Online classes

Thursday, March 31, 2011

110331 Thursday sketches

110331 Dunrobin for lunch
In a restless mood today at lunch so drew something that I really wanted to sketch last year when I was in Scotland (running out of time and would have had to look directly into the sun at the time) Playing around with values and colours a bit here.

110331 T2 after a long break? (only a few weeks!)
This evening, I had a few chores to do at Macquarie Centre so decided to pop in for a cup of tea. Fell like I haven't been here for AGES!! The waiter (one that I have chatted to a lot- he is an architectural student in fact) without any prompting asked me if I wanted some scones with my tea. I said no! Had to explain about the gardens sketchabout and Tara tearoom (but at least they serve T2 tea!) I had forgotten how dark it was- so surprised that the colours weren't more of a mess when I emerged back into the light.

Monday, March 28, 2011

110328 Tea Cosies and Gothic Revival Revisited

I wanted to have another go at two sketches from Saturday... who cares if they wouldn't normally be included in the same sketch. After all if baroque and tea cups go together who says tea cosies and gothic revival don't as well?
110328 Tea Cosies and Gothic Revival Revisited
I find it quite hard to sketch in my normal 'go-for-it' mode when I have been talking too much or I am in the company of an artist that I REALLY admire! Both were the case on Saturday... chatting away to everyone and to John Haycraft next to me. So I decided to sketch the building this time - due to a headache at the present time it is rather more loose and scrappy than I had hoped for.
On the tea cosy side- as per last post, I have been struggling with sketching the multi coloured wool... so tonight I thought about how I should approach it beforehand (a novel concept for me!?!)

BTW, I am trying to keep my pans of paint in my palette nice and moist...and it makes such a difference to intensity of the colour on my page. Maybe this would help when using waterbrushes (a thing that I avoid whenever possible!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

110326 Tara Again!

I know this is rather repetitive... but I can't tell you howspecial it is to have Tara Tearoom to go to every week of the Sketchabout... I think this is my 5th week in a row! This time with Alissa in the afternoon.
110326 Tara again!!!
I must admit that I find multi colour wool knitted into tea cosies VERY challenging to draw with watercolour. It did not help that I was talking non stop! Poor Alissa!
Well, only one solution to my problem... I think that I have to practice sketching more tea cosies- don't you agree?

BTW1 Don't you love the random sizes of my objects...does it say something about the importance of scones in my life at the moment?

BTW2 I am MISSING T2 - feel like it is ages since I have been there (but it has only been a few weeks!)

Sketchabout 3

Sketchabout 3 - another wonderful afternoon despite the rain and windy conditions. I think approx 25 sketchers!
110326 Sketchabout3
But first some food....
110326 Sketchabout 3_1 Lunch
and then a building as warmup...
110326 Sketchabout 3_2 Restaurant
We headed to Government House which is within the bounds of the Botanic Gardens.
Today, I didn't sketch any plants- just food and buildings!
110326 Sketchabout 3_3 Government House
110326 Sketchabout 3_4 GovHOuse in the rain!
Photos of me sketching in the rain!!! Thanks to Rod for these photos!
110326 Sketching in the rain1
This was so much fun and I loved the out of control nature of having rain on my page as despite the umbrella the wind driven rain just kept landing on the page! And yes, that is the opera house in the background!

Friday, March 25, 2011

110325 What a week!!

110325 What a week
Started a new book this week and planned to have a catch up week getting other things wasn't expecting much sketching. Well, I was able to cross a LOT of things off my To Do list AND somehow managed to do a lot of sketching and note taking in my book. I usually do one or two extra pages each week that I do not post but here is the full set from this week!
And tomorrow is Sketchabout Week 3 - even though there is a chance of rain please come along - we have an exciting wet weather plan for tomorrow!

I have posted some on these pages on my flickr if you are interested.

110325 Lightbulb moment - process not product

I have had the intention of putting a post together about a light bulb moment I had 2 weeks ago...but after seeing Laura's post about a similar thing...decided now was the time to make time to record my thoughts.
110325 Lightbulb moment - process not product
Anyway, don't have time to type it all up but hopefully you can read my random comments. Basically... most of you probably know that I only started sketching and watercolouring from life 4 years ago (before then I couldn't use a paintbrush)... I used to tell people that I had no art training (which is true) but I then realised that my architectural sketching as a way of thinking/designing was my foundation.

I thought that it helped me with looseness and confidence with my linework but only 2 weeks ago realised that more importantly it has helped me to always enjoy the process rather than the end result. (aside: this might be also why I often write down what I am thinking or experiencing while sketching).

