Urban Sketchers Canberra – March into Manuka

We had a solid roll-up of 12 people at our March sketchwalk, held in the shopping area of Manuka (Canberra’s most up-market retail centre). The cafes were alive with people eating, sipping coffees and catching up with the Sunday papers.
I only had to move a few metres to a convenient bench from where I could draw this couple sitting and reading. They were there for quite a while so I had plenty of time to sketch them.

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Couple reading, Koh-i-nor Magic pencil, white chalk and graphite, 6 March 2016

I walked down  a nearby laneway where I found some amusing quotations on the walls (tongues firmly in their cheeks).

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Shopping, coloured pencil, white chalk and graphite, 6 March 2016

With only 20 minutes to sketch before our meet up time, I did a blind drawing of one of the sculptures on the footpath.

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Gather by Matthew Tobin, 2007, ink, brush pen and coloured pencil, 6 Mrach 2016

Our ‘in house’ photographer spent the morning walking around capturing the crew in action. If you would like to see some of the photos or other drawings the Urban Sketchers Canberra Facebook page.

Material concerns

Sketching materials often cause me a dilemma. Like many sketchers I run the risk of paralysis from too much choice. When I made my trip to Brisbane last week I decided on one sketchbook – a grey-tone Strathmore and a limited selection of pens/pencils. My main pencils were Koh-i-noor Magic pencils, so I couldn’t ‘control’ to any extent  the colours that came out. I didn’t know whether I could do it! Indeed I did resort to one digital drawing.

Brisbane River Bridges, digital drawing on PS Touch app (for Android)

Brisbane River Bridges, digital drawing on PS Touch app (for Android)

Despite this small detour I did get back on track.This sketch uses only coloured pencil and white chalk. I used several types of the Magic pencils: Original, Fire and America.

Late afternoon sun on the Storey Bridge Brisbane, coloured pencil, white chalk, 20 January 2016

Late afternoon sun on the Storey Bridge Brisbane, coloured pencil, white chalk, 20 January 2016

The next day we took our sketch books up to the Roma St Parklands where the twisting shapes of the Moreton Bay figs captured my attention.

Fig tree, Roma Street Parklands, white chalk, graphite and coloured pencil, 21 January 2016

Fig tree, Roma Street Parklands, white chalk, graphite and coloured pencil, 21 January 2016

Back home I realised that I hadn’t picked up a pencil in days so I grabbed what was to hand, a green Artline fibre pen and my black ink pen and got down to it.

Backyard, green fineline pen and ink, 29 January 2016

Backyard, green fine line pen and ink, 29 January 2016

It can be a challenge just getting past that ‘perfection’ monkey, but it’s always worth getting out and just drawing.