Last week I had a big day of sketching filling 10 double-page spreads in my A4 Alpha book!
Most of my recent sketching has been done during in-between moments while hanging out with family so it was a nice treat for me to have a solo outing.
I intended to do a lot of continuous line drawing as this is what we are looking at this week in Foundations but after a few sketches, I found myself switching to shapes and then experimenting with markers and watercolour pencil (WCP). I’m still mainly using WCP this month while I’m spending time with family.
I started the day with my usual takeaway coffee and Village Green sketch. On this occasion, I started with a blue marker shadow shape and then added WCP colours using continuous lines. My sister and family turned up to hang out for a little while but they were catching up with a friend so I had the rest of the day to myself.
Note: The markers referred to in this article are all GoldFaber Aqua Dual Markers by Faber Castell and the WCPs are all Albrecht Durer also by Faber Castell.
Note: Continuous line drawing is a perfect technique when you don’t know how much time you have!
I was heading for Millers Point but on the way I noticed that the shadows on the Garrison Church were perfect. So I sat down and started this sketch with marker shadow shapes (and so ended my continuous line sketching for the day!)
BTW this is the second time I’ve sketched this church this year – see this article for another version (which was far more colourful!)
I was happier with the sketch before I added the watercolour washes so at this point I decided not to use watercolour again for the rest of the day. (Don’t worry, watercolour will return soon!)
This sketch was all about the towering brick hotel next to the cream terrace houses. I also like the fact that the sky comes down to the groundline due to the fact that I was on top of a hill.
This scene is a great example of the differences between shade and cast shadow and shadows on light objects vs dark objects.
I was in a bit too much of a loose mood to do this curved white building justice… so I’ll have to try and do a more precise version on another occasion.
While sketching my Bourke St Bakery coffee I discovered a new marker technique using one of my almost run-out markers. Playing with this technique became the theme for the rest of the day.
A Neocolor II sky was added later back home (I wasn’t carrying Neocolors with me on this outing).
Then I ended up at Martin Place and sketched this building on George St nearby. It’s the former Equitable Life Assurance Society of America Building by Edward Raht and one of the most dramatic building facades in Sydney IMHO.
This sketch was per experimentation – trying a number of different things and not bothering to be too precise.
I walked up Martin Place and then sat down on a bench and started sketching Sydney Hospital. I wasn’t sure if I had the energy for all those arches so I started with the kiosk and the corner tower. And then I felt in the mood to keep going.
Note: This is one of the huge benefits of using dry media – it is so easy to extend a sketch and work spontaneously.
The last sketch of the day was an interior – the JP Morgan ‘sky lounge’ – which is always fun to draw!
What a great day of sketching!
Here are photos of the full double-page spreads showing how I varied the size and position of each sketch and added text blocks to create a pleasing flow of pages.
My pace on this day was very relaxed… I was just walking around and stopping to sketch whenever I felt like it. So imagine my surprise at the end of the day when I realised that I’d filled 20 pages! (ie. 10 double-page spreads.)
Something special always happens when I sketch all day – my creative juices flow freely and I’m filled with new ideas to explore. (BTW this is something we look at in my Watercolour On Location course)
Have you ever had a big day of sketching? Did something special happen with your work as a result of continuing to sketch through the afternoon?
I would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below. (If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)
Finally… please don’t compare my output with yours. I have a fast natural pace and finish most of my sketches within 20-30 minutes. 🙂