I will just share some photos as I haven’t reached any conclusions about the year. I’ve made work, communed with like-minded friends both online and in person around the world. Thank you all for being open and sharing your year with me as well.
Tag / Urban sketching
Drawing Sydney (not all cafes)
Well it’s been a while since I posted, mainly because I have been busy finalising my first solo exhibition in Sydney, (more of that in another post). We had to drive up from Canberra for the installation so once we arrived we had some spare time to get some sketching done.
You probably won’t be surpised that this has meant sitting in cafes and sketching, although it’s also been about taking the opportunity to look out at the busy urban settings as much as drawing people. We are staying in the inner-ish suburb of Strathfield, close to the railway station. It’s a lively area with plenty of activity all day.
The area also has a very strong Korean focus. You can’t go wrong with Korean barbecue restaurants and the style and content of the local grocery and specialty shops is a far cry from what we have in our local area. It makes a heady mix for us sketchers!
We also spent some time at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, where I had just enough time to sketch some sculptures as fit in another cafe sketch.
I love the way these groupings of sculptures relate to each other and the art around them. It was a bit of a challenge to see enough detail in the Dadswell sculpture to draw it, as it was silhouetted against a bright window. The view of the back of the sculpture was much better lit. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to sketch that as well.
More car sketching
I was doing a long overdue clean-up on the table today and found a small group of car sketches, mainly on the back of car parking tickets and also on a paper cutlery sleeve we got at a cafe.
Here they are, all stuck into my visual diary and also some closer views. Pencil and wax crayons.
Teaching at the underpass
This year I have twice taught introductory classes on urban sketching for our local Community Arts Centre. We have been sketching at a local shopping centre focusing on sketching the underpass and the toilet block.
Strange subjects for sketches I know, however they are simple enough shapes to practice proportional measuring and drawing for people with limited sketching experience. I want to help people experience the satisfaction of making a ‘good’ drawing; good enough to encourage them to keep on trying.
Above is a quick sketch where I’ve demonstrated how to use a pencil to measure the proportions of the underpass.
Secondly some suggestions on how to use watercolor pencils. Then a small drawing demonstrating how you can emphasize the background, rather than focus on a tree in the foreground of your main subject.
And finally my piece de resistance a sketch completed upside down. This sketch shows the relative values of the underpass and how to include the two trees in front of it, without them detracting from the main subject.
All my best ideas are nicked from other sketchers. This one is no exception. Alvin Wong, an urban sketcher from Hong Kong, once explained that one of the most useful skills he learned in his early days as an architect was how to draw and write upside down, while delivering presentations to clients. Not only does it impress the socks off people, but in this case I could demonstrate the ideas I was trying to share so the sketcher could easily follow my drawing.
Return of the rear view mirror
On a recent sortie I found a number of sketches done on the back of parking tickets from my car. You can tell by the dates on some of these sketches that I don’t clear out the glove box of my car often enough.
When I checked back through my posts I found that I had last shared similar sketches in 2014, here and here.
I must say that with the passing of time I did struggle to work out which way was up for some of them. I think I have it pretty right. Once I thought back to the places where I was likely to be waiting in the car most of them made sense.