I am away at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Brazil for a few weeks!
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
My main aim in my travel sketchbooks is NOT to produce perfect sketch after perfect sketch but to tell the story of my adventures and capture 'the moment' which (somewhat tragically!?! )is resulting in me trying to sketch everything I do!
A few thoughts...
- I hardly need to say that the Urban Sketchers Symposium was AMAZING! It was an overwhelming 3 days of inspiration and meeting other wonderful artists, talking non stop (for me!) and trying to sketch non stop... as such I am somewhat amazed at the amount of sketching that I was able to do
- A little ambitious was my intention to make sure that I recorded every days event with a map... non of these for my stay in Lisbon got done at the time so this has generated quite a lot of work since I have got home.
- I wanted to include more collage in my sketchbook and did manage to achieve it this trip. I did find that it was always better to stick down the item before I started sketching - hence I got into some strange habits such as ripping up the placemat before the meal arrived.
- The collage/map/as-many-notes-as-possible approach this year was somewhat experimental and I think that some pages (in particular my opening spread for each day) are too crowded...so my conclusion is that to add maps and collage I should leave MORE white space as I am sketching through the day... leaving an entire spread for the map would have been better.
Here is every page in a single image too - if you prefer to look at that- click to go to flickr to view larger.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
well in fact... BEFORE the beginning of my trip. Can you remember back to the crazy days of my trip prep book?
Well even CRAZIER than that (which had a very practical purpose) was the idea I had of starting my trip sketchbook 4 days before I left...in order to get into the swing of the format of the book and to carry part of my life with me overseas. Well those two aspects were nice...but it was rather silly to put the pressure on myself to do maps and record my days just before I went away.
I can't believe I did it to myself. But...now I feel that the record of these days are VERY special indeed. Here they are in 'combo' form!
The other thing that is quite fun is how you can make a normal day into an adventure if you are imaginative enough!...but of course these days were just not any old normal day for me....
Monday, August 29, 2011
My final day in Lisbon....
partial map of my exciting last day.
The small sketch is a delightful tea cosy - present from Cathy Gatland... thank you Cathy I love it and am putting it to use - will sketch how when I get a moment....
Also... Sunday was my usual day off sketching and I caught a ferry to Seixal to go to a great local church... I will include these pages in the Issuu edition that I will shortly make of my Lisbon sketchbook
Totally out of control before breakfast....
read the text to find out how I managed to get out of control with sketch buzz before 8am! The coffee and sugar might have contributed but I think the fun of sketching standing up at the counter and then rushing an architecture sketch were the main reasons!
Belem with the Holmes.....amazing day with Marc Holmes and his wife Laurel at Belem... home to a number of must-see's (must-see equals must-sketch)
I actually did this sketch of the doorway after the following one of the main facade... it was a very hot day so sketching in the sun had to be quick!!!
This was number 1 must sketch ....Jerónimos Monastery. Amazing architecture. Sadly it was closed on Monday...but we didn't have time to go inside ... have to leave it for next visit!
Pasteis de Belem - This was number 2 must sketch... the original and best Portuguese tarts...need I say more. Pity the tea was only Liptons and no earl grey (of course I should have had coffee but I was afraid of the impact that another coffee would do to an already over stimulated Liz!)
Torre de Belem
This was the third must sketch... very difficult conditions to paint in... I have never experienced watercolour behaving like this before. Hot day!
Final Belem Sketch
One more sketch - a quick sketch....
Thanks to discussion with Marc, I was really beginning to see and understand the amazing light and warm reflections from the pavement... but I just didn't know how to get this effect with my watercolour. Couldn't get the sky either....
time to catch the tram back to Lisbon...I was flying out that evening.
Final Lisbon Sketch - The CLASSIC view
I turned down the offer for a nice cup of day at that great tearoom I visited on day 1 for one more sketch.... I can drink tea anytime but to stand on Elevator de Santa Justa in roaring winds was something that I could only do then....
Quite crazy really but I LOVE extreme sketching....
Final FINAL Lisbon Sketch - Rossie Square
Really wanted to do the view of Rossio square AS WELL... Marc was doing such a great job of it.... SO... I had to scribble and splash something out... I think you can see the 'out of control-ness' in my linework.
Within 15 minutes of finishing this sketch I was in a taxi on the way to the airport...
From Lisbon to Cardiff via Bristol(I arrived in Cardiff at 2.30am...friends picked me up from Bristol at 1am!)
still sketching at the airport and on the plane.
I just realised that as I had a portuguese tart for breakfast, 2 at Belem (even though I didn't draw both of them) and then this one... I had FOUR in one day! Oh Liz!
On that note...I sadly complete my Lisbon sketches....
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I decided to give the Stillman & Birn sketchbook a go (the one we got at the symposium) Mine is curious... has the logo embossed on the back( upside down) and the spine has been hacked somewhat... ah! imperfections make a thing special!
For all you fellow palette junkies out there... this is what I have decided to start with in my new schmincke square tin... I think that I am going to enjoy having some full pans!!!
And finally for today...
ok... here is the first page of my Still & Birn sketchbook. I did a page like this before... they are very fun and relaxing (this is slow neat Liz in action which doesn't happen that often these days!)
