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


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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

100330 On the same old theme....

Look what arrived for me today! Finally using a Xmas gift voucher.
Belated Xmas Present

I knew it was out of stock but rang on Friday to put my name down (not expected for a number of months) - I got a call yesterday to say that they would give me one that was put aside - I am rather excited. This completes the 100 years of Royal Albert set - I got the other half (1950s-1990s) last Xmas - this is 1900s to 1940s.
So guess what I just MIGHT draw in the next week or so....
BTW I drew these from photos last February - now seeing them in the flesh, I really how lacking my sketches were back then.
100329 Pablo Cosy
Another cosy from the brand new book - Really Wild Tea Cosies - love it!!! Naturally I want one of these...if only I could find someone that loves to knit and hates tea and is really bored....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

100327 Drinking Mountains and a Really Wild Tea Cosy

100327 Drinking Mountains and a Really Wild Tea Cosy
Inspired by Szaza's Drinking Mountains post I finally got myself a sample so I could enjoy a cup of Lapsang Souchong Tea (haven't had for years and loose leaf is SO much better than Twinings) Wonky sketch but an exquisite cuppa!
Also celebrating a new exciting book! I still need to get my knitting skills up to speed so I can knit some of the wild cosies in the first book - but at least I can draw them! This is the one on the front cover.

100327 Bits...

March Virtual Paintout StavangerMy sketches for this months Virtual Paintout... Running late but I just HAD to do this month as I have been to Stavanger!!! So the two views I choose are views I enjoyed at the time! The wonderful B&B we stayed at is sketched here....
100327 Saturday shopping cuppa
An afternoon at Macquarie Centre getting a few necessities and unsuccessful in other things... I did make one exciting purchase but more on that shortly. Naturally I found some time for a cup of lavender and earl grey at my usual haunt - T2 tearoom (but of course you all know that by now!) Paint added at home - can you believe I didn't have my paint tin- it had fallen off the edge of my table hence I miss putting it in my bag.

Friday, March 26, 2010

100326 This Week Bits

Tuesday: Brutalist Architecture strikes again
100323 Lunchtime Walk
rather than just go a block and half away to the Rest Park where I normally wander for a quick sketch, I went for a bigger walk to explore places further afield and find benches where I could sit to sketch. I then didn't have much time to sketch... and ended up having to walk back to the office with the sketchbook open till the WET paint I splashed on dried....but still I go tout and had a nice walk!

SO much for trying to control my looseness - this one was out of control!


Wednesday: The Rest Park from a Different Approach
100324 Rest Park from a different approach
I posted a version of this the other day on my flickr- but the scan was so bad that I took it down. I then had two nights of not putting my computer on at home- it was wonderfully liberating - I had so much extra time... but tonight I am chained to my mac!?!
This week I was intending to get out of the office for longer so that I had more time for sketching - but this day (wednesday) I walked for about 30 minutes to get some exercise before starting. Ended up back at the Rest Park but entered from the opposite direction and it had a totally different feel. And it is quite different starting to sketch when the blood is pumping!

Thursday: My Chair
100325 My chair
Explanation to the text on this spread
The biggest thing that I got out of Saturday’s workshop with John Haycraft is that I want to start controlling my looseness (but not lose spontaneity) and this week I did a number of very loose (too loose!) sketches which I haven’t bothered to scan (4 spreads in fact) and then this one...which was done purely to fill up a page. I suddenly feel dissatisfied with a lot of my work in this current book and wanted to start a new one – one in which I make a more conscious effort to slow down.
To quote from one of the pages that I am not bothering to post (just a loose food sketch on the page)
“I am sick of this book and keen to start a new one... All of a sudden I feel very dissatisfied with my work and really feel that I need to focus on QUALITY not quantity.”
100325 Title Page #28
A new book: My last book only took me 3 weeks to fill - that is TOO quick!
Trying hard(too hard?) to think of something different...

