Thursday, November 29, 2012

Markered Cockatoo Island


With my life as crazy as a yo-yo it is nice for me to have the continuity of evening (or morning walks) and re-visiting something I have sketched before. I don't have any pressure to find something to sketch and yet, if something else catches my eye I can be spontaneous.
So it seems that my evening sketch and walks are stuck in Greenwich at the moment, and I can't seem to get past the view across to Cockatoo… as I didn't have my A4 moleskine, it was another marker sketch on A4 bond paper... What fun!

Back to markers ....

as I left sketchbook at home today
Absolutely rushing as I have no time before work this morning

Monday, November 26, 2012

White Joy!!!

After losing my beloved black and red lamy joy pen a few weeks ago (no longer available in Australia) I decided to buy one of the newest versions - all white - for something different.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

121124 A sketchless visit to the zoo (almost!)


A lovely day at the zoo with Alison, a sketching friend from the UK and her husband on a stunning Sydney day. Ah! It is SO exciting to have someone visit Sydney and have an unexpected day together.
We didn't sketch all day and it was great to have a break from feeling like I should or having a burning desire to do so…it has been a huge week so good to just go with the flow. I did however, do a quick 5 minute sketch of the main building before the zoo opened!
I don't often have fresh flowers in the house to sketch…so had to make the most of it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday morning watercolour splashing

I am finding it a lot harder to achieve similar things with watercolour in 5-10min that I could with markers.
I am also determined to master my large sable brush - it holds so much moisture that when I am rushing it is harder to control.
Also it is amazing how much the sun has moved - the weather might be nicer to be out sketching but the light is not as good.
Ok. Off to work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reminder of 1st Urban Sketching Sydney event Dec 1






More details here

I can't wait and if you are in Sydney , I look forward to seeing you!









Cockatoo from Greenwich on a sunny evening

Simple sketch ... I really should learn the art of waiting for the paper to dry between adjacent washes!!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

121117 Blenheim Revisited (Saturday night armchair sketching)


Just want to mention (again!( how much I am LOVING the larger size of the A4 watercolour moleskine.

Revisiting Blenheim Palace – possibly my favourite building in all of the UK and it was certainly a dream come true to spend a whole day sketching there. I am a real Hawksmoor and Vanburgh fan!!!

I have been itching to do a longer more elaborate sketch as for the last 2 months I have been unable to sketch for longer than 15minutes due to some treatment to my neck and shoulders… so an armchair sketch with the additional comfort of a hot water bottle has hit the spot tonight. BTW I forgot to discuss with my physio this afternoon a number of my thoughts about best sketching practice for neck and shoulders and back… but I will do a big feature on this soon!
I am certainly not used to mixing enough paint to cover areas in this larger size so there is some colour variation in this that was not planned. Also, although I wasn't intending to do consistent linework on both sides of the building, I did get bored with the ink part(after 10 minutes- shocking!) a sign that I do need to slow down a little!(the story of my life)
Interesting to see the contrast with the sketch I did at the time of my visit in 2010 …but I have done a LOT of sketching in the last 2 years haven't I?
Sept 2010 Sketching at Blenheim

Friday, November 16, 2012

121114 Cockatoo Island

121114 Cockatoo Island by borromini bear
121114 Cockatoo Island, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.


a scan of my sketch from earlier in the week - the view of cockatoo island from Greenwich point. It is really strange to be to paint an architectural scene without any lines or even attempt to define the edges.... this was a lot of fun but as I said at the time, wasn't quite sure what I was doing!

Experimental mark making

Following the advice of Shirley trevena (whose new book I got yesterday) I decided to go crazy and make random marks on a sheet of a3 paper. Somehow a tea cup and pot was the image that emerged on the page.
Using paint from colours that I don't really click with (ie. ones I have tried over the years but don't use as a standard) in my new possum palette (thanks to Daniel green for the suggestion ... I came across one in my last 30minutes in NYC in July)
Need to find some thick textured watercolour paper

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not 100% sure what I am doing ... But sure am having fun!!


Sketching cockatoo island from Greenwich in the fading light with a big brush and pushing the limits of wet in wet.

Monday, November 12, 2012

121112 Sunday Monday_Berry Is Boatshed


Still exploring the wonderful possibilities of a larger page... For lots of text and my standard size images AND white space! I am struggling a little with using my large Da Vinci brush... I am out of practice and finding that I am using it with too much moisture in it.
Also....I am really longing to be able to do a bigger sketcher (ie. Fill on page A4 size) but don’t have the time at the moment and need to be really careful not to have my neck/shoulders in a bad sketching position (or any one position for an extended period of time) Talking with a friend about ‘ipad neck’ on the weekend (I must be the last diehard mac fan who doesn’t own an ipad) but I really think that we need to have some discussions about ‘sketchers neck’! I do plan to address my recent experiences and experiments in regard to this crucial issue soon-ish!

Missing in action

Missing in action by borromini bear
Missing in action, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.


Looks like my beloved Lamy pen has gone …. last used in Air Coffee Castle Hill but no where to be found… though I always live in hope that it might turn up somewhere.

I am not totally Lamy-pen less as I have my gold nib black and sliver Joy which is a little heavier and a little too expensive to lose (the nib is worth a lot more than the pen). I much prefer the older model(black and red) to use and my hand has a special bond with it… I put that pen in my hand and the creative juices just start pumping… not to mention the travels that we have had together.

I am not easily able to replace the black and red Joy as it is no longer available here in Australia… so might try to source it overseas…

I have been having a bad run lately….. a few weeks ago I lost the necklace I wore nearly every day for years (it has definitely gone- fell out of my pocket one morning) and my tom tom and sunglasses disappeared 2 weeks ago only to re-emerge on the weekend in strange locations. But these are only 'things' and ultimately not that important….just a touch frustrating that I seem to be so careless/scatter brained at the moment!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

121110 Castle Hill Morning etc


My spread from this morning... lots of room for a bit of collage!