So this is an image of my three current paint tins. The top 3 rows represents the set I took overseas, the next four the squre schmincke set and the final three the extra schmincke set (that I didn't need to buy but it was so cheap)
Now what am I going to do with 3 sets????
Wasn't the nice day that we had hoped for - foggy and then glary overcast so not the best light...but still it is lovely to roam around the island which was very empty today. I seem to be able to include the harbour in most of my sketches today!
Fire hydrants in Sydney are generally underground (except for the big fire booster pump assemblages) but here on the island there are single hydrants everywhere - so this is for Pete Scully... sadly I don't think that these are inspiring enough for him to ever include Sydney on his world tour of exciting cities with interesting fire hydrants.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Perspective is such hard work... really need to have a cup of tea and a good scone(or two) at the same time.
Hyde Park Barracks by Francis Greenway
St James Church by Francis Greenway - the oldest church building in City of Sydney
Then I came home, sat in the sun and had an afternoon nap!
trying to work out if I can wear my new bangle when out sketching... I didn't wipe my brush on it once. BTW for those that don't know I use the black wristband to wipe my brush while sketching.
I am enjoying adding my collage to my sketchbook... it means that I know have a place to put cards etc... it is just keeping up with it all. Got to do a page from my parcel from Ea now!
And finally this evening...
As some of you have already seen I bought TWO new paint tins when I was in London!! So this afternoon/evening I finally got a moment to have a look at what paint was in the sets and how to put together a set to trial them. I primarly bought both sets because the price of the set with paint was cheaper than an empty tin would be in Australia and I love the schmincke tins.
After making a deciosn of the colours to start using (I am sure it will change) I had to do a trial sketch...a cup of tea and some architecture of course (this timeRegency style in honour of Francis Greenway who designed St James and is considered the first Australian archtiect)
I cannot get over how special it was to get a parcel from my dear Urban sketching friend Ea who has made Borromini these amazing hats. If I wasn't laughing so hard at how cute he looks I would be crying from being totally overwhelmed! Thank you Ea!!! It was so lovely to meet her and hang out together in Lisbon - sadly we didn't get to drink tea together - but she did record BB's head measurements in her sketchbook!
Red hat - stylish
Red hat- hot day
Thursday, August 25, 2011
A few sketches from the other day.. more on my flickr
GPO building Martin Place, Sydney....been wanting to sketch this building such Dec last year....
Before I attempted the above sketch I sheltered in a lovely cafe outside the Museum of Sydney. Lovely tea but more importantly great staff. Always nice to chat to people when I am on my own.
Went into Kinokuniya bookstore and did buy a book (but only one!) and then saw this wonderful view from a window seat.- looking towards Town Hall.
Then a quick sketch looking back into the bookstore.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
110822 Sweet Belem Round 3,A NinaBrush and a Szaza handwritten letter, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.
Round 3 for the Sweet Belem Pasteis de Nata were takeway... we enjoyed them for afternoon yesterday before heading for church. As Sunday (the Lord's Day) is my day of rest I did this sketch tonight from a photo.
Today I got a parcel from Dick BLick which contained a convertor for my Art Pen (not shown) and another brush! I feel in love with the brush that Nina was using. A Da Vinci #12 (I think) I couldn't quite justify the expense of that so I got a #10. The free da vinc burshes I got in London were so beautiful that I got a Da Vinci #6 travel brush from Parkers Art last week and ordered a big one from the states(so much cheaper than buying it here) It is SO beautiful, soft and juicy but with an amazing point.
AND.... best of all I got an old fashioned handwritten letter from Samantha Zaza who is currently in Nepal (thanks to a random Facebook status that I responded to). When I was in highschool I used to have over 40 penfriends from around the world and wrote a few letters a week!
Just a normal day.....
A few photos from Saturday
A guilty smile... this is round 2
YUM YUM YUM!! BTW scones are considered a second rate option now!(can you believe I said that!)
Saturday, August 20, 2011
especially when I get an opportunity to have a quiet morning at home. Feel the need to go outside and sketch something natural and green... not the nicest weather when I was out there but still a nice bit of chill sketching....
HOWEVER... what better place to catch up with my dear friend... than Sweet Belem, home to "the best Portuguese tart' in Sydney.Yum!!! these are as good as any could be out of Lisbon (I have to qualify it like that so as not to offend all my dear Lisbon friends) My friend was so impressed that I didn't have to be the one to suggest we have another round...
Had a lovely conversation to the owner about Lisbon, Portugal and sketching. I hope she looks this up and then visits http://urbansketchers-portugal.blogspot.com/. This really made me feel ALMOST like I was back in Lisbon except for the fact that I was the only one in sight that was sketching!! And just for the record there is a round 3... I bought a takeaway box for the other members in my house!!!(to have with a 'proper' cup of tea)
Due to going away the day after my birthday..I am still getting presents. I am not one for making a fuss about birthdays so lovely to get more pressies.
Ok... more Lisbon sketching. This elevation sketch of the same building from last night is the best way I know to really understand and explore the details of a building. There are certainly some quirky details! I use the sketches on the left page to work out what is happening in order to draw the one on the right. Okay... enough sketching for a quiet day!