Flower Power

Today the Canberra Sketcher’s Group braved the massed tulips, not to mention the crowds, for our October sketch outing. It took awhile for us to collect ourselves as the parking was problematic, but eight of us did manage to meet up and get to work.

Several of us chose to work from highest part of the display area. We had plenty of interaction with people coming to see what we were doing.

Working from the high ground

Working from the high ground

The view across the display beds to the Ferris wheel was popular.

Rob's view to the Ferris wheel

Rob’s view to the Ferris wheel, watercolour and marker pen

But getting in all those people and plants was definitely a challenge.

Hard to fit 'em all in!

I found it hard to fit ’em all in! watercolour and graphite

Other’s chose to focus on smaller scenes,

Elaine's sensitive linework view of a picnic spot

Elaine’s sensitive linework view of a picnic spot, pencil, fine pen and watercolour

and flowers

Tulip study by Deb

Tulip study by Deb, watercolour and pen

and traders stalls.

Mandy's tulips and traders

Mandy’s tulips and traders, watercolour and fine marker pen

Of course ther’es always room for that ice cream.

Ice cream vendor, watercolour and graphite

Ice cream vendor, watercolour and graphite

In the end we were grateful to sit down and enjoy our picnic lunch, while comparing notes and catching up on what people had been drawing in the previous month.

The day's collective effort

The day’s collective effort

I thought we might have had time to sketch some of the tasty treats that people brought along to share for lunch, but they all disappeared before anyone could even get their books out!

We will continue the floral theme with our November outing which will be held at 10.30am on Sunday 1 November, at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. We will meet on the lawns in front of the cafe. Hope to see you then!

Sketching at the War Memorial

It might have been overcast today but we had a good turn out to the monthly get together of the Canberra Sketchers Group at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) – including 5 people who came along for the first time. Having briefly met for a quick chat and orientation everyone dispersed to draw.

Group photo time, the AWM behind us.

Group photo time, the AWM behind us.

The Memorial building itself is interesting and there are so many different¬†perspectives that is can be hard to choose just one spot to draw from. On previous visits I had discovered, not that it is hard to spot, the bridge of the HMAS Brisbane – the whole top section of the¬†battleship – which was removed and re-sited in the grounds of the memorial. Today’s cooler temperature meant that I could spend all the time I wanted to get the sketch done.

The bridge of the HMAS Brisbane with the Auatralian War Memorial in the background, watercolour and brush pen, 6 September 2015

The bridge of the HMAS Brisbane with the Auatralian War Memorial in the background, watercolour and brush pen, 6 September 2015

Afterwards we got together in Poppies cafe for¬†coffee, chat and comparison of our sketches. As always it was fascinating to see the various styles and subjects of everyone’s drawings.

Our collective efforts!

Our collective efforts!

The¬†next Canberra Sketchers Group sketchwalk will be on 4 October, 10.30 am, we will be meeting to sketch at Floriade, Canberra’s annual floral festival. If you will be in Canberra you would be welcome to come along. For more details please contact me through¬†the link at the top of this page.

Sketchwalking, Singapore Style

I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about workshops at the USk Singapore 2015 Symposium, but perhaps the most fun thing we did at the symposium were the sketchwalks. Our Canberra Sketchers Group is still in its infancy, so getting 10 people along to a sketchwalk is a good outing. Imagine how amazing it feels when a whole street is full of sketchers. I don’t know how many people actually came on the registration day sketchwalk, here are just some of the sketchers in Purvis St. And there were two other groups in other nearby streets!

Some of the sketchers in Purvis St

How many sketchers can you fit in one small street?

While the sketchwalks are fun, they are also taken seriously, as an opportunity to get to know a new location.

Heads down and working hard! Purvis St, Singapore

Heads down and working hard! Purvis St, Singapore

We were lucky that the restaurants that lined the street hadn’t opened yet, because we sketchers commandeered all the available seating, as well as the footpaths and anywhere else we could find.

Here is what I drew on that first day (BTW the drawings of houses at the top of the left-hand page and the patterns on the bottom of the right-hand page are washi tape I purchased at the Singapore Art Museum shop).

