Tag Archives: watercolour

New Year’s Eve Sketching in Newtown

georgina_stSlack about blogging so far in 2016! Liz Steel and I went sketching together on NYE. I took her to the small park not far from King Street, Newtown, surrounded by wonderful houses. Definitely a place to take the local Urban Sketchers. I have been there many times before and done a much larger sketch of this house across two pages.  On only one page, I used my Hero 86 pen this time…I just love it. I love sketching these houses too. The Hero pen gives a different and quite recognisable look.

This house and the one at the other end of the row of terraces are called ‘the bookends’ by people who live there. The locals are very friendly, which is extremely nice when you know that some of these houses go for about $AUD3m. The street is called Georgina Street. I previously said Park Lane, but the map is ambiguous (Google!) and it doesn’t actually become Park Lane until it is right around the corner.

Georgina Street is known as ‘the best street in Newtown’.  The houses are not as vivid in colour as I have painted them. So many older Sydney houses are painted cream. It gets a bit boring, so I liven it up. My own street is up there with The Good Streets of Newtown, but with small single storey houses. My street is ‘good’ because it is wide, in an area where nearly all streets are extremely narrow, and the location is perfect.

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Filed under fountain pen, Hero pen, Newtown, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour

Cocktails by the pool

sea_templeNext day at Port Douglas was my travelling companion’s birthday. We had plans…….but they were swiftly hijacked by my friend Keithio who had arrived the previous night. He was staying just outside town at a very beautiful resort called Pullman Sea Temple.  He insisted we come over.

We sat in the reception lounge, overlooking a swimming pool like an inland sea while he treated us to a cocktail (at 11 a2015-12-11 11.35.50-1.m.) I had a Bloody Mary with lots of coriander. Very delicious.
After that, we went to admire Keithio’s apartment. Huge!  Then we changed to go back down to the pool and enjoyed a long long swim. I love to swim. Lunch, quite late, was pizza and a bucket of prawns by the Pool Bar, then another swim.

2015-12-12 14.17.08The following day, Keithio had arranged a BBQ package from reception, and he cooked a barbecue up on his rooftop terrace (nearly twice the size of my house.) Oysters, Moreton Bay Bugs, steak, sausages, salads….I forget what else. Sooooo much food.

Keithio had bought us each a bottle of champage for our birthdays and at the beginning of lunch I wore a glass of champagne. He had got very excited about reading something to us from the newspaper, and flicked the edge of my glass with the paper. I was drenched in champage, and sitting in it. But it didn’t matter…it was so hot it dried very quickly.  I just smelt like an old soak.  Another swim, getting on towards dusk  washed most of the champagne off me. And that was our last day in Port Douglas.

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

Sunset Cruise

sunset_cruiseA beautiful afternoon in Port Douglas when we set out on a sunset cruise for one and a half hours. We chose this trip as there were no children under 12 allowed. In fact, although the yacht would take 40 passengers, there were only twelve.So peaceful.

At the insistence of the hostess, we sat up beside the captain. What a wonderful spot. I sat and sketched port_douglas_palms(cinq-a-sept, Marc Taro Holmes style) with my champagne glass held firmly between my feet.

The yacht was large and beautiful and of course very spacious. The sea was calm – however – yachtfrom time to time, and only very occasionally – the bow would go UP and down again. Accompanies by a ‘whoaaaa’ sound from me. Sketching under those conditions is pretty amusing.

sunset_cruise_1If you take a close look at my sketch, you will see that there was a very big ‘whoaaaa’ sound just as I was sketching the horizon line, and it has been restated afterwards- on dry land.

on_the_inletBack in Port Douglas, we made our way to a restaurant on the water ‘On the Inlet’  and met up with a friend who had just arrived from Sydney for another seafood dinner.

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Filed under fountain pen, Port Douglas, Super5 pen, watercolour

Port Douglas

tin_shedA couple of weeks after my trip to hospital, Broni and I went to Far North Queensland to celebrate our birthdays.  I hadn’t been that far north before. It is a three hour flight from Sydney to Cairns, then an hour’s drive along a beautiful coastal road to Port Douglas. It is a small beach town, but a little more sophisticated than most. (Map.)

We were exhausted by evening, but happy in our two bedroom apartment that looked out into the tree tops and where we became acquainted with a pied imperial pigeon who visited every morning. We went out for supplies (otherwise no breakfast) and decided to get takeaway pizza for dinner. Following a recommendation we went to the Central Hotel where we decided to sit down and eat the pizza at a table there. Just as well we did…it was the best pizza I have ever had, including any in Italy. Chilli prawns and chorizo. Highly recommended.

Next day we got off to a late start and after driving around trying to get our bearings, we found a place to sit by the sea and have lunch tin_shed_photowhile sketching the scenery.  This was the ‘Tin Shed’ which is a licensed club, but you can sign in with your drivers license. I hadn’t thought much about the food in Far North Queensland but seafood is definitely on the menu. We each had a caesar salad with six large fresh king prawns around the plate. Being Australia, we peeled them ourselves. Then we had to wash our hands up to the elbows before we could sketch. A very long leisurely lunch, accompanied by ginger beer.