Today: Friday
100326 Friday Lunch
Haven't been out for lunch with my sketchbook for a few weeks - what better way to start a new book than with a cup of Earl Grey tea.
BTW1 the panel on the left side is the wallpaper and the flowers are from the pendant light fittings...though I changed the colour (must say, their cups don't really go with the decor of the place- not like T2 tearoom which of course clashes wildly most of the time)
BTW2- the wallpaper is in fact a very uniform pattern- not all over the place or fading out like mine!?!
100326 Luna Park- Coney Island
Last work Friday night before daylight saving (summertime) ends (well next week- Good Friday will be the last!) so went down to Milsons Point for a brisk walk and a sketch. Unfortunately the sun went behind a cloud just as I was starting to sketch (value sketch first of course!) and as a result of only a few moments of the nice lighting in my mind the result is a bit flat....
Lovely way to end the week though....

Milsons Point, Sydney

Monday, March 22, 2010

100322 Back lighting

Not a good start to the week by breaking own of my rules - "Don't start a sketch after 10.30pm- go to bed instead". But somehow I was keen to try out a few things from Saturday.(workshop with John Haycraft)

100322 Back Lighting


1. Back lit subjects. I was thinking about this on Friday when I sketched at the cemetery and at the time was thinking of Fabrice Moireau's work (I was recommended his work on Saturday)...so very topical. Anyway, trying this tonight I had a light bulb moment that I have always been adding shadow in architect mode not painters mode. ie. full sun on the front, shadows cast at 45 degrees - might be good for a elevation drawing...but back lighting is more dramatic. The idea of having the main facade in shade is quite foreign to my architects brain...as it would hide detail. So it was fun to experiment tonight.
2. Do a tonal diagram first. I didn't actually do this tonight- but I did think about it. If I had drawn it I might have held my areas better
3. Try to control my looseness - not sure that starting a sketch after 10.30pm is the way. Maybe tomorrow!
4. Use a big brush more often. This was totally done with a #12 sable brush. I want to go back to playing around with my squirrel too!

... more tomorrow!

I think I want to explore this some more (this is an understatement!)

BTW, the odd position of this sketch on the page is due to the fact that I plan to jot down random things 'This Week' on this page.
BTW2 Don't actually know what building this is - the book has been closed and is back on my shelf but it is an English country house!

100320 A Big Saturday

100320 Haycraft Workshop 01Did a great workshop with John Haycraft today. Amazing demonstrations but I felt tense and struggled all day - trying new things was a disaster!

100320 Haycraft Workshop 05
This was done really quickly at the end of the day, when everyone started to pack up and doing it 'my way'!

Looking across to the Heritage Shipyard from Federal Park, Annandale, Sydney

And then later that night when I was totally exhuasted....
100320 Relaxing Cuppa

Sometimes, even though I am really tired, I just HAVE to do a quick sketch just before bedtime to fill up a spread, so I can start a new spread on the next day.
This was one of those occasions.

BTW, I was drinking a real cup of Lavendar and earl grey at the time – but not it this cup!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

100319 Lunchtime Sketches

A few quick lunchtime sketches this week....

St Thomas Rest Park, Crows Nest
100319 Friday Lunchtime STRP
I know that cemeteries might not be the most exciting place to go... but I just love my local "Rest Park" even sketching the same view over and over is nice.

But most of all the nicest part is the fact that I am out for a break, in the sun, in a park and splashing around some watercolour paint. I know it is not ideal to be sitting in the full sun but it is amazing how much more colour you see in your palette when in direct sunlight


100318 Lunchtime-Fountain
in the main plaza at Crows Nest.
100317 Lunchtime Sketch
Another quick one - always rushing to get back to the office since I don't go out till half way through my lunch break!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Masterpieces of Paris Tips and Thoughts

Took me 50 minutes from hereIt took me 50 minutes to get in from here on Thursday morning.

Tips that I gleaned for visiting the Masterpieces of Paris exhibition in Canberra.
-Be prepared to stand in a queue for a few hours – bring food, water, hat, umbrella,... and lots of patience
-Be prepared to enjoy the art with lots of other people- 3-4 rows at time. The most crowd was around Van Gogh’s starry night
-Afternoon is better than morning ( a LOT of people get there well before opening time)
-Monday – Thursday is even better
-If you really want to see the art but just don’t want to stand in a queue – go straight into the gallery general enquiry desk and spend $50 to become a member. You get a free ticket and they let you straight in.
-Parking is a problem. Both days I was in the precinct, I parked in the Portrait gallery carpark before 10am– it fills up very quickly from 9.45 when it opens but there did seem to be some movement at 2 pm when I left. The problem with parking here is that you have to get your ticket validated from the front desk of the Portrait gallery and it closes at 5pm – so no good if you plan to stay at the NGA for its extended hours
-Food in the area is limited – if you want to sit down for a civilized meal or coffee plan to eat outside peak times – otherwise more queuing!

