On Boxing day we decided to head out for another sketch-a-thon. We chose to go to the Sculpture Garden of National Gallery of Australia, because of its wide variety of potential subjects to draw, not to mention its proximity to a good cup of coffee.
I was trying to put into effect some of the lessons outlined in my Christmas present, The Urban Sketcher: techniques for seeing and drawing on location, by Marc Taro Holmes. In particular I was working on sight measuring and angle checking. This is something I mainly do by instinct, so a bit of practice wasn’t going to go astray. Holmes comments that it’s the measuring process that underlying the sketch that provides your framework to draw spontaneously – “Loose is how a drawing looks, not how it is made.”
My first subject is a favourite sculpture of mine, Gaston LaChaise’s work Floating Figure, 1927, in bronze. In the garden the sculpture floats above a pool of water. I had just turned away from my drawing when I saw that a dog belonging to some passing pedestrians had decided to have a quick dip in the pool! Sadly I wasn’t quick enough with my pen to catch the moment.
Meanwhile my mother-in-law was tackling Rick Amor’s nearby sculpture called The Dog. It certainly isn’t the most handsome of animals, but it is an interesting subject to draw. Here is the view I made of the work.
I’ve decided that I would like to go back and spend some time drawing this piece from a variety of angles. I’d also like to take a greater variety of media with me next time. I was working in my Strathmore visual diary and I found that the Copic Multiliner wasn’t moving across the paper as easily as I would have liked. I’d managed to leave my Lamy Safari pen at home, because I hadn’t checked my kit from the previous day’s drawing. Live and learn.
After lots of discussion about drawing negative spaces and how, from certain angles, the dog looked rather like an anteater, we went inside for a break. Later in the day came some of the best news we’ve had from the National Gallery in a long time – they are lifting the blanket ban on taking photos in the NGA! You can read about it here, National Gallery photography ban lifted.