This is the first page of my new sketchbook. A fairly simple sketch, trying to keep it to just a few lines.  Now that I have scanned it, I will write my name and contact details in the sky. The tide was going out and as it did, sand appeared near the distant land. It shows on the sketch but not the photo (taken sooner). The clouds never left the tops of those mountains in our five days at Port Douglas.

 

 

 

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Filed under fountain pen, Port Douglas, sketchbook, sketching, watercolour

Roman baroque

939_roofIn Rome, I stay in a hotel in the pink building. Looking in the other direction, way in the distance there, are the Spanish Steps. It is  less than ten minutes’ walk. If you go down either side of the building, the two streets meet up, and they all head for the Pantheon. Less than 5 minutes’ walk. This particular day I went down Via Pallacorda, and happened to look up. You can see this amazing piece of baroque architecture and also how narrow the street is. I took a photo anway.

I used some techniques from Marc Taro Holmes to lessen the acute angles I got from standing so close and pointing my camera so high. I could do it better next time, because I observed the structure a lot more closely while I was sketching it.

The building I lived in, when I lived in Rome many years ago was right across the road. I found out recently that it is the Palazzo della Famiglia Borghese, built by Cardinal Scipio Borghese (who was a patron of Caravaggio and Bernini) for his family and retainers, right across the piazza from the grand Palazzo Borghese. Here is my sketch of the door I entered every day for most of a year, back in the 70’s. And this is the solar plate of the door of Palazzo Borghese. I must see if I can find out more about this building with the almost hidden baroque.

With the help of a historian in Rome, I found that this building is Palazzo Cardelli, and what I have sketched is part of the “pensive garden”. You can see more here, if you look down the page to the pink building.

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Filed under fountain pen, inks, Italy, sketchbook, sketching, Super5 pen, watercolour

Finally – proofs of my latest solar plate etchings

teatro_solarI made these solar plates some time ago, but I didn’t initially have a place to print them. Unfortunately the venue where I used to do my print-making disappeared, and I haven’t found another one. I printed these on a friend’s press, but she doesn’t have the space for viscosity printing as you need a lot of room to lay out all the inks. I am interested in colour in print-making, and if I can’t use a lot of colour, I quickly lose interest. I will try them again with a colour roll.

This plate was made using a sketch I did in Sicily.  This cafe always had a tray of oranges outside, so it was only yesterday I had the time to colour the oranges (with watercolour) on the print.

The second print was more an experiment. I did the original sketch (the second one in this post)  with a twig.  Some other Urban Sketchers use a twig, and mostly they sharpen them to a point. I have been doing this since I was at art school, and mine is not sharpened. It is just the end of the twig, how it comes off the tree.

cf_greengrocerI photocopied the sketch and altered it to a size that would fit my A5 plate. Then I drew into it to extend it a little. After that I traced it onto drafting film using black acrylic ink and a twig. The twig lays down a lot of ink, and unlike the original surface, the drafting film doesn’t absorb the ink. It just lays on top. When I expose the solar plate to the sun, the inky side of the drafting film is next to the plate. In the time under the hot sun, the ink melted and stuck to the plate. I wasn’t totally surprised. In the processing,  I used some muslin to try to correct the areas, so that they would hold the ink.

Sometimes it can take a couple of prints from a fresh solar plate until it gets into all the crevices. This one certainly improved from the first one. But it needs colour!  I might have a play with watercolour until I get a chance to print it again. It is the greengrocer’s shop  in Castiglion Fiorentino.

 

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Iseh village

iseh_wcAnother sketch from a photo, using some of the Marc Taro Holmes techniques.

NOTE: The Craftsy courses are on special during November. Buy Now! This course “Travel Sketching in Mixed Media” exceeded my expectations. Join up here.

Iseh village is high up on the slopes of Mt Agung in Bali. This volcano was thought to be inactive, however in 1963 there was a major eruption over a long period. Over 2000 people were killed. At the time, an English couple were living in Iseh, and Anna Mathews wrote a book about their experiences. In May, we went up the mountain as far as the road goes to see the places first hand. No tourists up there! You can read more about our trip here.

I sketched Iseh in lesson one. It is in this post, looking in the other direction. Also Mt Batur in the same post. Most of my landscape photographs are from Bali. At home, I am a city girl. It seems even in Europe I am a city girl.

Volcanos fascinate me. The first time Broni came to Bali with me (about 20 years ago) Mt Batur was erupting while we were up there on the rim. It goes down again, where there is a village, and up to the cone. I remember Broni cavorting along the fence line saying “Mana bisa, mana bisa! They’re living IN the volcano”. Photo and sketch here.

In August this year, Mt Raung, a volcano in east Java (to the west of Bali) was disrupting flights. As I post, Ngurah Rai airport in Bali is closed again because of the eruption of Mt Rinjani in Lombok, immediately to the east of Bali. I hope my next trip is not disrupted.

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Filed under Bali, fountain pen, inks, pen, sketchbook, sketching, Super5 pen, watercolour