Drawings of the roof lines and building decorations in Purvis St Singapore, 22 July 2015, watercolour and pen and ink

Drawings of the roof lines and building decorations in Purvis St Singapore, 22 July 2015, watercolour and pen and ink

There were other opportunities to join similar sketchwalks, which we did on the afternoons of day 2 and day 3 of the Symposium. But the biggest of them all was the sketchwalk on the final day of the symposium. The official count was 106 participants.

The sketchwalk on the lawns of the Singapore Management University, 25 July 2015

The sketchwalk on the lawns of the Singapore Management University, 25 July 2015

It was a grand finish to three days of amazing teaching and connection with sketchers from around the world. But what thrilled me was the impact those three days had made on my work. I could never had imagined that my final sketchwalk drawing would look like this.

My drawing at the final sketchwalk, brush pen, ink and watercolour, 25 July 2015

My drawing at the final sketchwalk, brush pen, ink and watercolour, 25 July 2015

A huge thank you to all the organisers, sponsors and the Singapore USk group. All I can say is ‘do yourself a favour’ and get yourself along to the 2016 USk Symposium in Manchester.

Canberra Sketchers at Hotel Hotel

We decided not to repeat last month’s Canberra Sketchers Group outdoor meeting and opted instead for the warmth of Canberra’s hippest accommodation Hotel Hotel. It was hip and happening and we were there.

We set up at the Monster Kitchen and Bar and managed to drink lots of tea and coffee and scoff plenty of tasty cakes and biscuits and didn’t even dip our paint brushes in the wrong glass once!

Watercolours amongst the coffees

Watercolours amongst the coffees

The building provided plenty of places to sit and observe and lots to look at as well.

I opted for an external view to the cold and foggy Canberra morning, not that that was deterring the cyclists who parked their bikes outside the window.

Looking out to the cold, watercolour, 5 July 2015

Looking out to the cold, watercolour, 5 July 2015

It was only after I returned to the main table that I realised there were light wells overhead which looked up into gardens, wow! I did a quick sketch but, per usual would like to go back and pick a slightly different place to capture this scene. It gives one of those illusions where you can’t quite work out if what you are seeing is approaching or receding.

Looking up, watercolour 5 July 2015

Looking up, watercolour 5 July 2015

In all our production was quite high – demonstrating the value of having several books ready to go so you could swap between them as paintings were drying.

Some of the mornings output, Canberra Sketchers Group, 5 July 2015

Some of the mornings output, Canberra Sketchers Group, 5 July 2015

Next time we are meeting at the National Museum of Australia, 10.30 am on Sunday 2 August.

Dr Sketchy and the blue woman

Last week we went to our second Dr Sketchy event at the National Gallery. It seems odd that such an event takes place withing the formality of Gandel Hall, however everyone enjoys themselves, the burlesque is well done and the art making fun.

This time we had two male models which provided different body shapes and poses to come to terms with.

Three two minute poses, graphite, 2 July 2015

Three two minute poses, graphite, 2 July 2015

We worked up from two and five minute poses to longer poses at the end of the evening.

Two, five minute poses, graphite, 2 July 2015

Two, five minute poses, graphite, 2 July 2015

And then there was the blue woman. Two of the models were covered in body paint and despite the colour, or perhaps because of it, I found it much easier to come to grips with the shape of their bodies when I drew them. One of the women was painted blue (not Yves Klein blue I hasten to add) and wore a white wig. I really enjoyed drawing her.

Five minute pose, graphite, 2 July 2015

The Blue Woman, five minute pose, graphite, 2 July 2015

Per usual the gallery restriction on media meant I was limited in how I could respond to the colourful models. One of the other people at our table gave me some chalk pastels and pastel paper which allowed me to make a more colourful drawing.

The Blue Woman, chalk pastel, 2 July 2015

The Blue Woman, chalk pastel, 2 July 2015

I enjoy these evenings as I come away with a sense of having had a really good artistic workout.

