In September I had a two week run at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space in Manuka, showing work that had developed from my residency in Tokyo two years ago. In between visitors (good numbers of people walking in from the street), I managed several sketches from behind the desk.
I had quite some trouble sketching this morning as everyone I started to sketch got up and left. The foreground figure is a composite of several people. Thankfully the guy in the background hung around for two cups of coffee.
Our Urban Sketchers group met today four our first ‘official’ winter sketch of the year. The complete lack of sun didn’t deter our group, 24 hardy souls turned out.
As I am recovering from a really nasty cold I was happy to find a spot inside a coffee shop with a bench seat looking out the window to a collection of umbrellas.
We took a quick trip up the road today to Goulburn, one of the oldest cities in New South Wales. As always we were attracted by the various period buildings throughout the city. This visit we allowed enough time to make a number of sketches.
While waiting for my lunch I quickly sketched one of the commercial premises on the main street. I found the combination of dark and light patterns a perfect subject for playing with my fountain pen.
After lunch we shifted down to the railway lines to paint, not the attractively restored station, but rather one of the storage buildings further along the track.
Our final stop was back in Belmore Park, in the centre of the city where we decided to make a quick sketch of the Victorian era Court House. I swapped styles yet again to try out my black and white and a punch of colour technique. I was pretty pleased with the outcome except for one thing – I left out a whole section of the upper level of the building – oops.
There was nothing for it but to have another go.
One of the things I realised when I looked even more closely is that the top of the dome is quite literally crowned with a copy of Queen Victoria’s imperial and state crown that featured in the print of the Queen, a copy of which graced my grandparent’s home. Our day of sketching ended somewhat abruptly when a bus load of school boys arrived and quite literally parked out the view and raised the decibel level in the park quite dramatically.
For these sketches I got to try out my Stillman and Birn Gamma series Vellum Suface sketchbook, (150gsm).
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.
The light also cast a dramatic diagonal across his face.
Some recent sketches using coloured pencil and my new toned tan Strathmore sketchbook.
Today’s effort from the window of the National Gallery of Australia’ cafe window. This section of the garden has recently been cleaned out and re-planted with grass trees.
I’m trying not to resort to ‘colouring in’, hence the vigorous strokes, which I’m enjoying making.
One more from the archive, a sketch in my toned-grey book, a spool of twine at a building site.
On Sunday our local Urban Sketcher’s chapter met for our May get together. It was great to welcome two new participants and catch up with some others who I haven’t seen in a while. We met in the centre of the city which is referred to as Civic. We were in part of the system of pedestrian plazas and near the Canberra Centre Mall.
While the weather didn’t deliver the hail that was forecast, the wind was quite blustery. Some brave souls sketched outside, but others took advantage of a seating area that overlooked the City Walk. I stayed outside as I had become fascinated with one of the more recent sculptures that have been added to the pedestrian areas. Anne Ross‘ work The Other Side of Midnight, 2012, is in three parts the centrepiece of which is a running girl flanked by two running hounds.
I had some more time before meeting up with the others so I pulled out my new Strathmore sketchbook which is the toned tan. It will be interesting to compare the sketches I’m making in this book compared to those in the grey-toned book I’ve just completed. This second sketch was a more traditional view of the plane trees that are planted in City Walk.
In my haste to capture the scene I botched the perspective and scale up – something I didn’t realise until I looked at the sketch after I got home. Oh well, there’s a lesson there! After having the obligatory group shot we went down to the food court for lunch and a catch-up.
If you are in the neighbourhood and would like to join us our next Urban Sketchers Canberra outing will be to the National Portrait Gallery, on Sunday 5 June at 10.15 am.