I am away at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Brazil for a few weeks!
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Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Well I had another go at the view of Garden Island, Sydney Harbour.
last nights attempt and lots of thoughts about the process is here
... actually two goes...but tonight’s first effort did not work so in the end I had to do an ink outline to pull the sketch together. This was done on an A3 sheet of paper and completed from start to finish in under 20 minutes.
I am a little disappointed that I couldn’t get the inkless version to work and had to go back to my ink lines... But I really had no information about those ships to go on ... I had no idea what they looked like (I didn’t do any useful sketch studies and only one bad iphone photo). For some reason it doesn’t seem to matter as much in this version...but in the inkless attempt it was a mess. It is a touch ambitious to think that I can master loose brushwork only (without a real subject) in one attempt!
I painted this with the same brushes and colours as last nights effort but the size of the paper and the freedom that it gave me has made a huge difference...oh, and of course the security of my ink lines!!!!!! Ok, I can now move on to another subject now.
Thinking about my Jefferson Market Library Sketches, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.
Some rambling thoughts about these two sketches done last month in New York.
Blogged about here
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Just when you thought I had done with uploads from my recent trip... I have something special to share.
For me this was like the icing on the cake – having dinner with and being painted by the wonderful Anne Watkins on my last social evening in NYC...and we had only made contact the night before via a ‘call me’ flickr comment! I had such an amazing time the whole 3 weeks... But this was a little special treat on top that I hadn’t planned for.
It was the discovery of watercolour that started me sketching regularly in a sketchbook, and as much as I love and constantly want to improve my drawing... It is painting with watercolour that is my special love! So, whenever I come across a watercolor painter I am very excited...and even more so to see them in action... And even more special when they are painting me AND then give me the originals!!! This is exactly what Anne did.
We had the most delightful dinner, wonderful food and the owners being Anne’s friends were constantly popping in on our table- even ate with us. Of course there was non stop talking and somewhere in the middle of it Anne did these amazing paintings. A few things really struck me (apart from the obvious stunning use of the white space and minimal detail!) - she uses a huge brush 40mm flat and some very watery washes. Borromini started out just as a blob of paint ... And look what she did with it!!! The careful control and yet spontaneity of her brush strokes blew me away.
But of course, the best part of about all this... Was not the beautiful paintings... But a lovely time with a new ‘real life’ friend. Thanks again Anne for a great evening!
Please check out her work
Thursday, August 23, 2012
This is a work sketch I did today (brought the sketch home to do a decent scan) This is colour with markers over a VERY basic Liz-hack style computer model.
Really really excited by using these markers and am so thankful for the great workshop I took by Eduardo Bajzek at SD
It is amazing how much you can layer colour and it never seems to get murky.
A little pencil over the top
I am using mainly Copic markers with the 12 promarkers I got at SD...
And this was an experiment inside my work notebook eariler in the week. I kept layering and layering to test out the colours - each layer was only seconds while I was waiting for a drawing to print... and then next print 20 minutes later I would add another layer.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
End of an era... This is most likely the last one of these sketchbooks(in this size) I will use. Since mar 2009 I have been using one of three variations of this book and filled over 60 of them. The book is a Jasart premium sketchbook with 150gsm cartridge - an Australian version of the Daler Rowney ebony sketchbook (they changed the paper 2 years ago) another variation is by Millini -but paper isn't as good as the Jasart WAS. Sadly Jasart have just changed to inferior paper. So unless I find old stock I will change to stillman and birn's alpha books. The Alpha books are great and despite being a little heavier are better.
But rather than just starting with the Alpha I got at SD I feel like a change (more of this later) In May when I went for a square book I also found it easier to change to inkless watercolours than I have in my standard book. So I was thinking of using my SD moleskine... But worried about all the text I like to write.
Since making the decision to use a Moleskine WC book I have been considering its restrictions and for me I just doesn't feel right to fill a whole page of text in that nice paper and as you all know I DO write a lot in my sketchbooks. Also there are a few 'things' coming up that I will want to write personal notes about....(more than normal) So...I picked up a Canson book(which we also got at SD) with 90gsm paper and it got me thinking.
Some of the things buzzing in my head
- I am in the mood post symposium for experimenting - I do not want to just fall back into my usual stuff
- I was really excited by using my sketchbook as a ‘working book’ during the workshop that I taught in SD... And by just changing pens I made interesting pages... I want this freedom of page making!