Other comments which are purely personal...
-I can never decide whether to get the audio tour or not – I like to know what they say but never feel like listening to them on the day. I normally prefer to go painting to painting and experience them for myself. The great thing about this exhibition is that all the paintings are online... As well as the audio tour. I listened to the audio tour the night before and got all the background and tips before I went.
-As I had a sneak preview online, I knew that the period was POST impressionism – and therefore was not surprised that the last 2 rooms were a lot less interesting then the other ones.
-While I understand all the hype – and considered this exhibition worth making the effort to go to Canberra to see it – it was NOT the best exhibition that I have seen. Since I got home, I realized that there was another exhibition of masterpieces from Musee d’Orsay in 2004 at Melbourne. This exhibition which spanned a wider range of Pre to Post impressionist, was better, in my opinion. It had more impressionist paintings and less of the post-stuff - Nabis and Symolism etc. and BTW Starry Night was part of this exhibition too. So the claims of being the biggest and best, might be technically true, but I think a bit misleading!
-I have been to Musee d’Orsay in Paris and although we didn’t have much time there I have wonderful memories of some of the paintings that I saw there – only two of these were in this exhibition...so the exhibition was great to see them again plus more!!!
So yes, the exhibition was wonderful!!!

But the biggest tip of all... Next time there is a big exhibition in Canberra I am going to plan to go and see it early and not leave it to the last month!!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Canberra - Day 3

Had a lazy start which resulted in me not feeling like doing much. There is so much to do in Canberra..I wasn't sure what to do on the final morning. I also was dreading the 3.5 hour drive home in the afternoon (I am much more enthusiastic about driving in the morning).
Canberra03_01 NMA Hall
SO decided to spend a few hours at the 'crazy museum'- National Museum of Australia. Got a coffee (which I DIDN'T draw) in the entrance hall and sketched this view and then finished some of the pages from the previous two days.
Better do another sketch... (BTW, not bothered to go into the museum itself!)
Canberra03_02 NMA Courtyard
This is a view of the crazy outside of the building... yeah,, wasn't really in the mood this morning.... it should be fun to draw something like this!
Canberra03_03 Lakeside
Was about to just start driving home... and then thought that I should go one more place and do one more sketch... so went lakeside and drew the Carillon (gift from the British Government to the people of Australia) and Black Mountain tower... ok... time to head home now!
Great 3 days sketching - though sometimes I wish I could take it easy!!!

Canberra - Day 2

Canberra02_01 NGA Cafe
They had run out of the exhibition catalogue - so I had to go back the next day. But I wanted to anyway as didn't see much of the general collections of the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery and inside the High Court.
Enjoyed walking past the exhibition queue (MUCH longer) and straight to the cafe!
Canberra02_02 NGA General Collection
Wandered around a bit - tried to do a quick sketch standing up and then wandered some more. Found a great exhibition on contemporary Aboriginal art - this proved to be the inspiring moment of the trip. I have never really been that interested in it before, but since I am now into pattern, I suddenly got excited by the colour and textures...