I haven't done much designing lately so the sketches on the left side are a little arbitrary design exercise. It was fascinating to be analysising my process, what I was sketching, what I was telling myself at the time and afterwards when I looked at the drawings I realised that it doesn't totally describe the journey I had gone through. Ok...starting to ramble....

A note on this spread - I scanned the sketches and added the block of colour in photoshop. On the right side I drew the gridlines (this is something that I seem to be doing a lot lately on my text pages- most of which I don't post online.

SO anyway the whole point... is ENJOY THE PROCESS and don't worry about the end result (learn from it and start the process again!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

110323 Venice Warmup

110323 Venice Warmup
A quick sketch I did today before attempting my final version of my first real commission.(I keep doing versions in the hope that I will be happy with one of them - also I have learnt a lot about how much more planning is need when working large!)

Naturally I had more fun doing this rough careless sketch more than my big work... but doing it first certainly helped me loosen up and enjoy working large more than I have done previously.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Calling all travel sketchers

Calling all travel sketchers
Ok... I have quite a collection of travel sketchbooks (17 to date in 4 years) as you can see above. But in talking to some sketchers on Saturday I realised that I do not have a collection of other peoples travel sketchbooks to inspire me and others.

So, please let me know if you have a flickr set - link to your own travel sketchbooks/journals ....or any other inspirational work, as I would love to have a look.

Also, I am particularly interested in sketchbooks/journals that incorporate collage (tickets, brochures, maps etc) with their sketches.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Garden sketchabout 2 - Sketches

But first...
110319 Tara Tearoom with a friend
I well and truly have found a new tearoom to call 'my own'! Love this place and am now sharing it with my friends.
Once again I had a big day- walked across the harbour bridge, morning tea and sketching in the gardens. (NO afternoon tea though today!)
110319 Sketchabout 2_01 New Sculpture
Warmup sketch before the start of the sketchabout - this is a brand new sculpture and very fun to draw. What was not so fun was the rain and the wind. I did manage to get the linework done sitting on my stool holding onto my umbrella - but the painting side was a bit too hard.
110319 Sketchabout 2_02 Palm Tree map
110319 Sketchabout 2_03 Yellow Bamboo
110319 Sketchabout 2_04 Rathbourne Lodge
My sketches from Sketchabout 2! Great turnout for a very wet day - 23 approx sketchers. We were given access to Rathbourne lodge and were able to sit under the verandah and sketch the courtyard. Not quite the options that we had last week but it was really nice to have most of the group together.

If you are in Sydney...PLEASE COME ALONG NEXT WEEK!! Even if it is raining - there is so much to see and sketch in our wonderful garden!!!!

Sketchabout 2- Photos

Another WONDERFUL Sketchabout at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. It rained all day so we were very happy that approx 23 sketchers made the effort to sketch today!!

110319 Sketchabout 2_04
110319 Sketchabout 2_01
110319 Sketchabout 2_03
110319 Sketchabout 2_02
So much fun! And what a wonderful group of sketchers!!
See you all next week!?!

Friday, March 18, 2011

110319 Out with the old and in with the new

Getting ready for my new book which I will start next week.
110319 Out with the old
Tomorrow is my last day in Vol 36. I hate coming to the end of a old book - there is so much of my life in it but once I make the switch I love the crispness of a new book. I didn't post the first page of my current book at the time so here it is- next to the title page for the new.
The 5 week period for these 120 page sketchbooks is becoming a standard for my daily sketchbooks - even when sketching a lot in my garden book (don't know how that is working - a sign that I am sketching more than usual at the moment)
110319 In with the new

Continuing with my tradition - I do try to mix up the layout and whether I record the colours or the actual state of my palette. Believe it or not there have been 6 (yes 6) changes to paint selection between the two! And BTW - I love the fact that in my own sketchbook, even though I am an architect, all pans do not have to be drawn equal or perfectly...oh! but you all know that already!

Ok - time to hit the sack and get ready for Sketchabout Week 2! I hope the ran stays away!

110318 This weeks sketchercise

As some of you know I belong to a great group called Sketchercise (the group that I am doing the postcard exchange with) - the idea is to combine exercise and sketching.
Ever since I came back from my big trip and have been overwhelmed by how complex normal life is and how much I want to achieve in the evenings after work I have been struggling to get back to visiting the gym 3 times a week.
110318 Sketchercise and a Scone-Gym Equation
Well I achieved it this week! Thanks to the desire to do very quick sketches in the car before I go to the gym and a wonderful gym-scone equation that I have developed. 2 visits a week means that I can have 1 scone, 3 visits means 2 I am sure going to enjoy my sconeS tomorrow! Amazingly the combination of these two factors have created a positive attitude to going to the gym.
BTW I have realised that I am a total SHOW OFF - I only display discipline when I make a big noise about 'quiet achiever' award for me! It is only doing what I ought to do so why the fuss! But despite my showing off - can it inspire you to go to the gym (or other exercise) 3 times next week!

