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Thursday, May 31, 2012

120531 Diet roast dinner

Via Flickr:
Well, wasn't quite up for a full day of my food diary today... but I did do dinner. Using a dark brown derwent artist coloured pencil today... hmmm, this has potential as an alternative to a graphite pencil!

It is VERY important to me to be able to develop sketching techniques that allow me to still eat my food while it is hot. So here is how I do it. (btw, silly photo of me in action is here... this was very hard as I was worried about spilling my soup!)

I have the advantage of being left handed with a brush and pen but use my fork in the right hand. So....

I normally draw a quick outline, and then if I need to cut my food up into bite size so I can eat my meal with a fork in my right hand.
If there is no need for me to leading the conversation during the meal, I will start painting while I am still eating - starting with significant colour first ie. in a stir fry I pick out the yellows or reds. If I am really hungry and/or talking this is all that I do before consuming the full meal. The rest I do from memory when I am finished my meal (but still sitting at the table)
When out with friends. I often take a reference photo (just in case) but I will always do the outline at the time.
Sketching when out with friends for Thai or somewhere that we have shared main courses is more challenging... I never make them wait ...but draw whatever I can and rely on memory.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

120530 Food Diary

120530 Food Diary by borromini bear
120530 Food Diary, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

Most of you know that I love to draw my food (not just my cups of tea and scones/cakes!) but some of you might not know that 4 years ago I drew everything that I ate for an entire month.
As part of a maintenance program after a serious weight loss diet, I was supposed to keep a written food diary. I thought that that was too tedious so I decided to draw and paint it instead.  The original food diary is here

I am totally convinced of the power of sketching - drawing what you eat is a great way to eat less... as all your time is taken up with drawing... A SKETCHING DIET!!!! (of course I must clarify that sketching has a limited sphere of power!?! but who would have thought it could help you loose weight!)

Anyway, with all the experimental stuff and extra things I have been doing lately, my normal sketchbook has been somewhat neglected (ie. I am not drawing in it every day!) so I thought I would try a few days of food sketching. You can see the experiments continue of this page... Mixing up how I drew my food/drinks during the day. I never sketch totally after the event so these have to be done very quickly even during my work day (a quick outline only takes a few seconds, a swipe of paint a few more while waiting for a file to open...etc) Sadly I didn’t make it through the day today (ie. Too busy to draw dinner) but maybe tomorrow I will be more diligent! I have also forgotten how to maintain the same scale throughout the day!

It is only 5 weeks till I go overseas again... So I am thinking that I might start doing some trip prep experimentation relating to sketching food ... I am not sure how I will do this... It is a vague idea in the back of my head! It has to do with mixing up of different styles on the one page.... I am not sure that this page has quite achieved what I had in mind... But hey, I love having fun and trying different things in my sketchbook....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

120528 Monday.....Brutalist Beauty

A little quick lunchtime sketching
120528 Brutalist Beauty

A little quick lunchtime sketching
A few thoughts from today’s 30 minutes sketching session at lunchtime ... is possible to have a quality sketching session (I just have to plan for it)
2. there are some great spots to sketch in Crows Nest... I am just guilty of wishing it was a little more interesting
3. I should use my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen more is SO much fun to use and QUICK!
4. one needs a plastic bag to sit on when sitting on the grass in winter !!
 5. sketching on sheets of paper means that I can sketch MORE as no need to allow for any drying times
6. if there are no Baroque building around(relating to item 2 above) a good Brutalist building is a good substitute
7. I should do this more often!
8. Will be back to this spot on the next available sunny lunchtime!
9. The other two sketches (refer previous post) didn’t quite work..but the ideas are there....maybe next time I should slow down a little
10. I love doing this (do I need to write, but I was in the mood for 10 points!)
120528 Brutal painting
Here are my other two sketches from lunch. I was using a synthetic travel 6mm flat brush which I got years ago and never use. It wasn’t picking up as much paint as I would like so I was not 100% happy using it. The top version didn’t come out as I liked because I was a wee bit frustrated with the brush... Similarly with the purple version ...I added the lines afterwards to hide the terrible paint edges... Ah, it is always so much fun sitting outside in the beautiful Australian sun in a late autumn day, looking, observing and making a mess with paint! I know what I want to do next time I get out here to sketch... Ah! But who knows...will my impulsiveness will let me stick to plan? (probably not!) BTW, I was totally ignoring any pressure to sketch perfect perspective today... It was all about having fun! And then went I got home.....
Ok! I am now very excited with something to read!!!!
 I am very excited... I have something to read I discovered this book on Amazon a little while ago - the first attempt to purchase it feel though (although they said they did international shipping the seller decided that it was too expensive to send to Australia.)The other copies were way too expensive... then a few weeks ago, I noticed the price had dropped and finally I got a copy. It has pages and pages (as opposed to 1 or 2 paragraphs) on the architecture of Sto Dgo - filled with line drawings, no photos. Now.... I just have to find to read it... as well as finishing Rem Koolhaas's Delirious New York.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

