Boxing Day

The National Portrait Gallery of Australia, held it’s regular drawing session on Boxing Day which gave us a good excuse to get out of the house. We were pleasantly surprised to run into several other members of our Urban Sketchers Canberra group who also had the same idea.

I wasn’t overwhelmed by my sketch of the group ‘Humbug’, who were the musicians playing that day. Lots of mistakes and abandoned as the group stopped playing part way through my sketch.

I was much happier with my second lot of sketches where I ditched the pencils and leapt in with the watercolour. It was easier to sketch the onlookers who tended not to move so much.

Backgrounds with people

Here are some more sketches from my current cafe sketching booklet. I am currently putting in some more backgrounds rather than letting my people float on the blank page. Some work better than others.

The red bottle, 1 December 2018, watercolour and graphite.

Woman under an umbrella, 3 December 2018, watercolour and graphite.

Mother with her two sons, 5 December 2018, watercolour and graphite.

Two women with a pot of orchids, 11 December 2018, watercolour and graphite.

Kit bashing

Tomorrow is my first time back meeting with Urban Sketchers Canberra, after two months away. I  realised that I wanted to change my watercolour box set up so I wasn’t lugging around multiple tins (like I normally do ).

I had a tin and some spare empty half pans. All I needed to do was reorganise the two tins into one. 

The tin is 12.5 x 8 cm (roughly 5 × 3 inches). I also managed to fill the spare space with a bit of old face washer for cleaning my brushes. The pans are held in place by the simple technique of using heavy duty double sided tape stuck to one of those magnetic calendars (sent out by our local pollies). The magnetic calendar is easy to cut up then stuck on the bottom of the pans. The pans stay put for everyday use, but can be easily swapped around when I change my mind about what colours I want in the tin.

There are 24 colours in the new tin and no doubt way too many browns and greens. I will play around with the combinations over the coming months and no doubt change it again!

Zebras on the sketchbook savannah

Like many others I have signed up for World Watercolor Month in July, where contributors are asked to complete one watercolour a day. Of course I had to make things more challenging only because I saw someone else’s concertina book at about the same time as I decided to participate. Excellent! 

I retrieved some very ‘mature’ paper, that I had in my back room purchased in Tokyo 10 years ago. Definitely time to get it into use. A quick trot through our local recycling centre on the first of the month brought it all together.  There I found a hard-cover book of photographs of the Etosha Pan by Alice Mertens (1915-2001). I loved the way the herd of zebras crossed the back and front covers of the book, so I decided to use them for my book’s covers. The  predominantly black and white photos inside were so compelling that I will include them in my book as well.  

Two sketches and the back cover of my new book. 

So be warned, zebras crossing.