I drew these 3 hollowed logs as the only memory I have of the first visit to the gallery (apart from seeing blue poles by Pollock) was going down a ramp with all these painted logs, didgeridoos etc. I was very naughty and managed to paint this inside the gallery - hiding the paints on my lap!!
Canberra02_03 HCA Court2&Front
Next I went to the High Court.. made a mess of my sketch of the interior of the court and worrying about not making any noise (my pencil sounded so loud!!) Was interested in the 3 forms of natural light. A very interesting space. The Court 1 was great too but didn't have time to sketch
Canberra02_04 HCA Foyer.
Ok... enough of architecture... time for a special afternoon tea experience....
Canberra02_05 Hyatt Afternoon Tea1
Canberra02_06 Hyatt Afternoon Tea2
Not sure that I need to say much about this....except that I didn't eat all of those cakes on that plate!
The central space is so amazing - too complex to do a quick sketch so I did this combo. It got me thinking that i should try to develop a technique for recording spaces as complex as this. Le Corbusier elements came into my head while doing this.I might do some research and follow up sketches.
Canberra02_07 MtAinslie
Mt Ainslie- One of the best spots in Canberra - great overview of the city and so peaceful. Quick sketch and then time to collapse for a bit before going out to dinner!

Dinner with friends... all I did at the time was a few seconds outline of the almond covered prawn and then was sociable for the rest of the dinner. Added paint later. Also wanted to draw a map each day but a combo collage this afternoon back home was all I could achieve!
Another long day!

Canberra Trip- Day 1

Just back from three days in Canberra... I did 19 spreads in 2.5 days is about my usual pace isn't it? Will spread it over three posts.

The reason for the trip was to see the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition- but I took a few extra day for general sketching. Unfortunately my friend had to pull out so I was on my own (more sketching!)
Canberra01_01 Journey
Left early (really early for me) as I had heard about terrible queues at the art gallery.
This page was a bit of a warm up (I am not good first thing!)
Canberra01_02 NGA Paris Exhibition
I will write more on my impressions of the exhibition and the queues and some tips I picked up separately. But I was thankful to only wait ofr 50 minutes and for it not to be too crowded inside. Some wonderful artwork and I am glad that I made the effort - but next time I want to see something in Canberra I will come early in the exhibition period!
Canberra01_03 NPG Entry Hall
One of the major problems with some many people turning up for one exhibition in this precinct of hte city is that the food options are limited and CROWDED - so while waiting for 'after-lunchtime' I visited the new portrait gallery - very nice building and I sat in the entry hall to sketch.
Canberra01_04 NPG Portraits
Checked on the cafe queue -it was worse!!! So time to wander the galleries. I told myself that I ought to sketch some of the portraits... at least I tried...
Canberra01_05 NPG Lunch
Ok... I am a LOT more comfortable drawing tea and food (but you all know that!)...even if starving and starting to fade. I felt worst (tiredness) this day that I normally do on my first day of an overseas trip when I am just off a 24 hour flight! Go figure??
The orange background was from the bag of the NPG shop - I did intend to use it as collage but sometimes it is just easier and quicker to draw it - BTW orange seems a popular colour (well in this volume anyway!)
Canberra01_06 NPG Exterior
It was a BEAUTIFUL fresh sunny day of 20C - perfect for sitting in the sun sketching - which is what I did next. Had a lovely chat to an architecture student in the middle of hte sketch. I was too tired to attempt the extreme perspective that I was actually looking at (directly looking into the sun too)
Canberra01_07 HCA Lakeside facade
Next, with my little sketching stool, I sat on the lawn in front of the lakeside facade of the High Court building and sketched this. I loved these buildings as a teenager - and now looking at them as an architect for the first time (I haven't been to Canberra much in the last 20 years...) love them even more! Somewhat Brutalist and with too many 45 degree angled walls.. but so well done!!
Canberra01_08 Dinner Map
After checking in to my B&B and went out for a very early dinner, drew a quick sketch map of my days wanderings (thanks to google maps on my iphone) and then turned out the light at 8.30pm!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

100310 EDM 260 Draw your filled suitcase

100310 EDM260 Draw your filled suitcase

Pretty boring subject when everything is neatly packaged! I am not a very good packed (always want to take too much even for two nights) so exciting that I still have a wee gap in my suitcase! Another one that I rushed....

Better get back to it... see you in three days time!

I might do some iphone posting to my flickr - so keep an eye on that if you want
http://www.flickr.com/borrominibear/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

100309 The full kit?

100309 The full kit?

The other half of my stuff... already thinking of making some adjsutments...
Not shown is ny travelling ink pot!

ALso in response to flickr questions....
100309 My current paint tin
As much as I love drawing it... sometimes photos tell the story better (though you can't quite see the blu-tack holding the pans in place.) Thanks to Fred's scrachings for the idea to remove the clips and add more colours!

