Urban Sketchers Canberra – March into Manuka

We had a solid roll-up of 12 people at our March sketchwalk, held in the shopping area of Manuka (Canberra’s most up-market retail centre). The cafes were alive with people eating, sipping coffees and catching up with the Sunday papers.
I only had to move a few metres to a convenient bench from where I could draw this couple sitting and reading. They were there for quite a while so I had plenty of time to sketch them.


Couple reading, Koh-i-nor Magic pencil, white chalk and graphite, 6 March 2016

I walked down  a nearby laneway where I found some amusing quotations on the walls (tongues firmly in their cheeks).


Shopping, coloured pencil, white chalk and graphite, 6 March 2016

With only 20 minutes to sketch before our meet up time, I did a blind drawing of one of the sculptures on the footpath.


Gather by Matthew Tobin, 2007, ink, brush pen and coloured pencil, 6 Mrach 2016

Our ‘in house’ photographer spent the morning walking around capturing the crew in action. If you would like to see some of the photos or other drawings the Urban Sketchers Canberra Facebook page.

Concrete Cafe

In my first post knee-surgery outing (as opposed to doctor’s visits) we went to our local cafe. Changes, by way of a major upgrade of the pavement and landscaping of the shops, are well underway and the dinosaur is on a leave of absence. Instead there was a concreting crew waiting to pour several large slabs which will form the new, level area for seating.

Don't forget to check your pens!

Don’t forget to check your pens!

You can tell I’m a bit rusty because I made a real beginner mistake – I forgot to check my pens before I left. One was completely out of ink and the other has a dodgy nib that really needs changing.

It took a while to get going with the sketches as I fiddled around finding a pencil and approach that I was happy with. In the end I began by focusing in some of the boots that were sitting ready to be used.


Gumboots and smoothing the edge, graphite, white chalk and coloured pencil

Then the concrete truck arrived and before I knew it I had sketched a group of labourers that Kazimir Malevich would have been proud of.


Quick movement as the man spread the concrete.

By way of comparison here is one of Kazimir’s.


Kazimir Malevich, The woodcutter, 1912, Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

There were several slabs to be poured so I managed to capture the action by loking for the repetitive movements.


Edge detailing and more work boots, graphite and magic pencil

I really enjoyed trying to capture the way the men moved, although clearly bad backs are an outcome of such work.


Spreading the concrete, graphite, magic pencil and white chalk