Friday, February 27, 2015

Tea cup week starts today!!!!

My week in SketchbookSkool "Seeing" begins again today … so to get me in the mood (as if I need to be in the mood to draw teacups) here are two non standard versions of my 'pink Melbourne cup'.

One with watercolour pencil, expressing my 'constructing volumes' approach.

And a cross hatching version!

 Looking forward to a crazy teacup (and other patterned object) week.Oh! and lots of architectural sketches too!!!  

Even if you are not doing Sketchbook Skool Seeing this week, I would love to know if you sketch a teacup this coming week! Have a cuppa with me!


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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cascade Green and more!

As promised, I will confirm that the mystery colour from the last few posts was Daniel Smith Cascade Green.

I have had the tube since Saturday, but only today put it into my palette  - just for a bit of fun. Before I get into the chat about Cascade Green, I just want to record the 2 changes in my palette this month. In my 16 colour palette I have had Green Apatite Genuine(GAG) in my 'green spot'. I don't use a lot as I normally mix my greens, but it is a crazy colour and a good Australian green. When I started my food diet, I changed GAG for sap green as it would match freshly steamed green veggies! I took Sap Green to Tasmania and used a lot of it. Very versatile colour and it MIGHT take a semi-permanent spot in place of GAG... put the green spot in my palette is one that I do change around a bit. Anyway, here are the three greens in a row!

Cascade green is a crazy colour and one that I bought purely as a celebration for finishing my online class. It is not necessarily a colour that will become a part of my standard palette but it is a lot of fun. With the right amount of water the pigments separate and create a lovely blue. Wow! But I will say that I am not overly excited about base green colour of Cascade Green - it is a bit like a pthalo green but not as strong - it does contain pthalo blue so that says it all!

Just re-posting this sketch of my green cup using this colour. I didn't get much of the blue separation happening.

And today I did this sketch - more to test the paint that a serious attempt to draw the back corner of the garden. Once again although I was working very wet, not much blue separation occurred. Please note: I  added some cobalt turquoise in there and other colours as well - I was trying to use Cascade Green in combination with my stadnard colours and working in my usual way. And of course, the paper will have a big effect and this was just the 140gsm smooth paper of the Goldline sketchbook.

So I thought I would do some trees on the moleskine paper (this is the new paper with the strong texture) and you can see that the blue only really appeared on the left tree when I dropped the paint into water on the page.

Here are some quick messy mixes (just done on Canson Montval paper) mixing with Hansa Yellow Medium, Cerulean Blue (chromium), then with a little Quin Rose, then with Quin Gold and finally with Transparent Red Oxide. Lots of fun with these!

And last night I decided to see if I could get a similar result from mixing the two separate colours: PrB7 Raw Sienna and PB15 Pthalo Blue.  I got more variations in the mixes because of the raw sienna and blue not being mixed fully but not the same blue separation.

And then I did a few more mixes.... exploring options. I guess that you now have an idea of the kind of mixing that I think about,  how I want to understand how the pigments react with each other, and how I just keep playing with my paints all the time!!!! BTW I did a previous post about my messy mixing.

And finally from last week... when I decided that cascade green would be my treat purchase, I wanted to have a play before having bought it. I made the mistake of using a burnt sienna version of PrB7 rather than a light version Raw Sienna-ish! But I was liking the mixes anyway and I thought I would try a bit of cling film to see what all the fuss is (numerous painters seem to be addicted to this technique)

And then (truly this is the last image for this post!) I did a little play which turned into a 'winter scene'. This is pure fantasy - I have never experienced anything remotely like this. I often do abstract colour sketches for warmup and experimentation but rarely bother to share them with you.

Ok... that is enough for now. So, in summary,  Cascade Green is fun, but I haven't yet got it to do what I want when I am doing my normal sketching.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Travel Sketching Talk and Demo for Castle Hill Art Society

Earlier in the month I gave a talk and demo to the Castle Hill Art Society on Travel sketching. Needless to say, I had a ball! I love sharing ideas about how I manage to fill sketchbook after sketchbook when I am travelling and to show people that there are so many options and opportunities to sketch when you are travelling. BTW it is 'travel' sketching because you don't need to leave home to do this - it is an attitude to your daily life.

You just have to THINK about it… and not expect to produce a completed masterpiece painting each time! Successful travel sketching is all in the mind - you have to think and plan beforehand, you must be thinking about sketching while you are travelling and you must make snap decisions about how and what you want to record on your page.

All this and more was explained in my talk that I gave! A missing cable meant the camera was used for the slideshow (and sketchbooks as supports!)