I like to keep my palettes as clean as possible and try to mix the various colours in the same place all the time (when I was travelling I actually mixed a tiny bit of colour in each spot after I had cleaned it so that I worked more consistently - dont need to do that these days - it is a habit now)
100309 Colours_ but might change

One thing for certain whenever I post something like this I also shortly after make a change....

Monday, March 8, 2010

100308 Mini Trip Prep 2

100308 Mini Trip Prep 2
Frustrating computer evening so I rushed this sketch big time... still have to decide on what art supplies goes in the 'other' bag and what the absolutely minimum I will be carrying when queuing and fighting the crowds at the Paris Masterpieces exhibition in Canberra on Thursday...so more to come!

Update: Full kit here

100308 A new book and another title page

100306 New book New Title Page
Another new sketchbook means another one of these pages... have I ever told you that I love doing these?? Aren't all those colours so yummy!
I am back using my W&N set (in my Schmincke tin - as it has three sections in the top lid) and this is a combination of W&N pans and tube paint and a few Daniel Smith - so the amount of paint in the pan is not necessarily a sign of how much I use that colour - though in the case of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna is it!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

100306 Family Gathering

Had a family gathering today at my cousins new house with an amazing view. I just had to sketch it quickly even though I was being a touch anti-social - I didn't add colour at the time as the sun was behind a cloud but then made a mess back home- my noodlers ink did a huge smudge on me.
100306 Family Gathering View
100306 Family Gathering Venue
I kinda wanted to sketch the house by going down to the street sketching - but of course didn't want to miss a moment of the action catching up - so have attempted this from a few photos my dad took.

100306 Random Bits

100306 Inside Cover
I will finish this book today and then realised that I didn't scan it.
A bit crazy...
100306 Test Sketch

I went to order another 10 of the Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbooks that I have used for the last year only to be told that the 6 they had in stock were the last one - changed suppliers but "exactly the same paper' I was told. They gave me a sample to trial (very nice!) and although the paper is slightly different I am very thankful that it looks like it will work the same. Big sigh of relief!

Friday, March 5, 2010

100305 Mini Trip Prep and Banister

100305 Mini Trip Prep and Banister
I am hoping to go to Canberra for a few days next weekend and therfore in true Liz style am trying to sneak some research (architectural research) in before I go. So this is my Friday night relaxation.. and hey I looked up Banister and he has a great one line quote that I could add.I love books that are full of single poetic sentences that one can quote directly. Freeland History of Australian Architecture is such a book - wish I had a copy (borrowing one at the moment!) Unfortunately this book was written before these buildings.

I absolutely loved these buildings as a teenager when they were brand new, and also thought they were still ok when I was at uni. In fact we did an assignment on these two buildings - can't remember what subject it was for. It seems that I didn't mind off form concrete as a child (a sign that I was destined ot be an architect?) - see another even more brutalist building here!

Also - I started to draw the plan of the National gallery but decided not to - so in lazy Liz style I have left the pencil outline there!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

100304 Another idea of mine

... I am full of ideas and projects and things I want to do...
100304 Another idea of mine
This isn't really a serious sketch but more of a doodle to test out an idea I have been thinking about and trying during my morning work sketches. Specifically for interiors (though could be used for anything) rather than try to draw a perspective and literal view to make a composite view of the various elements - either in sketch, elevation, plan to describe the whole in a more technical and yet freer way. This is the first time I have done it in a historic interior (from "the Enlgish Country Home"). I could see that this could work really well when wandering around a historic house.

So much for doing housework tonight!

100304 Borromini and Banister plus a new bag

Random Page from the last two days.
100304 Borromini and Banister plus a new bag
To quote from my flickr friend Ed "well, it's about time you got yourself a copy of Banister Fletcher. . . you of all people. . . ;-) " so I thought I better draw it - though all black cover with gold lettering too much for me so I did a bit of photoshop trickery.

Also my first zazzle product arrived today - I have plans for more exciting products.... let me know if any one of you particularly wants to see something. I have some plans for my famous gelato sketch and one or two of my paris sketches.
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