Wrap up of the first gathering of USKers in Sydney

December 3, 2012 | 3 Comments

The first meeting of Urban Sketchers Sydney at Paddington Reservoir gardens… what a great location and a great day!!! This is one of coolest new urban garden in Sydney – the site of an old water reservoir and a wonderful oasis in a very busy part of the city.

It was a very warm day (forecast of 36C and just had a few showers) but it turned out to be ok as plenty of shade and shelter and the morning cloud cover kept the temperature down… I commented that it was more pleasant than Santo Domingo.

I had prepared a little handout with some ‘stuff’ about Urban Sketchers – the manifesto, where we share online etc AND also a colour page introducing 3 USKers from Barcelona- 3 great friends and inspiring artists – Lapin, Freekhand (Miguel Herranz) and Swasky. Each month I plan to introduce some different sketchers from the global community- we do have the tendency to feel so far apart from the rest of the world all the way down here, so I hope this will help to make us feel more connected – I know that Lapin, Miguel and Swasky felt like they were virtually there as well.

I also had a pile of Stillman and Birn books to hand out – a special thanks to S&B and the new Australian distributors S&S for sponsoring our first event… you can’t imagine how excited I was to be able to be ‘santa claus’ and to share these wonderful sketchbooks with my friends!!!
Huge thanks to Michael from Stillman and Birn and Simon from S&S the new distributors for this amazing sponsorship !!! thanks!!!

So… after all that it is not surprising that I was quite in the mood for sketching… so I got my markers out. Did it on a separate piece of paper and then stuck it in my sketchbook – provided a pocket for my handout and also the description of the gift I received.

I went out to the corner to sketch, but as these events are as much about the social aspect as the sketching, was a wee bit distracted by some lovely conversations. We were very honoured to have three great watercolour artists with us on Saturday – John Haycraft, Rob Candy and Malcolm Carver. Malcolm gave me a gift of his special palette… I will do a separate post about this because it is very very interesting and an exciting concept.
I worked big and loose and only managed to splash on a little bit of paint when I thought it was time to move … I added a little paint to this back at home.

We were very privileged to have an international visitor at our gathering as well – Sarah from England has been travelling around Australia and noticed via the blog that there was an event on in Sydney and she was able to come. SO I then went up to sit next to her…and attempt a chat and sketch at the same time sketch… added a little more watercolour pencil for the texture of the brick walls back at home.

We finished the event by a more interactive show and tell. I have never been a fan of  the annoymous sketchbooks on the ground routine… I think sketchbooks should  be in the hand and I want to hear people talking about their work. I had noticed that the NYC USK group stand around in a circle and share their sketches so thought if everyone agreed we would give it a go. I thought it was great and it was interesting that a common theme arose – that people felt they got distracted by the details  – in particular all those bricks in the arches. Although I am not immuned from this myself, as an architect, my training inherently helps me start with the overall and with the space …and for me the bricks were just texture. Really interesting if we can discuss this more ….

A huge thanks for everyone that turned up and were so keen to sketch and share! Can’t wait for next month – keep Sat 12 Jan free!

121201 Have I been to T2 lately?
I finished the day (after a physio appointment) with a wee stop at T2…. in case you have been wondering, I have omitted to post any T2 teahouse sketches lately… and haven’t been there that often anyway lately. On Saturday I was trying to mix my colours on the page… so a little blobby than normal… also running out of time and exhausted after the big day


  • It sounds like a wonderful day, Liz, with a lot of effort on your part to make it so. Wish I could have been there, but I'm taking tips to use over here one day I hope – maybe just for a Sketchcrawl to start with, and see where it takes us. Thanks for sharing!!

  • BJR says:

    I love your blog! I've enjoyed it, and your art, so much through the years! I have a question for you though…why do you mainly use the "blunt" end of the copic markers?…is it the fastest way to get "paint" on the page? Or the best?
    I've recently invested in some copic's and am waiting on their arrival. After seeing what all you've done with them, I decided maybe I "needed" some. 😉


  • Awesome Liz! The sketchbook in hand is a fantastic idea, I really would love to know why other people chose their subject and how they intended to represent it.

    BJR, I'm going to take a shot at answering your question. If you don't want visible strokes you have to keep the ink flowing, and of course the broad tip delivers much more ink. Plus, the broad tip is much more versatile, as you can have three or four different line widths with just one tip. The fine tip gets dried out really fast. In fact, I use Copic Sketch markers, which don't even have the fine tip.


    Luis E. Aparicio

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