These are not great sketches...but the sketches have achieved 'great' things. (there is a touch of Liz sarcasm in this sentence!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

110317 A strange mix and some painting questions

110317 A strange mix nd some painting questions

Putting two incidents from ones day can lead to a strange juxtaposition in my sketchbook. The vibrant colours of my palette and ageing sandstone gravestones was a bit of a challenge to tie the page together. What they have in common is I did both in extremely short period of time.

Now for two questions relating to painting
1. How do people deal (who use tube paint in pans) cope when you need a top up. As I carry and use my paints nearly every day I can see no alternative than to have two pans for every colour so that I can fill one up and let it dry for a few days before swapping- how long do you find you need for it to be dry enough to put in your palette.
I am thinking that I should start watering my paints every day with a light spray so that they remain nice and gooey! Even the Daniel Smith paints over time are hardening (didn't have this problem when I was in my big trip!)

2. Also, and more importantly I seem to be ruining the tips of my sable brushes - perhaps the wiping on my black wristband is one factor (a flick would be better), but mainly I think it is because I am painting with the tip rather than the body of the brush (only read this in a Charles Reid book a few months ago!!) As I am 100% self taught I sometimes realise that I have missed an essential tip. Would appreciate anyone tips on preserving the tip of the brush.

Make that three questions
3. I have a terrible habit of 'drilling holes' in my pans - perhaps I should try to pick up paint differently to avoid this?
110317 Random Trivia this week- handbags WIP
Also... last week I did some reading of old journals from 2 years ago - amazing to see the change in my sketching - but once again it is the random trivia in my life that i enjoy re-reading. So I am starting to do my 'weekly' pages of random stuff. Here is this weeks- WIP. I have a handbag desktop calendar(a different bag each day) and often think I would like to sketch one... this week I did a few. Obviously I will fill up with text by the end of the week.

Postcard For My Walk Exchange- No.2 from Katherine

A Postcard from Katherine Tyrrell

This month I received this LOVELY postcard from the colour pencil queen ­
Katherine Tyrrell from London! This is a sketch of a Bonnard painting that
she saw auctioned at Christies for 7.2M GBP ­ that is a lot of money! Poor
Katherine has had trouble with her feet lately and hasn¹t been able to get
out for a walk- so she sketched from a sketch that she did on a day when she
did walk a long way.
The colours in this postcard are gorgeous and I am so excited to have one of
Katherine¹s work for myself! Borromini loves it too!!! Thank you!!!

Katherine has done a great post about the sale and her original sketch on her blog here - please check it out.

This is part of a postcard exchange "A Postcard from my Walk" with a group of Sketcherisers. Please check out the blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

110315 Tuesday sketches and bits

110315 Wanted - Gym Motivation
Now how many of you knew that I used to be addicted to going to the gym?

I do not really portray a totally balanced view of my life by what I choose to sketch - to think that I have NEVER sketched my sneakers/sandshoes/trainers/joggers (whatever you call them) before.

Despite my recent lack of motivation in recent times I still go to the gym MORE than I visit tearooms - honest!!!!
Very loose sketching today!

Thinking about Japan
110315 Thinking about Japan
The only thing Japanese I could think of to draw was my Japanese teaset - so I had a cup of Gen Mai Cha Bancha while thinking about the recent and ongoing disaster in Japan.
The distorted teapot of my sketch is nothing compared to the terrible tragedy!

Nuclear Reactor Research
110315 Nuclear Reactor Research
I hate trying to learn things through what is explained in the media. So I have done some research to at least have a better idea of what cores, control rods, meltdowns really are.

Still makes me concerned about what is actually in Japan at the moment!

