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.

This could be the start of something big *

You just never know how things will start. You see several sketchers ‘found’ each other through the Urban Sketchers Australia group and we decided we’d see if there was enough interest to get a Canberra group off the ground. When the call went out just over a week ago for sketchers to meet at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) this Sunday morning we weren’t sure just how many people would turn up. We were really pleased that there were 9 people who answered the call. The NGA offers all sorts of drawing opportunities so after brief introductions everyone went off to find their particular place to draw.

Some of the group comparing their sketches, 8 February 2015

Some of the group comparing their sketches, 8 February 2015

Several of us went to the Fern Garden, one of the rather hard to find gems of the Gallery, as access is only via the back end of the building sort of stuck behind a carpark and service areas. I love the shape of the tree ferns so that was where I started.

The Fern Garden, designed by Fiona Hall, pen and ink, pencil and watercolour pencil, 8 February 2015

The Fern Garden, designed by Fiona Hall, pen and ink, pencil and watercolour pencil, 8 February 2015

Other people had quite a different view of exactly the same area. Forget the ferns, this sketch by one of the other participants, was focused solely on Hall’s underlying structure of pathways for the garden.

The pathways in the Fern Garden, Copic Multiliner, 8 February 2015

The pathways in the Fern Garden, Copic Multiliner, 8 February 2015

Later I moved around into the Sculpture Garden, which was proving to be a popular place to be. I completed a second drawing, this time of Bert Flugelman’s iconic Cones. It was also a popular choice to draw, you can see Sharon B’s version here.

Cones by Bert Flugelman, pen and ink, Copic Multiliner, liquid graphite, 8 February 2015

Cones by Bert Flugelman, pen and ink, Copic Multiliner, liquid graphite, 8 February 2015

The two hours we allocated to drawing went by so quickly. We reconvened at the cafe to share our morning’s work. There were sculptures, architecture, gardens and chairs. Lots of watercolours, ink, pen and pencil as well.

Canberra sketchers, our first get together, 8 February 2015

Canberra sketchers, our first get together, 8 February 2015

An another shot of our collected works.

Another view of the finished sketches, 8 February 2015

Another view of the finished sketches, 8 February 2015

It was so much fun that we are doing it again next month. If you’re interested in coming along just meet us on Sunday 1 March, at the coffee shop outside the entrance to the National Gallery of Australia at 10.30 am.

PS we will be exploring other areas of Canberra, but the group decided that there was still plenty of material to be explored at the NGA so we’ll have another session there before moving to other venues.

PPS if you can’t wait until then you might like to go along to the National Portrait Gallery’s monthly ‘Drawn In’ event, on Sunday 22 February from 1-3 pm, where you can draw with the accompaniment of the Night Cafe Jazz Trio.

*I hope you enjoy this ‘vintage’ clip of Steve Allen, (the composer of this song and TV host), with his guests, including a surprising cameo towards the end of the clip. This Could be the Start of Something Big