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.

Canberra Sketchers Group in Braddon

The first few meetings of the Canberra Sketchers Group were focused on Canberra landmarks, such as the National Gallery of Australia and Lanyon Homestead, but this time we decided to hit the city streets – or more specifically Lonsdale Street in Braddon. In the perfect autumn sunshine of a Canberra Sunday morning, the street was jumping. Cafes full of patrons, people cramming the footpath and more traffic than a busy weekday lunchtime!

The group was pretty unanimous in heading to ‘The Hamlet’ where a whole pack of food vans are ready to supply hungry people and provide a subject for our group to sketch. There were various food vans to draw which occupied many of the group for the whole of our time on location.

Chasing Mr Morris, food van in Braddon, pen and ink and watercolours, 3 May 2015

Chasing Mr Morris food van in Braddon, pen and ink and watercolours, 3 May 2015

Food Vans in The Hamlet, Braddon 3 May 2015

Food Vans in The Hamlet, Braddon 3 May 2015

While the food vans and cafes represent the new face of Lonsdale St, I decided to focus on what was rapidly being knocked down and bulldozed away. Prior to it’s rejuvenation, this part of Braddon was home to car yards and mechanics workshops. This sign is about all that’s left of that era now.

Old Sign, Lonsdale St Braddon, graphite and watercolour, 3 May 2015

Old Sign, Lonsdale St Braddon, graphite and watercolour, 3 May 2015

While I’m not sad to see the car yards go, I am sad to see that local landmarks such as the Cornucopia Bakery and The Electric Shadows bookshop have ceased to exist. At least I know I’m not quite alone in missing that local history.

Grafitti, Lonsdale St, Braddon, watercolour and graphite

Grafitti, Lonsdale St, Braddon, watercolour and graphite

Here are some of the day’s efforts.

Some of the groups drawings, 3 May 2015

Some of the groups drawings, 3 May 2015

 

 

Canberra Sketchers Group

The Canberra Sketchers Group met for the second time, last Sunday, for several hours of drawing at the National Gallery of Australia. Our visit coincided with Sculpture Garden Sunday so there was plenty of activity and people to capture as well as the art work itself. We were pleased to welcome some new people to the group. As always we managed to find a variety of things to draw around the gallery. Some braved the crowds in the Sculpture Garden, some used the pop-up restaurant as their base and others drew in the Asian galleries.

Collective efforts, some of the sketches from the Sunday sketch crawl at the NGA

Collective efforts, some of the sketches from the Sunday sketch crawl at the NGA

I started in the Sculpture Garden where I painted three of the slit drums from Vanuatu.

Slit drums for Vanuatu, in the Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Australia

Slit drums for Vanuatu, in the Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Australia, watercolour and graphite, 1 March 2015

I only had to turn my head to see the furious activity of the straw modelling activity nearby.

The straw figure making activity, National Gallery of Australia, watercolour, 1 March 2015

The straw figure making activity, National Gallery of Australia, watercolour, 1 March 2015

For my last sketch I tried to capture the people in the central lawn area of the Sculpture Garden. This proved to be quite a challenge as there must have been several hundred people in front of me. I decided to keep it fast and loose with pen and ink.

Families in the central lawn area on Sculpture Garden Sunday, National Gallery of Australia, 1 March 2015 pen and ink.

Families in the central lawn area on Sculpture Garden Sunday, National Gallery of Australia, 1 March 2015 pen and ink.

The Canberra Sketchers Group will meet again on 12 April at 10.30 am at the Lanyon Historic Homestead, Tharwa Drive, Tharwa (on the Canberra side of the Tharwa Bridge). Everyone is welcome.

Here is the link to our previous outing and you can also find another perspective on the days activities by heading over to Tones and Tints.