Coffee, at last

It has been a long time between drinks, of coffee that is. In reality it’s been a while since I got my pencils out while sitting down with a cup of coffee.

Last Saturday’s offerings are as follows.

9July2016a

Red Glasses

Sadly just as I was getting stuck into capturing this striking older woman, there was a glitch in our coffee order. By the time it was sorted out she’d left.

9July2016b

Ghastly

Thankfully this man was in for the duration (of my attention at least).

Snowing

It has been a thoroughly miserable day here weatherwise. My partner suggested that we get out to have a closer look at the snow falling on the nearby ranges. We drove out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, from where we could see the snow clouds sweeping across the tops of the range. Where we were, on the valley floor, a flock of swallows swooped around our car. I could hardly believe how beautiful it all was.

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Snow falling on Tidbinbilla, coloured pencil on toned tan paper

I’m saying  that because my drawing was done completely from inside the warmth of our car!

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

The weather was truly awful yesterday, but nineteen brave souls made it to the June sketchmeet of Urban Sketchers Canberra at the National Portrait Gallery. We also had four new people make it for first time, which was just fantastic on such a rainy day.

After brief introductions and such we split up to sketch the gallery. My first stop was to sketch the ceramic sculpture of Dr John Yu, by the artist Ah Xian. As is appropriate for a retired paediatrician, Dr Yu’s bust includes small children scrabling over it. The bust itself is made with a celedon glaze, which is apparently a favourite of the sitter.

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Dr John Yu by Ah Xian, National Portrait Gallery, my sketch coloured pencil on paper

It was very pleasant to be inside the gallery looking out onto the rainy weather. My second sketch was of such a view down one of the cross corridors of the gallery.

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I was walking back to join the group for our sketchbook throw down when I decided I had just enough time to draw one of the interesting double views that gallery architecture facilitates.

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Two portraits, coloured pencil. On the left, partial image of Charles Teo by Adam Chang, 2011; and in the foreground, Acacias (stigmata), Tony Carden, by AñA Wojak, 1995

As always our group welcomes new members and visitors to join us. Our next sketchmeet will be on Sunday 3 July, 10.15 am at (New) Parliament House.

Cafe Wednesday – the hat

It only took one look to decide what the subject of this week’s drawing would be. Strong light was delineating the rather dashing hat being worn by a man at a nearby table.

25May2016

Magic pencils and white pencil on toned tan Strathmore paper

The light also cast a dramatic diagonal across his face.

Try again

It’s often a struggle to get the drawing you see out of your head and onto the page. Several weeks ago I had one of those days. We drove out to the country looking for a sketching spot and found a promising site down by the river.

As I looked up from the river bank I could see one of my favourite local shearing sheds higher up the hill. This is built in corrugated iron which has developed a lovely patina over the years. Behind it was a hill and the whole scene was enclosed below that skyline.

24Apr2016a

Shearing shed, watercolour

I did make some quick pencil sketches before I started, but even so I struggled to get the proportions of the shed to the skyline accurately represented. I had taken along my watercolours to use for the first time in ages. I tried, but I had forgotten ‘in my hands’ how to use the paint. So I was unhappy with my result.

Then I had another thought, to work back over one of my original thumbnails with the pencils I also took along. There was no pressure to get it ‘right’ I allowed myself to play with non-realistic colour and the drawing flowed!

24Apr2016b

Colour pencil over the top of one of my original sketches