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


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday night craziness

111928 Luna Park- Just for fun
A quick visit to Milsons Point this evening- much needed sketching adventure after a crazy week....
Not sketching the opera house today!!!
Not sketching the opera house tonight? well....
111928 I ended up drawing the Opera House anyway!
just had to do a second sketch this evening...after all I couldn't only do 1 sketch in 45mins could I?


And Sketchbook 44 started
111928 Sketchbook 44 started

just another book started and another one of these title pages... but a few interesting comments (well it is interesting to me anyway!)
1. last daily sketchbook was completed in 22 days (my previous period was 5-6 weeks) and I have been extremely busy at work during this period....I just never stop!
2. this page was an exercise in how fast and loose and messy can I draw my boxes...
3. I used my squirrel brush that I bought in Lisbon (I call it my Omar brush as it is the same that he uses) and because it contains so much more water I was getting some interesting effects... I was purposely trying to be loose. I really want to use this brush more!!!!
3. shadows done with a grey pitt brush pen
4. I am REALLY loving using full pans.. this grid is based on my colour selections of the square schmincke set I bought in london (thanks again Paul!) it is a bit too heavy to take on location but is working great at home.'5. I htink I could ramble away all night .....

2nd video from USK Symposium in Lisbon

Via Flickr:
If you haven't already come across it online here is the link to the second great video from The Urban Sketchers Symposium in Lisbon by Patricia Pedrosa

Urban Sketchers 2 from PatrĂ­cia Pedrosa on Vimeo.


It includes a number of sessions that I took part in and the amazing sketchcrawl on the last afternoon with 100s of sketchers all together!

I feature a number of times in it - this is the more obscure 'feature' ...still painting during the group photo!(at 12:00)
Other appearance occur at
00:40 and 3:00 sketching with Tia (had no idea that we were being filmed) and then again at 10:00 (looking very serious... actually fragile after a little adventure visiting a local hospital)

If you missed the first video....

Urban Sketchers 1 from PatrĂ­cia Pedrosa on Vimeo.


I am interviewed in that one- from around 10:00 - talking and waving hands in the air around 11:00 (oh dear!)


Needless to say... these bring back many great memories and it is wonderful to have a record of so many of my friends in action!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

111027 Basket Case Baroque


twice in one evening is a bit of a worry.....

111027 My usual Barouqe sketching therapy


Just needed a nice little bit of sketching ‘bread and butter’ tonight and some uplifting words to think about at the same time.
This is an extremely famous building but I left off its distinctive feature- does anyone know what it is?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

111024 Summer Frocks

111024 Summer Frocks by borromini bear
111024 Summer Frocks, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.


Today being a hot day 34C was the first day of my wearing a summer ‘frock’... I love the word ‘frock’ - it is so delightfully old fashioned....and as I have been told before I am a bit of an old fashioned girl.

So of course, with the hot weather, my mind today thought about sewing... In the past few years I have gone from having NO fabric to having quite a collection and also a number of similar (but significantly different) patterns. In recent years I have started to make my own dresses as the short strappy dresses in the shops are not to my liking, nor are suitable for my fair (highland Scottish fair) skin(the Australian sun is SOOOO vicious!) nor are they necessarily suitable for sketching(very very important!). I also now sew secret pockets into the dresses so they are suitable for travelling... Not that I am planning an exciting trip at the moment... Hmmm, WHERE am I to go over my summer holidays at Christmas time.

The fabric swatches at the base of the page are VERY loose interpretations... Now the big decision is which fabric to cut out first (and what pattern)...

My ambition this summer is to be able to wear a dress every day (actually, I can already do that ...but I want some more sketching dresses so I can go out cool and comfortable in the heat!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sketches from Saturday

111022_01  Morning at T2
111022_02  Morning at T2 View
my morning in T2 and then
111022_03 Balast Park Birchgrove

......afternoon at a new-ish park in Birchgrove. Although I do like the park it was hard to find an inspiring view to sketch. (I did another 3 sketches which I was not happy with)

111022_06 Birchgrove Houses
111022_07 Birchgrove Street View
Finished the afternoon off with some house sketches from my car on the way home.

Quick trip to Melbourne

111020 Melbourne Work Trip 01 _Flight Down


111020 Melbourne Work Trip 020Dinner at Grossi Florentino

111021 Melbourne Work Trip 03_ Cumulus Oolong

111021 Melbourne Work Trip 04-Flight home

Here are the sketches I managed to fit in during a work trip to Melbourne on Thursday and Friday... constant meetings but one nearly always gets a chance on the plane...and meal times...ah! the food is so good in Melbourne. And yes, I found a WONDERFUL tea and I did also get a good Melbourne coffee.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Familiar Shoes!!!!