120526 Too much of a good thing... sketchbook vs loose pages

Had two visits in two days to my favourite Tearoom. The first visit was quality time with myself (thinking and sketching time) and today with a friend. 120526 Too much of a good thing?

Here are sketchbook pages from the 2 visits.

I have been doing a lot more sketching on loose paper lately... And I find it a challenge! Sketching on loose paper should in theory be less stressful than in a book...but for me it is harder. In my sketchbook is for me (as I never cut a page out) it is only ever for me. If I am not happy with the sketch I can add text, grids, collage, other elements to make it into a pleasing spread....or if a disaster I can cover it(but so I can still see it later) or temporarily tape pages together. Because it is in my book I am more likely to keep going with a sketch to make it ok.

When sketching on loose paper it is normally for a project or someone else and therefore there is pressure for it to be a ‘good’ one. If it doesn’t work (I often give up on a sketch too easily!), sure I could throw the page away but I want to keep and record every sketch I do as part of the journey, each is part of my life. I am thinking of getting a large A4 sketchbook to stick these ‘not good enough’ sketches in as a record and somewhere that I can write those all important notes to myself!

Lately, I have just been drawing on loose paper for the sake of it... And seeing what happens. I must say that I am REALLY enjoying working on A4 size! (I would love to use a A4 size sketchbook but the weight would be too much for me to carry daily!) I am finding that my sketchbook pages lately have been more sketchy as a result – they are more note taking sketches, while the A4 pages are more considered sketches

Anyway... Rambling away- hope making some sense....

Here are the A4 sketches done at T2.... 
 120526 T2 counter view 120525 T2 view

Friday, May 25, 2012

120525 An afternoon in the Veneto

An afternoon in the Veneto?... Well not quite...just doing various quick sketches using different techniques and media of Palladio’s tempietto barbaro (btw if I had another bear he would probably be called Palladio!) I have lots of things to try next time I get to go out on location sketching... Whenever that might be... Haven’t been out for a days sketching for 4-5 weeks now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

120522 Tea cup experiments and thoughts

A dump tonight... I have a few days off sketching and then I have a day when without trying I just seem to be sketching a lot.

This page (yes, more tea cups!) is a record of a couple of experiments I have been doing in the last 36 hours. You all know that I have been using pencil testing out on tea cups is perfect for me to review approaches. Not sure if the notes make sense....

I know that I should really try to do without my red setup lines... But this recent exercise has reminded me why I do it and how the security blanket of these thinking lines (which I often ignore) give my ink lines so much confidence. Using pencil has merged these two functions and I have found myself doing more sketchy (hesitant) lines with the pencil – this was strange.

All fun... No idea where it will lead me... (I think that I can safely say that I have got myself distracted tonight)

BTW – this page kinda goes from right to left (remember that I am a leftie)

St Barts perspective
On my Sketching architectre blog
120522 Sketchercising
And a ridiculously slap dash sketch before going to the gym tonight.... the main point of this sketch is that it was done in under 10 minutes and it has made me enthusiastic to go to the gym (this is a very worthwhile reason to sketch isn't it... regardless of the end result!!!)

120522 Sydney Suburban Scene

Been trying to get out for a lunchtime sketch (30 mins) lately and sketching on loose pieces of paper (this is a struggle as I wish I was working in my sketchbook!)
Today, I spent 20 minutes doing the 'planned' sketch (inklines but no colour) and I am not sure that it will turn out anything special... but just as I was walking back to the office this scene caught my eye and I just had to do a quick scribble with my pentel pocket brush pen.
Ah! what I love about sketching on location is that I never know what will catch my eye....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

120515 Randomness

120515 Randomness by borromini bear
120515 Randomness, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

Been involved in an online discussion this week on traditional artists sketchbooks (messy, scrappy, experimental and working type books which are really notebooks for studio work) vs the every page perfect sketch (sketchbook is the end) vs the illustrated journal (a record of the moment).