And finally a photo from Saturday
110312 Sketching on the harbour bridge

here is a photo of where I was when I did that last sketch on Saturday. One of the simple joys of my life in the last year is discovering that I can easily incorporate a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge into many of my social engagements.
I wasn't sure that the guard would like me sitting on my sketching stool but he didn't notice and unfortunately disappeared - otherwise I would have asked him to take a photo. As you can see it was fairly quiet at the time I was sketching.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Garden Sketchabout 1

Well today was the first of six Garden Sketchabout at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney as part of the Sydney Morning Herald Autumn of the Arts festival...and can I just say up front that it was WONDERFUL!!!!!
110312_01 Tara Tearoom again!
I was a little on edge with anticipation this morning so after a brisk hot walk across the Harbour Bridge in the sun at 9.30 I headed straight to Tara Tearoom for a morning cup of Barry's Tea. Alissa, strangely did the same!! If you haven't noticed I have found another tearoom to hang out in! I LOVE this place and the owner is SO special too! (not to mention the scones and the cosy collection...sorry I am a cracked record I know!)
110312_02 Sketchabout1 Lotus Pond
Alissa and I got to the gardens before 11.30 and shortly after arriving we found a sketcher already in action! She joined us in a 'warmup' sketch at the lotus pond.
110312_03 Sketchabout1 Bits
In true Liz-style I managed to sneak in a second warm up sketch before we went to meet up with all the sketchers at 1pm. What a great turn up - over 40 sketchers I think! This page also contains a quick sketch of a chinese lantern that I did while talking to a sketcher from England! I also love drawing maps of where I go each week and a business card of the restaurant from the afternoon tea which didn't fit on the upcoming page (too many cakes- but more of that later!)
110312_04 Sketchabout1 Under the tree
After an initial welcome the sketchers scattered all over the garden. I was doing too much talking (so out of character?!? NOT!) and found it hard to concentrate on sketching. It is occasions like these that training your hand to 'reflex sketch' comes in handy.
110312_05 Sketchabout1 Trees and City View
Another sketch from the same spot - funny I am always drawn to the built structures visible in the garden!
Sketchabout1_Sketchbook swap
Sketchabout1_Group Photo
We then had a wonderful session at the band lawn - meeting more sketchers, swapping sketchbooks and a group photo.
110312_06 Sketchabout1 Afternoon Tea
9 of us from the Sydney Sketch Club finished the afternoon with a special Sketchabout afternoon tea at the Restaurant. Do I need to say that we had a great time in many ways!
110312_07 Sketchabout1 Garden from the Bridge
Finally, for me, I walked back across the Harbour Bridge and sketched the gardens in context. this shows how important the garden is to the city of Sydney!

What a wonderful wonderful day - I am one hyped up but somewhat exhausted little sketcher now! And we do it all again next Saturday!

Friday, March 11, 2011

110311 Friday night and this week

Packing my bag for tomorrow's garden sketchabout.
110311 Getting ready for the sketchabout
Earlier in the week....
110310 Random Trees
Thursday night...random trees
Garden Sketchabout Sketchbook Title Page
I have a dedicated garden sketchbook which I have been using in preparation for upcoming Garden Sketchabouts
I wasn't sure what to do for the title page - somehow I wanted to include the logo and my sketching tools (keeping up my usual tradition). Since I first started this book the garden logo has changed and all of a sudden last night when I was about to go to bed I had an idea of how to combine the two...

You can see the logo here

On another, non -garden theme.... What is missing from my sketchbooks?
110308 What is missing from my sketchbooks?
..yes, sketches of people!!! I know, I know, I want to be more confident at drawing people and portraits but how can I possibly expect to achieve that without lots of hard (but fun!) work!

This is a small sketchbook (A6) that I know I should start using....I know I have a lot of other things on my plate at the moment but I just have to keep at it...(I mean start at it on a regular basis!) THis area of my sketching I am very guilty of not practicing what I preach!!!! Shame on me!!!!
110308 Spanish Steps Take 2
In response to Alissa’s comment on flickr on my previous sketch – here are the same people (plus a few more) sketched in my ‘usual’ style(ink only) of foreground people when I sketch a building. I started doing this when in Paris in 2009 when I couldn’t see the base of the buildings because of all those annoying tourists!
I do love doing those loose sketches but I just wish I could make them more realistic.... Practice pratcice!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In today's Sydney Morning Herald...

... there was a special lift out guide to the SMH Autumn of the Arts festival in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
100310 SMHSpecial
Inside there was a big ad and an article on the upcoming Sketchabouts. The ad contains my sketch and the article featured me!?!
100310 SMH1Ad
But what I would like to stress is that I am part of an amazing TEAM of sketchers- Wendy Shortland, Alissa Duke and Annie McMahon. We have been involved in the prep for this event together- Wendy and Annie have especially put a lot of effort in!
100310 SMHArticle
But most importantly we just love going to the gardens with our sketchbooks to sketch....So if you are in Sydney – please come along!!!

Click on images and go to all sizes in flickr to read the text