Familiar Shoes!!!! by borromini bear
Familiar Shoes!!!!, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I knew it would happen one day... today was the day...but it turned out to be more amazing than one would expect!

I was sitting in T2 sketching and someone came up and asked "Are you Liz?"

She then explained that she knew my work ...and not only that but she was friends with Wil Freeborn! I immediately looking down at her legs and said ...I have seen your legs before.... (see sketch below!!!) and in fact she is wearing the same shoes!!! How amazing is that!!!!

Urban Sketchers certainly makes the world smaller!
(I will post my sketches later!)


Click here to see Wil's wonderful sketch from earlier in the month

Monday, October 17, 2011

111017 People Palette

111017 People Palette by borromini bear
111017 People Palette, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

....Some more exercise in drawing people...practice practice practice. I drew this very quickly and living with the consequences...I really do love sketching from this crazy book - lots of variety of faces! Next time I will attempt to do a few less but be a little more careful.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sketchcrawl 33 - A solo effort at home

Need to have a day at home today so here is what I got up to with my sketchbook!
111015 Sketchcrawl 33_01 Colorbon roof extensions and solar panels
Visions of Suburbia....Colorbond Roof extensions and solar panels. Unlike the extension I posted the other day, this one retains the scale of the existing californian bungalow. We are the only ones (from tour battleaxe block) who really see the new shining roof.
111015 Sketchcrawl 33_02 A tea crawl
A few people have wanted to see me do a colour chart of the different coloured teas I have been drinking in the last 2 weeks... I thought I would sketch the cups as well. I am so OVER drawing tea cups as a result of doing this today!
BTW these are my 'everyday' cups

111015 Sketchcrawl 33_03 Hills Hoist and Lap&Cap
An afternoon reading in the garden.... here is the accompanying sketch. Hills Hoist and Lap and Cap (another Australian suburbian legend!).
111015 Sketchcrawl 33_04 Oh no! Another new pen!jpg
Josu from Spain (Basque Country to be exact) recently got a pilot parallel pen and did some amazing things with it. I resisted the urge for a week or so... but after seeing this sketch I weakened. It is a calligraphy pen and delightfully unpredictable (at the moment till I get the hang of it)
111015 Pilot Parallel Pen Test
Here is the first test that I did with my new pilot parallel pen. BTW, I discovered that if you scan your sketchbook so that the movement of the light is perpendicular to the gutter of your book, there are no nasty shadows. (this is my Stillman and Birn sketchbook) HOWEVER it means for me scanning each page separately and joining in photoshop...so I would bother except for important scans. Also I seem to get better scans if I scan to tiff format and then save as jpg to upload.

Friday, October 14, 2011

111014 Back to black!

111014 Back to black! by borromini bear
111014 Back to black!, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.


the end of my black tea detox... read my comments to see the surprising results.... the fact that it tasted different is a sign that the period of my deprivation was long enough. Going to try to remain drinking herbals and greens (and maybe reds)
090110 Solo Sketchcrawl 02
Haven't sketched this special cup very much(as it is very challenging!) - I am not sure I have drawn it since Jan 2009! - shows how much my style has changed over the last few years! ( i used to be addicted to cross hatching!)

Town Hall Sketching

111013 Sydney Town Hall full spread
I was in town yesterday afternoon and had a chance to do some more sketching of the Town Hall - which is one of the most complicated buildings in Sydney. While not Baroque it is in the grand Victorian Second Empire style and reminds me of sketching the Louvre.
I was intending to do a more detail study of the architectural features since it is very complex but in the end decided to do a quick perspective sketch. After an amazing discussion on my flickr this week, one would think that I would try to put into practice the technique we were discussing... but no, I was too lazy!!
If you are interested the discussion was about how to draw perspective when the vanishing point is off the page (it gets a little complicated so not for the faint hearted) However, the discussion prompted Gerard to share a magic trick of his- so make sure you check that one out!
111013 deck chairs
I was surprised to find the square adjacent to the town hall (Sydney Square) filled with colourful deck chairs. It is part of a project called Chairs in Squares which aims to encourage people to take time out, mingle and relax in underused public spaces.Having movable comfortable chairs is not something that is normally found in Sydney- this too reminds me of Paris and those great green reclining chairs scattered through the parks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A special package!

