Urban sketch

England, the mother home?

The European migration of Australia may be a mute point in some regions, and I have learnt quite a bit that you main language could have been Dutch if dirk Hartog and Abel Tasman 1642 and others had stayed and maybe even French even Spanish ( reading David Hunt’s Girt funny and factual). Alas we are a British colony and I have these links. But most of my links are from TV. British TV. Many of the places we visited were things we knew of, but one of our favourite spots was StPauls Cathedral. Inside and out. We breakfasted nearby, then went in, under and up to the top. I drew it during breakfast and fell in love with cafe pret a manger granola yoghurt breakfast.

I drew. Took some photos for later sketches. At lunch under it.there we were around the side in a lovely garden central London and not many people around. They were around the front!

Then we walked the streets past the treasury exchange, and windy streets with buses and taxi filled streets. And bike riders. Crazed people with death to the pedestrians on their mind!! I’m sure I saw one with little human symbols on their cross bar!

So my message today is the abuse and cabs you may hear but the stalking London cyclists might getcha!

London, capitol of England, Rainy one day warm the next.

Many people not from Melbourne often say it has four weather seasons in one day. Sometimes I am inclined to agree. While we were in London it felt pretty much the same in April  but we were prepared forit. Sketching also required a little forethought, such as fingerless gloves to keep warm but allow a grip on the pen and brushes, and make sure my journals were in plastic bags. They survived pretty well and I didnt allow them to get damaged or lost. Unlike a pair of sunglasses and two sim cards....

The first day it was rainy, but just brought many images seen on TV of wet London (unfortunately the spooky days of a pea souper fog are apparently over…). It didnt pour on us and it didn’t inhibit our walking . It did give me memory of the walk to out hotel from Earls court to the Ibis via a real crescent.earls crt unground sign copy.jpgibis hotel earlscrt.jpgearlscrtcrescent.jpg

Urban Sketching a great way of making your own record of what you see

On Saturday night I was drawing cars, (as is my want), and one chap came up and said it would be faster if you used a camera. Ha haha. I just laugh now and play along but it made me think about what I am doing.

I’m interpreting what I see my own way, not a perfect picture but what I see. He did say he liked what I was doing and asked if I would draw his car.

 

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I am lucky and grateful, my wife allows me time to sketch when we are at places. In Europe recently she allowed encouraged me and made me feel no need to rush. Thanks TB.

I sketched all over the place.

p1020371Buckingham PalaceP1020382

IMG_2635.jpgimg_3329-3At the Sherlock Holmes Pub

IMG_6543.jpgp1050056On the French Rivieria in Cassis

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p1050092ON the Mediterranean St RaphaelIMG_2384.jpg

img_3327Trafalgar SquarLondon Europe 18

eimg_3568Gardens of Luxembourg Parisnew black whites 1.jpgimg_3915Venice

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Beechworth- mining ones talents over a week

Taking a break camping in Pearl (our caravan) in the town of Beechworth. Its origins as a town are based on the great gold rush in Victoria, when gold was found here in  1852. The new towns location made it a central area for government as it was a few hundred kilometres from Melbourne. As a central hub it built up post office, hotels, police station, hospital, jail and more .

Beechworth post office day 1

We walked for about 2 Hours going into town along the creek which was mined for gold. Along the path there are warnings of mine shafts on both sides. You think to yourself oh yeah! But as you walk, watching for snakes you cross strong wire grates and look down and see you are standing over a big black hole. Just like Bruce Wayne fell down…then you stop and look and there are more holes, less protected two metres away, some just have old trees shoved down them….seriously we did not wander off the path.

Beechworth Albert st

In town I drew from the positions of shade, as it’s quite warm up here at the moment.
I seemed to focus on the corner of Ford st & Albert Rd. First the post office, actually twice, (both above) then, the old gold office/bank  (below) and is now mostly a jewellery shop. These two I have not completed but I wanted to record what I had done when I returned home.

Bank of Victoria, gold, now jewellery

Then the Honey discovery centre which was also a bank. The green edging is actually an olive colour. ,which I noticed in the different light than when I commenced it.

Beechworth honey discovery shop


On the roundabout of this road is an old light(modernised now). It still has the old chain for lighting it (now welded on). Now it’s a fashionable thing for youth to place things on, when we first arrived it had a tiny rubber truck on top, over the weekend a couple of pairs of boys underpants! I omitted these!

Beechworth lamp roundabout

On Saturday night we went and watched Rachel Johnston and Andrew Clermont at the Nicholas hotel in Beechworth. Rachel sure could make the cello do some marvellous things and Andrew played guitar, mandolins x2 and banjo. I couldn’t keep up my sketching the instruments. Check them out an their tour- https://www.facebook.com/soaringmusic/

Motorclassica – the line files

You don’t always see classic cars on the road. I mean old expensive ones that people decide it is too difficult or too risky to take their car out on the public road.