- I still have in the back of my head the great post by Laura last year on process vs product - I recommend a read or a re-read here
- I could try having 2 sketchbooks . A more formal sketchbook (moleskine) and the Canson one as a more private note making/ experimenting book
- But I also want to REALLY focus on people (I know, I have said this MANY MANY times before)...I just have struggled in the past to find the right way to tackle it. I am a little afraid, not so much of failures in my sketches, but bad pages in my sketchbook! (this is really silly!!!) I have tried a separate small sketchbook, but then because it ‘can’ be a failure I don’t take it seriously... I wonder if this is making sense... Ie. The pressure of having to live with it in my book helps me to try harder but on the other hand is preventing me from trying more often.
Anyway, this post which is really just saying “I changed my sketchbook” is getting out of hand... And still going....
So what happened... For a starters the paper in the Canson is better than I thought (see last night’s Venice palace)- the pages DO buckle but not as much I thought...BUT they make a delightful crinkle noise when I turn the page and I love that!!!
I am just loving the freedom of this ‘less than perfect’ sketchbook – and the freedom of adding a boring page of lists (ie. Shopping, action list of the week) and the luxury of having twice as many pages in the book than I am used to...so I can spread out. I am feeling that this is the perfect place for me to experiment and develop my sketching of people and some of the other fun stuff I want to try....even going to use markers in it because I will not care if it bleeds through. I am also enjoying the freedom of not using lines for my text (sometimes... I am still architect-like trying to be neat at ALL times!!!)
So the significance of last nights sketch was the fact that it was done on thin paper, and still worked!!!, but also a token “liz-sketchbook page” so that when I get into a conversation with others (which I did last night at the gym) I have something to show representing the normal way I sketch. I am going to try to give myself a break from these formally composed sketchbook pages. I am excited to see what happens... I can never quite control what happens when I start a sketchbook.
I am still thinking of using the moleskine on weekends or to experiment with my painting but this book will be my daily sketchbook for the next number of weeks.
Ooops... This post was WAY too long... But I really wanted to record my thought process (I find it very useful later on) and some of you just might find it interesting....
BTW 1 - I haven't done any adjustments to levels etc on these scans so you can see the crinkly paper
BTW 2 - I have started this week getting to work 30 minutes early and going for a 20 min walk with a 5-10min sketch before I enter the office. I feel great and it is fun to have the challenge of SO little time to sketch. A great way to start the day!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
... but there is something different about this sketch and a significant change is happening (not obvious) but will be revealed later in the week!
(BTW this should be obvious, this sketch is from a photo... I am not holidaying in Venice at the moment!!!!)
Monday, August 20, 2012
this is a little after the event, but I did want to record my analysis of the clothes that I took on my recent trip - for next time.
To read more comments- check out post on my sewing blog (a very part time blog!)
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Sketching on location ...
and then back home with lots of thinking.
PLEASE visit my Sketching Architecture to read all about it. (BTW I am not making any judgement as to which one is "BETTER")
Only had 20min for this one.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Funny that I get tea related gifts!
Special tea bags from the UK, and a Haggis for Borromini (I didn't get a friend for him last year when I was in Edinburgh) but with very special handmade legs. The legs of the Haggis are longer on one side of its body than the other, in order to allow it to better stand on the steep slopes of the highlands. As a consequence, the haggis can only run around hills in one direction, and to catch one you simply run around the hill in the opposite direction. McTavish runs around hills in a clock wise direction!
And a HUGE tea cup- pot plant! Rather than lavender I am think of coriander!
Thursday, August 16, 2012
... 3kg of the best Earl Grey tea in the world- Taylors of Harrogate. Purchased from a distributor as hard to find anywhere to buy it...and of course cheaper, (very reasonable in fact) to buy in bulk.
This page was an experiment in using some of my new big flat brushes- 40mm and 25mm flats. There is no doubt that big brushes that are loaded give juicy washes... very splashy but 3 black bags in a cardboard box is not really a very exciting subject to draw.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Here is Volume 2 – my symposium sketchbook which also includes the day before and the Monday afterward.
A few general comments
1. I am really quite amazed at how many sketches I actually did considering that this year I was one of the instructors and the humidity was so draining. As a result most of the sketches during the symposium days which were done outside the workshops were true ‘reflex sketching’.
2. It was such an amazing experience to take one of the workshops this year and just an honour to teach alongside Frank Ching. I loved every moment!!! I found it a much richer experience as I was part of nearly 45 people’s work rather than being totally focused on my own sketching. and was so inspired by the work of our amazing participants...BTW if you did our workshop can you please add a comment with a link to your sketches.