111011 A special package

Some of you might remember that I got a unique sample sketchbook in my goodies from the Urban Sketchers Symposium. My Stillman & Birn sketchbook had the logo embossed on the back( upside down) and the spine had been hacked somewhat (see below). Well Michael from S&B found my photo and it turns out I got a sample copy that they used to test the imprint (how special is that!?) and that they would send me out a replacement. Well it arrived today PLUS a second (larger!) sketchbook... now how extra special is that!?!

Not only that, but Michael noticed that I was used to white paper so he sent me one form the Alpha series (same quality as the ones we got in Lisbon) but with white paper.

A huge thank you to Michael and Stillman & Birn!!!!My S&B sketchbook

Saturday, October 8, 2011

111008 Spring Sketchabout and sketching about....

Sketches from a fun and fairly productive day- at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and with the Sydney Sketch Club...

111008 02 St Marys Combo

my warm up sketch beforehand. I have decided that at sketching events I will try to sketch before and afterwards rather than sketch and talk when with others...ie. just talk! and have more time to look at other peoples work.
111008 03 Spring Sketchabout 2 Folly
Second Spring sketch about we went to the Australian native garden.. great fun and great group of sketchers!
111008 04 Spring Sketchabout 2 Natives
111008 05 Spring Sketchabout 2 Lunch

111008 06 Art gallery afternoon tea
ran into new friends in the art gallery
The what if card was a free postcard. I didn't like one of the questions on it so cut it out and then added another one . I didn't have my sticking tape with me so draw the portrait holding the card in place. We then thought it looked better placed off set.
I am very excited that I am starting to draw people across the table now... very hesitant with my linework and afraid to look at them properly but practice practice practice!!!

111008 07 Art gallery bits
quick museum sketches
111008 09 Final sketch
Final sketch of the day

111008 Please humour me a little

this is not just another cuppa sketch...notice the colour of the tea... enjoying Earl Grey green tea!?! (something I never liked before)

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is inside my bag?

111007 What is in my bag tonight

Well most of you know about the great bag I discovered just before I went overseas in July. Well, it is working great and I am absolutely loving the fact that I never have to do a handbag swap and it is always ready to go.
Inspired by Inma's bag contents drawing I had to do one myself. "Shoes and Bags' is the Spanish Urban Sketchers weekly theme and as I am an 'honorary' member and just so happened to have a copy of the Eyewitness Guide to Spain and a copy of a CD of John Williams playing Spanish Guitar music... I thought I should join in!
BTW...and just for the record....I haven't revealed absolutely everything in my bag...and a few items are suitably vague. If you are interested in the art supplies in the front two pockets an old photo is here and a new sketch is here...but even that is slightly out of date.
BTW2...I have never drawn my keys... that would be fun. I will put it on my list.
BTW3... I am NOT planning a trip to Spain at the moment...but now that my copy of this book has finally been returned maybe I should start!?!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interviewed on The Artling

Interviewed on Artling by borromini bear
Interviewed on Artling, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.


I feel very honoured to have been interviewed by Jan Allsopp on her wonderful new blog on figurative drawing - The Artling.
the-artling.com/artist-interview-liz-steel/
What a privilege to follow on from an interview with Rick Tulka - Rick is in fact the reason that I met Jan. We live in the same state in Australia but our paths had never really crossed.... It just so happened that in 2009 we were both in Paris at the same time and both visited Le Select in the same week. Rick told me she was in town and we met up and sketched the rear of Notre Dame together!
Check out the interview and start following her great blog!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A big food sketching day!

On the table ..... Yes back at sweet Belem petersham

I should be too embarrassed to post ALL my pages from today... a bit too much FOOD! But I just had to go with Alissa when she proposed we visited Sweet Belem... notes on the pages should explain everything I got up to!

Working fast as I wanted my pasteis de nata while coffee was still warm
Working fast as I wanted my pasteis de nata while coffee was still warm
Guess where we were this morning

Now for the sketches....
111001 01 Home View
An early morning sketch - the big out of scale roof top extension to the house in front (I live on a battleaxe block) - it was a lovely single storey 'californian bungalow'.

Typical Sydney suburbia....

Now for the cakes....
111001 02 Sweet Belem1
111001 03 Sweet Belem View


111001 04 Glebe Lunch and Terrace Houses

Glebe - Sydney. Typical terrace houses from in inner city suburbs

More food sketching at home:
111001 05 Portuguese Afternoon tea at home

111001 06 Petersham Purchases
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