Although I do have a certain freedom in my book I sometimes refrain from jot down notes/scribbles because I am afraid of a messy page. Here is an example of a Liz-messy page which I often don’t bother to post. A collection of random trivial notes and small sketches. The architect in me wants to maintain a standard of neatness at all times – even my quick notes have to be ‘neat’...but having said that, if my writing is neat, I can live with the most scribbly sketches.

Just to clarify this is not a really messy page... it is just as messy as I am 'allowed' to be in my sketchbook... Also - I should add that at work, as an architect, I try to do everything - even my quick working sketches - at a standard of neatness that I can present it to a client. This is an IMPORTANT diligence that means I am working more economically and profitably...not having to waste time re-drawing things.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2 days in Melbourne

Two full on days in Melbourne for work (as usual) this is what I managed.

120516 Flight to Melbourne

The flight down - taking away my ink lines... I don't really enjoy plane sketch but I do it out of habit. Fills in a little time and a great way to at least get one sketch done.  It is amazing how different my painting feels (from my usual ink and wash) although it is exactly the same.

120516_2 Da Noi Dinner

Da Noi Dinner- South Yarra

An AMAZING dinner with the client - a Sardinian restaurant with a set menu (ie the chef just decided what to give us) Many antipasto dishes, then two 'mains' then a cheese plate and then some desserts.

I never have the courage to sketch in a work context... but as my sketching had recently become part of the conversation and my sketchbook passed around the table I thought I should go for it... AND funnily enough  a cup of tea shortly afterwards arrived on the table (followed immediately by some desserts) So here is my quick sketch done with sketchbook on lap, paint tin on table.After my 4.30am start, walking around site all day, I was somewhat tired...but my reflex action of sketching kicked in!  I didn't have my pen with me (so first time using pencil outlines under pressure)I added ink later and touched up n the flight home the next day)

120517 Melb to Sydney

Flight home

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loose Lines

120512 Loose Lines 3 & 4 Having fun experimenting with some different lines... for more please check out this post on my other blog

Friday, May 11, 2012

120511 NYC Researching

120511 NYC researching

Friday night and reading a very good book on Contemporary Architecture in NYC. Yes, I have booked to have a week in NYC in July and am determined to be a little more prepared than I was in 2010 (my first visit as part of my mega 11 week long service leave trip) Although I intended to spend this evening reading, I ended up sketching as well!

I don't draw very much contemporary architecture, I know... older stuff IS definitely more fun to draw! However I did enjoy doing these although I did want to do more looser versions. (I hope my beloved Lamy pen doesn't dry up with this recent neglect!)I also tried out some of those grey mixes I was playing with the other day.) I hope to explore and share some strategies for drawing skyscrapers in the coming weeks.

I really like the Copper Union building and was shocked to realise that I forgot all about trying to visit it in 2010. Has anyone been inside????

I am very interested in any non-obvious suggestions of things to do and place to visit. I have been a little overwhelmed by the number of good sounding tearooms I have been finding lately.
Last time I went to Pearl Art last time - any other art stores I should visit.

Lunchtime sketching - loose and splashy

Children's play area at St Thomas Rest park. I was trying to be as loose as I could be and also tried my hand at splashing - need to develop this technique.

Was thinking of Rome when I sketched this as I draw playground equipment in a park btwn Borromini and Bernini!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

120508 Quick inkless sketches

Is something wrong? This is the only sketch I have done this week...and I even had a day off yesterday (and no sketch!) ... no nothing wrong just got a lot on and need a break!
I never seem to leave myself enough time to sketch on my lunchbreak... so this was a 10 min exercise (the no ink continues) and I got some paint that evening so had to record it...even though it was past my bedtime!

Not 100% happy with the building sketch... but I am excited at this new urge to sketch without ink and looking forward to where it will lead me (or not!)

BTW Everyday in May has fallen away for me - last year I made it to Day 15- this year only Day 5. But in those 5 days I have achieved something... trying something new / different. (Different sketchbook size and no ink!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Current reading pile

Current reading pile by borromini bear
Current reading pile, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

Just to let you know that my trip prep is going to start soon... most of your know the reason for the top book on the pile... but the other ones?????