3. I am rather excited by my ‘working’ pages from the workshops. I used my sketchbook to explain concepts as I was talking to different people. I think and explain with my pen a lot especially at work... in fact, these are one of the first times I have done 'work design-type sketches' in my sketchbook. This is in a way, the traditional way to use a sketchbook as a working book for another work. By changing the pen as I talked to different people, without really designing my page, I have ended up with pages that I really like. I can remember many of the people I did these sketches for.
4. Perhaps the most significant feeling I have towards this sketchbook is that it is deficient in describing the most important aspect of my time in Santo Domingo... And that is the local people!!! I have never been to a place where the locals were so friendly and never experienced such interactive sketching!! Although the people I spoke to are embedded for me in the sketches that I was doing at the time, I am sad that I didn’t specifically sketch any locals! I know I know, I always say I need to sketch people more, and in previous symposiums have felt the pressure to sketch the sketchers... But somehow not recording the people of Santo Domingo is a bigger deal. Ok... I really have to do something about it this time!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
It has been a while since I did one of these (well except for my marker experiment last week!) and I know some of you are pleased to have a break from these tea cup sketches (I know I draw a lot of them!!!)
I have a million things to do (now that most of my scanning is done) and a lot of emails to reply to (so, please have patience with me, if you are one of them).. But tonight I just needed to do a comfort zone tea cup sketch...
Except for it not being quite my normal ‘comfort’ ...my mouth is feeling sorry for itself after a 2.5 hour adventure with my dentist, I banished my lamy pen which has been glued to my hand for the past month, I had the cup at a different angle than usual and as my paint tin was next to it I couldn’t actually see the colours I was mixing, working wetter than I usually do AND shock horror I actually waited for the various splashy washes to dry....but I still didn’t take that long to do this (just a little longer than it took for me to drink the pot – 2 cups)
It was so nice to have this quiet moment to really take it slowly.... But that's now done and I better get cracking again for a busy day tomorrow!
Saturday, August 11, 2012
... only 5 architectural sketches (2 of which had paint added later), a catch up with Veronica Lawlor (sadly couldn't make it to catch with Melanie Reim - next time you are no. 1 priority!!!!) and did another 2 sketches AND then managed 3 visits to art stores...all before lunch (just as well I had 30 odd hours to rest on the way home!!!!) Why do I try to sketch at the same rate that most people take photos? why why why?????
Now, all I have to do is to finish scanning covers/ title pages / finish my Sunday pages and make into Issuu versions AND then scan the pages I have done in the last few weeks at home (only a few...I really haven't been sketching much) AND then I will be up to date!
Thanks for being part of my journey!
So here is the final batch
Final view out my window
Municipal Building sketches (Richard Alomar took me around this area on our Wednesday evening tour, and I was desperate to come back and sketch!!)
First sketch didn't capture the open portico/porch area so I did another one!
Still in the same area - Really lovely this combination of buildings ...trying to draw space more rather than building as individual objects...my third sketch in approx 50 mins including the painting part... whoa!
final morning madness - rushing from one place to another so only time for lines. Paint added at the airport that afternoon when the colour memory was still fresh and of course using reference photo from iphone
Here is the final firehouse sketch - something I really wanted to sketch last time, and this time too, but had concluded I wouldn't get a chance...I just happened to walk past this one- WOW!
a quick visit to DIck Blick - I wanted to get a huge brush like Anne Watkins... didn't have a short handled brush but I got one anyway (for use in my studio)
One of my favourite buildings in recent years- Cooper Union by Morphosis.
Sub-5min sketch was all that I could fit in...
Final catch up with a sketcher- with Veronica Lawlor whose work I adore. Was great to have another post symposium catch!!
Views of Union Square from a table in the Wholefood cafe with Veronica Lawlor
... I couldn't decide on which direction to sketch...so I did both. AH! a chance to do a quick sketch of the Empire State building! (something I thought I would get a chance for this trip)
2 unexpected visits to art store. V suggested we go to New York Central... I bought another fountain pen (did I need this?) and Anne's husband who works there (my final final catch up with someone!) showed me a brush similar to Anne's... and then in my rush back to the subway I walked past another art store- Utrecht!! Popped into that and they had a possum palette, something Daniel Green had been telling me about in SD. I also got some containers that look promising as a replacement to my small water container that is falling to pieces (held together by grimy silicon at the moment) I have made the resolution not to buy extra paint at the moment...but brushes and palettes always seem to get used.
WOW! what a crazy but exciting last morning.... time to go. .. at the thoughts of home, I always find myself ready to leave...and seriously I was somewhat exhausted!
A few of my travel sketches- the rest will be in the final issuu version.