Then again it might happen and it’s a long way away from where I am. So going to Motoclassica over the last few days I tried to get as much ink down as I could in the time available. SO here are the cars I drew at the event, in order,  including the people sitting on the train.

train-passengers

the guy in the black hat was much trendier than I drew him, he seemed late 20s and too old for his get up and his breakfast in a tetra pack! The man in the blue shirt was playing two handed iphone game, again too old for that. The guy with the umbrella was VERY cool with his yellow shirt and umbrella, The student went too school before I finished her, and the girl with her tight hairI had to draw!

rolls-royce

1925 Rolls Phantom, one that a chaffeur drives. Bob was the friendliest bloke at the show, explaining every bit of the car to visitors. From my angle the wheel circles looked dark green but were actually black!  The statuette on the hood , turns to allow you to open the hood!

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NOt pleased with this one, there was a Pillar where the door was, but I wnated to draw it, but I think I lost a bit because of my decision, Ah serendipity!

mucked up 1

This Rolls I liked the bottom half but then he opened the bonnet and I lost the top half……

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I decided to try an angle from upstairs, whihc I expanded upon later

alfa romeo

Day two I sat with Alissa Duke (see her site here). We both liked this one, lots of reflections so colour will be interesting later.

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I had two hours to capture this one from above. Not sure how it comes out but I enjoyed the process, should have noted my lines better

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Enjoyed this one even with lots of people living old dreams or wishes. everyone from young to old stopped in front of me to look and discuss this.

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The Masrati are had a couch where one lady was sleeping so opposite her I sat down and drew this one

quick-one

Only had 15 minutes to spare so ripped out the brush pen sat on the floor and scratched this one out…….

Let me know what you think? email me 

Hobart Day 3 Out of the weather

I  met Patricia again and we started to draw in the Domain gardens although the weather looked threatening. We found shelter but the weatehr was against us. We visited a lovely cafe that gave us shelter and great Jazz music. The owner invited us to stay for as long as we wnted and that we didnt even have to but anything.

We chose an old shop front to draw, Old Bell Chambers. apparently the Old Bell Inn used to be on the site and these were built in the 1920s.

 

I haven’t added the ground floor with the modern shops, thought I would retro the bottom, I have some ideas.

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Meanwhile outside the weather was looking better, although snow had fallen on the mountain, blue skies appeared, we risked sitting outside on the balcont and trying some of the church building from a table outside

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SO out we went, well that lasted 10 minutes before the rain and

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Some detail to add to this. Tricias was much better. See her facebook on it here.

We walked back to The Domain Gardens and unfortunately had to go our own way. Great company and great sharer of knowledge. Thanks Tricia.

IAgain I did the touristie bit and took a pile of photos for later use. Again the rain came and So I returned to complete the Elizabeth St scene

Hobart

Hobart

 

combined-elizabeth-st

The completed pic

Eventually content I wandered back to our hotel, but need to warm up so popped into a cute little cafe. Feddy the owner let me sketch whilst he mopped up the floor. Eventually I left to return the next day and add a bit more

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Hobart Day 2 Battery Point and more

Day 2 I met Hobart urban Sketcher  Patricia Hopwood-wade in Battery Point,; its an URBAN Skethcers paradise! Nokidding, for a Melbourne boy there were many buildings from the the 1840s on…. I could sketch here for a LONG time.  (See Patricias fabulous art here but come back!)

Tricia took me to  a building that she was intereseted in, she is also completing Liz Steels classes so I was happy to follow her lead. And to get out of the cold wind blowing.

We set up and we chatted like old school friends, which made it a fantastic experience. I look forward to hosting her on the mainland sometime. Part of the Urban sketching group is sharing our knowledge and getting over the challenge of sketching alone outside when you first start up. We both cracked on, and I learnt a lot about her art and processes, which was very generous of her to share. It’s amazing we got any sketching done. we went off for a coffee, I had two I needed to warm up.

We returned to our spot. A couple of people asked what we were doing and were kind enough to say they liked what we were doing.

house 1 battery point.jpeg

The curves of the balcony were challenging. The ironwork too. When you sit and sketch you really pick up some details or I am alittle finicky? , the wire to stop birds getting in up under the round roof, the bathroom window above the lower floor door. the curving bay window plaster, yeah thanks architect for that! And again its on a hill. I forgot how hilly Hobart is, my calves did too!

A lesson for newbies! Go to the toilet when you go for coffee. another hour later and Tricia said goodbye, I must have walked quite strangely whilst I walked back to the cafe  to use the facilities, (DESPARATELY).

I went into the cafe and was fortunate enough to get a window table looking at the Fusiliers house. Whilst eating my scallop pie and and drinking coffee and juice (watermelon and orange???) I sketched and coloured this onefusiliers-cottage-battery-point-hobart

There was an old labradour sitting at the front door. She was a little naughty, getting up to visit passing dogs, for a frienly sniff and then back to her spot. The owner told me her name was Olive 13y’o and starting to wander a little further than she should!

After lunch I wandered around and with the occasional rain spot I sought protection for my mnext adventure, (after taking photos of other buildings in Battery point!)

