Surfside life-sketching

We continue to head down the coast for our weekly swim while the weather and the east-coast current are warm. We have a decent sized beach shelter so between bouts of swimming and boogie-boarding we can sit comfortably inside out of the sun and sketch.

Like a life-drawing class the length of the poses changes. Some people stand still for some time looking out to sea,

others, bend or lift a board so quickly that the stance lasts only for seconds.

I am often surprised at the variety of subjects matter that present themselves.

If there is one thing I need to remind myself, it’s that I need to bring bigger sheets of paper with me to capture all the action.

Everyday practice

Here are some sketches from my current ‘handbag’ sketchbook. I am trying to use up one of the myriad sketchbooks that seem to spontaneously generate in my spare room. This book isn’t too good with wet media so I mainly try and sketch in pencil. The pencils I am using are a Palomino Blackwing 530 and my el cheapo multicolour pencil I got in Japan at Sekkaido.

In rough date order …

Trying to get some more interesting perspectives into these ‘regular’ events.

From the car in a roof top carpark.

Sketching graffiti from a roof top carpark.

This is a work in progress. I do a bit more every time I stop here to collect the mail.

Again, trying to enliven a cafe sketch. It gets very busy at our local cafe on Saturday morning. There are lots of parents and kids relaxing after the kids football matches.

Face Painting

Here are some more watercolour sketches of faces of people in cafes.

26Jun2017b

My first sketch, which also included some pen and ink (note to self I find the ink lines rather distracting, even though they give ‘definition’)

As part of my ongoing strategy to disrupt lazy habits I decided to use only a Daniel Smith test palette for my colours. This palette includes a number of colours that I don’t have in my paint selection. The other benefit using this card is that it’s a lot easier to carry if you are traveling light.

Untitled-1

The John Orlando Birt colour palette for Daniel Smith

I was happier with my results when I ditched my pen and just stuck to the watercolours.

26Jun2017a

Man in a puffa jacket, 26 June 2017, watercolour

I think that this head of a small boy was the most successful on the day.

26Jun2017

26 June 2017, small boy, watercolour

Another day and another cafe, same watercolour palette. Three people who were sitting at the same table.

4Jul2017

Three portrait sketches, 4 July 2017, watercolour

Art practice, not Art perfect

I was reminded earlier today that the phrase is ‘meditation practice’ not ‘meditation perfect’*, so I’m nicking that idea to apply to my art. I don’t know many artists who think their work is ‘perfect’, but¬†sometimes I¬†seem to operate as if that should be the¬†default. So in the spirit of it being Friday I’m cutting myself some slack and having fun with my art ‘practice’.

Returning from interstate last week I was making this rather stiff drawing of 4 people who appeared to be related …

2Aug2016a

Waiting at the airport, 3 related women and one girl, coloured pencil

… when this bloke stuck himself right in front of my subjects.

2Aug2016

What gets in the way of art, becomes the art!

The pen I was using¬†wasn’t running smoothly as the cap is a bit loose and the ink dries and causes blockages. I sort-of revived it a bit by putting water from my brush pen onto it, so while the sketch is a bit pale, I think it’s way more interesting than my first effort.

The next day the pen¬†wasn’t much better, but I couldn’t resist sketching this cheeky magpie, hanging around the cafe for a feed. The first parts of the sketch were pale and then with help from my partner we managed to get the ink¬†flowing a bit better . Once that was done I realised that I had made a much more interesting range of marks than if the ink¬†had been flowing properly.

3Aug2016

Necessity becomes virtue as the paler initial marks allow for more interest in the feathers and offer a contrast to the background

I picked up that pen again today, but not before actually checking and re-filling it. This morning I didn’t find my¬†fellow cafe-goers very exciting subjects, so¬†I decided to include some of the graphics from the nearby reptile shop to make things more interesting. I decided the whole could be improved if I¬†added¬†some paint when I got home.

12Aug2016a

Cafe habitues with green paint

I then decided, in short order, that the result¬†wasn’t quite what I was after. So I resorted to even more paint.

12Aug2016b

My fix

I’m feeling much happier about this version.

Sadly I have to report that since the big make-over of the small precinct where we go for coffee, that our dinosaur has ‘left the building’. It has been replaced by two trees some ground-cover plants and a lot of wood-chips. Making my sketches ‘interesting’ will become more of a challenge with the dinosaur.

*Phrase thanks to Headspace

Practice

At the Turner watercolour workshop Toni urged us to keep practising what we had learned to embed it into our skill set. So I’ve been working away on pages of small works.

Practice sheets of small watercolours focussing on the changing light on a nearby hill. # August 2013

Practice sheets of small watercolours focusing on the changing light on a nearby hill. The starting point was the three rapid sketches at the top of the page. 3 August 2013

I also painted two views of Mt Tennant experimenting with warm and cool compositions and some lifting techniques.

Two views of Mt Tennant using warm onto a cool background (l) and cool onto a warm background (r). 3 August 2013

Two views of Mt Tennant using warm onto a cool background (l) and cool onto a warm background (r). 3 August 2013

Then I tried some imagined landscapes and weather effects, with varying degrees of success.

Playing with light effects and imagined landscapes. 3 August 2013

Playing with light effects and imagined landscapes. 3 August 2013