BTW haven't done a Friday night Baroque sketch in a while... so here is a little Saturday morning Baroque sketch for a change!

Pages this week...

starting with Friday night

121109 Friday night spread


Here is what my Friday night spread ended up like... Don’t need to say anything about it as it is all on the page... However I think I will make some general comments about my latest ‘change’ to my habits (hmmm, I can hardly think what my standard habits are anymore!)

- I am SO excited about the size and format of this book and an incredible freedom I am finding. I feel the urge to just plonk skethces or text ANYWHERE on the page and then live with the consequences. I am usually a lot more controlled in that I normally take a few seconds to map out what I want the page to be before I start...but these pages are so much larger that the end result is totally not in my control when I start (I hope that makes sense)
- I have always struggled with feeling comfortable writing lots of text on this nice WC paper in the smaller (normal size) WC moleskine but this larger size has plenty of room for me to write as much ramblings as I want and still have room for lots of images on the page (refer also to my Sunday and Monday page).
- I want to explore a few different page layouts (the last two spreads have started with a sketch on top left corner... Can’t get into a pattern of always doing that!)
- I am still exploring what tools I am using. Still getting used to my minimum palette and swapping between 15mm flat and #8 round (ie. Bigger brushes as much as I can) I have never really gained full control of my big round (I have a tendency to use it too wet) I am also trying to go looser and yet with more control
- the big size is NOT bothering me yet. I am not carrying it everywhere with me... I have a old small WC moleskine with the perforated pages (wow! Remember those days!!!) that I carry in my bag when I will not be sketching (just in case) If I do something then I will rip out and paste into the larger one
- these pages look better in real life as the sketchbook in your hand is large the eye roams from one sketch to the other - in its uploaded form it has become a single image which is quite a different thing.

Now I wonder whether all of that makes any sense to others?

Don’t you think this has wonderful potential for a travel sketchbook? – plenty of size for collage of tickets and brochures, even the odd photo (printed out and pasted in once at home) At this stage I am planning of using this over my Xmas/New Year summer break... So I might do a few trip prep type pages to test it out. night...

Sketching from the car(parked of course)
earlier in the evening this was how I started the spread in the car (I was parked of course!)

A combo page from the last few days
Earlier in the week Wed-Friday morning

Sunday and Monday
Ever earlier ...Sunday/ Monday (I am too lazy to do big scans of these pages)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Large sketchbook fun

121103 New sketchbook spread 2 detail

Loving the large moleskine (A4 watercolour book)... The opportunities for working larger and for combining images. I am very excited and going to love exploring the new possibilities.
I am actually loving carrying a ‘real’ sketchbook around – there is nowhere to hide when sketching on location with this one!!

Page from Saturday afternoon –really not happy with the left side of the spread(over worked..my excuse is that I was at a birthday party and interrupted a few times!) but enjoyed painting the tree trunks and getting the explanation of why they were monsters by a very imaginative little man.

121105 Berry Island and Angophora
After work walk and sketch at berry Island (another place that has been on my list for a while) very quick sketch of the Shell Refinery on the next point (greenwich point?)- I think this is the largest sketch I have ever done on location... Enjoyed it very much!
Every year I long to record the shedding of the bark of Angophora trees... My favourite tree and favourite time of the year. I am a little scared to attempt them since they are so brilliant in the afternoon sun...a little rushed today but this year I will do a few of them.

My inspiration....
Large sketchbook inspiration

My favourite sketchbook pages are often the ones in which I have combined more than one view (such as my cup of tea and the view I have at the time) I like sketching objects but mostly get bored with them in isolation - combining with other images solves this.

I have been thinking of going larger for a while (sick of having to paint over the spine of my book to get a good size sketch) and loved the a4 cahier I was using with my markers.

Alissa Duke recently showed me a great book Singapore by Lorette E Roberts and she combines many smaller sketches on the page(a little too dense for me - not enough white space) and fabrice moireau's books(top) show how the format is flexible for large or smaller sketches in a more formal way.

Of course I am going to be using my sketchbook in my own way - lots of text and mixing format up

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First spread in my new sketchbook


The first spread in my new sketchbook (A4 size moleskine) This format is HUGE compared to what I am used to and has a number of challenges and some great opportunities. These pages are a great experiment- not really 100% happy with it....but seeing what I want to do.



I am VERY worried about the increased weight of this book and intend only have it in my bag when I intend to sketch (but have smaller sketchbook/paper at the other times and then collage any spur of the moment sketches in. I am thinking about using this book for my Christmas?new Year vacation this year for something different. Surprisingly the size of the sketchbook did not seem to bother me that much today.

This morning, Spread 1- great discovery of a cool ‘hole in the wall’ coffee shop in Mosman, Penny Royal (hi to any staff member that checks out my blog!!!!)- I have to go back to try their coffee(such it is highly rated!!!) and do a ‘proper’ sketch- I was in a rush today.

Starting a new sketchbook

What not again? Yes, the small watercolour moleskine only lasted me 2 weeks (plus one week worth I did in it last month) so I have taken the big step of starting a big moleskine (a4 landscape format)
I am extremely excited about the sketching and layout options of this larger page but worried about the size getting in the way on location and the weight.
So here it is in action on a small cafe table (penny royal at mosman). The trick might be to use the sketchbook as a platform for my paint tin.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday morning - no lines and thick flat brush

Bad traffic this morning meant my walk and sketch time extremely limited so I did the shortest walk and attempted the simplist sketch (done a FEW times before so no thinking time )
This was done in 5 minutes and was a lot of fun!!!!
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