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I sat outside the treasury building and got so much grit in my eyes from the wind! but that was Ok I was capturing a coulpe of old buildings in Elizabeth St and chatting to the passing bus passengers. It was starting to rain so left it at this. Quite happy with my days work and walking!

Day one over, Day 2 to come……

 

Hobart – in minimal colours Day 1

The trip to Hobart was successful in many ways especially as an experiement for me to sketch solidly for at least 7- 8 hours a day!  Even though the weather was warm, cold, windy, rainy, sleety, sunny and other descriptive nouns….. I was prepared (maybe not for the dust in my eyes), long johns, sunnies, hat and of course ready to do arty stuff.

 

We met our travelling companions at the airport so I didnt start sketching until on the plane.hhobart flight to.jpeg

Jetstar colours are mainly orange! and I dint draw the kids staring at me until the end beacuse they didnt look at me until I nearly finished our 1 hour flight. It was a good test of my new art jacket (see below). Which I took off for  security and put back on once thru, but as usual I was bomb/drug swiped. (I didn’t get tested in Hobart on the way home MIRACLE! I always get tested!)

We arrived at Hobart after a couple of delays, and then we walked to get the travelling out of our system. The sun was shining and it was quite warm so T wanted to lay down in the sun. This is always good for my sketching!

I took in the view, thought about Liz Steels classes and wham there it was. A collection of buildings of the Old Customs House Now Customs house Hotel, Hobart customs house hotelfrom Salamanca market.jpeg

The customs house is a combination of different buildings., which was challegning as it is also on a hill so windows didnt line up and were of different sorts.

I still have shade to add, cast shadows and then a bit of colour.

I used  non permanaent ink pen, I love the feel of it and that I can smudge it with a damp finger quickly after sketching. What I don’t like about it is the smudging when I add colour.

I am going to curve this one to the left and include the Supreme court building and the lovely flowers in the foreground, but maybe not the “smoking” couple behind us!

After a couple of moves to follow the sun,it was off to the shops to get breakfast supplies etc.

 

The trip was good test of my new jacket from my son for my birthday and successful addition to my apparatus!

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I don’t have to carry my handbag anymore!

Even a large compartment at the back for my larger sketchpad!

Day 2 to come…….

Windy Hobart

Out with Tb off to her workshop, I went off to my self imposed sketching workshop. My aim is to sketch for the 8 hours and see where it gets me.

It was a windy day and got worse as day went on. I am still scratching grit out of my eyes……Anyway…

Met Hobart artist, sketcher and must say, very nice host Patricia Hopwood-wade, checkout her Art, but come back. We are both doing Liz Steels buildings course and we both tackled this complicated house with a curved balcony in Battery Hill.


We had a break for coffee and returned until middayish. Tricia left me so I went and had lunch in the “village”.

The Fusiliers cottage (built 1840s) was across the road, so I did what came naturally started sketching whilst waiting for my scallop pie. There was an old black Labrador sitting outside. She got up and visited every dog who came past.

When I finished I asked the antiques owner about the dog. Olive is a 13 year old who “usually” stays near the house, but is starting to wander a little. 

Then I wandered around and walked off my pie….. I tried to sketch but the wind was fierce and starting to rain, so back into town. I wanted a street scene and shelter. I sat under the eaves of some old government buildings  and started the scene below, but it the end the weather forced me to retire. I will get back to this…the perspective may look a bit odd, because I had to move , causing pillars to obstruct my angles….but these are the little happy misfortunes of urban sketching..


Yesterday I did this one whilst TB lay in the sunshine.


I do like using the brush pens, the one above is non permanent, so will have to watch how much water I use when colouring. 

Liz Steels sketching buildings

Ok I am a little behind. No.no. I am a little bit behind (I wonder if this translates to Je suis debonaire derriere?) but i digress, behind in my homework.

I am doing a bit when I can and at the moment playing with Liz Steels building class even though I did her workshop, which I can recommend , to see her in action and be able to ask questions I found very valuable. I do like to consolidate my knowledge and experiences  by going over things again.

 

I am also going to Hobart in a weeks time and going to sketch for 3 whole days whilst TB goes to remote nursing school.Liz has based some of her course buildings (below are my images) on some she saw in Tasmania so I thought it would be good practice to get in a few Taswegian style buildings.  Now these ones are quickies done on non watercolour paper whilst other things are happening around me, which is good for a male to try to multitask….

I am also playing with a bit of toning on a couple of other sketches  you may have seen the line art for on an earlier page, but now putting some tone down. This is another fun stage where I can start to see it become more dimensional.

I have watered down my last mix of ink  a little more than I have used in the past. These have had two coats, the darker shadows are next, especially for Flinders St as I used a brush pen for the Model T and the dark shadows are already there

flinders-quicar-qui

and then there is this one below. I am experimenting with George Haddonsimg_1246 style pics whilst sitting in bed, trying to learn to add some character to my images. For me now I am trying to add a bit of life in my diagrams.