Last year I tried to establish a habit of Friday sketching outings but it was hard to achieve. However, this year I’m realising that Thursday is a better day for an outing as if I have a lot of work to do on a particular week, I can tell myself that I’ll get it all done on Friday. 🙂
I’ve also realised recently that it doesn’t need to be a long outing – two hours of concentrated sketching is enough to do me good!
Another barrier I had last year in regard to going on sketching outings was simply deciding where to go (especially if rain was forecasted). However, I don’t have to go somewhere new each week! Instead, all I need is to have a few go-to locations to fall back on if I don’t have a specific plan. For me at the moment, these are Cockatoo Island and the City and both of these locations are good regardless of the weather.
Another outing to the City
Last week, I didn’t have a plan at all, so I just jumped on the ferry to the City. Actually, before the ferry arrived I did a sketch in very wild conditions… holding down the book was a challenge in the strong wind. Click on the image to view larger.
When I arrived at Circular Quay, I still didn’t have any idea where I was going or what I was going to sketch so I simply started walking towards The Rocks. I know this area so well and have sketched it many times, that there was no pressure to do anything in particular.
Next, I found myself heading to Customs House. It seems that I have this new unwritten rule that every visit to the City should include at least one James Barnet (JimmyB) sketch. Customs House is a big building to sketch but there are some tables and chairs in the forecourt making it a comfortable location to sketch from.
I decided to use a Triangular Brush (R18) from Rosemary and Co and to sketch the building in an exploratory way without a specific plan. I still followed my ‘Working Structurally’ method (from my Buildings course) but in a looser way.
Here are a few progress photos – you can see an Instagram Reel complete with background seagull noise here.
BTW one of the features that I love about a spiral book is that when your sketch is still wet it’s easier to carry the book so that the pages dry.
I was at the 1.5-hour mark and decided that it was time to head home. Like last City sketching outing, I ended up spending the last 30 minutes sketching on the wharf. It was crowded but I managed to find a spot to stand and sketch even though my book was getting a bit wet. Here are two stills from a video to explain where I was sketching.
Note: Often when you feel a little out of control while doing a sketch, you end up with some interesting watercolour effects. 🙂
Friday Family Outings
Due to all the wet weather we’ve been having lately, the outings with my family (my brother has 4 children ages 4-10) have been associated with short visits to a park with a good playground area.
It also has a really interesting section with remnants of a local brickworks – Hoffman Kiln. I’m happy that I managed to get this sketch done at the time as sketching while with the family can be a challenge at times. (Special thanks to my 8-year-old nephew for holding my heavy book for this photo).
It’s been a really great start to the year and I hope that I will be able to continue with my Thursday outings next month and beyond! Have you been able to get out and do some sketching this January?