Canberra Sketchers Group – June outing

What with the fog and the 4 degree C temperature at 10.00 am we weren’t sure just how many sketchers would make it to our monthly outing today. It turns out that¬† Canberra’s sketchers are made of stern stuff, in all 9 people met to draw in the Canberra Beijing Garden on the shores of Lake Burley-Griffin.

A gift of the city of Beijing to Canberra to mark our Centenary in 2013, the garden was completed late in 2014 and is starting to look quite settled. The garden displays some of the key aspects of Chinese garden culture, including an entrance gate, pavilion, sculptures and an ornamental stone. Several of us drew the bronze replica of the famous Eastern Han Dynasty sculpture, Galloping Horse on a Flying Swallow. The heavenly steed is at full pace with just one hoof touching down on the back of the flying bird. I liked the view from the front of the horse rather than the often seen side-on position. But from any angle this sculpture is a dynamic masterpiece of design.

Galloping Horse on a Flying Swallow, watercolour, 7 June 2015

Galloping Horse on a Flying Swallow, watercolour, 7 June 2015

Further up the hill others were struggling with the tricky shapes of the Crane-Viewing Pavilion. I opted to make a second sketch of the Entrance Gate, from below, looking past the Stone of Appreciation from Lake Tai.

Stone of Appreciation from Lake Tai and the Entrance Gate from inside the garden, watercolour, pen and ink, 7 June 2015

Stone of Appreciation from Lake Tai and the Entrance Gate from inside the garden, watercolour, pen and ink, 7 June 2015

As always we gathered at the end to have a look at what had been drawn, discussing our various approaches and sharing tips. Sadly our scout had told us that our plan to have coffee in the nearby Hyatt Hotel wasn’t possible as it was jam-packed with Sunday brunchers. Thankfully one well prepared sketcher had brought along a fantastic carrot cake which they kindly shared with the rest of us – now that’s what I call an incentive!

Some of the hardy band that came along for the June Canberra Sketchers Group outing, 7 June 2015

Some of the hardy band that came along for the June Canberra Sketchers Group outing, 7 June 2015

 

 

 

Saturday Extra

Last Saturday the some of the Canberra Sketchers met up with Angela from the Melbourne Sketch group at the National Museum of Australia for a couple of hours of drawing.

Sketchers united at the National Museum of Australia, 23 May 2015

Sketchers united at the National Museum of Australia, 23 May 2015

We started over a cup of coffee and not surprisingly talk soon turned to favourite tools and tips. I really liked Angela’s solution to finding extra boxes for her watercolours. She bought a ‘seven day’ pillbox at a $2 shop and put her half pans into it. You can also just add tube paint in directly and mix on the lids!

Clever paint solution!

Clever paint solution!

Down to work and the unusual architecture of the museum was the focus for many sketches.

I chose to go into the Museum’s central courtyard, The Garden of Australian Dreams, where a stand of white barked gum trees were beautifully highlighted against the black museum wall.

Gum trees in the Garden of Australian Dreams, watercolour and graphite, 23 May 2015

Gum trees in the Garden of Australian Dreams, watercolour and graphite, 23 May 2015

This wasn’t what I’d intended to draw but it caught my eye. What I did want to capture was The Loop, which springs up from the forecourt of the museum and arcs back into the central courtyard. I liked this view which also encompassed the Black Mountain Tower. I only had a short time to capture this before I met back with the rest of the group.

The Loop and Black Mountain Tower, watercolour, pen and ink and graphite, 23 May 2015

The Loop and Black Mountain Tower, watercolour, pen and ink and graphite, 23 May 2015

We met in the entrance foyer to compare notes. It was clear that we could have spent the whole day drawing at the museum so it will be another venue for a repeat visit.

The collected works on the day, 23 May 2015

The collected works on the day, 23 May 2015

A quick reminder that the next meeting of the Canberra Sketchers group will be held at 10.30 am on Sunday 7 June at the Chinese Gardens, Flynn Drive, opposite the rear entrance of the Hyatt Hotel in Yarralumla.