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

120501 Artists magazine June

During my fortnight of non-posting, I got a copy of the Artist’s magazine which included a little piece on me... It is always exciting to see your work in print and I feel honoured to be published again. Thanks to the USK connection for this opportunity.
Digital download:

Monday, May 7, 2012

ANZAC Day sketches

Still catching up - my sketches from ANZAC Day - 25 April. I spent the morning at home and then headed into town in the afternoon (after the march had finished)
120425_01 George St
I have sketched this building a number of times...I am done with it now! I had fun overlaying my working sketches of the details before doing the 'real' sketch. I must say, I do like drawing in different colour pens....
120425_02 Sydney Opera House
First attempt of 3 of the Sydney Opera House done on loose paper rather than my sketchbook
120425_03 Sydney Opera House2
Second Version. I am warmed up now but a little frustrated that my paper is not larger in size...
120425_04 Sydney Opera House3
Even more loose (and careless?) Splashing on the paint and really really wishing I had a larger pad of paper... I will try again soon.

120425_05 Townhall
Wasn't really in the mood for much sketching all afternoon flat out (like I normally do) so I ended up in Kinokkuniya bookstore roaming the shelves (and not buying anything)... the kids section has the best views of Town Hall and here is Town Hall. There was a staff member nearby so I didn't attempt any sneaking of paint... so decided to leave it B&W

120425_06 Japanese Dinner

Quick dinner before I headed off to my church for the Wednesday night prayer meeting. I am trying to do more cafe/restaurant interiors these days. Certainly more interesting than just food sketches.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

EDiM 05 Something sweet

EDiM 05 Something Sweet
Well, the ultimate opportunity to draw something for this today. 3 hours (yes, we were shocked it was 3 hours and not 2!) in Sweet Belem café with a special friend - 2 rounds of pasteis da nata – known here as Sweet Belem Tarts – first round with a coffee (drawn after I had drunk it...hmmm, am not that experienced at drawing coffees from memory) and then with an earl grey tea. Lovely to see the owners again (and have my photo taken!!)
Oh! Love these cakes so much!!!! Having one (or two) of them today and seeing the pictures on the wall of this café made me get a touch emotional thinking back to my trip to Lisbon last year!!

Combination of ink and no ink... Wasn’t concentrating on my drawing that much as I was trying to concentrate on my friend! I do feel like I am being rude but I AM listening and am thankful that my dear friend understands! - thanks V for a lovely morning!!!

Guess who got a wee box of goodies to takeaway???

Friday, May 4, 2012

EDiM 04 A present

Not surprisingly I have ‘a few’ tea- related presents!!! I started with the intention of simply sketching the lovely teapot given to me by Cris from Spain who I met in Lisbon (sadly had VERY little time with her then... BTW Thanks again Cris...I still can’t get over this gift!!!) and then I realised other things in the picture are gifts too – the wonderful tea cosy from Cathy Gatland, the gold and pink tea cup (mysterious Xmas present!) , the tea and of course the paint set (a gift to myself!!) Just for the record I have more tea related presents than these!!!

A number of thoughts...
- I seem to be in the mood for no ink to my sketches...this is radical for in-love-with-my-lamy-Liz that I am!
- I am spent a lot more time painting this page than I normally do and ... am well and truly in great risk of over doing it and achieving a murk!
- Using a 2B pencil... WOW! So out of character! (in recent years if I used a pencil it would be a wax pencil so no smudge... I hate smudge!!)
- I normally map out very quickly the outline/composition with my red pencil and then ‘properly’ sketch with I am finding it quite strange with a pencil only. I am carelessly doing the rough outlines and then realising that I should have been more careful as it is JUST the pencil this time.
- I am also in the mood for turning my book sideways...something I used to not want to do at all as it disrupts the flow when flicking through the book. Now I love the fact that I am forced to turn the page.
- Using pencil only for the sketch is causing my real grief when it comes to notes... It is wrong to use black ink. But I hate writing in pencil. This was a grey pitt pen...maybe I need to fill up a pen with Lexington Grey ink.

I am not sure that this makes sense... (as I said in my notes yesterday, I have realised that I write these primarily for myself as a record of the conversation I was having with myself at the time!)

