 weeks. It was the 35th Worldwide Sketchcrawl and guess who nagged to go to Cockatoo Island. Every time I go there I see more things to sketch. Winter will soon be here and it will be a bit cold out there.
About a year ago I made a little sketchbook especially to draw pipes. There are amazing ones at Cockatoo Island and also at the Powerhouse Museum. The book stayed empty till Saturday but now I’ve started to fill it. I got the idea from a page in Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity where the author adds to a pipe drawing on three occasions. You can see my review of the book when I first bought it here.
My plan is more to overlap and really fill the book in the way I have done with this drawing of cranes. For consistency, I’m drawing all the pipes as grey, except for where they are painted. There are some amazing almost new ones in bright colours outside the pool where I go to swim, but I need to get there very early to get a particular car spot to be positioned to draw them. These pipes were very rusted in actual fact. I don’t plan to put in a background – just maybe more pipes.
It was a foggy morning when we started out. The airport was closed and I did wonder about the ferries. However it turned out very warm and clear. I sat in the shade to draw all of these, and often out there in the middle of the harbour it can be chilly with a breeze blowing. Not on Saturday, when 30 sketchcrawlers roamed the island.
So this is my book. It’s a concertina, made from Fabriano Hot Press paper and the cover is metallic paper with laser cut cogs stuck on.
Last Saturday was the 34th worldwide sketchcrawl and we ended up at the Australian Museum. The original plan was to go to Hyde Park. We met there and by that time it was already sprinkling with rain. We hoped it would stop, but as we waited for latecomers, down came the rain. We had to put our wet weather plan into action right way because it was bucketing down. We only had to cross the road, but it was like wading through a creek. We were wet through. They put all our wet things into a room for us and we dispersed throughout the museum till lunchtime.
There is a reason I chose to sketch these two. I live 4km from the very centre of Sydney. Nearby there is a park and an old church. In the churchyard there are possums. Less than 5 times in the more than 25 years I’ve lived here, as I’ve walked along beside the churchyard, possums come to the fence, or low down on a tree. Just before Christmas a possum started coming to my courtyard. Then he’d go from my tree to the roof, and end up in a tree out the front. (Possum poo on the roof of the car.) At the beginning of January, one night I was sitting in my kitchen with a friend, quite late, having a glass of wine. Arabella, my cat, came near the screen door and started to hiss and hiss. I turned the outside light on, and here was a possum with its pink nose sniffing along the screen door. I put some rejected cat food in an old plate out on the table just outside the window. The possum retreated to the bottom of the tree while I was out there, but as soon as I was safely back inside, it climbed up on the table and had a leisurely meal for 10 minutes or so, with the two of us just sitting the other side of the glass, watching.
The plover is another story. I went to Cockatoo Island with a friend in the spring. As we walked along one particular path, a plover started to divebomb us. At first we ignored it. They’re bigger than, say, a pigeon, but not a huge bird. Obviously we were getting nearer its nest though, because it has quite a wingspread, and it got very scary. We retreated with our arms wrapped round our heads.
The second drawing is one started in Hyde Park as the rain was starting. I used a sanguine Pitt Pen, size M. I noticed the white reflections of the flagpoles on the wet ground as we ran off to seek shelter. The background was drawn in with watercolour pencils.
After a week of ghastly rain we were so glad that we’d planned to be INSIDE to sketch on Saturday for the Worldwide Sketchcrawl. I’ve been to the Powerhouse Museum three times in the last two weeks, only twice to sketch. The other time I took an overseas visitor to escape the rain and we spent the afternoon entranced looking at old machines. We’ve known one another since 1973 in Jersey, C.I. and who knew we had a common liking for machinery.
I saw this wonderful old horse-drawn fire engine on that visit and just had to draw it as soon as I could. It was a challenge. Wheels! I’m using a new sketchbook now – handmade with Fabriano Hot Press paper and it’s nearly twice the size of my previous one. Notice how my work expands to fill the whole spread anyway. The new sketchbook is 7.5 inches square, so that’s quite a big drawing when its across two pages.
Lunch in the cafe at the Museum kept the group together and a number of us continued drawing after lunch. I’d spotted these musical instruments on my first visit and ;liked the way the shapes worked together.
I’ll be back there soon, drawing more stuff.
The 30th Worldwide Sketchcrawl was in Manly on a beautiful and hot day. I cught the ferry over, and drew some nautical fittings on deck in a stiff breeze on the ocean side of the boat. Met up with a total of 16 other sketchcrawlers and wandered round the harbour to a comfortable bench in the shade where we looked across the beach and harbour towards the ferry terminal. Spent the rest of the morning there. After a delicious lunch, still on the harbour side of Manly, those remaining (most!) went in the other direction and I drew this little jetty.
For the 28th sketchcrawl we were drawing in the Asian Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW due to a totally wet Sydney. The rain had stopped by 10am but everything was soaked. There were four sketchcrawlers.
Borromini Bear is with Urban Sketchers in Portland Oregon, so I had to draw FAST to make up for that. She’s usually the most prolific. I put on my timer in my phone and all my drawings took about 15 minutes. One time the timer alarm went off and workmen who were in the gallery but just out of sight said ‘what’s THAT”. I think they thought they were going to have to evacuate.
We went to the Asian Gallery first so that any latecomers could meet up with us there. However there was so much to draw that we just continued there. The pinkish statue on the right reminded me of Percy who is an art school friend. I was very surprised that it was from Vietnam as I had convinced myself that it must be Sri Lankan like Percy.
The only way I could achieve my fast drawings was ‘straight in with the pen’ – no pencil. Then at the end I used Prismacolours to add colour. Trouble is – those Prismacolours break all the time and that means lost time while sharpening. I’m using Como paper ( like a cartridge paper about 280 gsm I think) and I’m not using wet media at the moment as a challenge.
This last drawing took 25 min. I drew some lines with pencil first to get the angles of the limbs correct. It is on the title page of my sketchbook where my name and address go, so I didn’t want it to be a disaster. I have yet to draw a suitable border.