I showed them my kit, the all important bag and explained my 30 sec challenge: "can you get your sketchbook and pen out in 30 secs? if it is in the bottom of your bag it will never be used!"
Lots of funny expressions captured by the camera (thanks Robyn for taking these photos)

My demo was a crazy attempt at pretending I was in Rome drawing a baroque facade while my travelling companion went to buy some gelato.

This is the demo I did on the night using watercolour pencils and talking non stop while I was doing it.

I also had done two other examples earlier in the day to show different techniques. Here was an ink version that I did - it took 5minutes

And then I added very loose watercolour over the top. I much prefer to work at a calmer pace than this frenetic splashing of paint, but if I was travelling I would prefer to have a go and sketch something rather than have an empty page and wish I had sketched that church.

And finally here is another version done at home, playing with line and colour and being more selective as to subject matter.

I shared lots of tips and examples of how I sketched in crazy situations and also showed them how I often walk the streets with my sketchbooks open... I never have time to wait for the paint to dry!

It was a great night and I am very excited that I will soon announce my first 3 day travel sketching workshop in Launceston. Details will be included in my March newsletter due out 3 March. Subscribe below.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Greens are hard"

So say a lot of people, but it is not something that I particularly worry about. I know I don't do a lot of green sketches but never think 'greens are hard' when I do - perhaps mixing greens from your yellows and blues help a lot as I know there will be harmony when I do this. However, lately I have been in a green mood - I used a lot of DS Sap Green in Tasmania and then I have bought another green paint tube! And then the icing on the cake is that one of the Super5 inks is a green!

This morning I did a "pre-architectural-illustration-work" warmup sketching using 3 different green inks and my new mystery DS green paint.

The three different greens were quite different - the Super5 Dublin is a muted green (dare I say it an Australian green) while the De Atramentis green are rather saturated and bright. As for my crazy new DS paint.... I will tell you later after I have done some more testing.

Why is it that now I finally have coloured ink that is permanent, I want to dry to dissolve it? I have no idea why, but hey, that is what I am doing! I am spraying water onto the ink when it is just on the page and still wet and then drawing into the water. The De A ink spreads a lot more than the Super5.

And if you are interested this is the type of illustration work I was doing today - very neat work  - so this craziness is somewhat different from what I settled down to do!


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Monday, February 23, 2015

Super5 Inks! First impressions

On Friday a very exciting parcel arrived from Super5 Germany! Six bottles of ink, one fountain pen and a box of very cool sketchbooks.

Like everyone else at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Brazil last August, I received a Super5 fountain pen which was filled with ink. The pen, which contains a fine calligraphy nib producing variable line is a little too heavy for me to use (I have a sensitive hand!)  so I didn't really get to test the ink that was in the pen. Now, I can really test the inks in the pens that work best for me. These are permanent inks suitable for fountain pens and have a lovely range of colours.

This sketch was done using Frankfurt in a hero fountain pen for the linework and then a paintbrush for the coloured ink labels.

The colour that interest me the most initially was Frankfurt - a BEAUTIFUL  warm grey! Wow!!! Love love love it! But Delhi was jumping up and down for my attention.

I had dinner with a friend on Friday night and this was a good test to try the drying time of the ink in a thick line with paint immediately splashed on. Very impressed!

These sketches were done very quickly… not sure if you can guess what the dishes were - BTW it was Thai!

On Saturday I loaded up a pen with Australia. It is a red-brown rather than the more orange-brown of the de Atramentis Document Brown. In terms of colour I much prefer the later (being a 'brown-girl' I have very strong preferences as to what is a nice brown), however when actually using the ink on the page, I found it was a lot nicer to use than I expected!

Just because I am scanning every page I have done in the last few days and so you can see what Australia looks like in text… I will admit that I bought a new paint colour. I felt like a new crazy DS colour would be a good way to celebrate the end of my SketchingNow Foundations online class but haven't been sure what would be appropriate. During the week I came across a colour that fit the bill. But I am not going to spill the beans just yet!

A little playing with 3 of the Super5 inks - Australia, Delhi and Frankfurt

And then some more… I am rather taken with the Delhi ink (even though I couldn't spell it or draw a symmetrical facade this afternoon … I have a good reason for both of these but I won't bore you with it!)

In terms of the sketchbooks that I was given… Super5 have this very nice range of sketchbooks with various cities on the cover. Please excuse me for putting Sydney on the top of the pile. They contain 140gsm white paper which is very nice to write/ draw on and seems to take watercolour ok. But full review coming later… along with more about the ink….but I can tell you that I am very impressed and excited by the first tests.

 I have a few deadlines in the next week or so, but then after that I might be able to start working through my 'stay tuned' lists. I have the feeling that I have made a lot of promises in the last few months!


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