See what a break from blogging does... I go into extreme rambling maybe there is a bit of an addiction there!!!

Every Day in May 2012 1-3

EDiM 00 Begins
Well it is time to catch up.. so I will start with my Everyday in May images so far.
For more about EDiM check out the flickr group here or facebook here

Started a new sketchbook (number 50!!! of my daily sketchbooks ie. not including the 30 odd holiday or special project sketchbooks) and on the first spread mapped out the month so I know when I have to do what when. I also (just fur fun) worked out which days I could get away with a tea related sketch... I might not do this!!!
Also please note I am using a different sized sketchbook- a square version of my standard Jasart Premium sketchbook. The smaller size will be a challenge!

EDiM 01_1 Landscape

EDiM 01 Landscape- take 1
First day, first attempt at doing something different... and not at very happy with the result. Because it is a smaller sketchbook I am planning on doing more full page images and I also hope to doing a little experimentation. My watercolour looked very colouring-in-ish so I add cross hatching and WC pencil.

BTW this is an abstract of the roof'landscape' view from my desk at work.

EDiM 01_2 Landscape Photos

EDiM 01 Landscape- take 2
I really wanted to do a real I did a second page at night looking through some old photo albums... I am rather happy with the two landscapes with no ink.
Monument Valley ...ah!! would love to go back
Granada Spain (oops reflex action to start drawing with ink!)...I didn't have any Spanish landscapes only townscapes
Glen Coe, Scotland midday in mid winter... amazing colour in the photo!

EDiM 02 New years Resolution

EDiM 02 A new Years Resolution
Can read the text... I had to celebrate a delightful package from Anita Davies. More later about the contents. ink lines to that cup.

EDiM 03 Free Choice (too obvious!)

EDiM 03 Free Choice
Very very predictable subject matter - a cuppa and some Baroque-ish architecture.
But... a few different ink to my cup (again!!!! I am enjoying this!) and the building is not in Rome...or Europe but in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
I was just experimenting with minimum lines, ink later and struggling a little with the composition on the small page of this sketchbook.

Anyway... the reason for this particular building is that this is the main cathedral in Santo Domingo and I will be teaching a workshop with Frank Ching at the 3rd Urban Sketchers Symposium in July. Our workshop is centred around this building - more details here. I don't want to look at photos of it too much beforehand, as I don't want to spoil the excitement of my first initial response to it, and for that reason, I was very sketchy with this sketch and didn't study the photo too closely. But I can say that I got rather excited about some aspects of the main facade. I hope to see as many of you there is possible...let me know if I will!!
if you are thinking about attending but haven't signed up... PLEASE do!!! I am sure that it will be an amazingly inspiring event, like the previous 2 years... with so many sketchers there is just way too much creative energy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

120503 In less than two weeks

I decided to force myself to have a break from blogging/posting online for 2 weeks but I have only lasted 10 days. I have been extremely busy so I thought posting was the obvious thing to drop out..but I was still you can see!
A few thoughts
- I have proved to myself that I am not totally addicted to posting or to receiving comments. I love doing both but I happily lived without it.(turning my computer off totally for 2 weeks would be another thing totally!!!)
- I sketch whether I post or I do not sketch to blog about it. I sketch for myself.
- the problem with not blogging is the catch up... Of course I don’t need to post everything I do (and I don’t) but I do really use my flickr account as a catalogue of my life and sketches.
- in these 10 quiet days exciting things happened (or more exactly exciting things arrived in the mail for me) that I just have to share!!!

But the big thing .....

- What I did really miss is recording the story behind my sketches. SO many things go through my head or happen to me when I sketch that can’t be recorded in my sketchbook. When I blog regularly these extras are recorded in my rambling notes. It is important aspect of Liz the Recorder (if you missed the significance of this check out this link )
Whilst I am doing it publicly and there are people that read it... It is primarily most important to me. Last night I went through all the sketches that I did during Kate Johnsons watercolour pencil class in 2009. I was surprised how much I wrote about each sketch, the process, what worked, what didn’t. I found this amazingly helpful to go back to read.(link below) I think I should do this more often...more helpful for others and for me too!

Ok.. That is enough from me for tonight. I will post these pages separately over the next few days... And as you can see I AM doing Every Day in May again...