Like many sketchers I always carry a small sketchbook in my bag for sketching wherever I go. These days I frequently take a larger book as well, that is if I remember it. Today I forgot the larger book so I sketched in the smaller one instead. In the small book I found two other drawings which I haven’t previously posted so here are two quick drawings and a slow one to finish off.
Firstly a sketch captured while I was scoffing fish and chips down the coast several weeks ago. Most people sit on the back verandah of this fish shop, solely for the view. Fending off marauding seagulls may also be necessary.
The Clyde River bridge (the other one) at Bateman’s Bay NSW, pen and ink, 16 March 2015
Yesterday I was sitting at the green waste re-cycling centre whiling away a few minutes while my partner tied a tarp over our load of soil. This is what I could see in front of me.
Red Hill from Corkhill Bros at the Mugga Lane tip, pen and ink, 30 March 2015
Finally I spent rather more time on this drawing of the pallets at the back of the fruit shop, Jabals Halal Market, at Mawson.
The back of Jabals Halal Market, Mawson ACT, pen and ink, 31 March 2015
There was sad news today that Betty Churcher, to date still the only woman to be the head of the National Gallery of Australia, died earlier this week at the age of 84. It was a cruel irony that, prior to her death, this champion of the visual arts was losing her sight, because of a melanoma in one eye and to macular degeneration in the other.
What will stick in my mind is her commitment to sharing her knowledge of art with the broader Australian public and her commitment to drawing. On realising that her eyesight was failing, Churcher determined to visit her favourite works of art both in Australian and international galleries. The result are two stimulating books, Notebooks and Australian Notebooks which include her drawn studies of works of art. Her studies were made with such close observation that her drawings often reveal elements of extremely well-know paintings that I for one have totally missed.
She was truly a national treasure. So so long Betty, we’ll miss you!
Betty Churcher’s drawing of The Sock Knitter by Grace Cossington Smith, 1915 in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales
I have run into a bit of a problem with my fountain pen, the Duke 209 with the bent ‘fude’ nib. Having used up the ink in the cartridge provided I was keen to change over to a different colour and brand of ink. The only problem was that as soon as I did so my pen just stopped working as well as it should. It was scratchy and the ink wasn’t flowing. I figured that as the ink had dried out since I used it last, that there might be a problem with a blockage to the ink flow. Quite frustratingly the nib on my pen didn’t want to come out of it’s holder, so I had great difficulty trying to see if dried ink was the issue there.
Catbus, (one of my favourite characters fro m the animated film My Neighbour Totoro, Windsor and Newton Calligraphy ink in Sepia, 21 March 2015
I could manage to get some indifferent and inconsistent lines out, but I thought that pushing the pen to get those marks was probably causing some damage as well. Enter Youtube.
There’s no doubt that you can find just about anything you want (and plenty of things you’d rather not know) on the internet so I did a search for fountain pen troubleshooting to see if someone out there could help with my problem. And they could. It seemed that I had several standard problems, the nib wasn’t wet enough, the tip of the nib was out of alignment and possibly my nib needs polishing, although I haven’t checked that last one out.
I followed the suggestions made at The Pen Habit and at least now I have my ink flowing more smoothly and the scratchiness of the pen has just about disappeared. My partner finally managed to get the nib out by brute force and the nib has been cleaned. Whether this pen will continue to work well into the future is something I’ll just have to find out. At least it was inexpensive so I feel I haven’t lost much if it does ultimately turn out to be dodgy. Here is another version of the Catbus, following pen modification.
Catbus, second version, Windsor and Newton Calligraphy ink in Indian Red, 29 March 2015
In my ongoing attempt to make more interesting cafe drawings I’ve been experimenting with drawing people’s feet and legs. This, of course, also has the benefit of not having to look at the person’s face while you try to draw them!
I started yesterday with this drawing and what do I see but I managed to sneak in a full figure after all. The composite nature of these drawings does mean that the scale isn’t consistent between the two pages. But I’m prepared to forgive myself.
Leg studies at the Italian Bakery in Mawson, pen and ink, 24 March 2015
As soon as you think you’ve got a strategy then everything changes again. Here are today’s legs and a bit more.
People and leg studies at Biginelli’s at Kambah, pen and ink and Copic marker, 25 March 205
I’d done what I could with the legs, when the people whose feet I’ve drawn on the lower right hand side of the page, insisted on moving their table right next to ours (we were outside so it’s fair game). At such close proximity even my foot drawing strategy was endangered. I was just about to settle down to read the newspaper when I noticed the gentleman who I’ve drawn in the upper right hand side of the page. He was a good distance away and was totally focused on reading his paper. Not only that but he was dressed head to foot in black which really brought my attention to drawing the shadows that were cast on his knee. And no, the poor man doesn’t have 6 legs that’s just where he ended up on my page – next time I might give him a page all to himself.
We were still down at the beach on Wednesday so I had to forgo my regular coffee shop visit. Instead I had a pleasant cup of coffee, seated on the verandah of our cabin while this chap, an Eastern Grey kangaroo, munched on the lawn next to me.
An Eastern Grey kangaroo, graphite, 18 March 2015