I am away at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Brazil for a few weeks!


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A few recent pages - a little trip Prep

Been a touch busy lately…but of course still sketching a little in my book.
No time for my traditional trip prep sketches as such but a few have sneaked in.

Here is my new travel kettle. I had to throw my old one out in Barcelona after it started leaking. Of course you think this is the height of foolishness to take this… in fact it is a necessity but not because of tea. My neck needs heat and best way is the good old hot water bottle. AND of course a cup of tea does not go astray at all after a hard days travel.

And more importantly on the left side there is two GREAT quotes that I have come across lately (hope you can read my writing)
This page is an example of how to design a mainly text page


A working page of my clothes. It is NOT the final choice but exploring the options… thanks to Sueli for giving me a local update on the weather. I didn't make a new dress this trip…but I did manage a skirt. So I am happy!
But I am a little sad that the purple floral dress that has been to 4 symposiums and countless other trips has been retired to home wear now. (too sad and faded!)


A 'half baked' page - very quick sketches. I am not sure the pages are finished in the usual sense.
I have lowered my own standards. I normally take loose leaf tea with me… but really teabags are so much more convenient!
And a quick coffee at the cafe where T2 used to be.


Coffee (two in a row hey?) and a little building detail at Balmain organic cafe/shop. Very quick sketch…
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Teacup Giveaway for Everyone!



As promised… here is a giveaway for everyone!

How to Draw a Teacup  is an instruction I have put together containing the things I think about when I sketch a teacup. And "embrace the wonkiness" is one of them. No perfect ellipses in this sheet!
Please feel free to share and if you want to print out you can download a pdf.
Click to download How to Draw a Teacup as a pdf

I just want to say thank you to all the people that left lovely comments on my "Pink Melbourne Cup" giveaway post. Over 250 - totally blew me away. I am so excited by hearing from many old time blog followers and having lots of new ones join too. And I feel very humbled by all your comments - thank you!!!!!!  I really feel like I have received WAY MORE than I was giving away.
Looking forward to packaging up my teacup to Teresa and sending to Portugal.

This page shows how my architectural brain wants to understand the form of the teacup and saucer in a VISUAL way. I am not drawing technically using perspective setups but I have studied the geometries of the shapes in front of me. In particular  - notice the setout of the saucer. It is normally higher than the foot of the cup - once I had this ah ha moment I found it easier to work out what was going wrong at times.

I know some of you will have your own way of drawing ellipses... I would be delighted if you added these to this post.... this page summarises my personal way that I have developed for the unique application of tea and saucer. I suppose one could say I have had a bit of practice at this subject matter!

I know many people say 'just draw what you see' and while I totally agree with that… if you have a little visual understanding it helps you see better.  I am not thinking 'cup' and 'saucer'  - which is normally called 'drawing what you THINK you see' - I am looking at the geometries of the shapes I SEE.

This is the basis of the way I approach sketching - why I am able to sketch quickly… and it is the way I teach sketching.

I like to teach as visually as possible often using diagrams and notated sketches. And this is the basis for my upcoming Sketching Now course. Join my mailing list, if you haven't already done so,  to keep up to date with the latest news.

I am heading to Brazil very shortly for the Urban Sketchers Symposium but there will be more details when I get back.
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And the winner is.....



Teresa!

Congratulations!  My pink Melbourne Cup will be coming to you soon!

Please contact me lizsteel {at} gmail {dot} com and let me know your address.

And for everyone else... stay tuned for another post later in the day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Having a cuppa with our friends and grandmas - Reflections on teaching at Sketchbook Skool



Last week was one of the most amazing weeks I have ever had - Teaching as part of Danny Gregory and Koojse Koene's Sketchbook Skool. I was part of a 'kourse' called SEEING and it was an enormous honour to be teaching alongside Danny, Koojse, Brenda Swenson, Cathy Johnson and Andrea Joseph.

In my klass I shared my architectural background, an overview of the amazing journey I have had in the last 8 years with my sketchbooks … and my approach to sketching complex objects (two demos: one a teacup and one a building). If you haven't see the video with an overview of my demos check it out in my video page.

The creative energy in Sketchbook Skool is hard to describe. Hundreds and hundreds of SBSers all keen to learn, to share and to have fun. I knew that it would be a special week and a lot of fun… and that the sheer volume of work created would in a measure overwhelm me (in a good way) I am trying not to give too much away as I am aware that there are a lot of people who have just finished 'beginnings' and plan to the 'seeing' in the next term. So I won't say what the assignment was exactly … it did not need to be a teacup but surprise surprise that was the popular choice of the subject matter.

The resultant sketches blew me away… apart from the fact that people were sketching beautiful objects (teacups and other objects) - these objects meant something to them. You could feel this in the sketches.  I had tears building as I read stories and memories of grandmothers and mothers and travel and special people/occasions.

For me drinking tea out of a cup means
- special occasion with a friend. We have a good chat holding the cup in our hand
- memories of my Nanna and my (great)Aunty Ruby and afternoon tea with them
- at home: my cuppa in the morning,  afternoon and evening are my scheduled rest/pause times. I rarely drink tea while I am working - instead I make a pot, select a cup and sit back (often with a heat pack for my neck/shoulder) and either read or think… pause and review my work, what I should do next, or just think conceptual thoughts…and develop new ideas… oh! and often draw my cup at the time!

So last week in SBS I was thinking about my Nanna and Aunty Ruby a lot, I was also thinking about my fellow sketchers - so my solo cuppas took on a new social aspect. I felt like I was sharing it with people from all over the world.

Anyway- it was too hectic last week to find the time to sketch this SPECIAL cup. So I took a little time out this afternoon for that.



I have been thinking all week about how to describe my Nanna… but can't do it. She was very special - in a quiet, background kind of way...I can't put the rest into words!

She lived a simple, hard working farming life and although she had quite a collection of china and bits and pieces, she didn't have really have much fancy stuff. More serviceable items - and it was the everyday crockery that I remember the most.

But when all the cupboards were being emptied and stuff divided up after she passed away, my aunt found these 'weird black and white cups' in the back of a cupboard.

Of course the instant I saw them I exclaimed "Shelley!!!!" … and well they ended up with me. Funny I haven't properly sketched them since they were in my possession. Here is the sketch I did quickly at my nanna's place back in 2010 when we were all going through stuff.

Anyway… I could go on and on about tea and cups and grandmas and sketchbook skool… but I really don't have the time today.

There was also an architectural assignment but I won't bother saying any more about that except for the fact that I was so impressed by the work done - especially by those people that have been scared of tackling a building.

All that is left to say is thankyou!

Thankyou to Danny and Koojse for asking me to teach in the Skool and thank you thank you to everyone in the klass! I think you have changed my solo cuppa forever - will be thinking of you all often when I sit down to have that chill out time for myself.

I know there have been a lot of teacups lately... but after tomorrow there will be a change... I promise!! And change of the most exciting kind- travel to a foreign land!


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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reminder of my Giveaway - and something else coming soon!

Just reminding you all that my original teacup sketch giveaway will be announced on Tuesday morning (my time in Sydney - so that is Monday pm for a lot of the rest of world)

To enter the draw leave a comment on the giveaway post
Note: you must include a name in your comment so that I can identify you if you are the winner!

I have been so overwhelmed by all the responses and lovely comments that I have prepared a special gift for everyone!! 

So please keep an eye on the blog next week....

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